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Things to Look Out for When Buying A Refurbished Phone

By August 1, 2019phones

If you’re not lucky enough to have a friend or family member who passes down their old phone to you when they get the latest model, you might want to consider something refurbished. If saving $100 sounds good to you, then here’s what you should be on the look-out for when buying a refurbished phone.

Certified Refurbished Phones

Buying a refurbished phone is trending, and some unscrupulous vendors have been keen to hop on the bandwagon. When you’re searching for a store that sells used phones, be aware that sticking to a certified seller is the best policy. There will be clues on the handset packaging to indicate whether the device has been restored to mint condition.


Look for markers that state the handset is certified pre-owned. This is proof that the phone has been restored and inspected by the manufacturer. The restoration will have been done with new parts and not second-hand ones cannibalised from old phones.

If any doubt still exists after a careful look at the packaging, you can ask the vendor directly about what their refurbishment policy entails. If they are less than forthright with any details, then head for the exit.

What is the Difference Between Refurbished and Refreshed?

The best way to guarantee you are buying a certified refurbished phone and not a refreshed one is to buy from a reputable company (you could also buy the phone with Afterpay if the company supports it). Refreshed phones have only been cleaned and repacked. If they had any flaws or breakages, these have usually been fixed by someone who uses the cheapest replacements to maximise profit.

The two leaders in the refurbishment market are Apple and Samsung. Because these brands have high desirability in the market and a high price to go with it, these brands have led the way in fixing second-hand phones to sell to consumers in the student and youth market. The components used during the renewal process are the latest technology, and the package is often sold with new headphones and chargers.


Apple and Samsung are shining examples when it comes to offering warranties on refurbished phones. They are the same as the ones they give to their new models. When you compare this to the 90-day warranty that is offered by other online retailers, you can make an informed decision as to which one is best.

While on the subject of warranties, be warned to practice extreme caution when buying a second-hand phone from an unknown online seller or even someone who has posted a flyer on a noticeboard. These don’t come with a warranty and could place the buyer in danger if the meeting is somewhere isolated.


Just because a phone is refurbished, don’t be misled in thinking that it will be dramatically cheaper. This is especially true when dealing with the top of the range of big brands like Apple and Samsung.

In a comparative study, the Apple website is offering refurbished iPhones for only 7% less than a new model. Samsung is marginally better with prices of around 30% cheaper for their top sellers. At least the buyer is secure in the knowledge that the phone they are buying in these instances is worth it. This is not always the case when purchasing a refurbished phone from a third-party retailer.

No matter how well a refurbished phone has been detailed for resale, there is always the chance that an unsightly blemish could be hidden away in the packaging. Getting a warranty and buying from a reputable dealer will protect you from any more significant faults so you can enjoy your phone for many years.

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