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Used Cell Phones vs. Refurbished Cell Phones – When to buy one

ByinTips & Guides | January 17, 2015

Cell Phones
There are two groups of mobile users: tech maniacs who want their phone to be something of a multitask computer in their palm and on the other hand people who need their phone just for making calls. No matter which group you belong to when it comes to purchasing a replacement handset, you will be definitely interested in saving some money. Right? This is why you should consider buying used cell phones or refurbished phones since they deliver both high quality specs and the lowest possible price in the market.

When you are planning to buy an used or refurbished cell phone you may ask yourself: what’s the difference between these two types? When to buy one? Which one will fit my expectations better? In order to help you make a smart decision and scatter at least some of the doubts connected with the purchase, we have prepared a guide comparing used cell phones vs. refurbished cell phones.

What are refurbished cell phones?

We have explained already what refurbished phones are in the article dedicated differences between refurbished and reconditioned phones. Let us just quickly remind that refurbished cell phones are nothing more but phones that were returned to the carrier within the traditional trial period. It’s a standard practice for service providers to grant customers a 30-day return guarantee with no questions asked.

According to legal regulations, phones returned within this time period for any reason can’t be considered new devices, instead they’re called “buyer’s remorse” or “refurbished phones”. So what are cons and pros you should think of when buying such devices?

When to buy a refurbished phone.

The first advantage coming from refurbished phones is money saving. Used cell phones should always be cheaper than the same model of a brand new phone. If it isn’t, try to shop elsewhere. Since you’ve always get what you’ve paid for, if you’re paying for a second-hand handset, which a refurbished phone certainly is, the price must be slashed considerably. Even though the phone looks and works like a new one, keep in mind that it was already owned by someone else.

Another aspect you may consider when thinking about buying an used phone is protection of our environment. Buying refurbished cell phones reduces number of landfills. So, you not only save few buck but additionally save our planet, enabling future generation to enjoy its full beauty. Furthermore, being eco-friendly is also trendy. Remember getting a refurbished handset means that there will be one phone less decaying on landfills and contaminating the world’s soil.

Next reason that may make you want to purchase a refurbished phone is that the old phone you were strongly bonded with has just stopped working. The model is out of date, discontinued and unavailable on any carrier, but you want another one anyway. Though older models of phones are usually out of reach at regular retailers, you may still find and buy one refurbished or pre-owned.

When a refurbished cell phone isn’t an option for you.

Refurbished cell phones aren’t definitely for everybody. If you are a type of user who wants its handset to feature the latest tech specs you may think twice about purchasing one. Of course refurbished phones are often the latest flagship devices, but for tech maniacs they may never be new enough to satisfy their expectations in terms of speed and performance.

Additionally, refurbished phones aren’t for you if you cannot allow yourself to take a quality risk. Although refurbished devices are restored and promised to be deprived of any flaws, practically speaking there’s no guarantee that they will work without malfunction. The quality of the recondition usually depends on:

1. Why the particular phone was returned.
2. Who refurbished the device – manufacturer or third party company located in China for example.
3. How reliable and honest is the dealer we plan to buy the phone from.

Refurbished phones can be returned to the carrier because their former users changed their mind or because of the device’s malfunction. So, concluding, when you need and emergency, highly reliable phone, buying refurbished phone to perform such a role may be too risky.

What to pay your attention to when buying a refurbished or used cell phone.

The first aspect you should check when purchasing a refurbished cell phone is who exactly reconditioned the device. There is a big difference in quality between the handset being refurbished by manufacturer and a handset refurbished by third-party independent store located in China or Brooklyn for instance.

The real condition of the phone usually depends on how reputable the company that took care for the device is. It sounds like a good idea to familiarize yourself with other customers opinions on the company and their refurbished products.

Going deeper, the store you are getting the phone from should be able to inform you about the reason hiding behind the price drop on the particular phone model. If they cannot provide you all details you are asking for, they probably have something to hide, which means you would better go for more reputable vendor.

Next thing you may like to consider when getting yourself an refurbished or used cell phone is its warranty. Refurbished phones, just like the new ones, are sold along with a guarantee, though often being shorter and weaker than the one accompanying new devices. For instance brand new handsets come with a one-year guarantee, whereas factory refurbished phones may get a 90-day warranty or refurbished devices somewhere else even none at all – just short return policy offered by merchant.

In case when none guarantee is provided, you may consider purchasing extended warranty for one or two years from third party insurance companies, such as Square Trade. It is not expensive and got your back covered.r

So, before purchase make sure that the warranty you get is valid through reasonable period of time, and that you’re not buying a cheap product with no value that may be out of use the moment you put your hands on it.

Where to buy refurbished cell phones?

If you want to buy a refurbished phone you may do it directly from the carrier or use our site to find the best deals on a refurbished phones or used phones for you through checking and comparing selected offers. Below you can find few quick links to find it fast.

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2 Responses to “Used Cell Phones vs. Refurbished Cell Phones – When to buy one”

  1. Alex Alavi on March 9, 2017 @ 11:01 pm

    Could you help me to find out how many % of the U.S. smartphone sales are used (refurbished and conditioned) vs. new, and how much carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile spend annually to refurbish or recondition phones?

    Much appreciated,
    Alex Alavi

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