The Pros and Cons of Buying Refurbished Phones

Dec 13, 2019

Refurbished smartphones are one of the best ways to save money and still get the newest (or almost new) models available, but before you buy you should know how to shop so you get exactly what you’re looking for and can avoid getting duped into buying something that doesn’t meet the quality standards you expect.

Buying a refurbished smartphone can save money, but you need to know how to shop for one.

Pros of Refurbished Phones

There are several reasons you should consider purchasing refurbished instead of new smartphones when you’re in the market to upgrade, including:

  • Cost: refurbished iPhones and Android phones offer a significant discount from their brand-new counterparts right out of the box. With smartphone prices climbing every year, and reaching over $1,000 in some cases today without any end in sight to these high prices, saving some money is a welcome change for those who are on a budget but still want a great phone.

  • No Contract: if you can’t pay cash for your phone (which is the case for most people), the alternative is usually to sign a very lengthy contract and pay for it month to month on top of your wireless bill, with severe penalties or fines if you break the contract.

  • Like New: refurbished products are generally items that were returned because of an issue or defect or were traded in for an upgraded model; the manufacturer or retailer checks these products, fixes any issues and then resells them. What you get is technology that is just like new for the price of a used item.

If you’re worried about the quality of refurbished technology, consider that over 80% of people surveyed by Consumer Reports in 2018 said they were highly satisfied with the product they purchased; 67% had no complaints—if that seems low, it’s only two percent lower than the 69% of people surveyed who said they had no complaints after buying a brand new (and probably way more expensive) smartphone.

Cons of a Refurbished Phone

Before you run out and buy the first refurbished product you find, there are some potential risks when buying used technology.

  • Quality: there is no standard criteria for what a manufacturer or retailer can label as a “refurbished” product, so they’re not all created equal. Some will come with brand new parts, such as batteries or cables, while others might have used parts and accessories, or come with no accessories at all.

  • Process: before you buy, check with the company selling the product to make sure it’s certified in some way. Find out what standards they use so you know you’re getting a quality product.

  • Guarantee: not every retailer or reseller will offer you a guarantee, so check on the warranty, return policy, and other options in case you get a refurbished phone that doesn’t meet your expectations.

If you want quality refurbished products, check out your local FixIT Mobile | Bad Apple store to find out what you can get and how much you can save.