Nowadays, more and more hype has been placed around refurbished and used cell phones. So what is all the hype about?
More and more major retail stores are moving into the direction of selling refurbished cell phones on their websites. Take a look at AT&T for example – their top selling cell phones on their web store are their “refurbished” phones.
You ask yourself, well how can this be? How can a company like AT&T be selling refurbished cell phones on their website and how can they be their top selling phones?
Think about it. Do you know of a major cell phone company that does not offer a 30 day no questions ask return policy? Companies like AT&T, Alltel, Verizon, Sprint and others all offer this type of policy and need to do something with the cell phones they receive back from customers during this time period and legally they are not able to sell these phones as new, so they sell them as a refurbished cell phone.
Also, do you have insurance on your phone? If you ever had that Blackberry or Iphone replaced through an insurance program with your cell phone company, the insurance provider needs to do something with the phone. They do not just throw it away. In fact, if you received a replacement phone from your cell phone carrier, I can almost guarantee you that it is a refurbished cell phone.
Each year worldwide, upwards of one hundred millions phones are tossed away into landfills! If it was not for people buying used and refurbished cell phones this number would probably be astronomically higher.
Some reasons to consider before buying your next “new” cell phone –
1.) Save money buying a refurbished or used cell phone.
On average, to buy a refurbished cell phone will save you 25% or more than buying a new cell phone. Who needs all the latest and greatest stuff anyway? I use a good number of features on my phone, but I bet I do not know of even a fraction of the features my phone has to offer. All the value added features have been around for years now – email, internet surfing, Mp3 player, camera, qwerty keyboard, bluetooth. Aside from this, I dont really need much more so I personally bought my blackberry refurbished. I’d rather put the money I saved in my pocket and use it for other things I enjoy.
Plus there is no need to sign in to an extended 2 year contract. You can move from phone to phone without having to pay any cancellation fees. To me, no having to sign a contract is a huge benefit!
Something else to think about – People buy used cars every day, and cars are much more expensive items. So many more things can go wrong, yet people buy used cars or “pre-owned” all the time. A lot of people would think twice about buying a cell phone, yet it is something you use everyday and is a fraction of the cost of buying a car. I would rather the next guy pay full price instead of me.
2.) A number of sellers are selling refurbished cell phones as new.
Most people can not tell the difference. The only reason why the big companies like AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon do not sell the phone they just sold a customer the day before (within 30 day buyer remorse period) as new, is because it is illegal!
We personally know that other sellers are selling refurbished as new because we sell the phones and purchase them direct from the big major retailers insurance companies and customer returns. We personally have never done this and refuse to do this!
So if you purchased a “new” phone on eBay there is a good chance that it was in fact a refurbished cell phone. The authorities have not caught on yet to this trend, but I guarantee it will catch up to them. We sell the same exact refurbished cell phones for much less money.
3.) Buying a used or refurbished cell phone will help save the planet.
Did you know that the average life span of a cell phone is less than 18 months? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 260 million cell phones in use in the U.S alone. Approximately 170 million are replaced each year, with 90% thrown into the trash and only 10% reused or recycled. Any way you look at it, that is a lot of waste!
Could you imagine if we threw 90% of our cars away? You can see where I am going with this. Just another reason to consider when buying your next cell phone.
Ok great – so all these benefits but what are the downsides to buying a refurbished or used cell phone?
Buying a used or refurbished phone will not have the same warranty as buying new. Generally a warranty for a used or refurbished cell phone will run about 30 – 90 days from the time of receipt. Generally though – we have found if anything is going to go wrong with a phone, it usually happens in the first 30 days. For additional peace of mind their are companies like “SquareTrade” that have filled in the gap – search for them on google and you will find tons of great reviews. They will extend a used or refurbished items warranty for up to 3 years for a fraction of the cost fo the item.
Another thing to watch out for when purchasing a phone direct from one of the cell phone carriers like AT&T or T-Mobile, the phone will be locked to the network, which makes it more appealing to look for an unlocked phone when shopping around. Plus you will save more money by purchasing an unlocked cell phone or refurbished phone in general online outside of the major retailers’ websites.
In conclusion – We hope that saving money and saving the environment are enough reasons why to buy a refurbished or used cell phone. Be a savvy consumer refurbished and used cell phones are a great way to upgrade your existing phone or to use with a prepaid account without the need to extend your contract. Search around and you will find many great deals on great used or refurbished cell phones!