A Complete Guide to Refurbished iPhones

We are all familiar with the idea of recycled clothes and furniture, but not so many of us are comfortable with the idea of second-hand phones. Much like clothing and furniture, used phones can be repaired and given a whole new life. In this article I will share with you the little-known world of refurbished phones, including why someone might prefer to buy a refurbished phone and where you can find them.

First things first – what does ‘refurbished’ mean? 

A refurbished phone is carefully checked and repaired by specialists. The repair process returns the iPhone to a clean factory state. This means that the phone should function the same way as a brand new phone. If done correctly, you can expect the same high level of efficiency regarding speed, storage, responsiveness and operating system as one bought straight from the store. Not all phones are repaired correctly, and this is something to consider before making any type of purchase. Make sure to buy from a trustworthy source that offers you a warranty.

What are the benefits of buying a refurbished phone?

There are two main reasons people cite when choosing to buy a refurbished phone: price-point and sustainability. Of course, if you buy a phone second-hand you could be knocking a great deal off the original price. Especially when compared to relatively new releases, where often the brand new price from the retailer seems way out of budget. 

More importantly for some, buying a phone second-hand is a conscious choice made to save the environment from unnecessary pollution and electronic waste. As we grow more aware of our impact on the environment, there is more pressure on companies to turn to eco-friendly procedures. We each can do our part to make a greener future by not encouraging companies to produce more and more units when there are plenty of perfectly serviceable phones out there.

Is buying a refurbished phone safe?

It is very important to buy refurbished phones from a trustworthy vendor. There are a few ways to tell whether the company is safe or not. First, you should check to see if all of their refurbishing is done ‘in-house’. If the company you’re buying from outsources the refurbishing, it can be less secure as standards and procedures can change from company to company. However, if they oversee everything from start to finish, they can control the quality.

If you buy a refurbished phone from a private seller or a reseller, there are many potential risks involved. For example, it could be a scam. Without a warranty, you as a customer have very little security.

In order to always stay safe and not sorry, make sure you buy from a legitimate company who can offer you a guarantee that the phone will work, as well as a warranty and the right to return.

What do you need to consider before buying a refurbished phone?

When buying a refurbished phone, there are a few things you should consider. As I have previously mentioned, you should always look for a warranty. The warranty you get should be as comprehensive as if you were buying from any of the major manufacturers, such as Apple. Always compare the warranties before buying.

The next most important thing is a returns policy. Without the right to return, you could be stuck with a broken phone and a hole in your wallet. The length of the returns policy matters too – it can take a few days to get used to a new phone, so at least a week would be needed. If you can get two weeks, even better. The ease of the returns process is also a major factor, so choosing a company that simplifies this process by including the returns shipping label with the phone can save you a lot of time and a headache. It also shows a great deal of trustworthiness on behalf of the company, as they are inviting you to send back any subpar products.

Of course, I must also mention shipping times. The initial thought anyone has after making an online purchase is always: when will it take me to get the product? This is especially important if you are buying something as a gift. Ideally, a phone that has been refurbished and is ready to go should be able to make it to its new owner within a week. Any less than that is a huge plus.

How can I make sure that I am buying from a reliable vendor?

To ensure that the company you are looking to buy from is reliable, always check the reviews. Checking a third-party site like TrustPilot, which gathers real feedback from customers and cannot be edited by retailers is the best way to do this. Companies with satisfaction rates that exceed 90% are ones you can really trust.

It also helps to research the legitimacy of a company by checking to make sure that they have a location with an actual physical address and have a phone number you can call. Another good sign is if they use trustworthy payment methods like Visa and PayPal. You should be able to email them, using a chat service, or call them and get a response within a day or two. These are also all good indicators of legitimacy.

Some other important questions about refurbished phones

Will a refurbished phone still be locked to a particular service provider?

If you are buying a refurbished phone, it must be unlocked. An unlocked phone isn’t contracted to any particular service provider. Phones sold by trustworthy companies will be unlocked unless otherwise specified.

Do refurbished phones come with updated software?

If you buy from a respectable retailer, a refurbished phone should absolutely come with updated software!

Can you return a refurbished Apple phone?

You should be able to, but it depends on where you got the phone. That’s why it’s so important to go with companies that offer a right to return. This is usually indicated on the company’s website. Buying from a company that advertises a right to return will be a lot safer than buying from a reseller with no information about this right.

What about the warranty?

New phones come with a warranty to guarantee the quality of your phone. When looking for refurbished phones, it’s a good idea to look for at least a one-year warranty. Again, this is going to completely depend on the company that you’re using. The best will offer warranties to guarantee the functioning of their products.

Okay, I’m interested. Where can I find a trustworthy retailer to buy a refurbished phone?

If buying a refurbished phone sounds like a good idea to you, then it’s time to check out Swappie. They sell refurbished Apple iPhones that have been carefully inspected and repaired by their specialists. They have a huge variety of models, including iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, and pretty much every iPhone released after that up to iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Swappie offers a fourteen day right to return, with the returns label included in your original package. There’s also a free one-year Swappie Warranty to ensure that you won’t end up with a broken phone and a lot of disappointment.

Swappie has five different condition categories: ‘Like New’, ‘Very Good’, ‘Good’, ‘Acceptable’ and ‘Worn’. These condition categories only concern cosmetic signs of wear on the phones. Phones in ‘Like New’ condition have virtually no signs of wear; they are as good as new. ‘Very Good’ condition phones may have a few very small scratches or signs of wear, but nothing major, and the phones have a tidy appearance. ‘Good’ condition phones have more signs of wear on the body and display, such as scrapes. ‘Acceptable’ condition phones will have notable signs of wear throughout the phone.  ‘Worn’ will have distinct signs of wear on the screen and body, as they have seen a lot of use. However, there are never any cracks in the phones’ screens or camera lenses. These categories do not relate to the functionality of the phone.

You can also choose from a wide selection of models with a range of memory options, from 16 GB all the way up to 512GB. Just about any iPhone you can imagine will be available through their website, with discounts of up to 40% when compared with its brand new counterpart. 

Swappie has a 52-part testing process for their phones – every detail is considered from the moment the phone arrives to the moment it leaves. They also have exceptional customer service and a 96% satisfaction rate on TrustPilot, one of the most respected review sites on the Internet. The best part? You can get your phone shipped to you via DHL in just one to four days. It’ll be in your hands before you know it, all for less.

So, if you’re looking for a new phone and want to save some money, save the environment, and get your new iPhone in your hands fast, you should check them out today.