Are Refurbished Phones same as used Second Hand Cell Phones?
June 19, 2009 by John
You might have heard that buying refurbished phones one of the many ways to save money. I won’t deny that. But are refurbished phones same as used second hand cell phones? Do used phones carry manufacturer warranty? Are used phones worth buying at all? You should have these questions cleared before putting your money down for a second hand phone.
First of all, a refurbished phone is not necessarily a used phone. The phone could have been sitting in the original box after it was opened, or it could have been used for a few minutes or few days, or even a month. In short, the customer returned the item to the store for some reasons – customers either don’t like what they bought or the phone wasn’t functioning as it should. Once the manufacturer box is opened and the phone is taken out, even for testing, you can’t sell the item as brand new anymore. So if you are lucky enough you can be getting a new phone for a much lower price.
Secondly, once the phone has been returned to the retailer, it has to go through series of rigid testing and polishing and make it look like new. You certainly won’t see scraps on the touch screen or dent on the corner, because these conditions will be considered damaged.
Keep in mind that most refurbished phones don’t come with the original box. And they may be missing cables or charger – you should ask the retailer before committing to the purchase. Although not every refurbished phone come with complete accessories found in the original box, they
How much of a saving is it worth buying a refurbished cell phone? It really depends on the phone model itself. A brand new basic flip phone that cost $50 at retail is not much of a expense if the refurbished one costs $45, a mere $5 saving. On the other hand, if a refurbished smartphone is being sold for $400 and the new item costs $500 then it’s totally worth looking into it. That way you are saving $100 – and if you don’t tell, other people won’t notice if you are carrying a refurbished phone or not.
Like we mentioned earlier in the article, the quality of the refurbished smartphones can be as good as brand new ones. However, not every retailers or manufacturer honor the typical full-year warranty. You would need to check with the carrier or authorized dealer to find out the exact warranty period. As far as my experience goes, if you buy from big box retailer like Best Buy and Wal-Mart, or directly from the service provider, your item will be covered just like a new phone. Third party dealers may offer something like 90 days. But just like any item you buy from a store, you are entitled to get exchange or refund if there is anything you don’t like and simply regret the purchase.
But why buy a used cell phone or refurbished ones if you can get brand ones for free and they all come with full manufacturer warranty? If you buy a used phone, it still has to be activated on one the wireless networks, right? With carriers offering steep discount on brand new phones by giving away free LG Xenon Black and other free at&t touch screen phones, it’s just not worth the money and hassles to deal with used cell phones. Not only do new phones give you a piece of mind when it comes to reliability but also offer you the opportunity to try the latest phones for 30 days. If you are not 100% satisfied, simply exchange for a different new phone of your choice. Never get stuck with a used or refurbished phone! Shop now for the best new cell phones today and save more!