This is actually interesting. I work for Sears and I'm in charge of processing high value returns between electronics/hardware. Our Sears Outlet site is simply a database of our 991 items ( clearence ). All sears outlet does is show you what stores in your area have that item at a discounted price, but it does also show what we have in our actual outlet stores as well. The only reason electronics get marked down is because they are last years models, or because they were returned/have physical damage/missing something.
One thing I can tell you for certain is that they are not refurbished. We do not refurbish computers ( or any device that stores personal information ) on a store level ( regular full line store, not a physical outlet center ). If the box has been opened and the customer has used it, it's not to be sold in stores, and frankly, even if it hasn't been opened, it's not to be sold either. It's supposed to be sent to a return center to be properly processed - and no, it will never come back to the store.
I mean, correct me if I'm mistaken but you guys have picked up these tablets at a discount at a regular store? They would absolutely not go back on the salesfloor at my store.
I'm not trying to spill secrets here, but it's a heads up for you guys. Frankly I'd love to know what stores are doing it, if I'm following this correctly. This is not only wrong for the previous owners but wrong for the second buyers. Which is why it's against policy. And like Roebeet said - how those programs were left on it - means it was blatantly processed incorrectly. This actually bothers me quite a bit...