Original smartphones by popular brands, such as Apple, Samsung, LG, and others, are expensive, and not everyone can afford such a costly purchase. If you are tight on a budget but want to have a branded gadget, you can buy a refurbished smartphone on AliExpress. However, this choice needs to be approached consciously, considering all the pros and cons, reviews, and possible risks.
What is a Refurbished Phone?
While searching for a smartphone on AliExpress, you may notice that some models are marked as “refurbished” in the product characteristics box. What does it mean? Here is the short answer: refurbished means that the phone has been repaired (but don’t rush to abandon the purchase; first, read this article to the end).
Please note! Refurbished and unlocked smartphones are not the same. Here you can learn more about unlocked phones.
As a rule, if the device is found to be defective (the camera or a fingerprint reader does not work, etc.) during the warranty period, buyers return the gadget to the seller. Returns can also happen if the smartphone’s case or screen is damaged in shipping. Stores don’t sell or keep such products in the warehouse but repair them. Sometimes repairs are carried out by shops themselves (in case of minor defects) or by specialized service centers.
Then the phone is put up for sale again on AliExpress but with a discount (its amount depends on the severity of the past breakdown) and the “refurbished” status. Sellers usually repair only expensive branded gadgets, as repairing counterfeits or cheap phones is unprofitable. For stores, such a game is not worth the candle since the repair expenses won’t be covered.
How Can You Find a Refurbished Phone on AliExpress?
Finding a refurbished phone on AliExpress can be done in the following way:
- go to the AliExpress website;
- type ‘refurbished phone’ in a search bar (you can add a brand name, e.g., iPhone);
- click on the magnifying glass icon and view the search results.
Should You Buy a Refurbished Gadget?
Now, to the most important issue: is a refurbished gadget worth buying and what are the risks? We can’t tell you “Yes, go for it” with full certainty: after all, the gadget was broken once and has been repaired, and there is no way to learn how serious the defect was. It could be just a damaged case, which doesn’t affect the device’s performance and functionality. However, it could also be something as serious as module breakage, which has been soldered or replaced with a new one. So, it is difficult to predict how this smartphone will perform in the future.
In summary, you risk:
- getting an initially defective phone with frequent freezes and crashes.
- buying a seemingly proper smartphone which will break in half a year.
Another disadvantage is that usually the shipping of refurbished gadgets takes longer compared to new ones.
But if you are lucky, you will get a 100% original and top-of-the-line smartphone from a famous brand at a lower (sometimes almost half) price!
Should you take the risk, it depends solely on you. We just want to add that in recent years the risk of getting a defective product has significantly reduced. Previously, the odds of getting a properly working smartphone were 50 to 50, but now AliExpress closely monitors the quality of gadgets offered by stores. Currently, the odds are 90 to 10, with a 90% chance of getting a decent gadget which will last a long time. Besides, sellers don’t want to damage their reputation. However, when searching for a refurbished phone, make sure to check the store’s rating and customer reviews.