5 things to know before buying refurbished iPhones

If you are reading this blog having either heard of what a refurbished phone can offer, or perhaps you are ready to make the switch from new to refurbished, this blog will give you the five main things you should know when it comes to purchasing a refurbished iphone.

What is a refurbished iPhone?

A refurbished iPhone is an iPhone that has been previously owned by another person, and then been reconditioned to a standard acceptable for resale. Just because a phone has been refurbished does not necessarily mean it has been repaired; in some cases the phone was always kept in a mint condition from the previous user, as well as potentially just being a case of a cool off period in which case the owner decided to trade the phone back in for another. Essentially, refurbished just means ‘not new’.

On the flip side, there are indeed cases of phones previously having been damaged, and then fixed using complex refurbishment methods to bring the phone back up to resale standard. As we will go into further detail later on, there are several classifications for the quality of a refurbished phone.

Refurbished iPhones are typically cheaper than the latest model for obvious reasons; not having the very latest features, not being fresh out of the factory and so on. However, if you aren’t fussed about having the very latest features, you value your hard earned cash as well as if you take the environment into consideration, then refurbished iPhones make a huge amount of sense.

1. How do you know an iPhone has been properly refurbished?

A key consideration to take into account when purchasing a refurbished iPhone is the quality of the refurbishment. In order to ensure a safe and happy experience with refurbished phones, you want to find a reputable retailer with experience, plenty of information around the topic of repairing phones as well as experts being ready to talk to you with their knowledge and expertise on hand.

A large part of the problematic misconception of refurbished phones is the way that the industry was previously run. With no real official measure of what a quality refurbishment process was, it was easy to be ripped off and lose your money when the phone stopped working within a few weeks. But now, with the industry having really stepped up (across all refurbished electronics as a whole), you can be safe in the knowledge that retailers now have official processes (measured by legal requirements) in place.

Refurbishment process

Every refurbished iPhone retailer will have their own specific practices when it comes to exactly how they go about repairing and preparing their iPhones. Roughly speaking though, there are a few key steps that every retailer will complete in order to refurbish their phones ready for resale. You can read a far more detailed blog on the iPhone refurbishment process if you are looking for the specifics.

1. Diagnostics check

When phones are first received by the refurbishing engineer, a full diagnostics check goes ahead to make sure that the phone has not been stolen, and is not on any police databases. All the data is then wiped from the phone to ensure no private information is left. Finally, a large-scale diagnostics test is completed which covers the health of the touch screen, camera, microphone, and all other components that make up the functions of the phone.

2. Refurbishment

Once the results from the diagnostics test are back, then the work to fix the phone (if any fixes are required) are undertaken. Potential solutions include a battery replacement for poor battery health (85% or below), polishing of the screen and black glass, as well as an extensive cleaning process to make sure no dust particles are left.

3. Pre-sale preparation

Finally, the factory data reset and packaging for retail take place. Your refurbished phone is ready to go!

2. Where can I buy a refurbished iPhone?

You can find refurbished iPhones in a few online stores, as well as being able to search on various comparison websites to make sure you find the best prices and specifications for your budget. We would definitely recommend finding a store that provides guarantees of quality, and a no hassle returns policy if you aren’t happy with your phone.

We also provide an excellent range of refurbished iPhones, as well as specialising in a whole range of refurbished electronics. Our team of experts are more than happy to talk through any questions you may have (and they love nothing more than to natter about refurbished kit!

3. What condition does a refurbished iPhone come in?

All refurbished iPhones are created equal but some are more equal than others. The range of quality you can expect from a refurbished phone is vast, but this isn’t a bad thing, so long as each level is officially recognised. If you are looking for a cheaper refurbished phone, this works particularly well; having the knowledge that you are getting a slightly lower quality phone but within set limits (along with a no hassle guarantee) can be exactly what you need.

Having said that, no matter which grade you choose, every device has passed the extensive diagnostics test and cleaning process aforementioned in the refurbishment process section.

Refurbished iPhone grading criteria

Each device is collated into four separate grades based on the condition of the phone.

Grade A: Pristine

If you are looking for the top of the range ‘can’t tell the difference between new and refurbished’ phone, then you will be after the Grade A, or pristine, models. These phones will only have very slight wear and tear, and are the highest possible quality of refurbished phones.

Grade B: Excellent

The second best category of refurbishment quality is Excellent; phones in this category will only show light signs of wear, along with potentially a few small scuffs.

Grade C: Good

Grade C devices will have light to medium scratches and scuffs, alongside potential dents in the housing.

Grade D: Fair

Fair devices will have heavy signs of wear and tear. These may include deep scratches and chips. If you are looking for an officially refurbished phone on a budget, then this grade will be perfect for you. Just add a case to hide the scratches and you will be ready to go!

4. How much does a refurbished iPhone cost?

Refurbished iPhones will cost varying amounts depending on the quality of the phone, the exact model as well as the age of the phone.

We have picked three examples to give you an idea of what to expect.

1. Refurbished iPhone 12

If you are looking for an iPhone 12 in pristine condition, then we provide this for £569.95. This model in a pristine condition is the top of the range when it comes to refurbished phones, as is reflected in the price.

2. Refurbished iPhone SE (2016)

If you are looking for a cheaper model, then the refurbished iPhone SE 2016 is definitely one for you. Not fussed about the latest features or flashy gadgets that come with the latest iPhone? The SE is waiting for you for just £49.95 in fair condition.

3. Refurbished iPhone 8

When searching for a good mid point between the pristine iPhone 12 and refurbished SE, then the iPhone 8 is a fantastic option. Priced at £169.95 for a pristine condition model, it offers a combination of good value and optimal functionality.

5. What does a refurbished iPhone come with?

When it comes to how you can expect your refurbished iPhone to arrive, different retailers supply their phones with different accessories. At WeSellTek, each phone comes with a SIM tool (the small pins that enable you to insert your SIM card into the phone), a USB lead and UK mains plug for charging, as well as a plain white box for the delivery.

We hope this information has given you a solid overview of the key things to consider before purchasing a refurbished iPhone. Ensuring that you pick an honest retailer with legal policies in place to guarantee you are happy with your phone is key, as well as finding the right grade for you in terms of refurbishment quality. If you would like to speak to our team of experts about anything in this blog, feel free to get in touch!