The Pros And Cons Of Refurbished Mobiles

Mobile phones just seem like they’re getting more and more expensive. Those high end, top of the range, mobiles that you see advertised rarely cost under five hundred pounds. Even a decent mid-range smart phone is going to set you back a couple of hundred. This represents a huge investment for a lot of people. And you can’t solve the real problem by signing a contract and getting a free hand set from your mobile operator. Those free hand sets aren’t free at all. You actually pay for them in your monthly fee. If you compare the monthly cost of a calling plan with hand set to the monthly cost of just a calling plan, you’ll see that you’re paying more for the phone. These extra costs are how mobile operators compensate for giving you a free phone, and over the course of a two year contract those extra costs will probably end up being even more than the retail price of the phone. There might be a solution out there for you though. Today we’re talking about refurbished phones, and how you might benefit from savings by going with something that’s not brand new. If you want to save a little cash on your new phone, then keep reading to find out how…


What are Refurbished Phones . . .

Firstly, refurbished phones are not second hand or used models. A refurbished phone is usually a phone that has been bought and then returned within a thirty day period, generally because the customer has changed his mind. But the shop can’t just resell the phone (if they did it would technically be regarded as a second hand mobile). Instead, the phone is sent back to the factory, where it’s cleaned, rebooted and undergoes a complete inspection before being certified for resale. In look and functionality there should be no difference between a refurbished phone and a brand new model. A refurbished phone is often sold without its original packaging, and may come with a generic charger or a reprinted manual. But, again, in look and functionality, it should be exactly the same as a new model. Refurbished mobiles bought from reputable dealers will have a full ninety day guarantee, so should you encounter a problem, you can send them back. In rare cases phones are returned because they have a defect, but the factory should have repaired the defect fully for the phone to be resold. Occasionally, the phones are lease models that have been returned at the end of their rental period, but this is less common in the UK than it is in the US.

The Pros of a Refurbished Phone…

The biggest advantage of buying refurbished is that you save money, often a lot of money. A refurbished model can’t be sold as new therefore there are steep discounts on prices so that retailers can sell them. Plus, of course, you get to save the environment too. A refurbished phone is a recycled product, so you’re being earth friendly by buying one instead of letting it be chucked in the rubbish. The biggest advantage of buying a refurbished model over a second hand model is firstly that the phone has been inspected, so you know that a professional has checked it out and it should be in good working order. But there’s that guarantee as well. If you find any flaws in your refurbished phone within the first three months, then you should be able to return it, which is impossible with a used mobile model.

The Cons of a Refurbished Phone…

There are, of course, downsides to going with refurbished models though. There is a higher likelihood of problems with a refurbished phone, simply because it’s already been opened and used. However, you still have your guarantee. Refurbished models are generally older model mobiles, since few people buy something top end and newly launched and then regret their purchase. It is possible to buy top end, new model phones refurbished, but they are going to be more difficult to find than lower end models. Finally, although you do get a ninety day guarantee with most retailers, that’s still less than the year warranty that you get when you buy a brand new phone.

Where Do I Get Them?

It’s pretty easy to find refurbished mobiles on the internet, though you should always make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable site. Checking out customer reviews and opinions is a good way to see what kind of experience other people have had with a site, and whether or not the site provides a satisfactory service. Mobile phone service operators will sell any refurbished models that they have, though they don’t get many. You can check on their web site or enquire in a retail store. Plenty of phone retailers have refurbished mobiles. Apple also sells refurbished iPhones, just check their web site for deals. If you have a good look around you should be able to find plenty of refurbished models to choose from.

Refurbished Alternatives…

If you don’t find the phone model that you want when you’re looking for a refurbished model, your only real alternative is to look for second hand models. Should you decide to go this route, it’s incredibly important that you thoroughly check the hand set for any defects. Start by checking the outside for scratches and dents, and the screen also for scratches and for blown pixels. Turn the phone on and have a good look at its functionality, call, send a message, connect to the internet. Taking a picture and looking at the photo for blurs or defects can be a good way to see if the phone has been dropped, since the delicate camera lens is usually the first thing to crack on a dropped mobile. And never buy a second hand phone sight unseen. It’s always best to have a look at what you’re buying, even if that means paying a little more because you can’t go through eBay.

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Garima is the founder of, a UK based blog offering most useful tips on the topics you love to know more about. She enjoys travelling, blogging and spending time with her 6 year old daughter.

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