Nowadays, refurbished mobile phones are increasingly popular, and more legit resellers are on the rise in the smartphone market. However, a refurbished, renewed, or reconditioned phone generally is a pre-owned device returned to the seller/manufacturer due to a malfunction and repaired for resale. The good news is that the phone gets usually tested to ascertain that it’s in perfect working condition. The phone gets cleaned, tested, wiped, and given a warranty.

    Perhaps, not all cell phones termed refurbished were faulty. Some are brand new. Some retailers and wireless providers classify ‘refurbished phones’ as devices sent back by customers who thought otherwise within the 30-day after they entered a contract with a carrier/retailer. Refurbished cell phone sellers usually update the operating system to the latest version.

    Moreover, tests carried out include whether the battery is charging and the buttons and cameras. The seller will also check the audio quality and screen sensitivity and the phone connection to Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/5G networks. Therefore, It is safe and economical to purchase these refurbished mobile phones from a certified reseller. Ultimately, you will get a high-end device at reasonable pricing.

    Benefits Of a Refurbished Phone

    Many customers each year choose the more affordable option of purchasing a preowned smartphone instead of buying a new device due to the following reasons:

    • You can get a discount of up to 50% or more off the retail price and receive a device just a model or two old.
    • You have the freedom to transfer your no-contract, unlocked phone to any carrier of your choice.
    • Numerous reputable refurbished phone sellers are servicing this growing market.
    • Most reputable resellers allow returns if your cell phone isn’t as expected.
    • You can purchase a device protection plan directly from cell phone insurance providers.

    Refurbished Phones Categories

    what does refurbished phone mean

    All refurbished mobile phones get accorded a grade that explains their condition. However, there’s no universally certified standard for grading, so it’s wise to check before buying. Typically, the grades start from A-D and entail the following:

    • Grade A. This device is nearly brand new. It is a phone sent back within the 30-days after purchase, so it’s still a brand new phone with minor signs of wear.
    • Grade B. This has an odd chip or scratch, with minimal signs of wear and tear.
    • Grade C.  This refurbished type will show up to five blemishes and show some usage signs.
    • Grade D. This category will be broken in somehow and will appear second-hand and used.

    Mostly, sellers only stock grades A-C. You can have grade D cell phones from some refurbished dealers on eBay; thus, purchase one if you can repair phones yourself. There is also another category bearing the name “manufacturer refurbished,” which is unique from repairs done by local phone repair shops.

    However, the manufacturer repairs the cell phone using original accessories and certifies the device’s working and recondition the device in “like new” conditions, which the original equipment manufacturers do. Many customers prefer and are lookout for this type of refurb.

    Reasons you should Buy Refurbished Cell phones

    In this era, purchasing a high-end smartphone is becoming more and more expensive unless you have time for special sales offers and promotions. However, expect to pay at least $1,000 for the latest flagship device, and this cost makes refurbished phones more marketable due to their lower price.

    Additionally, purchasing a renewed smartphone also makes the environment safe. When a cell phone gets discarded after some damage, it’s then thrown into landfills, thus polluting the environment. On the other hand, the environment becomes clean when refurbished phones get repaired and sold.

    Many smartphones are made with plastic parts and lithium-ion batteries, which are hard to destroy and decompose. Thus, it’s better to repair these devices and sell them as refurbished phones, provided they are in excellent condition at a discounted price.

    Precautions When Buying Refurbished Phones

    The following are the points to keep in mind while purchasing the phones

    i) Look Out for Warranty

    Many of the renewed cell phones feature a warranty for a limited time. Besides, the warranty is given directly from the original manufacturer or from the reseller where it is being sold. Most legal resellers conduct multiple tests and checks to guarantee that the mobile phone is in a perfect working state.

    However, some manufacturers resell mobile phones after a customer returns due to manufacturing defects or other reasons like damaged accessories and boxes, logistics issues, etc. Then, the reseller fixes the defects and place the renewed devices for sale again. This is the perfect way to purchase a refurbished phone as manufacturers resell their phones with a limited-time warranty.

    ii) Check Out Specifications and Features

    When purchasing an expensive mobile device, you usually check through all the fine prints before confirming the final purchase. Similarly, this inspection is crucial when you’re purchasing a refurbished phone. If you don’t understand well what you are buying, there might be hidden conditions, and you can’t return, or you won’t get any refund after returning the mobile device.

    Notably, try to purchase one from the original phone manufacturer. Often, a phone manufacturer will acquire some magnificent devices returned by customers for unknown reasons, not because they are faulty. Thus, manufacturers often resell the devices as refurbished on their official website. And this is the easiest way to save some money on your next cell phone.

    Shops to Buy a Refurbished Phone

    When purchasing a refurbished cell phone, it’s recommendable to use a reputable retailer/manufacturer. Alternatively, popular sites like Amazon and Swappa have a wide variety to select from. However, ensure you read the fine print to identify what condition it’s in before you purchase it. The following are some of the leading and trusted retailers:

    1) Amazon

    Amazon is the world’s largest online store and offers a separate shelf to buy refurbished devices. However, Amazon purchases used smartphones from customers through trade-ins by giving a discount on the new device they buy.

    Then, the company tests and makes corrective repairs, so they look and function like new. These smartphones are sold in the refurbished section and come with a limited warranty from the seller or manufacturer.

    2) Swappa

    This second-hand online shop initially sold tablets and phones; thus, it’s a great place to get quality products. Their service has become even more diversified by adding gaming, cameras, laptops, and VR to the mix.

    This online store resembles eBay in that there are intertwined businesses and individual private sellers; thus, you can negotiate to get that perfect deal. However, the big difference is that the seller indicates the price, and you can pay it or negotiate for a lower cost.

    3) Gazelle

    This is one of the reputable renowned places to purchase refurbished phones. You can also take back any cell phone you purchase on Gazelle within 30 days of buying and receive your money back. Interestingly, the company also provides device protection plans so that you can receive another top-up of reassurance. Gazelle provides a trade-in program to bring in your old phones and earn cashback.

    4) Best Buy

    Best Buy also provides a trade-in program for consumers to return older phones at the expense of Best Buy gift cards. Then, the retailer also resells these devices as refurbished phones on its website, together with “pre-owned” phones.

    However, if a cell phone on Best Buy features that label, it means it is “fully functional but has some cosmetic blemishes. “Besides, such devices come with a non-original package, charger, data cable, and 90-day warranty. Best Buy renewed mobile phones have been “repaired and tested to a like-new condition” and come with their accessories and a warranty.

    5) Mobile Carriers

    Select US wireless carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile sell some renewed cell phones, although their category tends to be limited compared to Amazon, Gazelle, and Best Buy. However, all their devices are certified to operate like new phones. Even if others show some cosmetic damages, it won’t interfere with their functionality.

    6) Walmart

    Walmart is the leading largest retail chain store in the US, and chances are, you can get a store nearby. Many customers trust the brand, offering refurbished phones at pocket-friendly prices. Their selection is diverse, too, with many phones from different manufacturers. However, you get a 90-day minimum warranty on these reconditioned mobile devices and accessories for peace of mind.

    Final Verdict

    A reconditioned/refurbished phone is a second-hand phone meant for resale. However, the current owner does not return the devices because of a problem. The previous user may have wanted an upgrade or a different model in some cases. Thus, they traded in their existing device for credit to receive a discount on the new purchase.

    Buying a renewed phone is always an excellent option for customers who often want to buy a new phone. Besides, these devices are entirely safe for buying, thus protecting the environment.