Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Brand New Starlink Kit

Starlink has offered several types of incentives over the years to attract new customers. In Europe, for example, they often run discounts on monthly subscription fees and hardware. One offer that occasionally pops up is the option to buy a refurbished dish instead of a brand new one. The refurbished kit is usually 30% off new, helping to soften the steep up-front cost of purchasing Starlink.

The United States, Starlink’s largest market, has never gotten the chance to experience any of these incentives in the past. But now, all that changes. Starlink is offering a refurbished hardware option in the US, and it’s an incredible deal in many ways. In this post, I’ll explain all the details, let you know where it’s available, and tell you a little secret about how anyone can get this deal, even if you aren’t supposed to be eligible.

New refurbished option in the US

The refurbished equipment option in the US is different than previous offers seen in other countries in a big way. Starlink is offering refurbished Gen 3 kits to US customers, instead of the older Gen 2 kits that most other countries have as the refurb option. Gen 3 is the newest dish model, released less than 6 months ago.

The price for a refurbished Gen 3 kit is $399, compared to $599 for a brand new kit. That’s a 33% discount, making this a pretty amazing deal. You get the same hardware and performance of a new kit for a lot less money.

It’s a bit surprising that they would have so many refurbished Gen 3 dishes sitting around to make this offer possible, but nevertheless, it’s great for potential customers. The Gen 3 kit has several improvements over Gen 2, like standard Ethernet ports, a Wifi 6 router, standard RJ45 connectors to connect the dish, and a better power supply. Like I said in my overview of Gen 3, it’s the best option for new customers, but not necessarily worth upgrading from an existing dish.

Availability

At this point, you might be thinking this is too good to be true. What’s the catch? It turns out, this refurbished equipment offer is only available in some states, and it’s only while supplies last. Also, the option only shows up for Residential orders, it isn’t available for Roam or Business orders. The good news – there is a loophole that I’ll explain in the next section. Technically, anyone in the US can order a refurbished kit for any plan.

Refurb offer loophole

I checked a few states in the US to see where the refurb offer was listed and where it wasn’t. States like Texas and Kansas get the offer, while places like Virginia don’t. Starlink hasn’t said what their eligibility criteria is, but I’m guessing it has to do with demand. After all, this is supposed to be an incentive to drive more sales, so it’s probably a safe assumption that areas with good sales numbers aren’t getting this offer.

If you check your address on the Starlink website and it isn’t eligible for the refurbished kit option, here is how to get around that:

  1. Use the address checker on the main page of Starlink.com to find a state where the refurb option shows up. My advice is to start typing in the box, and then click “Set location on map” when it pops up. You can then easily drag the dot around the map, zooming in closer to be able to click “Order Now”.
  2. Once you find a location where you can order a refurbished kit, start filling out the order form for that address (even though it’s not your actual address). Starlink allows you to specify a shipping address that is different from the service address. You can ship your kit anywhere in the US. Have it shipped to your actual address.
  1. Complete the rest of the order, filling out your payment and contact information. Note: You can add a subscription to an existing Starlink account, or create a new account.
  2. Once your kit arrives, set it up and power it on. A message will show up in the Starlink app, letting you know the dish is at an unexpected location. To fix that, log in to your Starlink.com account portal. Under “Your Starlinks”, click Manage on the subscription. In the left hand menu, update your service address to your actual location.
  3. Within about 20 minutes, your service address will update, and the unexpected location message should go away. You might need to reboot the system. Once you are online, that’s it! You’ve successfully ordered a refurbished kit to a location that wasn’t really supposed to be eligible.

What if you want to buy a refurbished kit for Roam? Starlink doesn’t list the refurb option for Roam orders in any state, however, there is a workaround for that too. Instead of ordering Roam, you will order Residential. If your actual location isn’t eligible, follow the steps above. Complete the Residential order with the refurbished equipment option, and wait for the dish to arrive. Once it does, you can go into your Starlink.com account portal, and simply change your service plan from Residential to Roam.

If you don’t see the option to change your service plan, you may have to cancel your subscription, wait for the billing cycle to end, and then hit “Activate” to start up another subscription. When you hit “Activate”, you will be able to select any service plan, so just select Roam/Mobile.

Buying new doesn’t make sense anymore

Now that I’ve covered what the refurbished offer is, and how to get it anywhere in the US with any service plan, let me explain why it’s the only purchase option worth considering when buying Starlink in the US.

The refurbished kits come with the exact same warranty as new kits. That means you get the same level of coverage for the same amount of time. Whether you buy new or refurbished, you get 12 months of warranty coverage that will cover most hardware failures from any component in the kit.

When you buy refurbished, you get all the same kit components. There might be some minor scuffs or something, but for all practical purposes, new and refurbished kits are identical.

The refurbished kits were returned to Starlink for a variety of reasons. Maybe something was broken or defective, but sometimes people just return them because they didn’t end up needing it, or they couldn’t get it to work with the amount of obstructions around their property. Refurbished kits aren’t more likely to fail. Starlink Gen 3 kits have no moving parts. They either work or they don’t, and there are no components that wear out over time. Buying new doesn’t increase the longevity of your kit or give you any real advantage in terms of how reliable the hardware will be. Remember, these refurbished Gen 3 kits are less than 6 months old, since Gen 3 hasn’t even been out that long.

For all of these reasons, it simply doesn’t make sense to pay 33% more to have brand new equipment. Pick the refurbished kit option and use the savings to buy mounting accessories, or put it towards the monthly service fee.

Do you agree with me on this one? If you are a new customer, does this refurbished option appeal to you? If you currently have a Gen 1 or Gen 2 dish, does this offer make you want to upgrade? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

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14 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Brand New Starlink Kit”

  1. Only 2 states I could find with addresses generating a reduced price for the full Gen 3 rig were UT and NM.
    The price was $349 and no option for higher. No, that is not a typo; $349.
    I ordered one.

    Reply
  2. My real address was acceptable in the order process. Arrived a week later. Works great.

    No way to switch to roam. Cancelled. Went back in, no option offered other than resume. So I will wait for the billing cycle to end and then try roam.

    I may get to test it in a week when I go camping.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the report. It’s interesting how they are messing with the change service option. I’ve received a number of reports that says the button is simply gone now, and the only way to change is to wait for the billing cycle to end, and then reactivate on a different plan. I’m not sure if this is a bug/glitch in their system, or possibly you have to wait 90 days from the initial activation date (when the equipment is eligible for transfer) to see the change service button.

      Reply
      • Yep, that was my experience. No button offered.
        However Transfer was offered (I didn’t try).

        More details, which may be helpful to you/others…
        – Since I cancelled yesterday, got email confirmation of the cancel as of 4/28, and it showed 14 minutes of uptime (when I was testing yesterday, before I cancelled).
        – No charges on my account statement for the one-day (or more accurately, 14 minutes) of uptime!
        – No button for Roam, only Standard.
        – Tried ‘add a starlink’ AND that offered Roam button and Standard button (yeah) but required equipment, and the Gen3 was back up to $599 (yuck).
        – What the heck, activated Standard. Boom, charge goes through, service now through 5/28.
        – I’ll try it from a different (100 miles away) location sometime before 5/28 and report back on the experience.
        – I sure hope I don’t need to wait 3 billing cycles to get Roam, but it is what it is.

        (great speed from my driveway, which is ringed with trees, so I’m a happy camper. literally, as this is for our RV)

        Reply
        • After a single billing cycle, the other service options became visible in the account. I selected Roam, and bingo, done.

          Twice now, happy camper.

          And elevated gen3 dish on a mast (via the Trio pole adapter) in the same driveway netted a nearly 40% increase in performance on download and upload.

          Reply
    • And it all worked out as described – we have roam service with a refurb ‘kit’.
      Performance is outstanding.

      Reply
  3. I ordered last night to have as a separate dish for Roam service. It would not allow me to use my existing account e-Mail, and subsequently they created a new account for me which I don’t want. IE I don’t want two accounts Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • I suggest canceling that order, since it will be locked on the new account for a minimum of 90 days before you can transfer that dish to your main account. After canceling and getting a refund, log in to your main Starlink account. In the “Your Starlinks” section, there should be a + icon you can click. This will add another Starlink to your account. Enter your address (if eligible for the refurb offer, otherwise find an eligible address to use instead). Select Residential. Proceed through the checkout, making sure to ship it to your correct location. Now this new Starlink will be on your main account with your existing unit. You can change the service plan to Roam after the unit ships and is added to “Your Starlinks” on your account dashboard.

      Reply
  4. I would like to purchase a gen 3 refurbished router. But ,$250 is way to much. I did not get the discount or lower monthly payment I was told I would get by signing up early. I have so much money tied uo in my system already, with so many add ons.

    Reply
  5. When is gen 3 going to be available in puerto Vallarta Mexico. About 20 % of the residents there are American or Canadian and we have no good option for internet.Telmex stinks

    Reply
  6. In the UK, they currently flog standard actuated dishes (gen 2) off
    for £225/~US$280, or refurbs for £150/~US$ 187. This offer started 1 March 24

    Reply

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