If you want to buy a smartphone on a budget then a new device might not be the best option. There are many good deals out there and the best of them are for refurbished devices. Recently, many traditional websites and brick-and-mortar stores started to offer sales for refurbished smartphones. In this article, we show you the best places to buy a used Android smartphone.
Note: before you start, know that this list we’re showing here is not exhaustive, and should be not perceived as a full endorsement of the sites. And seeing that the market for refurbished smartphones is quite volatile, this article will be regularly updated to stay up-to-date.
What is a refurbished smartphone?
Smartphone sales have increased in recent years. A refurbished smartphone is a product that has already been used or that the box was opened and has been returned or resold. It has, in principle, no functional defect – although some cosmetic changes may be present, such as a scratch, for example. A six month warranty is available most of the time.
Where to find a refurbished smartphone?
If you're looking for a refurbished Android smartphone, there are several places to find them.
First, there are several popular websites:
- Amazon is a big player in smartphone sales in the US. In the ‘Cell phone’ section scroll down to ‘Condition’ and you should see ‘Refurbished’. There are many available from tons of different manufacturers.
- BestBuy is traditionally a brick-and-mortar store but you can find many great deals from lots of different companies and through different carriers online. There is a ‘Refurbished and pre-owned phones’ section where you can browse. And Best Buy’s ‘price match guarantee’ still applies with pre-owned devices.
- Walmart doesn’t need an introduction; we’re all familiar with the retail giant. But they do have a big selection of refurbished smartphones, and no surprise, at low prices.
- Ebay is also a popular platform and is great for those looking to grab one from a smaller dealer. There are plenty of choices but exercise the most caution with this site.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are other places you can find refurbished smartphones. Just be sure to do your due diligence before buying. There are plenty of scams out there (more on that below).
What precautions to take before buying?
Well, the old adage applies here: “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Don't get fooled by an incredible offer. For example, if a site claims to sell a Galaxy S7 Edge for $150 it is a big scam or the device is in such bad shape that it’s probably unusable. It’s not possible for a smartphone of this caliber to be offered at $150 (in September 2016). Especially considering this device is normally sold for more than $600 refurbished.
Here are some good guidelines to follow when deciding whether to go with a particular dealer is honest or not:
- There is a detailed presentation of the product.
- A set price with shipping costs is elaborated.
- This seller has a good reputation. Check around to see what other users say.
- If the purchase is through through the internet a secure payment platform is recommended (for example, PayPal).
If you have questions, it is advisable to contact the seller via phone or email for details on the product. If he refuses to answer you or avoids the issues, end the conversation, then move on to another seller. Shady or unclear vendors must be avoided at all costs.
Do you have any tips for buying refurbished smartphones? Let us know in the comments.