More sustainable practices? Benefits of -used and refurbished phones

Daniel Martin



Mobile technologies have significantly evolved since the launch of the first affordable smartphone back in 2007 by Apple. Since then, mobile technologies have rapidly evolved, and their processing power has increased steadily.

Currently, a significant percentage of the population owns smartphones. The necessity of having a smartphone has risen as they continuously increase their capability to execute various functions.

However, the price of smartphones has steadily increased due to their increased capabilities and functions. The price of modern-day flagship smartphones from many mobile companies averages around $1000. The prices increase across various countries globally due to taxes and shipping costs.

Mobile development companies have also decided to go green by giving discounts to customers when they trade in their old devices. Traded-in devices can either be resold or recycled.

Due to these two reasons, buying used or refurbished smartphones has become popular. A refurbished phone is a phone that has been used but has undergone repairs and testing by a reputable company for resale. In this article, we discuss the benefits of used and refurbished smartphones.


More sustainable practices? Benefits of -used and refurbished phones. Source:

1. High-Quality Assurance

Contrary to popular belief, used and refurbished phones are not worse or do not have poor performance in comparison to new phones. Reputable sales companies for smartphones vigorously test their devices and make repairs where needed.

The companies always have a function checklist to guide them when testing the device. The functions that are tested include network connectivity, cameras, microphones, GPS, gyroscope, screen functioning, etc.

The tests aim to identify any faults in the devices. If any faults are discovered, they are repaired. This vigorous testing process aims to give potential buyers an answer to the question of whether to buy branded or buy used phones. The tests ensure that the performance of the devices is up to par with new smartphones.

2. Used Phones are Affordable

Buying used or refurbished smartphones gives the buyers a chance to own the phones at a fraction of the price. The devices are cheaper because they have been used. Contrary to popular belief, previous use does not impact the overall performance and feel of the phones.

Buying a used smartphone can help one save almost 50% of the price of the brand-new device. For people working on a strict budget, buying used or refurbished phones gives them a chance to own the phone regardless of their low budget.

A common advantage that many people have appreciated when buying used or refurbished phones is that they get the chance to own flagship phones. At launch, flagship mobile phones have exorbitant prices that are not affordable by mid-income earners, or the larger population.

If you want to own a flagship device, one can opt to wait for a few months till the devices show up on the used and refurbished market. By buying from these sellers, one can buy a phone worth around $1000 at $700.

3. Non-Contractual Purchases

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Over the recent years, mobile phone production companies have partnered with service providers to increase their sales. People who buy from the service providers are often slammed with carrier locks that bind them to that specific carrier or are subjected to payment plans. The payment plans are always on the condition that one does not change their cell carrier.

For many people, these carrier locks end up frustrating them, especially in cases where there is a better carrier, and they cannot switch due to the contract. For used or refurbished devices, the selling companies remove all carrier locks.

Unlocked mobile phones give the buyer the ability to choose the carrier they want. The convenience of having an unlocked phone also comes in handy during international travels. This is because one can switch their sim card to use the carriers available in their destination country. This saves one from paying hefty fees for international cell coverage. Unlocked devices offer many advantages to the owners.

4. Used Phones are Environmentally Friendly

In most cases, people who buy new phones often dispose of their previous phones in non-environmentally friendly ways. According to the World Economic Forum, smartphones account for almost 10% of e-waste globally. In the year 2019, the waste was about 50 million tonnes.

By buying used or refurbished phones, the amount of e-waste is significantly reduced. This is because the unused mobile phones are not disposed of poorly, but rather, they are sold at lower prices.

By buying a used or refurbished phone, you also reduce the carbon emissions of the phone production process. Though recycling has helped reduce e-waste, the materials have to undergo the manufacturing process again to develop them into new mobile phones.

Purchasing used or refurbished devices helps extend the lifespan of mobile devices that have been replaced by their previous owners. This is very beneficial to the environment, especially in this era where people upgrade phones after short usage periods to keep up with new trends.

5. Reduction of Carbon Footprint

The new trend of buying a new device every year to keep up with the latest trend is detrimental to the environment. The cost to the environment is factored in terms of the carbon emissions during the manufacture of the phones.

Carbon emissions for the phone manufacturing process occur at different stages. From the extraction or mining of the raw materials to the final assembly and transportation of smartphones. In 2020, a report detailed that smartphones contributed 580 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Buying used or refurbished devices significantly reduces your carbon footprint concerning the phone manufacture and distribution process. As more technological innovations are done on software rather than hardware, you do not miss out on anything when purchasing used smartphones.

With more people becoming aware of the impacts of their carbon footprint, the buying of used or refurbished phones should be considered by everyone. Reducing carbon footprints will help mitigate the climate change crisis.

6. Money-Back Guarantee or Warranty

Most sellers of used or refurbished offer reassuring options to their clients to keep them stress-free about their purchase. Sellers can grant their clients a 6-month or 1-year warranty. The warranties cover any malfunctions of the device that are not caused by the user.

When buying the phones, it is important to ensure that you go through their warranty terms and conditions. When the device malfunctions and they find it is a device error, some sellers will give you another device or refund you.

Another option given by sellers is the money-back guarantee. The agreement gives the buyers peace of mind. The money-back guarantee gives sellers a specific number of days to use the device, and if they are not impressed, they return it in its initial condition and get a refund.


With the recent global movement of adopting environmentally friendly practices in industries, the sale of used and refurbished devices is bound to grow. By buying such mobile phones, you save money and help keep the world green.

A factor to keep in mind when purchasing used devices is the condition. Sellers grade the aesthetics of their devices using several grading methods to help give the buyer a visual of the device’s condition in terms of wear and tear. You should check the wear and tear grade of a smartphone before buying to increase your satisfaction as a client.


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