Many companies offer previously-owned repaired or refurbished mobile phones at a savings off the original price. A phone that is refurbished has been returned by a dealer or customer to the manufacturer due to damage or other reasons. Refurbished cell phones are checked for defects and, if necessary, repaired and cleaned.
Some companies also purchase used phones and have them refurbished independently. In many cases, the phones have only been used for a short period of time, and people who buy these phones are likely to receive a warranty with them. The technicians who test repaired or refurbished mobile phones may or may not be certified. The process can also involve original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, as opposed to original parts. Some phones don't need repairs and are simply subjected to diagnostic and quality assurance tests and then reconditioned to have a like-new appearance.
Like it sounds, a repaired mobile phone is one that has had its problems fixed, but it is not necessarily under warranty and may or may not have been cleaned up. Because of the large number of cell phone models available and the speed at which new models are created, it is often more time-consuming and expensive to repair a phone than to replace it. Companies that recycle and refurbish cell phones often buy, sell, and recycle other electronic devices, such as pagers and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Someone who buys a refurbished phone needs to verify the Electronic Serial Number (ESN), which identifies the phone and determines where the minutes of that phone are billed. With this number, a buyer can also determine whether the phone was stolen or if there was an unpaid balance on it. An individual considering buying a refurbished mobile phone must also determine if it is compatible with the carrier he or she uses.
Aside from the warranty and the low cost, there are other reasons why refurbished mobile phones may be the best choice. Some organizations sell them and donate the profits for charitable causes. Other agencies provide refurbished phones to victims of domestic violence to call for help if necessary. Buying a refurbished mobile phone also reduces the amount of waste produced by unwanted, older models.