What to avoid when buying a second hand phone online

No matter how careful you are with your smartphone, it's inevitable that it'll eventually break…

Typically, you’ll upgrade your phone contract with your service provider or visit the Apple store for the latest overpriced iPhone XYZ. However, because of the growth in second-hand and refurbished phones, you no longer have to drain your bank balance to stay on trend with the latest handset. As smartphone prices increase, picking up a cheap second-hand or refurbished phone is becoming a popular alternative to going on a wild goose chase for the best iPhone deals. And it's not just second hand phones; tablets, laptops, and gaming consoles are all seeing an increase in the second-hand market as people attempt to save a few quid.

Why you should avoid the refurb market

The biggest problem with buying a refurbished phone is that you don't know what you're getting beyond a nice shiny new screen. Most refurbished phones come from China, where they are often repaired with second-hand or counterfeit parts.
This can lead to several problems down the road, including lousy reception, poor battery life, and even data security issues. Sure, wear and tear parts like the screen or battery sometimes need replacing, but buying a refurbished phone with its innards replaced is generally not a good idea.

If you have a new iPhone X and are replacing the entire screen, face recognition will not function if a low-quality screen is installed. This gives you a good indication of the quality of the repair…

On top of this, if the seal between the screen and phone is not installed correctly, it may lose its waterproof capabilities. Sadly, these are things refurbished phone buyers find out later after their returns policy or warranty has already expired. Even if it does have a valid warranty with the refurbisher, you'll likely have to ship it back to China, which can take several weeks or even months to resolve.

So, if you're looking for a good deal whether it be an older iPhone 8 or the newest iPhone 13, it's best to avoid the refurb route altogether and opt for the safer and higher quality graded preowned phone market. With a graded second hand phone, you know exactly what you're getting, and you can be sure that it meets all the necessary quality standards.
Plus, you'll often get a better price on a second hand phone than you would on a refurbished one.

Used & graded phones.. The better alternative

Used phones generally contain all manufacturer-made parts, with the rare exception of a battery and screen replacement. As a result, they should last much longer than a refurbished phone, and in some cases, they'll still even have a valid Apple warranty.

The grading of second hand phones is usually divided into three categories: grade A is near mint, grade B has moderate wear and tear, and grade C is a heavily utilised phone. You can then choose the grade that suits your requirements and your budget. Although there are differences between the grading standards of each vendor, they will roughly follow this grading guide, and you can purchase with complete transparency and peace of mind.

So there you have it! If you're looking for a new phone, avoid the refurb market and opt for the same quality you'd receive by buying a new one. FCQ Phones offer the best deals on pre-owned and graded second hand phones. All of our phones are thoroughly tested by qualified technicians and include a 2-month warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Most of our stock is grade A and above, so you’ll be paying the price for second hand for near-new quality. What are you waiting for? Visit our shop find your perfect phone today!


Common refurbished phone problemsCommon used phone problemsEnvironment phoneIphone 11Iphone 12Iphone 13Iphone 8Iphone xRefurbished phoneSecond hand phoneShall i buy a refurbished phoneUsed phoneWhere to buy a used phone