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Are Refurbished Cell Phones Right for You?
07 Dec 17
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Are Refurbished Cell Phones Right for You?

The popularity of refurbished cell phones in South Africa is rising as more and more consumers consider it as an alternative to buying brand new or getting a contract phone. Like with any purchase decision, it always helps to get some background information before the committing yourself and your finances. Being the helpful people we are, we’ve listed some of the pro’s and con’s we thought of so that you can make an informed decision if you’re considering buying a refurbished cell phone. 

Pro’s 

Cost Effective 

One of the biggest drawing points to buying a refurbished cell phone is the cost. The substantial price difference between refurbished devices and their brand new counterparts mean they are accessible to more people. Cell phones are always being lost, stolen or breaking unexpectedly, and when any of those unfortunate events occur, they bring with them unplanned burdens on your finances that the lower priced refurbished cell phone can alleviate. 

Warranty 

When buying a refurbished cell phone from a reputable retailer, you can expect a warranty with a duration of 3, 6, 9 or if you’re really fortunate, 12 months. This is great for the simple fact that should anything malfunction with the cell phone whilst under the warranty, the retailor will gladly repair the malfunction, replace the malfunctioning component or replace the cell phone if it is deemed beyond repair. 

Eco-friendly 

More often than not, people are oblivious to the fact that old electronics like cell phones, ultimately find their way to landfills when discarded. This means an even greater strain on the environment and contributes to an ongoing problem. Refurbished phones on the other hand find their way back into the system and into a truly grateful pair of hands. Yes, caring for the environment should be on everyone’s list of priorities and with a refurbished cell phone that’s one of way of showing that you do care. 

Credit/Lay-By 

Some retailors offer credit and/or lay-by options on refurbished phones. In South Africa, companies like Techexchange work with Mobicred in order to make the credit facility available to those customers that need to make use of it. When it comes to lay-by’s, if offered, customers are required to put down a deposit and then undertake to pay the remainder of the balance owed within a period agreed upon. This period can range from 3 to 6 months, making it even easier on consumers. 

Cons 

Defects 

As it stands, this remains one of the only real cons of buying a refurbished cell phone that we can think of. Because these devices are 'used', the possibility of defects being present remains. While every effort is made to ensure that refurbished phones are in good working condition, it is not guaranteed that everything will work perfectly. Yes, warranties are often provided, but if you’re going to buy a refurbished device, it helps to know what you could encounter. 

Relevance 

This isn’t really a con in our books but some people might think it is so we’ve included it. The bottom line with refurbished phones is that you should not expect to get the latest, greatest smartphone available. The reason for this is that the phones that are often refurbished for future sale are often older models. If you consider the eco-friendly pro mentioned above, it’s an understandable trade off – Someone doesn’t want their old phone, a company is willing to refurbish it and resell it and lastly customers are willing to buy it because it’s more cost effective, so there are a lot of benefits for different people all the while the environment is being considered.


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