If you’re considering replacing or upgrading your iPhone, it’s good to know your options. You may be considering buying a new iPhone straight from the manufacturer, Apple. However, another popular option is buying a refurbished iPhone.
Naturally, this option comes with a lot of questions; what does a refurbished phone mean? Are refurbished phones good? Deciding to opt for a refurbished iPhone rather than a new iPhone is a big decision, but there is a reason why buying a refurbished phone has its benefits.
As a potential buyer of a refurbished iPhone, it’s natural to have some questions about it. Let’s get cracking with the basics.
What is a refurbished iPhone?
A refurbished iPhone is any iPhone that has been returned to the manufacturer for any reason, such as physical damage, getting an upgrade. The iPhone is repaired and restored fully, to a standard that is as good as new. The refurbished phone is also fully tested, going through a strenuous inspection and diagnostic process to ensure the iPhone is fully functional and clean.
Why is it called refurbished?
Even if the iPhone has not had a previous user, but has been used for trade shows, for example, it is still classed as refurbished. This is because the company selling the iPhone (in this case, Apple) cannot label the iPhone as ‘new’ as it has been opened.
Are refurbished iPhones good?
There are often false reports of people buying refurbished phones or iPhones and not being a reliable or reputable choice when it comes to buying a new phone. However, refurbished iPhones offer a more reliable, safe and dependable choice for your new iPhone in comparison to second-hand iPhones or used iPhones. The Apple refurbishment process means that your refurbished iPhone comes with certain guarantees that aren’t possible or attainable with a second hand iPhone direct from the buyer.
Don’t forget: It’s important to remember that ‘manufacturer refurbished’ or ‘factory refurbished phones’ are not the same as second-hand phones or used phones.
What does manufacturer refurbished mean?
If you are looking for a refurbished iPhone, and it is labelled as ‘manufacturer refurbished’, this means it has been refurbished by the manufacturer itself as opposed to the previous owner. Manufacturer refurbished iPhones undergo diagnostics and are thoroughly cleaned before being repacked for sale. The handsets are then sold directly from a manufacturer, retailer or seller.
Where can you buy refurbished iPhones?
You will be able to find plenty of online retailers that sell refurbished iPhones at competitive prices. It’s important to remember when buying any second-hand hardware or refurbished goods to check the credibility of the site and do your research. WeSellTek refurbished mobiles come with a free 14-day return policy and 12-month warranty as standard; these kind of features are important to ensure before you complete any purchase.
Refurbished iPhone vs New
You may be deciding between a new iPhone and a refurbished iPhone. We’ve broken down the key points below to help you decide.
Pros and cons of buying a refurbished iPhone
Pros of a refurbished iPhone
You are guaranteed to receive a fully working iPhone
Because a refurbished iPhone has been fully restored, tested and rigorously checked by the manufacturer, you are guaranteed a good quality product. Refurbished iPhones come with a guarantee of condition before you buy, which is one of the reasons why they are such a popular choice. The internal device will be restored to factory condition, with all the data from the previous user (if there was one) removed. There will be quality grades to choose from to suit your budget, with the iPhones that are as good as new coming in at a higher price bracket than iPhones with any visible scratches, scuffs or damage.
Your iPhone will come with a warranty
A benefit of buying a refurbished iPhone is that you can find a handset that comes with a warranty, which would be far less attainable were you to buy second hand or used. Warranties can sometimes be better for a refurbished phone than a brand new iPhone. This is because professional retailers selling refurbished phones are part of a far more competitive market, and can increase their customer base by offering a competitive iPhone warranty package. It is harder to cut corners when selling a refurbished iPhone, which guarantees you are buying an iPhone in a more secure way than buying second-hand alone.
You can find a refurbished iPhone that suits your needs
It can be frustrating when you want a new iPhone, but find that the new releases are far out of your price range. If new iPhone prices are a little eye-watering, the refurbished iPhones may be the perfect choice for you. Online retailers selling manufacturer refurbished phones will offer plenty of variety, with different models and price points to suit you.
You can find a refurbished iPhone to suit your budget
Another benefit of a refurbished iPhone is that you can find an iPhone that suits your budget. The newest releases of iPhone come at a great cost, whereas refurbished iPhones will fall under different grades, meaning you can find a cheap refurbished iPhone if your budget is tight. It may have a few more scuffs than others, but it will be a perfectly functioning iPhone, just at a lower price.
All previous data is wiped from the iPhone
You don’t need to worry about any of the previous owner’s data, as the iPhone will have been reset and restored to factory condition when it is refurbished. This can sometimes be an issue with second - hand or used iPhones, when previous data isn’t completely removed from the device.
Cons of a refurbished iPhone
Some retailers may not be reliable
Make sure you find a reliable retailer when you’re looking for a refurbished iPhone. Reliable websites that sell refurbished iPhones should provide a secure transaction process. Professional retailers should provide the correct documents at points of purchase, so be sure to check the following:
- Factory Certification
- A return policy
- A warranty
- A valid invoice
WeSellTek offer customers 12 months warranty as standard and a free 14 day return policy. You can read more about our processes here. Be sure to find a retailer that offers this kind of credentials, so that should you find fault with your iPhone it can be sorted and you don’t lose your money.
You may not receive your iPhone in its original box
In some cases, you may find that buying a refurbished iPhone may mean you do not receive your phone in its original packaging. Depending on how important this is to you, this may not factor into your decision. However, it’s important to be aware that some iPhones will be sent to you as they are, which could be a problem if the iPhone is a gift, for example.
WeSellTek has a number of options to buy refurbished iPhones in their original box, which you can explore here.
There may be cosmetic exterior damage to your iPhone
One of the main reasons why there is a large market for refurbished iPhone is due to varying levels of wear and tear the device may have. You may expect to find your refurbished iPhone comes with a little wear and tear, depending on how much you are willing to pay. If you want a flawless iPhone with original packaging, then you may expect to pay a little more. However, this cost will still be considerably cheaper than buying a brand new iPhone. You can find plenty of refurbished iPhones in pristine condition.
You can explore the range of pristine refurbished iPhones from WeSellTek here.
Refurbished iPhone Grading
WeSellTek also has a grading system, from fair condition to pristine, to help you find the perfect iPhone that suits your needs and budget. You can read our guide to Phone grading criteria here, which details the quality of the condition of the phone to expect depending on the grade.
The latest version of the iPhone may not be available straight away
If you’re after the newest addition of the iPhone, a refurbished handset may not be the way to go. This is because it’ll take a little while for refurbished versions to become available, and they may be at a more competitive price point than their older counterparts.
WeSellTek has an extensive range of refurbished iPhones available, with the latest editions available in a competitive timeframe.
Benefits of buying a new iPhone
Is it better to buy directly from Apple when you buy an iPhone? Here are a few reasons why it could be the right choice for you:
You are guaranteed a brand new handset
The obvious advantage is that you are guaranteed a brand new iPhone in pristine condition. It will be brand new out of the box, with no previous users, so in terms of performance and cosmetic appearance, you won’t find a better deal.
If you buy a new iPhone direct from Apple, the process will be far more straightforward than shopping around for a suitable deal. The process will be clear and simple, without any concerns regarding delivery time or reliability of the website.
Buying direct from the manufacturer means there is no chance of you parting with your money for a faulty second-hand iPhone that doesn’t work properly. Buying second-hand or used iPhones can be risky, which is why it’s always good to opt for a refurbished iPhone from an accredited supplier (like us!).
Disadvantages of buying a new iPhone
This is arguably the biggest disadvantage of buying a new iPhone directly from Apple. The latest releases and models can be incredibly expensive, and leave you feeling very out of pocket. It’s for this reason that there has been such growth in the market for refurbished or second-hand iPhones. For many, the prices of a new iPhone are simply too expensive and beyond their price bracket.
Tips for buying a refurbished iPhone
1. Ask about the returns policy
Make sure the iPhone you are buying comes with a guaranteed returns policy. A returns policy should be available for any product a consumer buys, by law. Any consumer should have 14 days minimum to cancel the purchase from the trader, as is stipulated in the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
If you cannot find details of a return policy on site, this is a red flag. Look elsewhere and don’t provide the website with any personal or financial information.
Did you know...
Your rights are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act of 1974, which means your credit card company should also take responsibility should a purchase go awry.
2. Check for a warranty
Do refurbished iPhones come with a warranty? They should! Any accredited online retailer should offer a warranty with your purchase. This means should any faults occur with your refurbished iPhone within a certain period of time, the retailer will replace or repair the device.
3. Buy from an accredited website
As mentioned earlier, there will be plenty of websites that are actually scammers with an aim to part you from your money in return for a fake or faulty iPhone. Check for company website reviews, and never make a purchase from a website that doesn’t include ‘https://’ at the front of the URL. (This ensures the website is secure - you can read more here.)
4. Make sure the iPhone is compatible with your provider
It’s important to double-check that your refurbished iPhone is compatible with your current service provider. It would be painful to go through the process of buying an iPhone to then find you can’t use it properly. If the phone is unlocked, it will work with any network.
Buying a refurbished iPhone - Mythbusters
There are plenty of myths about there when it comes to buying a refurbished iPhone. You may have concerns regarding the iPhone’s quality and reliability. That’s why we’ve put together a list of MythBusters to help you separate fact from fiction. Read about the most common myths about buying a refurbished iPhone below.
Your phone won’t come with an original box
You can actually find plenty of refurbished iPhones that come in a box. Phones from WeSellTek also come with charging cables and accessories, as standard.
All refurbished iPhones are of poor quality
You can find refurbished iPhones ranging from fair to pristine condition, with a unique grading system so you can find an iPhone to suit your needs and budget. Despite varying levels of wear and tear, the internal devices are in perfect working condition, having gone through multiple checks and tests when being refurbished.
Your iPhone won’t come with a warranty
Your iPhone will come with a warranty! In fact, it comes with a 12-month warranty at WeSellTek, which covers any faults with the iPhone, ensuring you can get it repaired or replaced, free of charge.
You won’t be able to find the model you’re after
We have a range of different refurbished iPhones covering different price brackets, including the latest models. No matter what iPhone you’re after, you can find it at WeSellTek.
Your iPhone will be unreliable
Refurbished iPhones from WeSellTek go through a rigorous testing process, meaning you are guaranteed a good quality product. The device is restored and checked with all previous data wiped and is restored to factory condition.