What to Consider When Buying a Refurbished Smartphone

Is your current smartphone not working correctly anymore? Has become sluggish, and the battery is dying early? You now know it’s time for an upgrade.

But… Smartphone prices have hiked. To buy a new flagship device, you must be ready to spend at least $1,000. Quite expensive, right?

So you are thinking of refurbished smartphones. But you are not sure if they are reliable or what you should look for. 

This post answers what you need to consider when buying a refurbished smartphone. Let’s dive in.

What Are Refurbished Phones?

A refurbished phone is a phone that someone had previously purchased and returned because they either didn’t like it or it had some hardware or manufacturing defects. The manufacturer repairs the phone, restores it to a new phone condition, and sells it at a discount.

A refurbished phone is not a second-hand phone. A second-hand phone does not undergo any repair, and the seller sells it as it is, even with defects.

Below are some things to look out for when buying a refurbished phone.

  1. Ensure the Seller is Certified
Photo credit: iStock

When purchasing a refurbished phone, you should first research to ensure the seller is certified and trustworthy. Certified dealers do thorough testing on the phones to ensure they are functional and have no defects. To ensure the seller is legit, read the online reviews about their services and the phones they sell. 

Doing so strengthens your trust as you get to read what other customers say about the seller. A source such as Trustpilot can help you assess if a company is trustworthy through reviews and testimonials of different customers. Check if there is customer care service and if they respond if something goes wrong.

  1. Check If There’s a Warranty

A warranty is a safeguard for you in case the refurbished phone malfunctions. If the seller offers a warranty, that guarantees that the phones they are selling are in good condition, and you can trust them. If they do not provide any warranty, there is a possibility the devices are not in good condition. The standard warranty for a refurbished phone is 12 months.

  1. The Grade of the Refurbished Phone

Refurbished phones come in grades that help determine the phone’s value and quality. You should not buy a phone that does not indicate the grade or uses the term “as-is” because it may be inoperable. However, there is no standard grading system, and the grading differs from retailer to retailer. So ensure you know what each grading tier of the seller you want to buy from means.

  1. Check the Refurbished Phone’s Accessories

New phones come with accessories such as chargers, earphones, and protective cases. In most cases, the refurbished phones may lack the manufacturer’s accessories. It’s good to discuss with the seller these issues and determine if it’s worth your money or not. And though some like earphones you may compromise, you should not compromise on the charger. It is not worth taking the risk to your home with a sub-standard charger.

  1. Return Policy

Check if there is a return policy if the phone malfunctions or fails to meet your expectations. Ensure you can return the phone without the hustle and get your money back.


Refurbished phones come at a discount, and they could save you a big deal of money if you want to upgrade. However, you need to consider the above factors to ensure you bring home a functional device that serves you well and for a long time.

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