What are Refurbished Phones? A Guide to Buying Second-Hand Devices

What are Refurbished Phones? A Guide to Buying Second-Hand Devices

There is no denying that for most people, smartphones are integral to everyday life. For many, keeping up to date with the next biggest release is a top priority, but usually with every new release comes a new, higher price tag.

For those that aren’t looking to break the bank but still want a high-quality smartphone, opting for a second-hand device can be a brilliant option. Refurbished phones can offer you the same performance at a greatly reduced price!

But what exactly is a refurbished device and where do you begin when thinking about buying a second-hand phone?

Handily, our extensive guide is here to answer all your questions!

• What is a Refurbished Phone?
• Understanding Second-Hand Phone Grading Systems
• The Benefits of Choosing a Refurbished Phone? • Finding a Reputable Refurbished Phone Seller
• Things to Consider When Buying Second-Hand Phones • Warranty and Return Policies for Second-Hand Phones
• The Best Time to Buy a Second-Hand Phone  


A man using his phone while sat on a bench

What is a Refurbished Phone?

Generally, the terms second-hand, reconditioned and refurbished phones can be used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences.

Refurbished phones are phones that have been previously owned that are then returned to the manufacturer or distributor and professionally cleaned and repaired.

These devices are then sold to new owners for a lower price than if they had been bought brand new.


The thought of a second-hand phone can conjure up images of a damaged, banged up device that works poorly, but with a professionally refurbished device, this is just not the case.

A phone that is returned for refurbishment may have been returned because there was a fault that was easily solved in the reconditioning process. Or perhaps the first owner simply changed their mind and sent back a brand new phone to be resold in perfect condition.

The main thing to note about refurbished devices is that they have been professionally cleaned, checked and repaired to be in perfect working order.


Someone using a phone to take a picture of flowers

The Benefits of Choosing a Refurbished Phone

So, refurbished devices are less of a mystery, but why should you choose one instead of a new release?

Getting a Good Price and Value for Money

The most obvious benefit of a reconditioned phone is, of course, the price tag. Many second-hand mobiles can give you the same performance as a brand-new device for a cheaper cost.

If immediately getting the newest flagship model is not a priority for you, waiting until second-hand versions become available can be much kinder to your wallet!

Choosing Environmentally-Friendly Options

Another great bonus when it comes to used phones is that they produce less waste and production pollution than new phones.

When a new phone is manufactured, rare metals are mined, which creates an abundance of CO2 emissions. When you opt for a second-hand phone, you are reducing your personal carbon footprint by not contributing to the pollution that a newly made phone would produce.

When you choose a reconditioned phone, you are also ensuring that it does not end up in landfill when it is still perfectly usable. Increasing the unnecessarily-short lifetime of a smartphone is a step in the right direction to changing the culture of electronic waste.

Good Options for a Child’s First Phone

Refurbished phones at a lower price can also be a great option for when it’s time to get your child a phone of their own.

Let’s face it, children are not known for keeping things in perfect condition, so it’s not always the best idea to spend the extra cash on the newest, most expensive device.

With reconditioned phones, children can stay connected and get the complete smartphone experience without the need for you to dip as far into your wallet.

Assurance that Phones Have Been Cleaned and Tested

When you buy a certified refurbished device, you can rest assured that it has been professionally cleaned and tested.

Here at Second-Hand Phones, all of our devices are surgically cleaned and put through a rigorous testing process to ensure that every device meets our standards and delivers the best quality.


Coins spilling out of a jar

Things to Consider When Buying Second-Hand Phones

The internet is full of promises of great deals, but with so many devices and distributers available, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to buying a decent second-hand phone.

What kind of things do you need to consider when looking to buy a refurbished device?


The back of a blue phone

The Best Time to Buy a Second-Hand Phone

If you don’t need a new phone in the immediate future, it can be a good idea to be strategic about when you buy a used phone.

The best time to buy a used phone is when its new successor arrives; those who prefer the immediate upgrade will be getting rid of their previous model at this point.

Make sure to keep an eye on when the latest flagship models drop so you can predict when people will be swapping their devices and when their old phones will start becoming available at greatly reduced prices.


A stack of devices

Understanding Second-Hand Phone Grading Systems

Professionally refurbished phones will work as new, but depending on their grade, there may be some cosmetic flaws. You’ll need to consider how much cosmetic damage you are willing to accept, and at what cost.

A reputable seller will have a clear grading system that signifies the extent of any cosmetic damage.

The more scratches and visible scrapes, the lower the price, so if this is something that won’t bother you, you can end up paying even less!

Grading systems can vary between distributors, so make sure you understand what you’re getting before you commit to parting with any money. Here at Second-Hand Phones, our grading system is as follows:

• New Open Box: Fairly self-explanatory, this classification indicates a handset in brand new cosmetic condition with the branded box.
• New No Box: As above, but without the box.
• Pristine: Perfect cosmetic condition and in excellent working order.
• Very Good: Very good cosmetic condition with minimal signs of wear.
• Good: Slightly more signs of wear but still in excellent working order.
• Grade C: More signs of visible wear but still in full working order.

A phone with its screen unlocked

Finding a Reputable Refurbished Phone Seller

Unsurprisingly, the internet is full of seemingly good deals, some legitimate and some not. Although it can be tempting to take the gamble and buy from a slightly less trustworthy source offering an amazing deal, it is better to buy from a reputable seller that offers a clear, consistent grading system and warranty.

Buying from trustworthy and legitimate sellers, like Second-Hand Phones, will always be less of a risk than opting for individual suppliers on eBay or similar sites.


A cracked phone being returned

Warranty and Return Policies for Second-Hand Phones

One mark of a reputable seller is a warranty; this proves that the seller is confident in the quality of their devices.

A solid return policy is also crucial; it can sometimes take time to spot issues with any software, so you’ll want a return window in case your device is not in the condition it was advertised.

Here at Second-Hand Phones, not only do we stand by our products, but we also take pride in our excellent customer service!

All of our devices come with a guaranteed 12-month warranty for parts and labour from the date of purchase.


Hopefully, our guide has helped you when it comes to refurbished devices! If you are thinking about opting for a second-hand phone, why not check out our range of affordable, quality phones from major brands?