Used vs. Refurbished Devices

Used vs. Refurbished Devices

With the availability of refurbished phones, cell phone users are able to purchase high-quality mobile devices at a cheaper price. Although a refurbished phone has been used, it has also been thoroughly inspected for any problems and repaired if necessary. Therefore, it should function exactly like it did when it was new. While “used” devices are typically sold as-is, in order to be labeled “refurbished” phones and other mobile devices must pass quality inspections to guarantee that they work and are in good aesthetic condition. Re-Tech offers a full 180-day warranty on our refurbished devices, so if for any reason you’re not fully satisfied with your purchase you can return it without penalty.

Be sure to do your homework and learn the difference between a used and refurbished device before dropping your hard-earned cash! To help you out, we have compiled the top three ways you can tell the difference between a used or refurbished smartphone, tablet or other mobile device:

Aesthetic condition:

Certified pre-owned devices like the ones we sell at Re-Tech will have been used and then inspected, updated and repaired. These phones will look very nearly “good as new” after being repaired. Many refurbished phones have had replacements of faceplates, buttons, knobs and the chassis. A used device, on the other hand, is sold as-is and has had nothing repaired, updated or changed on it. If it does not look like a new phone, it was not refurbished!


All refurbished phones should come with some type of warranty or guarantee. For example, Re-Tech includes a 180-day warranty on refurbished devices for customer protection. Used devices rarely come with a warranty, so if your vendor is not providing any kind of guarantee on your purchased device, it is likely not refurbished.

Age of device:

If a device is still available and sold from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), you will most likely be able to find it refurbished. If the item is discontinued from the OEM, due to age or quality, the chances of it being used and without warranty are greater.

It is important the buyer knows about the phone’s history. It is recommended you call the provider’s service line and give the phone’s IMEI code, which is often found under the phone’s battery. The provider should be able to look up the history of the device and let you know if it is safe for purchase or if anything has been removed.

The expert technicians at Re-Tech highly recommend buying a refurbished device over a used one. You will still be saving money, but you’ll also have the peace of mind that an inspection and guarantee provide. Visit your local Re-Tech store today to take a look at the many options we have available for certified pre-owned devices and accessories!

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