Today, 95 percent of Americans own a cellphone. It’s no longer a luxury to own one of these devices. It’s become a way of life.
That doesn’t change the fact that cellphones are often expensive. This is true if you’re buying a smartphone, like an Apple iPhone or the latest Samsung Galaxy model.
High prices, new model releases, and contracts to get “free” phones have some people rethinking how they buy phones. This has led to increasing demand for refurbished phones.
A refurbished phone can save you a bundle of money, but some people warn about their drawbacks. It can leave you wondering if choosing refurbished is the right choice for your next phone. A common question is whether a refurbished phone has a warranty, in case something goes wrong.
If you have questions, we have answers. We’ll go over what you can expect out of a refurbished phone and how you can protect yourself.
“What does refurbished phone mean?” is a typical question when people talk about their choices for upgrading a phone.
Many people assume the refurbished phone definition is just “used.” Refurbished phones are used, but they’re a step up. There are some notable differences between a used phone and a refurbished one.
Generally speaking, refurbished phones have had some serious work done to them. They may have had components replaced. They’re cleaned up, and their software goes through upgrades.
Many manufacturers offer their own refurbishment programs. For example, you can send your old iPhone back to Apple for refurbishment. Apple puts it through a rigorous program of testing, cleaning, and repairing.
Other retailers may have their own programs for refurbishing electronics, including phones. You can check in with your local computer shop and ask them if they do in-house refurbishment. Some will work with third parties that specialize in fixing up old phones.
A “used” phone likely hasn’t had any work done to it. Most often, they’re sold “as is,” so what you see is what you get.
When a manufacturer or retailer sells a refurbished phone, they provide some guarantees. Some may offer free repair or a trade-in if the phone stops working within so many days of sale.
Many refurbished phones have been lightly used to start. They may have been store display models. They might have been given to journalists as demonstrations.
Some are phones that people purchased, then returned within a few days for any reason. The refurbisher will check to make sure the phone is free of major defects.
Refurbished phones often come with warranties. Apple, for example, offers a warranty on their refurbished phones.
A refurbished phone warranty may not be as long as the one on a new product. They’re often better than a store return policy.
This makes sense. The refurbisher does their best to make sure the phone is free of major defects. A warranty backs up their work.
It also puts consumers’ minds at rest. Even knowing how intensive the refurbishment process is, the phone is still used. Things can still go wrong, just like they can with a brand new phone.
Now you’re asking, “Are refurbished iPhones good?” or “Why should I buy a refurbished Android phone?” There are a few reasons you should at least consider a refurbished model for your next phone.
First, these phones are usually less expensive than a brand new one. The discount can be a good percentage of the price of new, depending on the age and condition of the model. If you buy a refurbished iPhone 8, for example, it will still be less expensive than buying an iPhone X.
Next, most refurbished phones are in excellent condition. You’d be hard-pressed to find a difference between a brand-new phone and a refurbished one in most cases. They also work just as well.
Depending on where you buy your phone, you may also receive the accessories, such as a charger. Some refurbishment programs even provide packaging like that of a new phone.
You’re also protected in most cases. Keep in mind that you should always check the fine print of any warranty.
A refurbished phone bought from a retailer may offer a warranty through the retailer. The manufacturer may not cover parts in these cases.
Finally, refurbished phones are also better for the environment. Although there are efforts to recycle electronics, many still end up in landfills. When not disposed of properly, they can cause environmental damage.
Even with these benefits, some people still worry about buying a refurbished phone. You might hear stories about people who have trouble with their phones. There are steps you can take to protect yourself when you buy a refurbished phone.
First, always do your homework. Buy a refurbished phone from a trusted source. Ask about their refurbishment program.
Next, be sure to test the phone out before you commit to buy. Ask to make sure it turns on and see that everything functions. Try loading some apps to make sure they’re working.
Go over the details of any warranty that’s provided with the phone. Make sure you know what’s covered and what isn’t. You should also know how long the warranty lasts.
If you hope to keep the phone after the warranty expires, you might want to consider buying an extended plan. A retailer or manufacturer may offer one. You can also buy an extended warranty for your phone from a trusted third-party provider.
The next time you want to upgrade, be sure to consider refurbished phones. You may be able to get a great phone backed by a warranty at a fraction of the cost.
Already invested in a new-to-you phone and looking for more ways to protect it? Get in touch with us to talk about your warranty options. Peace of mind is close at hand.