A shopping guide to buying refurbished devices


Refurbished devices are products which have initially been sold brand new and then returned because they are faulty or simply because the owner no longer required the product.

Once this happens the manufacturer will refurbished the device, run it back through testing and then put it back on sale through companies like Recompute, at a far lower price than it would charge if the product was brand new. These devices and gadgets are a great option for those who are looking to secure a great device on a budget, and for people who wish to support the ecological benefits of reforming products rather than sending them to landfill. When buying a refurbished product however, there are some things to watch out for.  

Who Refurbished It? 

There are 2 ways in which these devices get refurbished, the first is that they go back to the original manufacturer and the second is that they are refurbished by another company, prior to being sold on. If the product is refurbished by the original manufacturer then you can be safe in the knowledge that the work has been completed using 100% original parts and that it has gone through the same rigorous testing that a new product would go through. If however you buy it from a 3rd party vendor there is no way of telling what parts have been used for the refurb, which is why the former makes for a better option.

Returns and Warranty

It is widely accepted that a refurbished item will not come with anywhere near the length of warranty that a new product would do, but you should still check the small print to ensure you have some coverage. At the very least you should expect a 100 day warranty and a 30 day return policy. There is a lot of uncertainty with these products which is why you will need some short term cover should anything go wrong.

Check the Box 

If you are buying a refurbished phone then you should still expect to get a charger and headphones, or any other accessories which were included in the original packaging when the handset was new. Simply because the phone has been refurbed doesn’t mean that you should have to settle for less when buying the phone and the contents of the box.  

Go Unlocked

If you are going to pick up a refurbished phone then be sure to get one which is unlocked and not tied to any particular network. Many of the new phones which are sold have already been locked to a network, but when being sold as refurbished it isn’t necessary for them to be locked in this way. An unlocked phone allows you to use a SIM card from any network provider giving you the best option to get the lowest priced deal.

Keep an eye for all of these things when you are buying any laptop, computer or smartphone that has been refurbished.