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Should you buy a refurbished phone to save money?

Should you buy a refurbished phone to save money?

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The cost of just about everything is rising in the UK at the moment – from groceries to petrol, and from clothes to computers.

If you or your children desperately need a new phone, or you’re worried that your current phone plan is too expensive, you might be considering buying a refurbished phone to save some money on your mobile bill.

In this article, we’ve looked at refurbished phones, to see whether they’re a good way to save money, when compared to buying a brand new phone.

Advantages of refurbished phones

Of course, the main advantage of refurbished phones is how inexpensive they are. You can often save 30% or more on the price of a phone by buying a refurbished handset.

And normally, most refurbished phones are devices that people have traded in – they’re not broken phones that have been fixed.

However, there are also some other advantages to buying a refurbished smartphone.

  • With refurbished phones, you have a lot more choice. You’re not restricted to just the latest phones to be released. This means that you can find a phone with a headphone jack for example, since headphone jacks have been removed from the majority of new phones on the market.
  • With most phone models, especially popular Apple and Samsung models, you have a much larger choice of different mobile networks and data plans when buying a refurbished phone. This is because used handsets are often purchased and refurbished by a number of third-party companies, each of which offers plans with different mobile networks. Once you’ve decided on a phone you like, it’s a good idea to compare smartphone deals from different retailers and different networks to find the best value for money option.
  • You’re doing the environment a huge favour. Smartphones are very environmentally damaging to produce, so by buying a used phone, you’re reducing the number of new phones that have to be made.
  • Just like when buying a new phone, you’ll still get a 12-month warranty with a refurbished handset, even though you’re paying a lot less for the device.

Disadvantages of refurbished phones

However, there are also some disadvantages to refurbished phones that you need to be aware of.

  • You need to be careful to check who refurbished the phone, and how they did it. If you buy a refurbished phone from Apple or Samsung directly, they will typically use new components for the repair. Some smaller third-party refurbishers might not provide the same quality of repair.
  • To save the most money with a refurbished phone, you’ll still need to choose an older device. While phones that have been out for a few months are often available refurbished, their prices aren’t normally a huge amount cheaper than brand new phones.
  • Your phone might not come with a power plug for charging when you buy refurbished. However, these days some new phones don’t have this accessory either, since most people already have one.

Should you buy a refurbished smartphone?

Refurbished smartphones can be a great way to save money, but you have to be careful to buy the right phone.

If you want to reduce your monthly bills, and don’t mind not having the latest and greatest phone, buying refurbished is a great choice.

Here are some tips to help you ensure you get a good phone when buying refurbished.

  • If possible, buy the phone upfront from the manufacturer directly. This way, you’ll know that the phone was refurbished properly.
  • If you want to buy from a third-party retailer, check to ensure that the quality of the repair is good. Look at the company’s reviews, and check for a warranty (at least a year) on their work. Also, look for any details on their website about how their phones are refurbished.
  • Try to avoid buying phones that are more than three years old. These devices are more likely to develop issues soon after buying, such as their battery capacity dropping suddenly. Older devices are also more likely to have been refurbished because they are broken, rather than because they have been traded in.
  • Carefully check the condition of the phone you’re buying. Some refurbishers will have different grades, such as “Like New” and “Good”. There can be a big difference between each grade, so it’s important to check what condition of phone you’re getting.
  • Shop around for the best deal. Since there are so many different companies that offer refurbished phones, it pays to compare them and see which one offers the best prices and data plans on the specific handset you’re looking at.

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