Guarantee vs. Warranty: What is the difference?

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Difference between Guarantee and Warranty

Whenever we buy products in a store or in an online shop, we often look for either of these two very reassuring terms: guarantee and warranty. This is primarily because shoppers need to know that what they are spending on is worth every penny. They also need to know that their precious money can be returned to them in the event that they are not completely satisfied with their purchase. After all, there are many products and services which cannot be experienced right there and then at the store. And oftentimes just looking at the exterior of the packet will not tell you much about what you are about to buy. How are a guarantee and warranty different? Or are they one and the same thing? Let’s find out.



A guarantee is a promise made by a seller to a buyer that the item / service / product sold is of the best and freshest condition and in the event that there is no satisfaction or when the said item / service / product did not live up to its promise, the seller agrees to replace it or refund the buyer’s money.

A warranty, however, works like an insurance policy and works like a legal contract. A warranty is a guarantee of repair and replacement of an item / product or its parts should it not meet the expectations of the buyer or should it break down and malfunction at any time during the warranty period.


Both a guarantee and a warranty aim to protect the rights of every consumer.

However, a guarantee focuses on manufacture and service provision, whereas warranty focuses on reselling and distribution. A company that creates televisions for example, will be liable for guarantee of their manufactured products. However, a distributor or an importer of these televisions will have to offer warranty to end users or consumers.

Another example is the statement, “This blender has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty.” It means that you can return it for repair or replacement within the 12-month warranty period and should you find the product performing less than it should, you can return it within 30 days and get your money back.


There is simply no cost for a guarantee. A guarantee can be considered as a legal contract but without any payment. Therefore, it is given freely. However, a warranty attracts charges as an insurance policy would. This is why, in order to make a warranty legally viable, a customer needs to pay for the product first. It can then be used as a legal instrument which, depending on its strength, can subject the seller to lawsuits if they do not comply with said promise (which is repairing and replacing of articles).


  • A warranty and a guarantee are both written documents to protect consumer rights.
  • A warranty focuses on repairing and replacing parts. A guarantee focuses on replacing entire items.
  • A guarantee is free. A warranty charges as an insurance policy and can be used in court.


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