The idea of using refurbished phones can either have you excited with all the possibilities that it offers or have you sulking, thinking about using a used mobile phone that is probably on its deathbed.Even though in the mind of a common person, “refurbished” and “used” are very often interchangeable, they are not the same at all. Saying that a phone is refurbished is not the same a saying it is, while both of them are not brand new there are significant differences that set one apart from the other.
How is a refurbished phone different from a used mobile phone?
The basic difference lies in the retouching of the mobile phone. A used phone is sold as it is brought to the vendor, there are no changes made whatsoever. But when a phone is refurbished, it is inspected for all the faults and defects that are then fixed before the phone is sold to the customer. With this reconditioning the phone is reset to a new-like condition, which cannot be said about a simply used phone.
Following are a few of the major differences between a refurbished and a used phone.
1. Physical Condition
A used mobile phone is brought to a vendor in a certain condition, it can be good as new or bad as scrap. After the vendor acquires the phone, it is then sold to the customer in that very condition, there is no retouching, no replacement and no update of any kind. More often than not it is not very ideal, there are untouched defects and problems that led to the first owner selling it in the first place. Given that it is not always the case, a phone may very well be in a mint condition when it is acquired by the vendor, but it is still true for the majority of the used phones.
A refurbished phone however is different. As already mentioned above, after the phone is acquired by the vendor, it is then fixed, which includes the physical condition as well. It is keenly inspected, all the flaws are outlined and the phone is reconditioned that usually includes replacing the screen, any buttons that have been rendered useless, etc. Before it is sold to the new customer, it is restored to the best of its condition. It is made almost as good as a new one, inside out.
One of the major reasons that someone ends up selling their phone is because of the defects and the cost to repair these defects are not worth it. That usually happens when problems start showing up after the warranty has expired, and the dues are no longer covered.
When the phones are sold as they are, their warranty has expired. And because they are not reconditioned, the defects and glitches are still present in the device. When they do come up in the later use, there is no warranty to cover the costs even by the vendor who sold the used mobile phone.
In a refurbished phone, however, the case is slightly different. All the problems are fixed before the sale is made. Because a phone that is refurbished is near-like new, therefore there are no faults expected. That’s why the vendor provides a warranty with the phone that has been refurbished, the kind of warranty may differ from one vendor than the other. In that period the customer can get any issue fixed if it arises. If a vendor is not offering a warranty, then it is very likely that the phone being sold is used and not refurbished.
The chances of the original equipment manufacturer to sell any used mobile phones are very slim. There are however instances where they are found to be reselling their devices. This usually happens in a scenario where the items are sold “off-lease” in a great amount to a certain corporate customer who then returns the devices when the lease ends. Even in such a case, the resale is extremely rare owing to the fact that the phones are usually very old by the time they are returned and the OEM prefers to liquidate them instead of going to the trouble of resale.
They do sell refurbished phones.So if you want to buy a used phone then third-party vendors are most certainly the only choice for it. As for the refurbished ones, it is best to buy it from the original equipment or a very trusted third-party vendor. It often happens that vendors sell used phones claiming that they have been refurbished, therefore it is important to make sure about the authenticity of the vendor before making the purchase. Especially if there is no warranty offered, then the red flags should go up at once, because it is most likely used and not refurbished.
The phones that have run out their course are more likely to not get the chance to be refurbished. But if the particular phone is still available somehow then there is a greater chance to find it refurbished, as good as new and with a warranty too. But if due to the age of the phone, it has been cut off by the original equipment manufacturer then the chances of finding a refurbished phone goes significantly low, almost to none. In such a case you are more likely to find used mobile phones in abundance.
The best way to check whether you can find your desired phone refurbished to take a quick scan of the OEM’s website. If you can find the phone listed on the website as new, then it is most probably still available as refurbished. However, if you are unable to locate it then it is most likely discontinued.
There is a transition period, in which the phones are still available as refurbished even after being discontinued, this can go from months to even years. But after this period ends, it becomes a used-only zone.