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Home / Tips and Tricks / Buying a used or refurbished phone? Here's Everything You Need to Know «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

Buying a used or refurbished phone? Here's Everything You Need to Know «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



You can feel it in your bones. You can die if you do not get this phone. There is only one problem – the price. Suddenly you come across something that looks like manna from the sky. Exactly this device, at a greatly reduced price, can be yours.

The only thing stopping you is that some of the phrases you see make you insecure. Terms such as "used," "certified," "refurbished," "remanufactured," and "used" are phrased by the seller to describe your dream phone. What exactly do these terms mean?

A New Standard in 2017

Prior to 201

7, there was neither a commonly accepted definition nor set standards for the re-manufacturing or refurbishment process. It is at the discretion of the seller, how he wants to classify his device and what standards he chooses. As you can imagine, consumers have opened wide to unknowingly buy a range of unreliable – and sometimes inferior – products. But times are changing.

In February 2017, the Remanufacturing Industries Council received final approval from ANSI (American National Standard Institute) for the guidelines contained in its "Specifications for the reprocessing process" (ANSI-RIC001.1-2016) [19659002] ANSI is responsible for setting standards in a variety of industries, but if you're familiar with computer programming, it may sound familiar to you. That's because ANSI helped develop and approve standards for ASCII and C programming languages. This acceptance of a definition with more details about the standards is at least a step in the right direction towards transparency when you buy used, certified or refurbished smartphones.

Seller Reputation Still Matters [19659004] While the move towards standardization is exciting news, the changes have been slow to get going. Currently, this definition of reprocessing is only completed for the US:

Remanufacturing is a comprehensive and rigorous industrial process in which a previously sold, leased, used, worn or non-functioning product or part is returned to a "like-new" or "better-than-new" condition, both in terms of quality and performance, through a controlled, reproducible and sustainable process.

– Remanufactured Industries Council

The Remanufactured Industries Council continues to attempt to admit this as an international standard, and there is much more to do when it comes to detailing reprocessing processes. By mid-2018, you will not be likely to find too many (or any) devices approved by ANSI when it comes to how they have been renovated. Therefore, it is still useful to examine the definitions for the terms that the big smartphone vendors associate with their own used products and the standards they set for themselves.

Image by geralt / Pixabay

General Definitions

We will specifically treat some of the major OEMs, carriers and third-party refurbishers, but realize that we still have many fixed smartphone Omit providers. To take this into account, see the following list of common, frequently used and often confusing terms for used smartphones. These definitions are not a unit size.

This is currently a hot seller market. Refurbished phones are the fastest growing category in the smartphone industry, and this is expected to increase only with time. These phones are inexpensive and can be marketed as a greener approach than the traditional manufacturing process.

Used or Used

You probably already own a used / used phone. Chances are, you have not tested your own device through rigorous or other tests. Maybe there is nothing wrong, but if so, why would you like to sell it at a discount? And if something is wrong, do you always know how to fix it so far that you bet money, that everything is alright (eg guarantee)?

This is a high order for a phone that you just try to eliminate, shake off. Used or used phones are often sold unchanged. In general, the only expectation of these devices is that personal information of the previous owner is deleted or deleted. I hope you would mention the mistake or the delay that you once noticed, but now it seems to be gone – so why? Unfortunately, some people see something like that.

Certified Pre-Owned

So, what happens if we put the word "Certified" before the property? Certified is usually a qualifier that at least lets you know that the phone has been tested and is working properly. Some sellers go so far as to say that the device works like a new one, while others keep the status "as is" only for refurbished phones. Either way, let's talk.

Refurbished or Certified Refurbished

Unfortunately, these terms have been loosely blamed in the smartphone world. For some, these are only refurbished devices that are restored to "like new". For others, "refurbished" means that the phone has been tested and repaired. For others, "refurbished" is a generic term that refers to phones that are returned to the manufacturer for whatever reason, with the required testing and repairs being more stringent than with a brand new device.

Do you already see the need for standardization? The terms "second-hand", "second-hand certified", "renovated" etc. are put into perspective – without there being any general consensus about their meaning. You can not simply rely on the terms themselves; You have to do more research. But we are here for that.

Your Best Bet

The average eBay seller offering their goods has probably never heard of the Remanufacturing Council or ANSI. They are just trying to do something they consider to be honest (or some people are just dishonest) dollars.

Web sites like eBay are not necessarily bad, but they promote their own terms and definitions for what they consider renovated. Everyone did that because the absence of a standard was the norm. You can also get an idea of ​​a seller's reputation through their reviews, but selling a satisfying pair of jeans is not the same as selling a stellar phone.

Your best chance of getting a quality phone will still be those who come with a guarantee monetary behind their word, and usually that will be to some extent manufacturer and carrier. However, some retailers are also quite reliable. If you decide to visit a third-party Web site, be prepared to research before you buy. You have to do your own inspection if you get the phone as well.

Image by RM MEDIA LTD / Creative Commons

Specific, seller-defined terms

Do you remember when Bill Clinton said "It depends what the Meaning of & # 39; is & # 39; is? " Not to mention that the term "alternative facts" has recently been coined by US Counselor Kellyanne Conway. Sometimes it seems that everyone has their own version of reality. But the good thing (and a sad thing at the same time) is that some of the most expensive smartphone sellers are probably more honest than many politicians.

Still, it is very helpful to know how sellers actually define their used phone goods, how they actually set their standards and whether they comply with them. These definitions will get us started.

Retailer

In this next section, I will discuss all the guidelines for some of the largest used telephone retailers.

Best Buy

Best Buy places its phones (and other products) in two categories: "Open Box" and "Refurbished". "

Let's assume you get a phone as a gift, but it was the wrong color, or what about the devices you see in Best Buy? Best Buy can not sell these products as new that they are functional and inspect the outward appearance and award a condition – excellent-certified, excellent, satisfying or fair. "

Mostly they contain all the parts and accessories, but if they do not, they are taken into account When it comes to water-resistance issues, Quick Buy quickly recognizes that the devices are waterproof and not waterproof – but that is also the description you get from the Samsung manufacturer themselves regarding their IP68 rating, even for brand new devices.

Best Buy's other category of used phones is called Refurbished. These products include lemons and phones that had battery, screen or housing problems. They are then repaired to new condition (but still little cosmetic damage). The phones have been tested to ensure functionality and you will not lose any accessories.

  • Warranty: Open-Box: Yes, but there may be some exceptions. Refurbished: Yes, at least 90 days unless stated otherwise.
  • Return & Exchange Promise: Yes.
Best Buy in Pittsburgh, PA. image by Nicholas Eckhart / Wikimedia

Gazelle

Gazelle is proud of its social-ethical mission to recycle cell phones. The certification process for their remanufactured Gazelle certified phones is described as "a rigorous testing procedure with a 30-point functional and cosmetic test". All phones must pass an inspection.

The Gazelle Inspectorate is designed to ensure that the devices sold are "fast, powerful, and highly functional phones that work just like a new phone." The battery condition is evaluated by the Gazelle technicians, and when the battery reaches the threshold demanded by Gazelle, it is replaced. The same applies to the screen of a phone if it does not work properly.

In particular, Gazelle checks whether the front camera and rear cameras are working properly, the speakers are working as intended, the mute switch is working, the phone is working, data connections are working as intended, and the IMEI is free for activation. They also test LED flash, physical buttons, GPS, SIM tray, headphone jack, microphone and USB or Lightning connection. The screen is checked to make sure the touch function is working properly, there are no dead pixels, and the backlight is working.

Gazelle makes sure that you "get the original article". The device should be free from dirt and the data of the previous owner. Whether you're talking to Google or Siri or calling a friend, Gazelle will make sure your voice is heard. And you should not have power issues as the phone's ability to charge is tested before you receive it.

The devices are then given a cosmetic rating. Cosmetic ratings range from "Excellent" to "Good," then "Fair." As expected, the devices are reset to factory settings. Fair : The screen is good. There may be scuffs and notches on the side and back, but they can easily be concealed with a cover. Good : The screen is very good. There may be small scratches or nicks on the side or back.

  • Excellent : The screen and the body are in excellent condition. If there are impurities, they are minimal.
  • We were able to speak with Chase Freeman, Public Relations Manager at Gazelle, who took advantage of the various categories of cosmetic reviews and gave details of what the process entails:

    Gazelle customers can use the various categories Select a device that best suits your needs. When customers buy from Gazelle, they buy certified equipment and nothing else. No contracts, obligations or fine print – just the brand and model of the desired device up to 40% cheaper than the new purchase. All products are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.

    – Chase Freeman
    • Warranty: None
    • Return & Exchange Promise: Yes, if within 30 days, and as long as all conditions of Gazelle are met.

    Amazon

    Amazon states that it is selective for all product types listed below who can sell on its website, and only those who have "a high performance bar" grant the privilege.

    The products are part of Amazon's "Renewed" program, which requires that phones be tested by specific suppliers to ensure equivalent functionality and appearance. Amazon describes its inspection and testing process as "a complete diagnostic test replacement of defective parts and a thorough cleaning process performed by a qualified seller, seller or Amazon."

    All accessories should be provided unless otherwise stated. Amazon's cosmetic standard is "no visible imperfections when kept away 12 inches away."

    • Warranty: Yes (90 days)
    • Return and Exchange Promise: Yes, although the refund amount depends on the item condition, your length of ownership and how the phone was purchased.

    eBay

    eBay tells you if the phone has been serviced by the manufacturer or seller. It also sells used phones and phones that can only be used for parts.

    eBay explains that a Manufacturer Refurbished Phone "has been inspected, cleaned and repaired to meet manufacturer specifications and in excellent condition." It could even contain the original packaging – maybe. Each seller should provide more details.

    Seller Refurbished is defined as "an item that has been made functional by the eBay seller or a third party not approved by the manufacturer". The expectation for these phones is that they have been cleaned, inspected and repaired to get full functionality. The condition should be excellent, the original packaging may be a big one, and the seller should supply more details to the list.

    It is at least expected that used equipment will work even though they may have cosmetic problems. Store returns or floor models fall into this category.

    Phones labeled for parts or not will give you what you get.

    • Warranty This depends largely on the seller. You may contest a sale with eBay, but from experience, it can only damage the seller's reputation for selling future goods on eBay. eBay has partnered with Square-Trade to offer or extend warranty coverage, but it costs extra.
    • Return and Exchange Promise Yes. If you receive the item in a damaged or damaged condition, eBay offers a money-back guarantee, although you must first try to solve the problem with the seller. For all Certified Pre-owned devices it allows the return of the article within 90 days.

    Manufacturer

    This is your best bet for a high quality device, but it will probably be a little more expensive too. They may not have that many options, and they may not be the latest models – but the warranty usually takes a year. These phones are tested and restored in perfect condition. However, the cosmetic state may vary.

    Apple

    Apple explains on its online shopping site that it "tests and certifies all of Apple's overhauled products". Apple also seems to be the only seller who always replaces the existing battery with a brand new one. The company also offers a new outer shell, and you get a shiny new white box to put it.

    The site recommends that "Availability is guaranteed once we receive your full payment." When it comes to Apple devices, they have to meet many of the same standards that brand-new phones have, and that includes impregnation. The warranty is the same in terms of water resistance for a remanufactured phone as a brand new iPhone. But here is the kicker – even your brand new iPhone is not covered by the warranty for fluid damage, so no overhauled device.

    • Warranty Yes, 1 year.
    • Return & Exchange Promise Yes, plus free shipping.
    Image about Max Pixel

    Samsung

    Samsung refers to refurbished devices as Certified pre-owned. You get up to $ 60 in new accessories, including a charger. Samsung handsets are "remanufactured" by Samsung engineers. The redevelopment process is described as "a detailed top-down review of all features and functions by the same engineers building our new phones."

    The site goes on to say that the same engineers "take apart, inspect, replace damaged parts, rebuild and upgrade the software." Samsung does not list the tests it performs, but there is a number – "400 rigorous tests to make sure it's back to its original state and ready for you." Most devices come with the exception of a few devices with new headphones.

    Samsung states that if a repair is performed by a registered repair center, the device will maintain its water resistance. However, if you read the Samsung Galaxy S7 manual, it seems that like Apple, you still are not covered by the warranty for water damage. In keeping with Apple's guidelines, this is no different from a brand new phone. Some users have decided to test their Galaxy devices with their own water immersion tests, and the result was undesirable.

    • Warranty Yes, 1 year with expressly set conditions.
    • Return and Exchange Promise Yes, if within 30 days. Carriers

      Carriers are another source of refurbished equipment. They are also an important consideration, no matter where you buy. You should make sure that you select a device for which your provider supports the service. Of course, if you buy from your mobile service provider.

      On the other hand, it is also very likely that the phone is tied to this particular mobile service provider. And in general, the manufacturers will either allow you to choose your vehicle or give you an unlocked device; therefore, it may still be beneficial to go through the manufacturer, depending on your circumstances.

    Verizon

    Verizon refers to its phones as Certified Pre-owned, but relies on manufacturers to do its reprocessing. That's not a bad thing, from what we learned about the processes and warranties of Samsung and Apple.

    Verizon has its technicians perform inspections on the devices, and they give the cosmetic appearance of each article a touch, like "Like New" or just "Good." Verizon technicians also test the functionality of each phone and require a 100 % rating of all external and internal audio, buttons, battery life, camera, SIM card and display performance.

    • Warranty Yes, 1 year.
    • Return & Exchange Promise Within 14 days of purchase
    • In-Store Support Yes, at least to some extent
    Verizon Wireless Mobile Mobile Store, Waterbury, CT. Image by Mike Mozart / Flickr

    AT & T

    AT & T is pretty good at laying out its restoration process. Used phones are also referred to as "Certified Pre-owned". The AT & T website lists the systems they test for: power, display, audio, connectivity, connectivity and keyboard, and software. Cosmetic impurities are usually minimal, but may contain minor scratches and dents.

    Phones that have been used for a short time and have been redesigned to appear almost new are called "Certified" or "Mint". The recovered phones were "repaired, redesigned and updated with the latest software". They have been checked to ensure that no cosmetic damage remains and no parts are misaligned or missing. There should be no bumps, scratches or discoloration. Both types of phones are only available for purchase through AT & T.

    • Warranty Yes, for Certified as New or Restored Only (90 days).
    • Return Yes, within 14 days [19659042] Service Partially.

    T-Mobile

    T-Mobile introduces its Certified Used Equipment through an 80-point inspection. The website states, "Each device must pass a thorough and thorough test – and we will not judge (sic) on a turn." The company then continues to test the phones' power, display, audio, buttons, ports, communications, and network and camera hardware and software. The website also offers an extensive list of cosmetic features that are tested and / or tested.

    • Warranty Yes, 90 days, limited
    • Returns Yes, within 14 days.
    • Service Partly.

    Sprint

    Sprint offers two types of used cell phones: used equipment and certified used equipment (reconditioned). Michelle Mermelstein, from Sprint Communications, explains the difference between the two categories and what Sprint's refurbishment process involves.

    Pre-Owned phones were typically used by a former owner on a sprint lease. The phones may have noticeable cosmetic imperfections including minor scratches and housing dents / dents / scratches. Functionally, the device is in good operating condition. Each device must pass extensive functional tests to ensure the device works as expected.

    – Michelle Mermelstein

    Tests include, but are not limited to: sending and receiving calls, the liquid indicator must not be triggered, the handset is unlocked. The screen has full functionality and all physical buttons work. Spring also checks all audio features (receiver / transmitter / external 2-way speaker), proximity sensors, vibration, LEDs, both cameras (for both photo and camcorder operation), headphone jack and connectivity (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi). Battery and charging ability are evaluated. Finally, a complete factory reset is performed and the most up-to-date software is displayed on the device.

    To sum up: "A used Sprint phone is a gently used, non-certified phone with functional tests and inspections to make sure it is in good working order. It comes with an OEM quality charger and is from the Sprint Customer Satisfaction Guarantee Covered … "

    " Certified Pre-Owned phones are typically OEM Refurbished phones, which are also previously owned devices that are being tested and any defects repaired. "The cosmetic state will be returned to a new specification OEM remanufactured devices usually carry a refreshed manufacturer's warranty. "

    • Warranty Yes, 90 days. 19659042] Returns Yes, within 14 days
    • Service To some extent
    Sprint Mobile Display in Best Buy. Picture of Mike Mozart / Flickr

    How much you can save

    Condition and warranty should always be considered together with the price of a refurbished unit. It also helps if the timing is right. And that goes for a cheaper phone in general; not just for the renovation. For example, we decided to buy my Samsung Galaxy S8 when the Galaxy S9 came out because we knew it would be cheaper. When it comes to refurbished phones, it is possible to get discounts of up to 75%, but more commonly, it will be in the 10-40% range.

    It seemed obvious that buying directly from the manufacturer was best in terms of risk? Unfortunately, these are also the most expensive type of overhauled phones. For example, at the time of this writing, an iPhone 7 with 128GB of storage costs $ 649 brand new on apple.com, $ 589 on apple.com, $ 429 on Amazon, and $ 459 on eBay. Another thing you should keep in mind is how much you save on a device with a non-removable battery when the battery is not good.

    A story wrapped in mystery: Lifting the veil

    When I bought a salvaged car, the seller could tell me exactly what was damaged and how it was repaired. Inquiring whether a refurbished phone had a fleeting past or was just returned because it had the wrong color is much more difficult. However, you can ensure that you are not buying a stolen device by checking the phone's ESN, MEID, or IMEI at CTIA's Stolen Phone Checker. These numbers are often on the inside, back, or device settings.

    Image by Maxander / Wikimedia

    Phones with bad ESN, IMEI or MEID numbers have been identified by one of the carriers for one (or possibly more than one) of the four reasons blacklisted. A device-specific number like this is considered "bad" if there is still money left on the previous owner's account, if the phone is still active on a previous account, sometimes if the previous owner simply switched handsets, or if the phone was called stolen or lost reported. Many wireless service providers will refuse to activate any of these phones, or charge the phone to flash a new ROM. Another disadvantage of phones with a bad ESN, IMEI or MEID is that there is often no way to tell if the device has been lost or stolen.

    Without knowing anything about the phone's past Always remember what the worst-case scenario might be and how likely that scenario is. Not to sound negative, but with any phone used there is the likelihood that it has taken some abuse. Therefore, buying reputable sellers with satisfactory warranty, return and support resources is so important. Also, look for general and / or latent issues that are specific to the device you are looking at and read reviews. But you could reassure me that a 2011 Accenture study found that only 5% of earnings were due to deficiencies. Also note that the study was conducted for electronics in general; not just smartphones.

    What about the other 95% of devices returned in the study? Diese Produkte erfüllten entweder nicht die Erwartungen des Käufers oder waren nicht in der Lage, die Software- oder Hardwareprobleme zu reproduzieren, die der Käufer während des Besitzes behauptete, wenn er von dem Unternehmen getestet wurde, an das die Geräte zurückgegeben wurden. Die Geräte, die die Kundenanforderungen nicht erfüllten, wurden als "Reue des Käufers" bezeichnet und umfassten 27% aller zurückgegebenen Produkte in der Studie, und die Geräte, die keine erkennbaren Software- oder Hardwareprobleme aufwiesen (obwohl die Behauptung vom Käufer gemacht wurde), wurden kategorisiert als "NTF" oder "No Trouble Found" und machten 68% der Produkte aus. Dies scheint darauf hinzudeuten, dass viele der Produkte, die als Gebrauchtware verkauft werden, wahrscheinlich in gutem Zustand sind, vor allem nachdem die Tests nach der Rückkehr durchgeführt wurden.

    Reveal Any Red Flags Early

    Von dem Moment an, an dem Sie Ihre bekommen Gerät, Sie sind auf einen Countdown, um festzustellen, ob Sie das Telefon zurückgeben möchten. Fragen Sie nach Fotos (wenn nicht bereits bereitgestellt), bevor Sie von Websites wie eBay oder Craigslist kaufen, und prüfen Sie auf Anzeichen von physikalischen (insbesondere Wasser) Schäden. So bald wie möglich, überprüfen Sie das Telefon persönlich für kosmetische Schäden, mit denen Sie nicht leben können, und natürlich für körperliche Schäden wieder. Es sollte vorausgesetzt werden, dass der Verkäufer das Gerät zurücksetzt und keine Daten von anderen Benutzern mehr vorhanden sind.

    Wenn Sie ein iPhone kaufen, vergewissern Sie sich, dass der vorherige Besitzer die Aktivierungssperre deaktiviert hat. Ähnliche Wischkomplikationen können bei einem Android auftreten, wenn der frühere Besitzer nicht richtig zurückgesetzt wurde. Wenn er sein Google-Konto nicht zuerst entfernt, dann neu gestartet und dann in den Einstellungen gelöscht hat, können Sie das Telefon nicht mehr verwenden, ohne das Passwort für das Google-Konto zu kennen. Es ist eine gute Idee, dies früh zu überprüfen und Kontaktinformationen im Fall von Problemen zu sammeln.

    Denken Sie beim Testen Ihres neuen Geräts an die Untersuchungen, die Sie speziell für dieses Jahr durchgeführt haben, und erstellen Sie, und modellieren Sie und welche anderen Besitzer hatten häufig Probleme mit. Berücksichtigen Sie auch die potenziellen Probleme, die bei älteren Telefonen im Laufe der Zeit auftreten können, z. Es gibt eine Faustregel, wenn Dinge mit einem Haus schiefgehen – 15 Jahre – und Sie könnten in diesem Fenster für Mobiltelefone von 1-2 Jahren richtig sein.

    Es ist wichtig, das mit älteren iPhone zu erwähnen Modelle wie das iPhone 6, 6S, 7 und SE hat Apple OTA-Updates (iOS 10.2.1 und höher) veröffentlicht, die die CPU-Leistung tatsächlich drosseln, um alternde Lithium-Ionen-Akkus zu mindern, die ansonsten zufällige Ausfälle verursachen könnten. Zumindest war dies die Erklärung, die TechCrunch für die Drosselung vorgelegt wurde. Shutdown-Prävention ist gut; offensichtlich, aber langsamer Leistung ist nicht. Mit iOS 11.3 können Sie die Throttling-Funktion zumindest manuell deaktivieren.

    Außerdem hat Apple eine Möglichkeit eingebaut, zu ermitteln, ob Ihr Akku in iOS 10.2.1 und höher gewartet werden muss. Gehe einfach zu Einstellungen, dann Akku. Wenn Sie eine neue Batterie benötigen, informiert Sie Ihr iPhone. Es wird sagen "Ihre iPhone-Batterie muss möglicherweise gewartet werden."

    Bild über Max Pixel

    Ist für Sie richtig?

    Wenn der Preis Ihre erste Priorität beim Kauf eines Telefons ist, sollten Sie überholte kaufen (ein weiterer Grund ist Ihre Umweltbelastung zu reduzieren ). Achten Sie darauf, den Preis des gebrauchten Telefons, das Sie kaufen, mit dem Preis der neuen zu vergleichen, um sicherzustellen, dass es tatsächlich Einsparungen gibt. Manchmal, besonders bei iPhones, ist der Preisunterschied zwischen aufgearbeitet und brandneu vernachlässigbar. Samsung-Handys, die renoviert werden, neigen dazu, Preise zu haben, die nicht wesentlich niedriger als nagelneu sind.

    Kosten und die Reduzierung Ihres ökologischen Fußabdrucks sind enorme Faktoren. Bild von Delani Clatfelter / Gadget Hacks

    Aber es kann sein, dass du bekommst, wofür du bezahlst. Sie müssen bereit und bereit sein, Ihre Hausaufgaben zu machen und recherchieren Sie das Gerät, das Sie von weniger seriösen Quellen renoviert kaufen, während die meisten neuen Handys oder Hersteller-renoviert sind ziemlich einfach. Lesen Sie das gesamte Kleingedruckte und seien Sie vorsichtig bei Telefonen, die mit "As-is" gekennzeichnet sind. It's always a good idea to ensure that the refurbished device you are considering will be compatible with your service provider. If you like to choose from a wide selection, hate research, and/or only want the latest and greatest phones, refurbished might not be for you.

    Cover image by Delani Clatfelter/Gadget Hacks

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