Buying On A Budget: Are Refurbished Phones A Good Purchase?

Most individuals are limited to buying items on a budget. In this article, we unveil the answer to a common question, “are refurbished phones good?”

Keyword(s): are refurbished phones good

Is your mobile phone underperforming? Is it starting to show signs of imminent failure? Or did it slip from your pocket and crashed into the ground?

In such instances, a replacement is in order. But the problem is you are working under a tight budget. Thankfully, there are cheaper alternatives like refurbished cell phones.

Interestingly, the refurbished phone market is on an upward trend. Analysts predict that the industry will hit the $52 billion mark by 2022.

Are refurbished phones good replacement options? Will they yield an acceptable return on your investment? Are they even worth considering?

Continue reading further as we shed light on the refurbished phone conundrum.

Are Refurbished Phones Good Investments? 

The answer to this question really depends on the kind of phone that you end up with. Though refurbished phones are old units that go through reconditioning, you can still find one that is worth your money.

Refurbished phones are tempting. They come with enticing price tags. But you need to practice sound judgment during the hunt.

Let’s take a look at some key points to consider.

1. Find the Best Sources

When hunting for refurbished phones, you first need to find the right sources. The goal is to find a reputable retailer.

A reputable source is someone who has a solid track record. Try to avoid shops that have been in operation for less than a year.

You may also consider buying online. Amazon and eBay offer extensive selections of refurbished mobile devices. But make sure to double-check the reputation and standing of the sellers.

2. Zoom in on the Product

After finding a reliable retailer, you need to focus your attention on the phone itself. Tech giant Apple sells refurbished phones. They feature the same replacement parts that newer models use.

The same thing goes for Samsung. They also use similar standards as Apple in their refurbished units.

Though there is no standard for grading refurbished phones, people use an unofficial grading system. A Grade A phone is something that is very close to a brand new unit. These are phones that consumers return within the first 30 days after purchase.

Grade B phones, on the other hand, may show minor scratches or chips. Meanwhile, Grade C units may have at least five visible blemishes.

Lastly, a Grade D phone looks very much like a second-hand unit. It will likely break soon.

3. Warranty Is a Must

Another factor to consider is the warranty. Avoid refurbished phones that don’t come with any warranty. Samsung and Apple offer a 1-year warranty on their refurbished devices.

If you buy from Amazon or Best Buy, you only get 90-day warranty most of the time.

Some people think that since the phones are not brand new, it’s OK to purchase them even without a warranty. But treat your refurbished phone the way you would a new one.

If you invest in an extended warranty for your high-end phone, at least have the same mindset when buying refurbished ones. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t come with a warranty, no matter how brief it is.

4. Return Policy

Lastly, you need to ask about the phone’s return policy. Don’t buy from retailers that do not offer the option to return the product for major defects.

Return policies differ from seller to seller. Apple offers a two-week window if there’s a technical issue with the unit. There are some that offer a month to return the product.

The Pros

Now let’s discuss some of the key advantages of buying refurbished phones.

Remarkable Savings

This is the biggest reason people continue to opt for refurbished phones. Instead of buying a brand new phone that costs $800, you can get a refurbished version for half the price, if you get really lucky.

You get the same features and the same specs while slashing hundreds of dollars off.


Refurbished phones are also environment-friendly. They technically go through a recycling process. This means they don’t add to the damage people cause to the environment.

Acceptable Quality

It is a common misconception that these devices carry underlying issues. Though it may be true for some units, we cannot say the same for all.

In fact, a survey revealed that a third of consumers who bought refurbished phones were happy with their purchase. They had no complaints in regard to the quality of their units.

The Cons

As much as there are pros with refurbished phones, there are also cons. Here are some of them:

Defects May Show

As we mentioned above, some of the refurbished units may have underlying problems. They may appear after a couple of years.

They come with all the features. They are in good working condition. But for how long?

Shorter Warranty

Though refurbished devices may come with warranties, they are much shorter compared to buying brand new ones. Moreover, some warranty companies may not accept them if you apply for an extended warranty.


Shopping for refurbished phones is time-consuming. You are out for the best deal and there are several sources you need to go through.

There are hundreds of retailers with physical stores. There are also the online shops that you can visit in a few clicks.

There are times when the specific model you are looking for is no longer available. If you do find the model that you like, it may come with scuffs and blemishes that will turn you off.

Let’s Cover Your Devices

Are refurbished phones good options? Yes, they are if you choose them wisely. And if you are not the type who loves taking risks, you can always go for a brand new device.

If you are looking to buy a high-ticket mobile phone, consider beefing up its warranty.

We offer extensive protection coverage for high-end mobile devices. We also cover other products like laptops, monitors, and cameras, among others.

Check out our list of frequently asked questions, and feel free to send us a message to let us know what you need. Let’s protect your expensive phones and other devices, today!