Home > Blog > Should You Buy Refurbished

Should you buy refurbished?

Lucie Spraggs's picture

With the latest handsets costing more and more, refurbished phones and their lower price tags are becoming more and more attractive.

The word ‘refurbished’ may still sound like a dirty word, but we’re here to tell you otherwise.

How much can you save?

The big question, how much money can you save by buying a refurb? Let’s look at the iPhone XR with it’s whopping £999 price tag. We’ve seen it sold, refurbished by the likes of Amazon, for around £650. That’s almost 35% off the RRP of a new device.

And, it’s not just with Apple that big savings can be made. You Android lovers could save a penny or two. You can visit sites like Mazuma or Music Magpie and grab a Samsung Galaxy S9 for a few hundred less.

What is a refurbished phone?

For the most part, a refurbished phone is a device that has been bought and then returned to the retailer. This means they cannot sell it as a new phone, so have to call it refurbished. So… many refurbished phones have never left their boxes. In some cases the phone may have been returned due to damage, in these cases the phone will have been repaired by a expert technician before being sold.

Refurbished phones are typically given a 'grade' by retailers. Trading Standards have said that these grades aren't set independently, so quality can and will vary, but typically they are defined as follows:

  • Grade A – appears new or has only very minor signs of handling or wear.

  • Grade B – may have scratches, chips or other forms of light cosmetic damage.

  • Grade C – will show signs of wear; expect the product to look used.

Can I trust refurbished phones?

As a general rule, when you receive a refurbished phone, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and it’s ‘brand new’ counterpart. It should look and work like a new phone. On top of that most suppliers should provide you with a minimum 12-month warranty.

If the warranty is provided by a retailer, then that's who you'll be dealing with so be aware of this before buying. Retailer warranties vary in length and may also depend on the grade of the refurbishment.

Can I insure a refurbished phone?

Yes, assuming you have been given a 12-month warranty you’ll be able to insure your ‘new’ phone. Click here to get a quote.