Nowadays it’s not unusual for the latest models of mobile phones to be priced upwards of $1000. The retail price of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is a whopping $1399.99 and Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max? An impressive $1099.99. Carriers will offer you installment plans, where you pay off the price over 12, 24, 30, or however many months in addition to your monthly phone bill. You’ll need to pass a credit check, but there’s 0% APR, and because the original retail price is so steep, mobile consumers will eat this deal up.
So, what exactly is ‘refurbished’?
There tends to be an association with refurbished to be poor condition or used. While it may be used, it certainly won’t be in poor condition. Different retailers will have different standards for their refurbished products, but they’ll typically have one thing in common – it’s been inspected, repaired, and certified (that is, from reputable resellers). In theory, refurbished phones should actually function similarly to a new unit – so really, it all comes down to physical condition. Even the ‘worst’ condition for a refurbished phone isn’t so bad – it’s the usual wear and tear but with its full functionality. For the record, the visible scratches on the exterior can usually be covered with a phone case. Either way, the condition of the exterior will always be listed on the reseller’s page.
So if the functionality of refurbished products are practically new, then there has to be a downside, right?
Well, sort of. Refurbished stock of a new model will only appear after its been on the market for about a year. If you’re specifically purchasing from the refurb market and are looking to buy the latest and greatest, you’ll probably be buying a model that’s at least the second to latest model. For those who don’t mind the delay – keep an eye out on the refurb phone market when a new model is released. It’s a good way to purchase a relatively new phone at a discounted price.
Note: Refurbished doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.
So, what should ‘refurbished’ mean?
You’ll find dozens of resellers on the internet, but the ones that really matter are authorized dealers with a solid reputation, a long warranty, good return policy, and a certification. The solid reputation guarantees reliability, the long warranty and good return policy imply the seller stands behind their product, and the certification offer peace of mind that the item has been fully inspected, repaired, and given approval to resell.
So, why should I be buying refurbished products?
Besides the lower cost paired with the like-new product and full functionality, refurbished products provide a more environmentally friendly option. Instead of ending up in landfills, they’re recycled and resold. Further, if you lack faith in the reseller or product, the manufacturer will usually offer a warranty, with the longest period for refurbished products typically being one year. That way, you can fully test the product and have the freedom to change your mind and get your money back. According to Techwalla, refurbished phones actually have a lower defect rate than new phones – however, it may be different with individual purchases.
From the economical prices to the environmental benefits and lower defect rates, refurbished products deserve to be taken into consideration when it comes to new electronic purchases.
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