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Tips on Purchasing a Refurbished Phone

With the significant advancement of mobile phone technology, improved durability and rising cost of smartphones, consumer behaviour has started to shift. Phones are retaining their value, with a phone’s expected lifecycle increasing from 24 months to several years. Consumers are now choosing to hold onto their phones for longer, rather than immediately upgrading at the end of a network contract term.

As new phones can now cost up to $2,000, consumers are looking for more cost-effective options when the need for a new phone eventually does arise.

Businesses are also looking for more sustainable solutions, with a focus on the circular economy.

A great option is buying refurbished devices.

There are many social, economic and environmental benefits associated with choosing to purchase a refurbished device.

  • In 2020, the number of devices worldwide stood at 14 billion and is expected to rise to 18 billion by 2025 (Stratista, 2022). This projected global growth of mobile phones will put further strain on the planet’s natural resources, as materials such as aluminium, copper, cobalt, gold, silver and lithium are required in the manufacture of new electronic devices. Choosing a refurbished handset minimises the need to extract additional raw materials from the earth and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants and particulate matter associated with the mining process.

  • Extending the working life of mobile devices through reuse, reduces the tech carbon footprint, as more phones are diverted from landfill.

  • Redirecting quality devices from recycling channels reduces the environmental impact of the refining process.

  • On average, a refurbished device is 35% cheaper than the same device purchased brand new. This is a considerable saving!

So, if you’re looking for your next phone, a refurbished handset is a great option!

Here are some tips on purchasing a refurbished device.


What is a refurbished device?

The terms refurbished, pre-owned and reconditioned are used interchangeably in the market. A refurbished phone is a pre-owned handset sold by a retailer that has undergone a series of quality checks, data erasure and potential repair, to ensure its condition meets a suitable standard for resale. These standards are based on the condition of the handset, so consumers understand the quality of the product they’re looking to purchase.

Quality Standard

Known as a grading system, devices are typically categorised into groups:

Grade A – These devices are “like new” condition. Grade A handsets are usually new phones sold in an original box with original accessories. These phones have never been used, however they have been removed from the box. For example, an ex-demo phone. The higher the grade the more expensive the phone.

Grade B – These quality used devices are fully functional, with minimal signs of use, such as scratches or marks.

Grade C – An inexpensive option and fully operational, these used devices are older models and/or have more obvious wear and tear

The grading system is not universally regulated, so it’s important to understand the grading specifications of each seller before making a purchase.

ReDial’s grading system defines each condition as follows:

Buy from a reputable retailer

Phones sold through a retailer are required to pass a quality check to ensure the handset is in optimal working condition. All ReDial handsets have undergone a 44-point diagnostic check.

Check Warranties and T&Cs

Retailers that offer a seller warranty on their products ensure buyer peace-of-mind. Each store has a different policy, so be sure to check returns and warranty T&Cs before making a purchase.

ReDial offers a no-questions-asked free return policy within the first 14 days from delivery and a 12-month seller warranty covering functional defects, where if faulty, the mobile device will either be repaired or replaced immediately.

Avoid purchasing a product advertised as “as is.” There are no guarantees with these purchases. “As is” refers to a term used in sales contracts where the buyer agrees to buy a product in its current condition, without legal recourse should the buyer discover a defect in the product after purchase.

Ensure the phone is unlocked

This means the phone is not protected by a passcode, Face ID or linked to a cloud-based account such as Apple ID/iCloud or Google.

What’s in the box?

Refurbished devices most often come repackaged in generic boxes with aftermarket accessories. Find out exactly what your refurbished device comes with, as this differs for each retailer. Generally, the handset will come with a charging cable.

All ReDial phones come with:

So, if you’re looking for your next phone, you can find a quality refurbished handset at ReDial.

Shop ReDial’s huge range of devices today Shop Now

Stratista (2022) Forecast number of mobile devices worldwide from 2020 to 2025 (in billions). Available at,devices%20compared%20to%202020%20levels. (Accessed: 1 September 2022)

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