Should I Buy a Refurbished Phone From a Marketplace?

Should I Buy a Refurbished Phone?

If you are in the market for a new smartphone, you may be considering buying a refurbished model from an online marketplace. However, is it worth it? 

There are many things to consider before making your decision. In general, buying a refurbished phone can be a great way to save money. You may also be able to get a later model at a lower price than you would pay for a new model at full price.

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Unfortunately, some risks are associated with buying refurbished phones from an online marketplace. Due to this, it is important to weigh those risks before making a purchase. 

So, should you buy a refurbished phone from a marketplace? First, let us look at whether or not purchasing a refurbished phone from an online marketplace is right for you. 

Risks of Buying Refurbished Phones From Marketplaces

“An online marketplace is a type of e-commerce website where multiple third parties provide product or service information. The marketplace connects buyers and sellers of a certain good or service.”

A few examples of these marketplaces include eBay, Facebook, and Backmarket.

eBay and Facebook are well-known online marketplaces where you can find almost anything, including refurbished phones. Also, their large buyer base has made them a popular site to sell used goods.

While eBay and Facebook are the typical marketplaces for many goods, Backmarket is a marketplace for buying only refurbished phones. They connect refurbished resellers with buyers on the platform. Despite their benefits, there are many downsides to these platforms as well. 

Lack of Reputation

When you purchase from a marketplace, you deal with an unknown supplier. There is no guarantee that the seller will provide what they promised and you are putting your trust in someone else.

If the item does not meet your expectations, it can be much more difficult to get a refund or exchange, depending on who is supplying the goods. Even though the marketplace provides services to protect themselves (such as fraud protection), the risk remains. And most importantly, they don’t have any legal recourse against you if something goes wrong.

Low Loyalty Sellers

There are numerous sellers on these marketplaces. It makes it difficult for customers to know which one is reliable. Some of the sellers even leave the market once they have fulfilled their orders. If that happens, you cannot contact them back, even if you want to return the product.

Sellers who leave the marketplace do not follow any regulations. As a result, this makes it hard to trace back the source of the products. Moreover, even though most of the sellers post their contact details, the chances of getting in touch with them are low.

Not all sellers offer refunds either. Some sellers are hesitant about providing refunds because of the added cost involved. In addition, a few of them might charge a higher amount to cover the extra shipping charges.

Uncertain Quality

A refurbished phone should undergo several tests before being sold. These tests ensure that the device functions as a new one would.

But if you buy from a marketplace, the quality test may not be conducted properly. As a result, there is no way to know how the devices were tested or how reliable they are. Some sellers do not disclose the testing process; therefore, you do not know whether the items are truly refurbished.

When you deal with a seller from a marketplace, they might not take full responsibility for the item they sell since they do not care much about their reputation. As a result, it is very easy to fake quality claims made by the seller and ignore the quality standards of the reconditioned phone. In the end, the devices fall short of their performance claims.

Some sellers also use counterfeit parts to make their products seem genuine. Sadly, this makes the items unreliable. Since there isn’t any way to verify the product’s authenticity, you are expected to be prepared for all consequences.

Warranty Issues

Especially when you buy from eBay or Facebook Marketplace, most sellers do not offer any warranties for the refurbished or used products. So if something goes wrong, there is no way to get warranty assistance.

Only a few sellers offer limited warranties, while many others do not cover your phone’s damage at all. Because of this, it will be difficult for you to get compensation. Aside from that, if your phone is damaged due to a defect in the manufacturing process, it will not be covered by the warranty.

You will only find a warranty on a marketplace when the seller provides it through the marketplace itself. Again, those warranties expire within limited periods.

If your phone breaks down after 30 or 60 days, you can do nothing about it.

It does not matter how good the phone’s condition looks or what the price tag says. You should not purchase a used or refurbished phone unless the seller is willing to provide you with an extended warranty coverage period. Otherwise, you may regret your decision later on. 

Used vs Refurbished 

The marketplace is filled with many phones labelled “used” or “refurbished.” Before buying from the platform, you need to understand the difference between those two terms.

Used phones typically come from a previous owner who wants to sell the device after using it for some time. The problem here is that you do not know whether the phone belongs to the person who owns it or not. Moreover, such phones are sold off without proper inspection. Due to a lack of testing, the device’s reliability could be questionable.

Unlike a used phone, refurbished phones are checked thoroughly to ensure it works without issues. The seller inspects and performs a series of tests on them. When a device passes these quality checks successfully, it can be refurbished. Nonetheless, it comes with its own set of drawbacks when purchased from an unreliable source.

Note: Sometimes sellers may label “Refurbished” as “Used”, which could confuse consumers unfamiliar with the differences between used and refurbished products. It is essential that you contact the seller to find out the exact condition of the phone.

To understand more about this difference, we recommend reading our article – Difference between Refurbished and Used Phones.

The above scenario highlights the risks involved when you buy a refurbished phone

On the other hand, buying a refurbished smartphone directly from reputable retailers reduces the risk of purchasing a defective phone. The quality of your phone will be verified at every phase during the purchase. 

When you compare both options, you will see that the risk associated with a refurbished phone from the marketplace will diminish when buying via an established reseller like The Big Phone Store.

Benefits of Buying Refurbished Phones From An Established Reseller

If you are looking for a refurbished phone, why not purchase it directly from a reputable retailer who sells second-hand phones? 

Buying a refurbished phone from a well-known online retailer offers several benefits over finding one on the marketplace.

Here are a few reasons why you should purchase refurbished smartphones from a reliable partner rather than through an online marketplace:

Good Reputation

It takes a lot of hard work to build up a customer base and reputation. However, you can easily trust a company that has been in the business of selling refurbished phones for many years. They have a proven record of accomplishment that ensures your satisfaction and safety. 

If someone has been in this industry for a long time, chances are they know what customers want, how to meet their expectations, and how to provide customers with a hassle-free experience. 

Your purchase would go through extensive checks and verifications, so you can rest assured knowing your phone meets high standards. Hence, you would only receive the genuine product from them. Furthermore, if something goes wrong, they have a team of experts to help you resolve the issue quickly so that your experience remains pleasant.

💡 The Big Phone Store has been selling refurbished phones since 1999. We are the oldest and one of the largest retailers in the UK of refurbished and new smartphones. So our buyers know they are in safe hands when they purchase from us.

Quality Control

Refurbished retailers make sure that each product undergoes multiple inspections before being shipped to the customer. This includes testing all the major parts of the mobile phone (screen, motherboard, etc.) to make sure it works properly.

Only those devices that pass the inspection process get approved for sale. If there is anything wrong with the device, it gets rejected immediately. Therefore, it reduces the chances of getting faulty products.

💡 At The Big Phone Store, we carry out a full hardware scan using specialised diagnostic software to ensure that each mobile phone is 100% functional. In addition, over 70 quality tests are performed on every phone, after which they are categorised based on their cosmetic appearance

Read our article “How Are Refurbished Phones Tested?” to learn more about what we inspect.

Returns & Warranty

Unlike in the marketplace, where you have little guarantee that you can even get help if something goes wrong. A phone sold through a retailer lasts longer and has better warranty coverage.

Most sellers provide a 14-day return period from the date of delivery. And if any problem arises within that period, they will get it repaired and returned.

On top of that, most retailers offer warranties on their products, covering defects in the manufacturing process. Depending on the type of smartphone, the manufacturer may also cover damages arising from the use of the phone.

💡 Refurbished phones from The Big Phone Store come with a 12-month warranty that protects you against any technical or manufacturer defects. If something goes wrong with your phone, you can have it repaired or replaced. 

Price Matching Guarantee

The price promise match offered by The Big Phone Store guarantees that customers pay the lowest possible price at checkout without worrying about hidden charges. 

The team of experts at The Big Phone Store monitor and compare prices across various markets to deliver the best deals for refurbished phones. They will find the item’s market price and match it against the price you see during checkout to ensure you do not end up paying extra money.

So, what should you do?

Buying a refurbished smartphone is not always a straightforward decision. You need to consider the above factors when buying a good, reliable, and trustworthy product at a reasonable price. Your phone is an investment, and hence, you do not want to buy one that might break down within six months.

Here at The Big Phone Store, we guarantee 100% customer satisfaction by ensuring that no one is disappointed. We aim to deliver the best price/quality ratio to all our customers while maintaining the highest possible standard of service. We offer phones from well-known brands like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Google, LG, and many others!

There could be instances where you may not feel like spending £300+ on a brand new one. In that case, buying a refurbished phone makes sense because it offers you the same features at half the price.

The Big Phone Store sells refurbished and new models ranging from budget-friendly to flagship models. So, whether you’re looking to upgrade your current model or switch to a completely different device, we’ll recommend a suitable option for you.

The Big Phone Store is among the best sellers for refurbished phones as we stand behind everything we sell. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help or assistance. We are here to help! Feel free to reach us via email: or call us directly at 0800 888 6497 for more information.

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