Updated: Mar 9
In a world full of technology, it is difficult to know what things you should and should not buy. Especially when it comes down to mobile phones. These days there are so many options from different businesses, with different people telling you to do different things, it is a challenge. Ultimately, for the consumer, it comes down to the cost and whether you will be wasting your money! Or does it?
It is worth noting, of course, that there is a big difference between buying a second-hand phone from an online auction site, and a refurbished phone from an official company. There is obviously more risk associated with buying from Dave in Manchester than a branded name.
A similar question must also pop up in your head… Should I buy my refurbished phone in a store? Or should go with the flow with technology and buy from an online store? It is difficult for you to know for sure what you want to do, especially as there are so many options.
We are going to be discussing many different topics such as second-hand phones, refurbished phones, online shopping and in store shopping. For more information on what exactly these other topics mean, check out our other blog posts!
We will walk you through the pros and cons of buying second hand and refurbished phones and why, in a changing technological world, it is important to consider all options before making your decision.
What do Brand New Phones have to offer?:
There is no doubt about it, buying a brand new, top of the range mobile phone, is exciting! In many ways, it is just like buying your first brand new car. First of all, you will be confident that there will be NOTHING wrong with your purchase, and that you are covered by a luxurious warranty that will cover you in case the worst will happen. On top of that, you have a phone that everyone else wants, a phone that will make everyone else jealous, isn’t that a good feeling?! Well basically… Not necessarily.
All of the above is true, HOWEVER, it can also be true when buying a refurbished mobile phone. You would have also then spent a lot less money! Isn’t that what it mainly comes down to?
But no, the money doesn’t bother you. You still want that brand new phone, and that is absolutely fine! (I would be lying if I said I have never bought a brand-new phone!)
A brand-new phone, bought from the original retailer, or from a well-known brand simply means that the phone is yours, and nobody has had it before and therefore will be in the best condition. This is absolutely true, not only will the phone itself have no scratches, chips, or marks, but the software will run perfectly, and the battery life will be second-to-none.
We have already mentioned the possible deal breaker, which puts everyone’s mind at rest, the warranty. Usually on brand new phones, the warranty lasts a minimum of twelve months (yes! A minimum) and that typically covers anything that hasn’t been done accidentally by yourself. Obviously, the warranty criteria is different for each company and where the phone was bought, however, accessories purchased alongside your brand-new phone are often included in some sort of warranty plan as well, which surely is one of the main reasons you should buy a brand-new phone? Am I right or am I right?!
So maybe it is us that have it wrong, maybe we are asking the wrong question. Why on earth would you buy a second-hand or refurbished phone?
What refurbished phones have to offer?:
Yes, I agree that we have mentioned several strong reasons as to why you should buy a brand-new phone. However, I wouldn’t stop reading there if I were you. We believe that there might actually be more convincing reasons as to why you should instead by a second-hand or refurbished phone.
The most stand out reason is the discount and money you could save. It is said that after just a few months after the launch of the original product, you could receive a 15% discount off of what you would have paid full price, and after a couple of years, you’re looking at a staggering 50% off. Even if you wouldn’t want to wait two years for a half price phone, you could still save a fortune after just a few months. Surely if the phone is only a couple months old, the standard of quality would still be pretty high wouldn’t it? In most cases (not phone cases), this is correct, but it is definitely worth double checking the quality of the phone from the company you are buying from. After receiving confirmation of the quality, you should be good to go.
As we mentioned with brand new phones, the warranty is what put peoples mind at rest when buying a phone, am I wrong? Now although Brand new phones come with fancy warranties that sound amazing, the truth is that second-hand and refurbished phones from second-hand official retailers often come with their own warranty period as well. Often, they hold the exact same cover, and for the same time periods. So, what am I saying exactly? I’m saying that second-hand phone and electronic retailers are more cost effective and cover the same things in a warranty as a brand-new device. So, if you’re worried that you’re refurbished phone is going to break down after two weeks, there is no need to worry if your retailer has a warranty (which can easily be seen when purchasing a phone).
These days, even purchasing second-hand phones from auction sites such as eBay, is considered easy, as eBay have their own money back guarantee. However, what would I suggest? I would suggest to always buy from auction sites with caution. As I say, buying from auction sites, and specialised refurbished mobile phone store, online or on the high street, are completely different.
What else do second-hand phones have to offer? Another big peace of mind comfort for you, our readers and consumers of phones, is that the second-hand and refurbished mobile phone community is growing rapidly, and it is predicted that 10% of all phone sales are from used mobile phones. Now, we know that 10% is a small number, and you’re probably all thinking what are these guys talking about?! 10% is nothing! However, this is where you’re wrong. It was only a couple of years ago that the refurbished phone market equated to under 1% of mobile phone sales worldwide. 10% is also a number that is increasing, and we predict that this time next year, that that number could increase to around double that figure.
Jeff Fieldhack, a researcher at Counterpoint said that a "A flagship device from three, four years ago, from iPhone is still a better quality device, than something new in the $200 to $300 range". We could not agree more.
How many more positives can I give you? Loads. And to be fair, I could give you some negatives as well, and I will! Or certainly things to consider at the very least. You will just have to continue reading to find out.
Things to consider (when buying refurbished phones):
So, we have written what both buying a brand-new phone, and a second-hand phone have to offer. Since this article is about second-hand phones, we are going to dive deeper into some of the cons, or things to consider when getting one.
We will start off with online shopping. First of all, make sure that the company you decide to purchase from is a genuine company, and check out their reviews. It is not very often that you hear about scammers ‘selling’ mobile phones, but it is important that you look very carefully at the website you are purchasing from and check out their reviews. Some websites are new (like ours!) so won’t have many reviews, but it doesn’t mean they are no good- you can always get in contact with them to find out more. You can also always check a company is real by checking out the UK governments Companies House online page.
You are usually safe buying from businesses with their own website, as remember they will not want their reputation to be affected. However, it is more challenging when purchasing a phone on an auction site, as most likely, the seller only wants the money. Make sure that they give you as many details as possible on the listing, and that they answer any questions you have thoroughly.
Bear in mind that one of the main (and only problems) you face with buying a second-hand phone online is that you can’t judge the condition of the phone for yourself, and you simply have to rely on the seller to give you as much correct detail as possible. We understand that this is the main concern that most people will have, however, be aware that if the item is not as described, or you simply do not want it, you have a right to return it within 30 and you will not even need a reason- most companies want to keep their customers, so will do anything they can to offer you a different device for a discount or, at the very least, sort out your concern with no hassle. So, ask yourself, is it really that bad?!
If we move onto instore second-hand or refurbished phone buying, it is a challenge to think about many cons! But don’t worry, we will give you something to think about instead. Why buy in store when you can buy from the comfort of your home instead? (Read our other blog for a more in-depth answer about that bit!). We always suggest, as with online shopping, checking out the reviews of the place, or going to companies where people you know have also been. That way, you will have peace of mind, and confidence in the way you shop.
So, there you go, not many things to be concerned about are there? We certainly can’t think of any.
Positives (of Refurbished phone buying):
We are pretty sure that we may have mentioned a few positives throughout this article of buying a second-hand or refurbished phone already, but here, we like to make things simple for you, so we will do you a favour- just this once! We will make it plain, simple, and clear.
1) They are much cheaper than brand-new phones
2) They are often in the same condition as bran-new phones (but with amazing prices if the quality dips)
3) They often have the same warranty, provided with the company you purchased from, as brand-new phones
4) Through online shopping, you can return up to 30 days after purchase, and not have a reason
5) Refurbished older phones are sometimes considered to be in better condition than brand-new phones, in the cheaper price category.
6) The market for purchasing second-hand or refurbished phones is increasing, which should give you comfort when shopping that you are making a safe and cost effective decision.
Is that everything?! We think so
What did we find out?