Red haired woman laying next to a swimming pool with a phone in hand

A lot of people are reluctant to buy used smartphones online because it involves taking a chance with the standard of quality. A lack of safeguards in place, especially through private sellers, means you might not get what you expected or paid for and might not have the option to do anything about it. Should you just give up on second-hand smartphones entirely and pay the full price at your local shopping centre? Not so fast. Another option exists: buy refurbished phones online.

When you buy mobile phones refurbished, you score a device that functions as good as new or close to it while saving yourself hundreds of dollars – sometimes even a grand or more.  When you go looking for a refurbished mobile, you’re not just limited to older-model phones or less popular brands either. The most sought-after smartphone brands in the world, including Apple and Samsung, have relatively recent models available refurbished. Best of all, the devices that are on sale are always changing. Sometimes you can save big on Samsungs, get your hands on one of the best iPhones money can buy or grab the right Oppo or Huawei while it’s at bargain prices.

But what is a refurbished mobile, exactly – and how safe is buying one? Can you trust the sellers? If anything goes wrong, are you covered by a warranty?

This article explores both the risks and the rewards of buying mobile phones refurbished so that you can make your own choice.


What is a Refurbished Phone?

A refurbished phone isn’t just another word for a second-hand phone. While refurbished phones have definitely had previous owners, the process of buying one is very different to taking your chances with a private seller on the Internet.

A refurbished phone is a used phone that has been checked and tested by a private seller, repaired if necessary and sold with a warranty. The retailer will have erased the previous owner’s data, run checks on the phone to make sure it isn’t lost or stolen and made sure that every component of the phone still works: the microphone, the battery, the screen etc.

Refurbished phones are generally sold in grades. While there’s no fixed grading system that’s consistent across all retailers, you’ll find refurbished phones vary from those that are in a new or close-to-new condition to those that are a little more weathered by use. Many refurbished phones, however, are practically as good as new apart from some superficial markings such as a few chips or cracks. Some refurbished phones, known as “ex-demo” phones, have only been removed from their boxes to be put on display in shops.

Retailers who sell mobile phones refurbished have their own reputations to protect, so they take a professional approach to customer service that includes providing a warranty. OzMobiles is one of those retailers.

A phone displaying its insides

Refurbishing Process

Here is how the OzMobiles refurbishing process works. First, we buy your old and unwanted smartphones. If you have a smartphone gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, you can sell it to OzMobiles for cash. Send your device to us via one of our free shipping methods, and as soon as we receive it, we’ll send payment to your nominated account within 24 hours.

The phone refurbishing process generally involves wiping the phone clean of the previous owner’s data and restoring it to factory settings, removing both software and hardware customisations, repairing damaged parts and ensuring the battery life (always an important factor) is up to speed. That last element is something OzMobiles pays very close attention to.  

An Australian-owned and operated company, we test all of our devices at our Melbourne headquarters using our Blancco testing software and a 72-point checking process. We make sure they meet high Australian standards and are compatible with Australian networks. We make sure the battery life is at least 80%. By the time we put a refurbished mobile up for sale on our website, it’s fully functional, and we’re completely confident in selling it with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

When you buy mobile phones refurbished, you get a better, more affordable deal than other online options, as long as you choose the right retailer to buy refurbished phones online from. 


Benefits of Buying a Refurbished Phone

Why should you choose to buy refurbished phones online? Here are a few of the biggest benefits:

Huge savings

The main benefit of buying mobile phones refurbished is just how much money you can save. Through OzMobiles, you can save up to 40% or 50% off the recommended retail price and sometimes even a grand or more on particular sales.

Better for the environment

E-waste (electronic waste) is the fastest-growing type of waste in the world and involves the discarding of any electrical items. 10% of all e-waste comes from mobile phones that are thrown away in the billions each year. Toxic chemicals from discarded smartphones leach into the soil and air, causing environmental degradation and health problems. Buying mobile phones refurbished means one less phone that has to be thrown away and one less that needs to be produced in a factory, cutting down on carbon emissions and supporting a more sustainable approach. Buying a refurbished mobile helps in a small way to save the planet.

Warranty included

Refurbished smartphones come with warranties. So in the unlikely event that you don’t get what you paid for, you can get your money back or your phone replaced.

Unlocked phones

Refurbished phones are sold unlocked, so you’re not stuck serving out a contract with any particular carrier. Just stick your SIM card in, and you’re ready to go.

Stacks of variety

Because refurbished retailers like OzMobiles are always receiving new second-hand smartphones, you can always find newly refurbished phones online from a variety of different brands.

A purple Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus face down on top of its retail box.

Buy Mobile Phones Refurbished at OzMobiles

When you buy refurbished phones online through OzMobiles, you can take your pick from a range of high-quality phones, including refurbished iPhones and savings on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

OzMobiles offer free and fast shipping on all of the mobile phones refurbished by our team, as well as our other devices. We not only want to provide you with a top-quality device for less, but we also want to get it to you quickly. In fact, if you order before 12:30 pm on a weekday, we’ll have it in the mail on the same day. On top of that, you get free express post which takes about 1-2 days of delivery time.

We have a price-beat guarantee. If you find a better deal elsewhere on the same phone, we’ll beat that price by $10 (terms and conditions apply). And if you’ve found the perfect phone but can’t afford to pay for it in full straight away, we offer payment plans through third-party providers like ZipPay, AfterPay or PayPal Pay in 4.

How safe is it to buy refurbished phones? It’s one of the safest options for second-hand phone shopping out there, and OzMobiles does its best to keep it that way.

If you need help finding the right refurbished mobile or simply have questions for the OzMobiles team, get in touch with us

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