Should You Buy a Refurbished iPhone, iPad or Laptop?

Updated on March 30, 2020
Jonathan Wylie profile image

Jonathan Wylie is a Digital Learning Consultant who has a passion for helping others get the best out of their technology.

Source

Deal or Dud: What You Need to Know

Refurbished electronics are typically used devices that have been returned, traded, or sold back to retailers. They are cleaned, inspected and, if necessary, repaired so that they are in good working order and ready to be sold again. I'm a big fan of refurbished devices. I've bought them from Amazon, Apple, BestBuy, and more. A lot of people shy away from buying refurbished electronics, but I have had almost no problems buying devices this way. If you buy smart, you can minimize the risk and snag yourself a real bargain. Here are some shopping tips to help you buy with confidence.

Buy Refurbished & Save Money

There's no two ways about it. Buying refurbished will save you money. I mean, it has to. You are not buying a brand new product, so you have every right to expect to pay less when you buy refurbished devices. This, in itself, has lots of implications. It could mean that you could get a better model than you would have been able to afford if you were buying new. It may also mean that you are able to buy your teenager their first iPhone earlier than you expected.

Buying refurbished is also a great way to get a hold of some cheap electronics if you bricked the one you had and you need to bide some time until your contract is paid off, or until the next generation device is released. Regardless of your motive, if you want to save some serious money, a refurbished iPhone, iPad or laptop is definitely the way to go.

Source

Condition is Everything

Buying refurbished will save you money, but how much? That all depends on condition. The better the condition, the more expensive the device. For instance, if you buy a refurbished iPhone or iPad from Apple, you get a device that looks as good as new. This is because Apple replaces the screen, battery and outer case on these devices before they sell them to the public. They also include all the original accessories. This is great if you want a pristine device, so long as you understand that you won't save as much if you buy a device in that condition.

However, there are plenty of other options if you are willing to lower your threshold a little. Retailers like Back Market have devices in all kinds of conditions. If you want to buy a refurbished iPhone in mint condition like the one you get from Apple, they have them, and they sell them for less than Apple does. However, if you are willing to accept a few light scratches, (that will probably be covered up by your phone case), they have those too, and these devices will save you even more money.

Check Battery Life on Refurbished Devices

Of course, one more thing to consider if the condition of the battery in a refurbished device. On a recent iPhone, you can go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health to get a measure of the battery capacity in your device. A new iPhone battery has a rating of 100%, but this will decrease with use over time. You can expect to replace your battery as is gets close to 80%, so bear this in mind when buying a refurbished device. iPhone batteries can usually be replaced for around $69.

On a Macbook, you should be looking at the battery cycle count. Most recent Mac laptops will easily get to around 1000 charge cycles, but that doesn't necessarily mean 1000 charges. In fact, it usually means a lot more than that because one charge cycle is equal to 100% of battery use, so it could take you several days of incremental charges to reach that number. Follow the steps below to check the battery cycle count on a Macbook:

  1. Hold down the Option key and then click the Apple menu
  2. Select System Information
  3. Click Power on the sidebar
  4. Under Health Information, look for Cycle Count

Source

Reuse to Save the Environment

Why else might you buy refurbished? A growing number of people buy used devices because of the growing problem of electronic waste. In 2019, the World Economic Forum declared that e-waste was, "the fastest growing waste stream in the world." The truth is, our obsession with gadgets sees millions of tonnes of old tech pile up each year. It's the technology industry's dirtiest secret, and although many companies do a great job at recycling and re-purposing devices, others do not.

When you buy refurbished, you are helping to reduce the amount of e-waste that is generated every year. You are easing the burden on the environment by buying a device that would otherwise have been discarded by its previous owner. Best of all, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your part to help make the world a better place, and that feels good!

Warranties for Peace of Mind

Last but not least, you want to know that you can buy with confidence. Many retailers, like BestBuy or Amazon, will only give you a 90-day warranty with a refurbished iPhone, iPad or laptop. Three months is easily long enough to surface any faults that might have escaped that final quality control check, but it doesn't always give you the confidence you might want for the long term.

Apple gives a full one-year warranty with their refurbished devices, and they are also eligible for Apple Care. Online retailers like Back Market offer 12 and sometimes 24-month warranties on their iPhones, and every purchase comes with a 30-day money back guarantee in case you are not happy with your purchase. Other retailers will vary so make sure you check their terms before you buy.

Source

Should You Buy Refurbished?

Sometimes you can find great deals on brand new products, but if you are short on cash, a refurbished iPhone, iPad or laptop can be a great option. Do you take a risk when you buy this way? You do, but if you follow the advice above, it's not as big a risk as you might think. Shop smart and you can easily come away with a device that you can be proud of and the chances are, no-one will ever know that you bought a refurbished device...unless you tell them.

Quick Poll: Have Your Say!

Do you buy refurbished electronics?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Jonathan Wylie

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)