If you’re in the market looking for a handset that has the latest features but is not expensive, you have two options, choosing a used or refurbished cell phone. Should you opt for the used device, you can expect that the seller will provide it to you as is without checking for faulty or damaged parts. On the other hand, choosing a refurbished device gives you the assurance that the seller has carefully checked the gadget and replaced the faulty parts. Global statistics collected by Gartner Inc. reveal that the market for refurbished cell phones is likely to touch the $14 billion mark in revenue with more than 120 million devices sold in the year 2017 alone. That’s a clear indication of the confidence users have in these gadgets.
While the cell phone is not a new device and you may not get the accessories that typically accompany a new gadget, it is likely to work well for a good long while. When scouting around for a refurbished cell phone, go through this checklist and match it to the specifications of the device and you should be good to go.
Point 1 – Is the Seller a Certified Refurbisher?
In place of buying a device from the original owner or from any other seller, you might want to look for cell phones at stores owned by certified refurbishers. You also have the option of checking online stores like Amazon, eBay, ReUseTek, Newegg, Verizon, and any other reputable companies. These sellers provide you with a wide variety of devices that have been checked and repaired before being put back in the market. Also consider checking the websites of the original manufacturers. They typically have a separate section that carries refurbished cell phones. By purchasing the device from such sellers, you’ll have complete assurance of quality and functionality.
Point 2 – What is the Damage Level of the Phone?
If you’re looking at a phone from a physical store, check the device visually for signs of damage. You can expect to see scratches on the screen and camera lens, and perhaps, a few dings here and there. But pay careful attention to signs of liquid damage such as red or orange stains that indicate rust. If you can open the back, take a look at the battery sticker. If it is yellow or orange, that is a sign of damage. Given that some sellers change the battery, check other metallic parts and the charging and USB ports.
Some smartphones cannot be opened, so the next alternative is to run their secret codes and apps that tell you about the condition of the phone. For instance:
- Android Phones: Usage statistics and battery information: *#*#4636#*#*
- Android Phones: LCD display test: *#*#0*#*#*
- Android Phones: Phone Tester app
- Android and Apple iOS: Phone Doctor Plus app
Point 3 – Is the Phone Locked?
Check with the provider if the cell phone is locked with a particular network. If it is, see if you own a SIM of the same company or if you’re interested in investing in a new SIM. You can make your decision on whether or not to buy the phone accordingly. But, if you’ll have to get it unlocked, you can bargain for a cheaper price with the seller.
Point 4 – Is there a Possibility that the Phone is Stolen?
This is possibly the most important point on your checklist because you definitely don’t want to buy a refurbished cell phone if there is even a remote possibility of it being stolen. The solution is simple. Ask the seller to provide you with the MEID, ESN, or IMEI number. Next, check the number on online sites like the CheckMEND Mobile Equipment National Database that will give you a detailed account of the previous usage of the device. You may have to pay a small charge but it is preferable so you can protect yourself. Or, try the Free international IMEI blacklist checker or the Australian AMTA website that give you the details at no charge.
Point 5 – Is the Phone Worth the Price Quoted?
Several factors can influence the end price you might want to pay for the refurbished phone. For instance, if the seller is providing it to you complete the box and accessories, you’ll pay more but less than the price of a new device. Do keep in mind that refurbished devices are more expensive as compared to a used device and if the seller is willing to settle for a really low price, you might want to be wary about the condition of the phone. To get an idea of what the phones should go for, you can check online sites that give you comparative prices you can make an informed deal.
Point 6 – Has the Phone Been Wiped Clean?
Should you choose to buy the gadget from a certified seller, you can rest assured that the device you’re buying will have been restored to factory settings with the memory wiped clean. Why is this important? Many apps can be downloaded and used for a monthly subscription. If those apps continue to run in the background, you might end up paying for them without being aware of it. In addition, you’ll want that the memory has free space for all the applications you may want to install and use as per your convenience. You may also want stay protected from malware and viruses in the device.
Point 7 – Does the Phone Come with a Warranty?
The provision is a warranty is your best assurance that the refurbished phone is of good-quality and likely to work well. That’s because the seller is backing it and offers to fix any issues that might arise. You can expect warranties ranging from 3 to 12 months as offered by individual providers. In addition, if you pay using your credit card, you can get added assurance offered by the card company.
Refurbished can prove to be a good investment if you do your homework, check the device carefully before buying and source it from a certified seller. With research and some scouting around, you might be able to find a barely-used device at very economical prices.