A Guide to Buying Refurbished Phones and Devices [2021]

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It’s almost impossible to get around nowadays without a phone. They’re used for everything from socializing to making financial transactions.

A Guide to Buying Refurbished Phones and Devices - 2021

Unfortunately, phones aren’t very cheap. That is, at least, if they’re bought new.

Refurbished phones and devices provide many of the benefits of a new phone, but for a fraction of the cost. However, not all refurbished devices are equal in quality.

Here’s all the info needed to make a proper purchase of refurbished items.

What Are Refurbished Devices?

The term “refurbished” is a reference to how a device is no longer new, but still functions adequately. This includes items that were only briefly taken out of the box and then later returned and also devices that have seen a substantial amount of use.

In the latter case, it’s common for parts that have experienced significant damage or wear and tear to be replaced or repaired.

Refurbished devices come in many different conditions, with some appearing brand new and others appearing very scratched up. However, assuming they come from a reputable source, they should work well either way.

What to Look for in Refurbished Phones and Devices

When buying something that’s refurbished, it’s a bit like diving into the unknown. Nonetheless, here are some things to watch out for when making a purchase.
The Price

While it may be tempting to think that gold has been struck when a device is super cheap, that’s not necessarily the case. Many refurbished devices are just as good as new but come at a lower price. If the price is too low though, it probably indicates the item is faulty somehow.

Look for a Refund Policy

While it’s not necessary, if the seller of a refurbished device offers a return policy, that should be considered a plus. Even if quality control measures are in place to make sure devices are functioning properly, things sometimes fall through the cracks, and getting a sub-par device is far from ideal.

Check a Phone’s IMEI Number

It’s common for the outside of a phone to be from a different manufacturing batch than the inside components when it comes to refurbished phones. The reason for this could just be that the outside was scratched and needed to be replaced, but it’s also possible the entire device was damaged and the outside was changed to hide that fact.

Look at the IMEI of both the core device and the outside casing. If they’re different, that could indicate something negative.

Where to Get the Best Deals

There is a multitude of places people can get quality refurbished devices. Popular go-to options include major retailers such as Verizon, Amazon, and Best Buy, but there are also businesses specializing in refurbished items like Gazelle and Back Market that are worth checking out.
When to Get a Refurbished Device

The best time to get a refurbished device is when a newer version just comes out; this is especially the case with phones. People are going to try and sell off their old devices quickly and in large numbers to afford to get the newer version. This means there’s going to be a lot of refurbished devices on the market competing for the best price, leading to some great deals

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