Have you heard? Refurbished cell phones are all the rage. Smartphone shoppers are increasingly turning to the refurb market and investors and industry analysts agree that refurbished handsets are shaking up the mobile market.
As people continue to put forward buying refurbished as a way to save money on a phone that works like new, you may well have considered buying one for yourself. But, you still want to know as much as possible before you dive into the world of pre-loved mobiles.
When buying refurbished cell phones, there is a handful of factors to consider first. This will allow you to be confident in the handset you’re buying, trust the retailer (or manufacturer) that you’re buying from, and get the very best price or the bundle/offer that bests suits you and your mobile needs.
Cosmetic Quality of the Refurbished Cell Phones
These days, our phones are considered as accessories just like watches, cuff-links, and sunglasses. That means that they need to look as good as we do when we’re out and about, talking on the phone or just using apps during the commute to work. Because of this, you’ll want to carefully consider the cosmetic quality of any refurbished phone that you buy.
Thankfully, refurbished retailers have made it easy for you to assess the cosmetic quality of the phone you’re getting by using refurbished grades. There are several refurbished grades: refurbished grade A, B, and C. Refurbished grade A and refurbished grade B phones are defined as the highest quality of refurbished cell phone that you can get. With grade A the phone will be in excellent cosmetic condition with no visible marks or blemishes, while grade B phones will display some light scuffing and scratches. Refurbished grade C is the lowest quality of phone that is still in working order.
The higher the cosmetic quality/refurbished grade, the higher the price.
The Reputation of the Retailer
Another crucial factor to consider is the reputation of the the retailer. Because of the popularity of refurbished cell phones, there are quite a few retailers that sell them. Wherever you buy from, there needs to be a level of trust between you and the retailer. You want to be sure that their offers really aren’t too good to be true and that the cosmetic quality (as denoted by the refurbished grades above) is as you can expect it.
Finding a trustworthy partner isn’t too much hard work, though. There are a few questions you can ask to separate the wheat from the chaff or the genuine refurbished sellers from those who are just selling discarded used handsets (which haven’t been tested and repaired at all).
This includes whether or not they have a track record; search for information about the retailer online to see if reviews are available and see what these reviews say. If reviews aren’t published publicly, search for them on social media and see what customers are posting. You’ll also want to look for information about how they refurbish their products. The more details they provide about their refurbished process, e.g which parts they replace, are their testers qualified, and how many times they test a handset, the better.
What Warranty Offers Are Available?
You will also want to be wary of whether a handset includes a warranty or not. A trustworthy retailer, which believes that its refurbished cell phones are of a high quality and are reliable and in working order will provide a warranty. They are confident in the performance of their handsets and want you to be too.
Though, different retailers will have different warranty offers, explains Tapscape. The publication notes that while Apple offers a year-long warranty, third-party refurbished retailers offer warranties that may last a month. Extending a warranty will cost extra (again, prices vary), so consider how long the included warranty is when compared to the price, first.
What Stock is Available?
The refurbished market has a limited amount of stock. It depends on how many people have traded in a phone at a particular time, how quickly the retailer or manufacturer is able to refurbish it, the demand for that refurbished handset, and whether the handset has been discontinued.
This is why there are limited offers for the refurbished iPhone X. The phone is already hugely popular because of its edge to edge design and its 5.8-inch Super Retina Display and its specs (including the A11 Bionic chip). Features like Animojis and the TrueDepth camera system also make it a big hit. But it also sells as refurbished for as much as $320 cheaper than brand new (for the 256GB version) which is a discount of 28%. Refurbished deals for the iPhone X don’t last long because if a discount is particularly good then people act quickly to snap it up.
There Are Many Different Prices
With all of this in mind, it’s also important to note that there are many different prices available. First and foremost, you’ll see different prices based on the model of the refurbished phone you’re looking for. A phone with 256GB of storage will cost more when compared to a phone that has just 16GB of storage. The price may also differ based on how recently the phone was released and how powerful its specs are.
As mentioned, phones of different cosmetic quality will be priced differently too. While you will aim to be a phone that’s refurbished Grade A, this will cost substantially more than a refurbished Grade C handset. So you’ll have to search accordingly to your budget.
Generally speaking though, refurbished cell phones are far cheaper when compared to their brand new counterparts. Even if you buy a popular and powerful model that is refurbished Grade A, you’ll still be saving money instead of buying a brand new device.
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