Smartphones are expensive. However, buying a refurbished phone can save you a considerable sum of money when searching for a new mobile phone deal. But what are they, and how do you know if you’re getting a hot deal? Read on to get in the know.
A refurbished phone is a phone that’s been pre-owned. However, unlike second-hand handsets, these phones have been returned to the seller by the previous owner. This may be for several reasons.
Sometimes a phone is returned because of a fault. The fault is then repaired and the handset is sold on at a reduced price. However, when consumers are due for an upgrade on their mobile phone contract, this is what often happens to their old handsets. They’re sent back – often in full working order – and rebooted.
Occasionally, a refurbished phone can even be one where a handset was returned within its trial period – which is typically a maximum of 14 days. It’s barely been used, perhaps only removed from its packaging – it’s effectively brand new.
All refurbished phones are wiped for data protection, restored to factory settings and tested. Some are also given new batteries. The difficulty lies in knowing which ‘road to refurbished’ these handsets came from and, unfortunately, in truth you don’t. But there are some serious pros to buying refurbished…
You may wonder why you’d consider purchasing a phone that isn’t brand new. You may ask why you’d buy a handset that’s had a problem previously, even if it’s been fixed. Well friends, it’s the cost.
If you’re someone who loves the latest tech, but when you compare mobile phone deals on the latest model you crumble in response to those £60+ per month tariffs (don’t worry – you’re not alone!), then maybe a refurbished phone is the way to go. As with cars and most commodities, as soon as something isn’t brand-spanking-new, it depletes in value. Which can work in our favour here – they’re cheaper!
It’s also an eco-friendly option. While there are increasingly more options to recycle old and used phones, unfortunately many still end up in landfill and leak radiation. With a refurbished phone you’ve got the option to not only save money but help the planet while you’re at it. We think that’s a win.
Whether your refurbished phone deal is ultimately a true bargain or a poor investment will depend upon a number of factors, and there’s a few things you can do to ensure the former. You can assess the quality by aiming to find out who carried out the refurbishment – was it the manufacturer, an independent technician or someone else?
Additionally, bear in mind the make and model of the handset. There may be certain releases that had glitches which resulted in them being returned, or those which have a track record of being less successful for reboots. Have a look on forums and don’t be afraid to call up the manufacturer and request honest information about the success rate on your chosen refurbished model.
Finally, when choosing a refurbished mobile phone deal, always read the fine print as some companies may not offer refund or returns policies. This leads us to helping you choose where to buy a refurbished phone.
A top priority when searching for a refurbished mobile phone deal should be the warranty offered, and it’s important to know that third party retailers – whilst maybe offering cheaper overall costs – generally don’t offer a warranty.
Most refurbished phones bought from manufacturers or retailers will come with a warranty, though these can vary significantly in length. It’ll rarely be as long as the warranty for a brand new handset, but it does function as a fantastic signifier of the quality of the refurbishment – the greater the warranty, the greater the faith the refurbisher has in their work and hence, the greater the longevity of your phone.
Therefore, the best advice we can give is, where possible, always buy from the original company, or at least a reputable retailer as these will offer the best warranties.