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Buying a Refurbished Phone in 2021: A Beginner’s Guide

While refurbished cell phones are not nearly as excellent as new ones, they are much less expensive.

Refurbished cell phones are getting extremely trendy as more reliable resellers appear in the smartphone industry. Here we explore what reconditioned phones are and how to purchase them to save money getting your desired smartphone at a reduced price. You can also find what you need while saving on your budget at preowned iPhones.

Refurbished phones are a more affordable alternative, and are usually older smartphones that have been opened and may have minor physical damage. When purchasing them, you may come across words such as “renewed,” “preowned,” or “reconditioned” on the purchasing page. The terms are interchangeable and often signify the same thing.

These terms denote that the phone has been previously owned. It is possible that the owner returned it to the retailer or network provider. The phone may not be damaged since many purchasers return the phone after unboxing it due to dissatisfaction with the device. In other instances, the phone may have suffered from a manufacturing problem that was subsequently repaired. The phone is then rebranded as “refurbished” and resold at a reduced price.

Also, a category called “manufacturer refurbished,” is distinct from repairs performed by independent repair companies. This means that the manufacturer fixes the phone using genuine components, verifies its operation, and renews it in “like new” condition, just as OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) do. This is what the majority of people want, and customers prefer reconditioned cell phones.


Refurbished phones contribute to a small portion of the industry’s revenue. However, they may be an excellent alternative for anybody trying to save money, particularly now that the pricing of a newer model may easily reach $1,000.

On Apple’s website, for example, a reconditioned iPhone 7 Plus is available for $470. A new 7 Plus retails at $570. Samsung sells refurbished Galaxy S7 smartphones for $350, which is around $120 cheaper than a brand-new one.

Moreover, as shown in a spring 2018 Consumer Reports study, members have typically been happy with such purchases, as well as their entire shopping experience.

82 percent of the 3,211 customers who purchased a refurbished phone before January 1, 2016, stated they were pleased with the product.

Indeed, 67% of refurbished phone users questioned said that they had no problems. However, just slightly less than 69 percent of new smartphone users had the same opinion. In case you are confused about where to buy them, we have found the best place to buy refurbished iPhone.

Understand What You Are Purchasing

Not all businesses define renovated in the same manner. The primary meaning is that you are purchasing a used phone, which was presumably purchased a year or two ago and exchanged for a rebate on a new device.

Apple claims that the refurbished phones it sells online and in stores are repaired using the same replacement components as new models. They include a brand-new battery, a brand-new outer shell, brand-new cords and attachments, and even a brand-new white box.

However, reconditioned phones sold by other merchants may or may not have fresh batteries. Only 52% of respondents to our study indicated that the model they bought included one. The majority (89 percent) said that the device came with a charging cable. However, considerably fewer said that the phone came with the manufacturer’s original earbuds.

Therefore, check for “certified pre-owned” items. If they do not fit those criteria, inquire about the vendor’s restoration procedure, primarily if it covers battery replacement, standard accessories, and manufacturer-supplied components.

Why Purchase Reconditioned Smartphones?

Purchasing a reconditioned smartphone benefits the environment as well. Let us examine how.

Whenever a smartphone is abandoned due to damage, it gets discarded in dumps. However, if it is restored and resold, it has been given a second shot at survival. When a smartphone with a few dents or scratches is discarded, it negatively impacts the environment. Most cell phones have plastic components, and we all know how harmful lithium-ion batteries are to the environment. Therefore, it is preferable to turn them into refurbished phones, which may be offered in excellent condition at a discount.

Verify the Warranty

Many reconditioned cell phones come with a limited warranty. The warranty is offered either directly by the manufacturer or via the reseller platform through which the product is sold. Most reputable resellers do several tests and inspections to verify that the device is in excellent functioning order.

Numerous manufacturers resell cell phones that customers have returned due to production faults or other concerns such as logistical difficulties, broken packaging, etc. The reseller then repairs the defective items and resells them. In addition, numerous resellers purchase these cell phones, inspect them for quality, repair them, and resell them on their online/offline shops. This is the optimal method for purchasing reconditioned phones since manufacturers sell their products and have a limited guarantee.

Examine Documents Thoroughly

When we acquire pricey electronics, we usually read through all the specifics while making the final purchase. Therefore, this is crucial when purchasing a refurbished phone. Thus, reading the small print may uncover hidden restrictions such as the inability to return the phone or the lack of reimbursement upon return.

Verify the Safety

Avoid purchasing reconditioned devices that do not have a guarantee. Apple and Samsung both provide a one-year warranty on reconditioned phones. However, the warranty is only valid for 90 days at Amazon and Best Buy.

Numerous credit card issuers will extend coverage to reconditioned items as long as a warranty accompanies them.

Inquire Regarding the Returns Policy

If there is a technical issue with the smartphone, it may take some time for the expert to arrive. As such, we suggest shopping at a store that allows you at least two weeks to return an item.

That is what Amazon does. The Apple Store offers a two-week trial period. As with warranties, if a shop declines to accept your return, your credit card provider may assist you.


Suppose you are purchasing a reconditioned smartphone and want to ensure it works with the existing Sim. In that case, it is better to choose one that is neither network-locked nor factory-unlocked. While it is possible to unlock a phone on your own, some providers charge a fee.