Our smartphones have become so intrinsic to our modern existences that they might as well be a part of our bodies by this point. But the latest handsets will regularly cost in excess of £1,000 brand new. Thankfully, you don’t have to splash out on these exorbitant prices or tie yourself into a 3-year contract to get a decent phone. As long as you buy second-hand or refurbished.
A second-hand or refurbished phone is not only kind to your wallet but kind to the planet and nine times out of ten you won’t be able to tell the difference. But how do you go about getting rid of your old phone and upgrading to a new used phone?
Sell Your Old Phones
There are dozens of options online that will allow you to recycle your handset, regardless of the condition it’s in. You won’t get as much as you would selling them directly, but you won’t need to pay the 10% fee on the closing bid you’d get with eBay. “What,” you might ask, however, “if I want to sell my iPhone 12 to buy an iPhone 13?” If you’re selling a more modern phone, you’re probably better off selling it directly as you’ll only get a fraction of the price you originally paid on a recycling site.
Buying a Second-Hand Phone
The first question you want to ask yourself is do you want a second-hand or a refurbished phone. The former is a phone you’ll buy from a friend directly or online from a seller. There is no way to know 100% what kind of condition these phones are going to be in but you’ll usually get a decent price.
Refurbished phones, meanwhile, are either refurbished directly by the manufacturer or by a retailer. These will often have been semi-professionally cleaned so that they appear to be in factory-fresh condition and are usually given grades.
For example, a Grade A device will be almost identical to a new phone whereas a Grade D device will often also be listed as “only for spares and repairs” and will be marketed towards people who can fix the phone or use its parts. Grades B and C obviously fall somewhere in-between.
What to look out for in a second-hand phone?
Battery – How healthy is the battery and how well does it hold a charge?
Ports – Are the charging ports and headphone/microphone ports clear of debris and dust?
Network – Is the second-hand phone locked to a specific network? If so, it might need to be unlocked.
Screen – Is the screen cracked beyond repair? And if it’s cracked just enough to still be useful, might you be able to get a decent discount?