Are Refurbished Devices Worth the Investment?

By: Liliana Andersson - February 07, 202279 Views


The refurbished market grows day by day. It is expected that by the year 2023, 333 million units of refurbished devices will be shipped globally. In 2019 206.6 million units were shipped all across the world.

Refurbished devices offer better saving options than newer models, which is the primary reason for the growth of this particular industry. But the question arises Are refurbished devices worth buying?

What have refurbished cell phones?

Refurbished cell phones are cell phones previously owned by someone and have now been restored to like-new conditions and are now up for sale. Refurbished phones go through a stringent testing process to restore the phone’s condition to its original state. More than tests are conducted to ensure that the final product meets the original safety, quality, and performance standards.

The testing techniques of refurbished phones include software and hardware inspections of various components of the device. If any issue is detected with a certain component during the test, the part is either repaired or replaced by the manufacturer.

Refurbished phones and second-hand phones are both priorly-owned, but there is a difference between these two despite this fact. The major difference between refurbished phones and second-hand phones is that refurbished phones are tested for faults and issues by the manufacturer, whereas second-hand phones are not tested.

Difference between Refurbished phones and New Devices

The only difference between refurbished phones and new phones is that the former was pre-owned while the latter is brand new and hasn’t been used by anyone; apart from this, there lies zero difference between these two. Refurbished phones go through the exact testing procedure as the new phones. The only reason why refurbished phones are cheaper than the new ones is that they were previously owned.

Before buying a refurbished product, you should be aware of the different grades they are divided into. The grade given to refurbished products is given according to the exterior quality of the device. The functionalities and the performance of the device remain pretty much the same. It is the exterior of the device that decides the grade.

What are the different grades in refurbished services?

  • Grade A: Grade A represents the highest standards of refurbished phones. Phones certified as grade A are equivalent to brand new phones; these phones show no sign of previous use. The manufacturer replaces any or all parts that show external damage to make the device look new.
  • Grade B: It is the second-best option after grade A. Grade B devices have a few to few scratches on their surface. But that is just the exterior; the phone’s internal functions are similar to a brand-new piece.
  • Grade C: Grade C phones show a little more exterior scratches and blemishes than Grade B. These grade phones are ideal for those who have a limited budget and yet desire a flagship model.
  • Grade D: This is the final grade of refurbished phones, and so are the cheapest of all. Grade D phones show significant signs of prior use. However, the functioning and performance of the device are similar to grade a phone.

These grades help in categorizing refurbished devices to offer significant convenience to potential buyers. Grades ensure that the buyer knows exactly what they buy.

Why should you care for refurbished services?

Refurbished services allow you to improve the quality as well as the condition of your second-hand phone. Second-hand devices come with a lot of internal as well as external issues. Refurbished services perform necessary tests of the device and correct all the detected problems, thus restoring the phone to its original condition.

This reduces the phone cost by a minimum of 50% plus; if you buy a refurbished device from a trusted manufacturer or seller, you wouldn’t have to worry about the device quality.

Is it safe to buy refurbished products?

Yes, it is completely safe to buy refurbished products. However, like all other gadgets, they too have their advantages and disadvantages. Let us take a glance.

Reasons to buy refurbished cell phones.

  • Value for money

As mentioned above, there is no difference between the quality and performance of new devices and refurbished devices. However, with refurbished devices, you get a better deal as they cost less but offer the same quality.

For instance, if you were to buy the 128 GB version of the iPhone 12, it would cost you around $880 when bought brand new. However, if you were to buy a refurbished version, it would cost you around $280.

  • Flagship Models in Budget

Flagship models are the best phones offered by a particular company. These flagship models are costly, and not everyone can afford them. However, through refurbished services, you can own a flagship model for half the cost without having to spend a fortune.

Besides, buyers can choose a refurbished device of different grades to afford the model and quality of their choice.

  • Eco-Friendly

As you may be aware, smartphones contain many toxic elements and toxins such as lead, mercury, chlorine, arsenic, bromine, etc… At the same time, these substances are not harmful to humans; they do harm the environment when disposed of irresponsibly.

Electronic waste is a growing problem in many countries, especially the U.S. More than 151 million phones are disposed of every year in America alone. Refurbishing phones reduce environmental damage to a certain extent. So, when you buy a refurbished product, you save some cash and help the environment.

  • Quality certified

As mentioned above, all refurbished phones go through a series of testing before hitting the market. Therefore, you can rest assured that the phone’s performance will be parallel to brand new phones, given that you buy the refurbished device from a reputable manufacturer or dealer.

  • Warranty

Reputable manufacturers and dealers provide a 90-180 days warranty along with their refurbished products. Some dealers also offer a year-long warranty to not have to worry about any form of damage or malfunction. In addition, you can also return the phone within a specific period of time if you are not happy with the device and can claim a refund.

Reasons to not buy Refurbished Cell Phones.

  • Things can go wrong

Refurbished devices have been used before you, and although the manufacturer replaces and restores the device to its former glory, you can never be too sure about the actual problem. While some issues can be spotted in a few days’ others might take a while. So even if your device works quite well now, the chances are that an issue may surface in the long run.

  • They might not have the latest features.

Most refurbished phones are at least a year or two old. And if you are someone who prefers the latest technology over older models, refurbished phones might not be an option for you. The refurbished device may not have the newest tech you are rooting for.

  • Replacing a malfunctioning phone may be a challenge.

As mentioned above, refurbished phones have a good chance of malfunctioning, and replacing a malfunctioning refurbished phone might be challenging. For example, a person named Tim buys a refurbished phone from a certain company. After a while, the phone starts facing some issues, Tim tries to return the phone to the manufacturer to get a replacement, but the company might focus on proving Tim’s fault.

  • No insurance

Some people get their phones and devices insured in case of theft or repairs. Still, it is difficult to find an insurer for refurbished devices, and if you find an insurer, the costs would be quite high, plus the terms and conditions may not be as favorable.

  • Short warranty

Refurbished devices have a shorter warranty period as compared to new devices. Refurbished devices sure cost less, but brand-new phones offer a much longer warranty period.

In conclusion

Refurbished devices are the best option for those looking for a flagship model within a budget. However, the key is to find the right dealer or manufacturer also choose the right grade of the phone to get the most out of the deal.

Liliana Andersson

Liliana Andersson is the founder and CEO of RecycleTroop, a one stop supply chain solution for mobile repair businesses in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our services include the recycling of broken broken screens, spare parts, sale of used phones and accessories. Recycletroop is proud to serve clients globally. Liliana enjoys providing her customers with a much-needed service for cell phone related problems. Apart from that, she enjoys traveling, surfing and spending time with family.