In your search for a cellular device, be it a phone, smartphone, or a phablet, you may have come across products labeled as “refurbished phone” and “reconditioned phone”. Both terms may seem to have negative connotation as they imply some sort of manipulation in order to make the device appear to be new. Therefore your first impulse may be to reject such offers. However, there’s no need to do so, as buying refurbished or reconditioned phones has several advantages the biggest of which is saving money.
Refurbished phone vs. reconditioned phone
In their essence refurbished and reconditioned phone means the same. In both cases to goal is to bring the condition of a returned phone as close to new as possible with the purpose of re-selling the device. There is a subtle difference, though.
Refurbished phones are those that are returned by the user and then they are cleaned up, inspected, tested, repackaged and resold. If the device was damaged, it is repaired before being made available for resale. Refurbishment can be done by the manufacturer or an outside company contracted by the manufacturer. Some retailers that sell refurbished devices have technicians who can do it on site. Refurbished devices may have a factory warranty.
The process of reconditioning involves the same steps but in the case of damaged devices, the faulty component is replaced instead of being repaired. Before being repackaged, the device is thoroughly tested to make sure that it meets manufacturer’s standards. Reconditioned products usually carry the full factory warranty (usually one year). Generally speaking, reconditioned items are considered to be of better quality comparing to refurbished.
Advantages of buying refurbished and reconditioned devices
Refurbished or reconditioned devices may have full functionality and look as good as new, but they are not new and can’t be sold as such. For this reason, when reselling the item, the retailer needs to adjust the price accordingly.
The difference in pricing between brand new and “like new” devices ranges between 20% and 60%. Since the latest electronic models are not cheap, even those 20% can amount to significant savings.
Plus, in the case of reconditioned products, you get an item that had its worn-out components replaced and was fully cleaned, inspected and tested before resale. In many cases the devices perform even better than brand new products.
How to buy refurbished and reconditioned phones?
Buying refurbished or reconditioned and reconditioned mobile devices may have some downsides as in fact you are purchasing a product that once was owned by another user and then returned to manufacturer or retailer. However, if you follow a few simple steps, you can reduce the hazard to minimum.
First, find out how much a brand new device costs and compare the prices. Verify if your trouble of buying refurbished or reconditioned item is worth of the money you save. The main reason you go for a refurbished or reconditioned device is because you want to save money, right?
Secondly, read carefully the entire product description to see if the item is refurbished or reconditioned as it may give you insight into its overall quality. It is recommended to ask a seller who refurbished the phone. Double check if the phone comes in perfect physical condition without any scuffs, scratches or dents. Some manufacturers tends to offer refurbished phones in their outlets with sings of previous use.
Check if the device comes with a warranty, extended store return policy or any additional guarantees that give you extra coverage. Those will usually range from 15 to 30 days, although some companies, for example Apple, offer up to 1 year warranty. Also, you may want to consider buying an extended warranty for your item from Square Trade.
To sum up – an easy way to save money.
To sum up, buying either refurbished or reconditioned phones is an easy way to save money on your new gadget. Despite of its discouraging condition, consider the fact that in many cases the returned product that undergoes the process of refurbishment or reconditioning was hardly used by its previous owner. It means that the device is almost new, was tested before returning to the store shelves and is offered at much lower price than a brand new item. On the other hand, in many cases refurbished and reconditioned smartphones outperform brand new ones thanks to the additional fixing, replacing, cleaning, inspecting and testing process performed by manufacturer.