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Should you buy a refurbished phone?

If your bank account can’t stretch to the latest iPhone, buying a refurbished device is a great way to save the pennies and still snap up a relatively modern handset.

Apple addicts will be pleased to know that the technology giant has cottoned on to the demand; the brand recently started selling refurbished handsets, alongside other popular gadgets.

Unlike mint-condition Apple products, the refurbished models come with slightly less eye-watering price tags attached – perfect for tech lovers with limited funds.

Of course, a refurbished model comes with potential risks attached. You’ll need to find a reputable seller or purchase direct from a manufacturer, making sure your new device comes with a warranty and is in good condition.

Refurbished or not, once you’ve invested in an Apple handset – or any smartphone ­– securing a dependable insurance policy is a must; you never know when a spillage or drop might occur, calling for costly repairs.

Gadget Cover makes things simple: we offer , covering theft, accidental damage and more.

We know a thing or two about tech, so we’ve created this handy guide to the ins and outs of purchasing refurbished phones – take a look.

What is a refurbished phone?

Unlike used smartphones, refurbished smartphones are assessed and restored (if applicable) so they’re fully functioning. They also tend to come with warranties.

These models have been sold on by owners who are upgrading, or returned by customers due to faulty performance.

You’re unlikely to get the original packaging or a full set of accessories when purchasing a refurbished model, but you will have the guarantee it’s been tested.

When buying used phones, buyers don’t have the same assurances of quality.

You’ll largely depend on the seller offering a fair and honest description of the model; your legal rights are restricted, so you could find yourself out of pocket, should you have a change of heart or find fault with the product.

You can assess a range of refurbished iPhones by looking at their given ‘grade’. Retailers determine these grades themselves, so customers can’t depend on consistently held standards. However, the grades tend to be categorised in the following way:

Grade A: as new condition or shows very light signs of wear.

Grade B: possibly has minimal cosmetic damage such as chips and scratches.

Grade C: notable signs of wear and tear – more of a ‘used’ appearance.

Should I buy a refurbished phone?

If you’re not fussed about owning the hottest new iPhone, buying a refurbished Apple model is a savvy move – you’ll get stellar technology at a fraction of its original price, fully tested and restored.

Likewise, if you’re looking for a first phone for your Apple-obsessed teen, a refurbished model is a less hefty investment.

Perhaps you work in an outdoor environment – a building site, for example – and are looking for a second, less expensive model to use at work?

Ideally, you’ll want to purchase a refurbished model direct from the manufacturer, as you can enjoy greater quality control.

No matter where you source the device, it’s essential to look for one that comes with a warranty.

What’s a smartphone warranty?

The warranty tends to be provided by the manufacturer or retailer – whoever carried out the refurbishment.

Warranties are important as they give buyers the right to a refund, repairs or a replacement, should their device develop any issues.

They commonly cover a one-year period, although retailer warranties can vary – factors such as the device’s grade may affect the length of cover.

This is why dependable iPhone insurance is a necessity: it gives customers an extra layer of protection, if and when problems arise.

Where should I buy a refurbished phone?

When you’re searching for a refurbished smartphone, your first step should be to seek out a legitimate trader.

A trader is anyone who produces or sells on goods bought specifically for resale.

When you make purchases from a trader, you’re entitled to the same protections you would be when buying products from a shop, on or offline:

  • The goods must be fit for purpose, of adequate quality and as advertised.
  • If an undeclared fault arises, you have the right to a full refund.
  • When purchasing goods from an online trader, you have the right to cancel your order within 14 days, plus an additional 14 day window within which you may return the goods (unless you purchased them by bidding in an eBay auction).
  • If you pay in part or fully via credit card and the purchase comes to over £100, your card provider must pay out if an issue arises – do note, PayPal purchases are not included in this.

It’s best to have a few models in mind when shopping around for a refurbished iPhone: stock levels are unpredictable and restricted, so you may be disappointed if you’re set on acquiring one specific device.

Amazon and eBay are relatively safe bets, as you can look at seller reviews before committing, selecting the most reputable retailers.

Apple has jumped on the bandwagon, too, selling refurbished iPhones along with shiny new outer shells, batteries and one-year warranties – you get free delivery and returns, too.

It also guarantees:

  • Either the original operating system or an updated version
  • Thorough testing, plus original Apple parts used in any replacements
  • A full cleaning service (if needed)
  • Brand-new packaging along with all necessary cables and accessories

You could also try sites such as Argos, O2 Like New and – if in doubt, check a site’s rating via review platforms such as Trustpilot.

Enjoying your refurbished iPhone

Even if you buy a refurbished iPhone, Apple technology doesn’t come cheap. This is why it’s smart to secure specialist iPhone insurance, ensuring your device is covered in the event of accidental damage, theft or loss.

Gadget Cover is here to help – our truly instant cover gives you peace of mind that your iPhone’s protected the minute you sign up.

Better yet, our includes perks such as one month of free protection, cover for your iPhone accessories and unlimited claims.

Don’t wait – get a quote today!

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