Best places to buy a refurbished phone 2023


Whether you’re trying to save the earth or save some […]

Whether you’re trying to save the earth or save some cash, there are plenty of great reasons to buy a refurbished phone instead of a new one. Depending on the retailer, many of these devices have been renewed to look and run just like a brand new phone, and they might even be covered by the same warranty as your favorite brand’s newest products. 

Of course, not all refurbished phones are made equal, and buying a refurbished phone isn’t as simple as walking into a store and asking for one. Like most big purchases, it takes a bit more research and understanding. However, we have all of the information to help you navigate the refurbished market so you can make the best choice when buying a new-to-you phone. We’ll start with a list of retailers so you can go straight to the fun part — shopping — and then we’ll answer all of your questions and provide some key info so you can feel confident about your purchase. 

Quick links

Best places to buy

How to choose

The Motorola Edge (2022) and Pixel 6a

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The issue with refurbished phones is that you don’t necessarily know which of the possible pathways it took to become refurbished in the first place. The truth is you may never know, even after you have the phone in your hands. But there are some excellent tips to follow when shopping for a refurbished phone.

  • Buy from the original company or reputable store whenever possible. They will have a quality control process and inspection as well as the ability to replace the device if you discover something isn’t right. Many carriers, for example, have a 90-day warranty.
  • See what warranty, if any, is offered for the refurbished phones. Some manufacturers will offer a full warranty for refurbished phones, while third parties typically won’t.
  • Read the fine print on the sale — even though it may be hard to find. Most refurbished or open-box phones are sold “as is” with little or no option for returns or refunds.
  • Keep in mind the age of the device you’re looking to buy. Sometimes companies won’t be selling refurbished versions of the latest phones but instead a model or two older. It may be nicely discounted, but much of that discount is likely due to it just being old.
  • If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is! If you see a retailer selling a late-model “refurbished” phone for something like half the retail price or less, there’s likely some catch you’ve yet to find. Refurbished phones will be cheap, but they won’t be a steal.


What are refurbished phones?

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