Well, if it just says,"Refurbished" then chances are it was bought at say, "BAM!" (the bookstore) but the guy/girl didn't like it so they returned it to "BAM!" and BAM! refurbed it themselves then sold it back to Barnes & Noble. (otherwise Manufacture refurb is usually refurbed by the company who created it) Condition can really depend, usually you won't have to worry about a deep gouge on the back and the screen snapped in half. They actually fix these things, but there can be some defects with it (e.g tiny scratch, dead component inside, etc) Actually, dead component would go in "rare" - It happens, but not often. I guess it all depends on the company, I could be wrong. But know that there not going to sell you a snapped in half Nook.