Have you ever wondered what happens to used mobile phones that are no longer wanted? For a start, they shouldn’t be chucked in a bin – they contain toxic substances such as cadmium in the batteries, lead and flame retardants which could harm the environment if incorrectly disposed of – but recycled instead. Once second-hand phones have been tested and found to be in reasonable condition, they’re often shipped abroad and sold, for example, in the Middle and Far East, Africa and South America. Phones of low value will be dismantled and the components sold, while phones without value will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way by the companies that recycle used mobile phones.
Recent press reports point to a flourishing market in used mobile phones, fuelled by the rising cost of new handsets. Sales of second-hand mobile phones are booming while those of new handsets stagnate. Higher prices – the iPhone X can cost as much as £1,149 – mean that owners are keen to gain some cash for their old phones when they upgrade to newer models.
What is a refurbished mobile phone?
A refurbished mobile phone is one which has been used, or preowned, and is sold on by the owner or returned if faulty. There are specialist web-based companies that will take your old phone in exchange for cash. You enter your mobile model on the website and you’ll be given a quote. Prices can vary widely so it’s best to shop around or use a price comparison site. But your phone must be in reasonable condition, with no more than superficial wear and tear, and must be able to be switched on.
Refurbishment includes checking the phone and, if necessary, restoring it to full working order. The original packaging and accessories are rarely included, but the phone will usually come with a warranty for a fixed period of time which may be conditional on the grade of refurbishment. Retailers apply a ‘grade’ to refurbished phones, generally to denote appearance.
Top 3 Online Stores for Second-Hand Phones
The company is a premier online retailer of second-hand mobile phones and has supplied retailers and wholesalers across Europe. They have been supplying professionally tested used mobile phones for over 10 years. They offer a substantial selection of quality used iPhones, Samsungs and other smartphones, as well as a range of iPads.
All second-hand phones are put through a rigorous 20-point test to check that the smartphone isn’t locked, lost or stolen; that the various functions such as touch screen, camera, mic, battery and PDA are in working order; and that the phone hasn’t suffered water damage or damage to the audio function, jack and speakers. Devices are guaranteed to be wiped clean of data and restored to factory settings. The phones are then graded according to: Grade A – Pristine Condition; Grade B – Very Good Condition; or Grade C – Good Condition.
A free, next day, tracked, delivery service is offered to customers in the UK, via trusted couriers who will safely deliver your refurbished phone. There are also postal options for Europe.
In the unlikely event that you receive a faulty handset, the company offers a no-quibble, hassle-free returns procedure. Your money will be fully refunded for devices returned within 14 days, or you will be offered a free repair or replacement if returned within 30 days. The company now offers a six month warranty for £19.99 and one for 12 months for £39.99.
All handsets are able to access any network and the company stocks the full range of iPhones and many of the Samsungs. Second-hand iPads and other tablets are also supplied that pass through the same quality control procedure as the second-hand mobile phones.
The website is designed to provide the customer with a smooth and seamless user experience, and both retail and wholesale customers are welcome to buy online.
The company is proud of its outstanding reputation for quality products, fast delivery and excellent customer service. With top-rated seller status and more than 24,000 positive feedbacks on eBay and a 5 star rating on Trust Pilot, customers can buy with confidence from I Need a Mobile.
This website provides a market place for buying and selling music CDs, DVDs, books and devices such as used mobile phones and tablets. Founded in 2007, the company launched its eBay store in 2011, which enabled them to access the global market. They have received more than 55,000 feedbacks on Trust Pilot.
The company offers a range of refurbished phones and tablets from all the main brands once they have undergone a 10-point check of condition and functionality. A 12 month warranty is available along with free returns within 14 days. Their phones are graded: A – Pristine Condition; B – Very Good Condition; and C – Good Condition.
The company’s stated aims are to create the best value for its customers and to behave in an environmentally beneficial way by recycling used mobile phones.
They have traded across Europe for the last 13 years and their USP is to offer ‘good as new’ products for much less than the ‘brand new’ price.
They stock many of the main brand-name phones and list some in categories such as ‘cheap iPhones’, ‘unlocked phones’, and ‘SIM-Free Phones’. All the phones are put through a rigorous testing process to ensure they are fault-free.
While all refurbished phones and tablets are fully functional and in excellent working order, they are graded according to five categories based on physical appearance only:
- New Boxed – ‘as new’ device that comes in its original packaging
- As New Condition – ‘like new’ restored to a very high standard and having no signs of use
- Pristine Condition – a premium product having no signs of use
- Excellent Condition – having very slight signs of wear and tear
- Good Condition – having moderate signs of wear and tear.
Envirofone dispatches devices in a personalised box with a USB cable. A 12 month warranty is offered on all phones and tablets purchased online, plus a 30-day returns policy. Orders are sent by means of Royal Mail Tracked 24 which is intended to ensure delivery the following morning. The company has received more than 15,000 positive reviews on TrustPilot.
These three websites offer plenty of choice. It’s worth keeping an eye out for any special deals they might launch.