Virtually everyone has a cell phone these days. But as new models become more and more sophisticated, the price of new cell phones continues to rise.
Instead of buying a new phone, many people will turn to recycled or refurbished devices to save money.
In this article, find out what a refurbished phone is and learn a whole bunch of tips to help you make an informed decision if you’re thinking of buying one.
What is a refurbished phone?
Generally speaking, refurbished phones are devices that were once owned by someone for a short period of time and then returned to the seller or a wireless service provider when the device was replaced. They are therefore resold at a lower price than an equivalent new smartphone.
Before they are sold, these phones are inspected and may even be repaired to ensure they meet various requirements. Tests and repairs include making sure the battery charges and that the buttons and cameras work properly. Audio quality, screen responsiveness and how well the phone connects to Wi-Fi and other cellular networks are also checked.
However, the definition of a refurbished phone may differ for some companies. For example, refurbished smartphones sold by Apple and Samsung come with a new battery, a new outer shell, new cables and accessories, and even a new box.
Refurbished phones offered by other retailers do not always include new batteries and all the cell phone accessories originally supplied.
The different grades of refurbished phones
When it comes to refurbished phones, but also used phones, many sellers will grade their devices. A grade is a rating that tells you about the condition of a refurbished device. The evaluation criteria for awarding a grade may include, but are not limited to:
- The number of cosmetic imperfections the phone has (e.g., scratches, scuffs and other marks)
- How the phone has been used by its previous owner The condition of the phone’s packaging
The most common systems used to grade refurbished phones are to give a grade out of ten or a letter grade on a scale (from A to D for example). It is important to know this information because it will have an impact on the price of the phone. For example, you might want to look for a phone with a rating of 7/10 rather than 10/10 if you want to save money on a refurbished phone and you don’t mind small signs of wear and tear.
Refurbished phone vs. used phone
Compared to a used version of the same model that you might find on Kijiji or eBay, refurbished phones are generally a little more expensive. However, when you buy a used phone from a private individual, it is your responsibility to make sure that everything works properly before buying it.
Unless the used phone store you’re dealing with offers protection, you could end up with a phone that no longer charges properly or has features that are no longer usable. Refurbished phones eliminate this concern.
Not to mention that most refurbished phone sellers also make sure that they aren’t selling lost or stolen phones.
Are refurbished phones worth it?
There are many reasons to choose a refurbished phone over a new or used device sold by a private individual.
Here are the main reasons:
You save money!
Buying a reconditioned cell phone instead of a new one can save you several hundred dollars.
Not to mention that you’ll probably pay less for your monthly phone plan if you already have an unlocked phone.
When you buy a refurbished phone, you prevent a phone from ending up in the landfill.
When a smartphone is discarded, there are considerable negative impacts on the environment. Most models have parts, such as lithium-ion batteries, that contain products that are harmful to ecosystems.
Peace of mind
Since reconditioned phones are inspected and refurbished following strict procedures, you have peace of mind when you purchase them.
In addition, since refurbished devices usually come with a warranty, you can simply return the device to the seller if you notice any problems after a few days of use.
What to check when buying a refurbished phone
To protect yourself from dishonest sellers, there are certain things to check when buying a refurbished device.
If the refurbished cell phone you wish to purchase has actually been inspected and refurbished, the retailer will not hesitate to offer some sort of guarantee with the purchase.
On the other hand, if the seller insists on terms like “as seen” and offers no warranty, you should pass. Caution is advised when dealing with such offers, unless the price is extremely attractive.
Sometimes the return policy for refurbished phones is designed to discourage the buyer from returning the device.
Try to deal with a seller whose return policy includes shipping the defective device at their expense.
Where to get a refurbished phone
When buying a refurbished device, we recommend that you use a retailer with a good reputation. You’ll have no trouble finding one online if you read buyer reviews.
That said, there are even manufacturers like Apple and Samsung that offer refurbished devices in their own facilities with original parts. However, their prices are less attractive.
Get your next smartphone from Recycell
In conclusion, refurbished phones are devices that offer virtually all the benefits of new phones at a lower price. They are inspected and refurbished to make sure they work properly and then graded based on their condition.