The thrill of unboxing a new phone is one of the best parts of getting a new device. But once you start using it, what’s there to differentiate between your brand new phone and a refurbished one. Certainly, nothing superficial if they are of the same model. If so, why do people still buy new phones over refurbished devices? Which one offers the best value? Let’s answer these questions below.
Upgrading a phone is an exciting affair. You get to decide on the model, specs, budget, and more. But does buying new always translate to better value? In the current phone marketplace, upgrading your handset to a brand new one can set you back a few hundred if not thousands of dollars. This is not ideal, considering you can get a similar device or at least something that will give you the same experience as buying a refurbished device. In this article, we explore the advantages of expanding/keeping your options open.
What are refurbished phones?
Let’s get one thing straight. A refurbished phone is different from a straight second hand. While both have been used previously, direct second hands are sold by individual sellers on platforms like eBay or craigslist, while refurbished devices are sold by licensed third-party refurbished phone vendors. The main difference between refurbished devices and a direct second-hand comes in the quality and the condition of the devices. Second-hand phones are sold on an as-is basis, and essentially the buyer bears all liability henceforth.
Refurbished devices, by contrast, are trade-in devices, review samples, and customer returns that have been reconditioned by the manufacturer or licensed third-party vendor before the sale. Such phones usually undergo a thorough inspection before they are classified into grades depending on the level of damage. Thereafter, the badly off devices are scrapped off, recycled, and scavenged for parts. The fairer of the bunch, on the other hand, are thoroughly cleaned and repaired or serviced. Parts like the screens and batteries are often replaced to return them to as new condition. This work is done by the engineers who made the phones and licensed third parties to ensure they pass all the quality checks of new devices. Legally, they cannot be sold off as new devices hence the need to differentiate them. Simply put, refurbs perform just like newly bought phones.
Grades of refurbished phones
Refurbished phones are an opportunity for savvy buyers to grab a deal on a high-quality phone that has been priced differently by virtue of being ‘used.’ Essentially, they are new devices being sold off at lower prices which makes them better value for money than buying a new device of the same type.
That said, refurbished devices are classified based on their condition. Mostly whether in perfect cosmetic condition or not. Some devices will come as perfectly operational but with visible wear and tear, while others will come looking as fresh as a newly unboxed device. The mint-looking devices command a premium price, whereas the ones with visible marks and scratches will come for lower.
It is important to note that each vendor will classify their refurbished phones differently, so you must understand how a seller classifies their devices. Even those with slight cosmetic issues are operationally sound, but you still need to test the phone before buying and NEVER settle for a phone that has operational defects. Ask for a clear description of the grading system if you are buying online so that you know what to expect in the mail when it comes.
What is the value of refurbished devices?
The biggest benefit of buying a refurbished device from this store is that no matter the grade, it will be significantly cheaper than a new device. Because they have been professionally assessed, cleaned, repaired, or serviced, their functionality is excellent, so you are not compromising on performance by getting one. Besides that, you get a one-year warranty just as you would with a new device from most vendors. So, you can use it stress-free if anything were to come up during your one year of ownership. Buying network unlocked refurbished devices also means you have the flexibility of choosing a network and a suitable package. Being network unlocked, your phone will also work on local networks when you travel abroad.
So, on the question of which offers better value between a brand-new device and a refurbished phone? The answer is it depends on what you want. There are plenty of refurbished phones for the savvy buyer. The downside is that you may have to wait a little longer until refurbs start flowing to buy one as compared to buying new directly. Some refurbs are also a generation older than brand new devices; hence they won’t be supported as long. But the converse is that there are plenty of refurbs to choose from should the time come to upgrade.