Would you buy a refurbished phone?


Shopping for a new upgrade is always exciting, at least in my opinion. Even the weeks and days leading up to getting a new phone are exciting as you narrow down exactly what phone you plan to pick up. Will you stick with the same manufacturer you already have, or will you go with somebody different? Will you even stick with the same platform?

Among the questions we often ask ourselves when we get a new phone, “Should I buy a new or refurbished phone?” isn’t a typical question posed. However, according to recent rumors, Samsung may be introducing a new option to purchase refurbished high-end Galaxy smartphones. These rumors speculate that the refurbished devices are ones that have been returned from annual Galaxy upgrade programs – so ones that have been used before, but not necessarily broken.

The move would be good for a few reasons. First, it seems like a good business opportunity for Samsung. Their phones are in high enough demand where a program like this has the real potential to take off, and could create extra profits for Samsung. The second benefit to this program would be prevention of more e-waste, which has been a steadily increasing problem with little solution for quite some time now (an issue that modular phones, should they ever come to fruition, pose to aid). Finally, there’s the benefit of the consumer. Not everybody has $700 or more to dump on a new flagship. Without purchasing a refurbished device, the only other option was to hope for a really good deal to happen, or wait a couple of years when the device has long been forgotten (by consumers as well as the manufacturer, especially concerning updates). While it isn’t clear how much one of these refurbished devices will cost, I would guess at least $200 would be knocked off – and hopefully more, if they hope to compete with this new age of affordable smartphones with admirable performance.

I’ve never had an issue with refurbished devices myself. I’ve purchased a couple. My most recent example is my iPad Air, which I purchased early last year. It only cost me almost half of what it normally cost at the time, but it worked (and still works) like a charm, and looked perfect. I was extremely pleased with that purchase.

I have also received a couple of refurbished phone replacements when it came to insurance claims. I don’t remember ever having problems that were directly related to the fact that it was a refurbished device.

If I had the chance to purchase a refurbished S7 over the full price I paid for mine, I would do it in a heartbeat. As long as it comes with a proper warranty, as most devices do whether it’s new or refurbished, I would love to save some money while still getting the phone I wanted.

Readers, what are your thoughts on this possible move? Would you be more interested in purchasing Samsung’s flagships if they were sold refurbished for a significant discount? Do you hope other manufacturers start doing this as well?