One of the big questions people ask about buying a refurbished mobile phone is how they know what sort of working condition it is in before they spend their money.

Sure, refurbished phones represent a considerable cost saving compared to buying new. But that’s a false economy if the refurbished phone you purchase fails on you just a few weeks later.

Especially when it comes to buying anything second hand, consumers are wary about quality. Refurbished phone retailers need to be able to provide clear guarantees that will convince customers to part with their cash.

Fortunately, with refurbished phones, there are clear protocols in place to do this. Unlike used phones which are more or less ‘sold as seen’, refurbished phones are restored as close as possible to their original factory condition.

Only phones that can be restored to an ‘as new’ condition are selected to be refurbished, and all work carried out gets guaranteed with a warranty, giving consumers the assurances they need about quality and performance.

Here’s how we go about the process of selecting and restoring pre-owned phones to be sold as refurbished models.

Electronic testing

Refurbishment starts with every device we receive being put through a thorough testing regime covering all main functions and features. This diagnostic test covers things like camera functionality, touchscreen, connectivity, speakers and microphone, plus internal memory and processors.

The aim is to decide whether the device is in good enough working order to be considered for refurbishment – can it be put back into an ‘as new’ condition with just a few simple tweaks? Or would there be too much work to do and, crucially, no guarantee it would ever perform as it once did?

Phones that pass the diagnostic testing and are put forward for refurbishment then go on to the next phase. This involves doing a full ‘factory reset’, which includes wiping all existing data, unlocking any PINs and removing any user accounts, such as the previous owner’s iCloud account on iPhones.

We will also unlock the phone so it can work on any network in the future, and verify the IMEI identification number against databases of lost or stolen phones, so whoever ends up buying the handset knows it has come from a legitimate source.

Cosmetic grading

As well as thoroughly testing the functionality and performance of every refurbished phone, we also grade them on their cosmetic appearance. Clearly, not every pre-owned phone that is two, three or more years old is going to be in pristine condition. The grading system is intended to give customers a fair, honest, consistent appraisal of the physical condition of any refurbished phone they buy.

A mobile might still be in excellent working order with a long operable life ahead of it even if it does have a few scratches and marks. We don’t believe in trying to hide those – we will grade such handsets B, C or C+ as an acknowledgement of the wear and tear, and these types of phones are available at a lower price.

But if someone is after a refurbished phone that looks as good as it functions, we will also single out devices that have virtually no outward signs of previous use and grade them A or A pristine, providing consumers and retailers alike with a simple shorthand for identifying pre-owned phones in the best condition.

Speak to our trade team

Our trade team share decades of experience in the mobile phone industry, they are able to guide and advise you on the best grade of device for your customers, let you know our availability, and prices.  Contact them today on +441270 449999 or email