Should you buy a refurbished phone?
Considering a refurbished phone but don’t know where to start? Here’s where to buy, how much you can save, and what to check before you invest.
What condition do refurbished phones come in?
Some refurbished phones are like new, while others are much older with obvious signs of wear and tear. The condition of the phone should be clear from the grade it’s given.
A grading system may be used where, for example:
- A is Like New
- B is Good condition with minor signs of wear and tear
- C is Fair condition with visible signs of wear and tear, like scratches
Grading systems vary from seller to seller so check what each grade means before you buy.
Will it work like a new phone?
The grading categories listed by most refurbished retailers relates to the device’s external condition, not its operating ability.
The refurbished process usually includes:
How much money can you save?
The same make and model of refurbished phones can vary greatly between retailers, affecting the potential savings you could make.
To give you an idea of how much you could save we’ve compared Apple’s iPhone 12. Prices may change regularly, but this is an example of savings.
New iPhone 12 vs Refurbished iPhone 12
In the refurbished example below, the phone was condition rated ‘Excellent’, Black with 128GB storage.
Here’s the cost and savings in June 2023:
|Costs||refurbed website||Apple website||Saving|
Other refurbish sellers may have different prices, so it’s worth shopping around. Savings will vary depending on the phones’ make, model and condition.
Once you’ve found a handset you like, you’ll still need to choose a SIM-only plan with the data and calls you need. Our guide on switching to a SIM-only deal can help.
Can you buy a refurbished iPhone from Apple?
Although it might seem like the obvious place to buy a refurbished iPhone, you can’t buy them from the Irish Apple website.
You’d have to buy it on the UK Apple website and arrange delivery to a destination in the UK and then on to Ireland, which could be costly.
Apple refurbishes its phones to an ‘as new’ standard and as well as undergoing the same testing as new iPhones, they also come with:
- A one year warranty
- Genuine Apple replacement parts
- New battery and outer shell
- Brand new white box
- Free shipping and returns
What to check before you buy
You may be tempted by a potential bargain but it’s worth checking what you’re getting for your money before you buy. Here are a few things to check:
Refurbished handsets are sold unlocked and SIM free, so you’ll need to get a SIM-only deal to suit your usage habits when the phone arrives.
Where you can buy refurbished phones in Ireland
- Creative IT
- Mint Plus
They all offer a 12 month warranty on their refurbished phones, except for GetTech which includes a 24 month warranty.
Do refurbished phones come with a warranty?
A reputable retailer should include a warranty for refurbished phones, but you should check this before buying. A warranty usually lasts 12 months, but they can vary between 6 and 24 months.
What if you change your mind?
If you buy a refurbished handset and then change your mind, a 14 day cooling off period applies. This means you can get your money back if you advise them within 14 days of receiving the device.
You usually have to pay to return the handset, and depending on its value, you might want to insure and track the item in case it goes missing.
Always check the supplier’s returns policy as there may be conditions to follow, such as:
- Notifying them by email
- Completing a returns form
- Quoting your order number with your returned goods
- Sending by tracked mail
Are refurbished phones worth it?
It really depends what you’re looking for, but here are a few things to consider to help you decide: