Refurbished phones are well worth buying if you’re trying to purchase new technology on a budget. Although these refurbished handsets have been tested and are confirmed to be in working order, because they have been used, they are discounted. Retailers are unable to sell these handsets as brand new even if they’ve only been used for a matter of hours. But, by lowering the prices of these devices retailers can still make money from them. This is great news for you because it means you can purchase premium phones without paying a premium.
However, like all goods and services that you spend money on, you’ll want to determine whether a retailer is reputable before you buy. To guide you as you purchase a handset, we’ve put together this feature on how to identify a reputable refurbished phone seller. Follow these suggestions to ensure that you get the best deal for your money and that your refurbished handset is reliable.
Who Sells Refurbished Phones?
There are two types of refurbished phone retailers: these are seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished. A manufacturer refurbished phone is a phone that has been refurbished by the phone brand itself, in-house, by that phone manufacturer’s own technicians. For example, a manufacturer refurbished iPhone is an iPhone that has been refurbished by Apple. A seller refurbished phone is one that has been refurbished by a third-party.
Understanding this helps you understand why there is a price discrepancy in some refurbished products and to know that you are getting a fair deal. Manufacturer refurbished products typically cost more as you’ll be paying extra for branded packaging as well as the manufacturer’s service. Both seller and manufacturer refurbished products can be of great quality and both retailers will have taken their due diligence to refurbish the phone, but it’s important to know the difference.
Who Refurbished the Phones?
You will also want to know who refurbishes the phones and how. Any reputable refurbished phone retailer will display its testing process somewhere on the site. This should include a list of the parts and aspects of a phone that it examines, tests, and repairs (if needed) such as the battery life, the screen, and other hardware components. How the device is cleaned both physically and in terms of data being removed from the device is pertinent info as well.
Also important is who refurbished the phone. Reputable sellers will employ certified and qualified engineers, those that have received qualifications either from the manufacturer itself (Apple has something called the ACiT) or an equivalent such as the MasterTech Certification. These details will help you to establish that those carrying out the testing are trained professionals and not just hardware enthusiasts.
What Details About the Phone Are Displayed?
Retailers that you can trust will be transparent about what they’re selling. Not only does this give you confidence about what you’re buying and what to expect from the handset but it also conveys that the retailer knows what it is talking about.
Key information includes whether the device is a locked or unlocked device (e.g whether it is fixed to one phone carrier or if it can be used with a SIM from any network), and the cosmetic quality (e.g. whether it will have any scratches and how significant these cosmetic imperfections may be). It’s also worth considering which accessories are included. If it’s an iPhone, newer models don’t have a headphone jack and therefore will require a Bluetooth connection, therefore you’re onto a good thing if it includes some AirPods (these are Apple’s own line of Bluetooth headphones). Other accessories such as a charger are a must as well, but not all refurbished devices will include these and it’s important to double check before you buy.
Armed with these tips and tricks, you will be able to identify a reputable refurbished retailer right away. Separate the wheat from the chaff and get yourself a great phone deal.