Busted: Myths about Refurbished Phones

Busted: Myths about Refurbished Phones - Lovefone, London

Given that high-end smartphones seem to get more expensive by the day, it’s hardly surprising that more and more people are turning to second-hand refurbished phones. But for some consumers, the term ‘refurbished phone’ comes with some stigma, usually because they don’t know exactly what the term means or what condition the phone will be in.

In this article, we’re going to shed some light on the refurbished phone. We’re going to explain exactly what a refurbished phone is and bust some of the myths that are commonly associated with this type of mobile. So, if you’re looking to make a saving then here’s what you need to know…

What exactly is a refurbished phone?


There are two types of second-hand phone out there. The first is the sort of phone you buy from an individual or small private dealer. Regardless of the savings you may make, the risks of buying this kind of phone are great as the phone could be stolen or it could fail, leaving you with little or no comeback.

The second type of second-hand phone you can buy is the refurbished phone. A refurbished phone is one that has been purchased previously and then returned to the maker or the retailer. In some cases, there may be nothing wrong with the phone and the buyer simply changed their mind within the 30-day cooling-off period. Or, they may have returned it because it had some small hardware problem. In that case, the phone will be fixed and sold as a refurbished item.

Although a refurbished phone is not technically a new phone anymore, it should work just like one. Before being put on sale, all refurbished phones are thoroughly checked and tested to ensure they’re in full working order. At Lovefone, we also provide a two-year guarantee on all our refurbished phones. That means you’re buying a phone that’s ‘as new’, but is available at a big discount. 

Myths about refurbished mobile phones



Due to the lack of understanding about what a refurbished phone actually is, there’s a lot of confusion out there that can put people off. We’re here to dispel some of those myths…

Myth 1: A refurbished phone is the same as a used phone

Reality: If a phone is described as ‘used’ then the condition of the phone can be hard to define; however, you should be very cautious. Used phones are commonly sold by private sellers on auction sites and the phone could have anything from a few scratches to being badly damaged. There’s also a risk the phone could be stolen.

If a phone is described as refurbished then it’ll be sold by an established network, retailer or trader and will have been tested, cleaned and wiped. Some sellers will even update the phone with the latest software. It should also be covered by a warranty to give the buyer complete peace of mind.

Myth 2: You never really know what you’re buying    

Reality: Every refurbished phone goes through a stringent testing and cleaning process with any repairs made as necessary. However, all refurbished phones are also given a grade from A-D that reflects their condition to give buyers an excellent idea of what they’re getting.  

Those grades break down like this:

  • Grade A – Grade ‘A’ refurbished phones are as close to new as it gets. This could be a phone that has been returned during the 30-day cooling-off period or one that has only very minor signs of wear.
  • Grade B – This grade of refurbished phone may have the odd scratch but nothing more.
  • Grade C – Refurbished phones that are graded ‘C’ will have a number of blemishes and look like they’ve been used.
  • Grade D – A grade ‘D’ refurbished phone is likely to be broken in some way and will be well used. Most retailers don’t sell grade ‘D’ phones although you may find them on eBay.

Some networks use their own grading system such as O2’s ‘Perfect’, ‘Almost Perfect‘ and ‘Perfectly Fine’. There will be guides explaining each grading system on the relevant site.

Myth 3: Refurbished phones are often fake

Reality: Smartphones are one of the easiest items to sell online. Scammers have caught onto this fact and often buy fake smartphones to sell on sites like eBay or Gumtree. If you want to be sure that a refurbished phone is not a fake then you should always buy from a reputable seller. Even phones that look genuine and come complete with the box, manual and accessories can still be fake. For that reason, buying from private individuals is not advised.   

Myth 4: They’re not even that cheap

Reality: In an ideal world you’d probably want to get a brand new smartphone, but many people are not willing to spend up to £1,000 for the latest phone, while others prefer not to have a contract phone. Opting for a refurbished phone can reduce the cost by 20-40 percent. That is a significant saving when you consider the phone could be as good as new.   

Myth 5: They usually have a poor battery life

Reality: In a recent comparison of new phones vs. refurbished phones, it was found that the batteries of the refurbished phones had just as much zip as the new phones. At Lovefone, we offer an optional battery upgrade, and rather than using cheaper, third-party batteries, we’ll always use the best parts.

Take a look at our fully refurbished range

If you think a refurbished phone could be the right option for you then please take a look at our fully refurbished and data cleansed range. All our refurbished phones have undergone our comprehensive 30-point check and are backed by a two-year guarantee and easy returns.  

February 27, 2018