iPhone Refurbishment Process - WeSellTek

One of the most popular choices for people buying iPhones is to buy a refurbished iPhone. A popular option for many, few people may not know what the iPhone refurbishment process involves. 

There are other options aside from buying a refurbished iPhone which you may be considering.  This includes buying a brand new iPhone, or buying a second hand or used iPhone. With all these options available, why should you buy refurbished? Is a refurbished iPhone better than a used one? 

WeSellTek is a reputable online seller of refurbished iPhones. If you’re thinking of buying an iPhone, but are not sure what the refurbishment process involves and want to learn more, we share details of our iPhone refurbishment process below, so you can make the right decision when it comes to your next iPhone.


What is a refurbished iPhone? 

A refurbished iPhone is any iPhone that has had a previous owner and is professionally refurbished before being sold on. This means that either the manufacturer or a reputable retailer will fully refurbish the iPhone to good working condition. The iPhone refurbishment process includes numerous checks and tests to ensure that the iPhone is in good working condition to be sold to a customer.


How does the iPhone get refurbished? 

Please note: The iPhone refurbishment process may differ between different retailers or sellers. Bearing this in mind, we recommend doing your research before you purchase a refurbished iPhone. You can easily do this by checking the credentials of the website.


The WeSellTek Refurbishment process

The refurbishment process at WeSellTek involves various steps, all of which help to ensure that the final end product is fully functional and restored.  It is only after we have taken out these detailed steps that the iPhone is put on the website to sell.


The iPhone refurbishment process


Step 1  - Preparation, Data Wipe, and Diagnostics Check


When we receive a device, the following steps are taken: 

  • A check against national lost and stolen databases

This is an important step to make sure that any phones we receive are not stolen goods, or lost. If the device appears on any database, we won’t use the iPhone and will take the necessary steps to return the iPhone to its rightful owner.

  • Data wipe to ensure all existing data is removed

Nobody wants to buy an iPhone that has the previous owner’s data on the device. This is why we make sure all data on the iPhone is wiped before we start the refurbishment process, to further ensure that the phone is good as new.

  • Battery health check

Our battery health check will analyse the health of the existing battery. WeSellTek conducts a battery health check at this stage to determine whether the battery needs replacing or not. We will replace the iPhone battery if results show battery health to be at 80% or below.

  • 70 point diagnostics check

Our scrupulous testing process involves diagnostic testing of all the main features of the iPhone. This detailed analysis and testing help us to establish and identify any faults, bugs, or issues the iPhone in its current condition so that we can fix the issue in preparation for selling.


What is included in the diagnostics check for iPhone?

iPhone diagnostics testing will include testing the following: 

  • Touch screen
  • Multi-touch capabilities
  • Camera
  • Flash
  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Headphone dock
  • Charging port
  • Cellular access
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Sensors
  • Calling capabilities
  • Volume buttons
  • Storage capabilities
  • Memory access speed
  • Track location
  • CPU Performance
  • The functionality of the iPhone’s buttons and toggle switches
  • Sleep/ Wake button


An iPhone diagnostic testing will help to detect any defects so that any issues can be fixed before the point of sale. It is through a diagnostics test that issues such as signal strength, battery, or memory, can be addressed. This is good news for the owner, as it means they won’t come across any nasty surprises, or potential defects once they start using the phone.


Step 2 - Refurbishment

Once the above checks have been carried out, the device is then moved on for refurbishment where the following steps are carried out:


  • Battery replacement

Based on our findings from Step 1, the battery is replaced if necessary. The battery is replaced, if the battery health is 80% or below, to ensure the iPhone battery life will be in good working condition when the handset is sold.

  • Replacement of any defective parts

Based on our diagnostics testing, should we find any issues with the phone or faults, we will replace or fix these parts. Our diagnostics check is detailed and extensive to ensure we identify any issues, no matter how big or small they may be.

  • Polishing of screen and back glass

This step will help to remove any light scratches or scuffs so that from a cosmetic standpoint, the iPhone is in as good a condition as possible. Cosmetic issues such as scratches will not impact the performance of the device, but we take every step to ensure the iPhone is aesthetically in a good condition as possible.

  • Extensive cleaning process

Following on from the phone being polished, it will also be thoroughly cleaned. This step will work to remove any excess dust particles picked up in the refurbishment process so that there is no trace of work being done when the phone is sold. Any cable docks will be thoroughly cleaned at this time. 

  • Replacement of earpiece/microphone meshes where required.

If we find the existing earpiece or microphone mesh to be in poor condition, this will also be replaced to ensure maximum audio quality and clarity for the new owner.


Step 3 - Final test and preparation for sale

The main refurbishment has now been carried out on the phone. At this point, to ensure there are no additional existing faults or issues with the phone, the following steps are carried out:

  • 70 points diagnostics check

This step is to inspect the phone and double-check for any issues that were missed with the initial diagnostics testing. It will also establish any potential issues with the phone that were caused by the refurbishment process, so they can be fixed before the point of sale.

  • Battery drain test

An iPhone battery drain test is a performance test to ascertain the iPhone’s battery life when the iPhone is in use. The test will establish the iPhone’s battery drainage while being used to establish the typical running time. It will also identify any particular apps or actions that will influence and affect the phone’s typical battery life. Various factors can cause an iPhone battery to drain, and these will be discovered during this test.

  • Factory data reset

An iPhone factory data reset, otherwise known as a hard reset, will restore the iPhone’s software to the original system state. It erases all information stored on the device, including any information stored or collated on the handset during diagnostics testing. This step ensures the iPhone will be in perfect working condition and as good as new software-wise for the new owner.

  • Packaging for retail

The iPhone is now ready for packing and will be packaged along with any cable accessories, chargers or headphone accessories as required. This ensures the buyer receives their iPhone safely and securely, and further validates and ratifies the rigorous refurbishment process that has been carried out on the device.


Why should I buy a refurbished iPhone?

If you’re on the fence or unsure about buying a refurbished iPhone, then it’s good to assess your options.

Benefits of buying a refurbished iPhone 

  • You are guaranteed a good working phone
  • Your iPhone will come with a warranty
  • You can find a refurbished iPhone suited to your needs
  • You can find an iPhone to suit your budget
  • Your iPhone will be restored to factory working condition


Read our detailed guide: Refurbished vs new iPhone to discover more about the benefits of a refurbished iPhone.


As the phone will have gone through a meticulous refurbishment process as laid out above, you can find a suitable iPhone in a condition that suits your budget. Our iPhones are graded from Fair to Pristine, and our grading system allows you to find a price bracket that suits you. New iPhones are very pricey, and if you’re looking to avoid spending a lot of money on a brand new iPhone, there are a few options. However, buying a refurbished iPhone is recommended over a  second hand or used iPhone for several reasons. We touch on these below.


Refurbished vs Used

Price - Refurbished vs Used

The Price of a Refurbished iPhone

The benefits of a refurbished iPhone include the price, as you can find iPhones in a pristine condition below RRP. You can also find cheaper handsets that are in perfect working order in a fair condition, to suit your budget. The positive of buying refurbished means you’re not limited to a certain price bracket and can find something, whatever your budget.


The Price of a Used iPhone

With a used iPhone, it can often be a case of what you see is what you get. Used phones may generally be a little cheaper than a refurbished phone, however, this comes at a cost as you will never be able to guarantee their working condition before purchase. Additionally, the used iPhone will not have been tested and refurbished for reuse, and it may be harder to find the exact model you want if you are buying a used phone, at an exact price that suits you.


Warranty - Refurbished vs Used


Refurbished iPhone Warranty

Reputable retailers will always offer a warranty with the refurbished iPhones they sell. This gives the buyer certain rights to have the phone repaired and replaces within a certain timeframe, assuring the security and reputability of the sale. The refurbished iPhone market is competitive, so it is beneficial for the retailer to offer a competitive warranty that can reassure the buyer and encourage them to buy from their particular website or store.


Do used iPhones come with a warranty?

Used phones typically don’t come with warranties. Some handsets such as iPhones are sold with troublesome warranties, and it may get complicated if you are buying from a private seller. Buying second hand from a private seller, essentially leaves you less protected. The manufacturer warranty still applies, but your consumer rights are different as you are buying from a separate party and the phone is not new. In a nutshell, buying a used iPhone offers greater risk than buying a refurbished iPhone.


Quality and condition - Refurbished vs Used


Quality of a Refurbished iPhone

With a refurbished iPhones there are established price points and quality metrics to give the buyer full clarity of what to expect with the handset. Most retailers will have a grading system similar to this grading system used at WeSellTek. We offer iPhones in the following condition:




Very Good



This means that you are guaranteed a certain level of understanding and a great amount of clarity with the condition and quality of the phone. Established retailers will have to be held accountable for any faults or misleading information, so are far likely to offer honesty and accountability throughout the entire selling process.


Read more about our bespoke Refurbished Grading Criteria here.


Quality of a Used iPhone

With a private seller, it is harder to be sure of the quality of the sale. As you are not buying the phone through an accredited seller, you will have fewer buyer rights, and the seller will have fewer conditions to meet to make the sale. The only rights you have as a buyer, are that the phone is ‘fairly described’. The owner has the right to sell it and does not have to disclose faults. This means there may be misinterpretations or room for interpretation regarding the quality and condition of the phone. What’s more, the phone won’t have gone through a diagnostic check, meaning the phone could have lots of faults or unfixed issues at points of purchase. You may only discover these after you have made the purchase, at which point it may be much harder to get your money back.


Data and Security - Refurbished vs Used


Security of a Refurbished iPhone

Due to the refurbishment process, any bugs, malware, risks, defaults, or unwanted data will be removed from the phone completely. The iPhone will be fully restored, which will include secure software changes so the iPhone will be compatible with security updates.


Security of a Used iPhone

With a peer to peer marketplace, there are generally more risks involved. One potential issue with a used phone is that you may be more vulnerable to security risks. The previous owner may have ‘jailbroken’ the phone, a process that causes changes to the software. These software modifications may make your phone more vulnerable to hackers if it no longer supports or offers security updates.


Where can I buy a refurbished iPhone from?

You can buy a refurbished iPhone from a reputable and accredited retailer. The best place to buy a refurbished iPhone will be from a company that offers a warranty as standard. Make sure that you buy a refurbished iPhone from a company website that offers a returns policy and has a secure payment system. The retailer should offer customer service and support and clarity at every point of sale. At WeSellTek, we offer free 14 day returns as standard with every purchase and have a friendly customer support team to help you with any questions.


Will a refurbished iPhone be covered by warranty?

Yes, your refurbished iPhone will be covered by a warranty. This will be stipulated on the terms and conditions of the seller’s website. At WeSellTek we offer a guaranteed 12-month warranty as standard with every iPhone on our website.


What to do with your old iPhone

Wondering what to do with an old iPhone? You can sell, recycle, or trade in your old iPhone if you are considering replacing it. You can drop your old iPhone off at an Apple store, sell it privately, or sell it to an iPhone recycling company who can refurbish the iPhone to factory settings to sell it on.


Top Tip: Some electronics cannot be disposed of with normal household waste, so be sure to double-check this.

There is a symbol on the back of iPhones that means they cannot be disposed of with regular waste. This includes an image of a bin with a cross through it, which means that you cannot dispose of the phone with household waste.


You can easily explore our full range of refurbished iPhones and find the perfect handset that meets your needs. Contact WeSellTek here and discover our full range of refurbished iPhones here.