Top 10 Things to Check When Buying a Refurbished iPhone

Top 10 Things to Check When Buying a Refurbished iPhone

1. Introduction

The market for refurbished iPhones has been growing significantly over recent years. With the ever-increasing costs of new iPhones, many people turn to refurbished iPhones as a cost-effective alternative. However, buying a refurbished iPhone can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure what to look for. Knowing about refurbished iPhones and what to check when purchasing one is crucial. So let’s dive into the top 10 things to check when buying a refurbished iPhone, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck!

2. What Does Refurbished Mean?

A refurbished iPhone isn’t merely a used phone; it’s much more than that. When an iPhone is refurbished, it’s thoroughly checked, any faulty parts are replaced, and the software is updated to function like new. It’s then tested rigorously to ensure everything works perfectly before being sold again.

In contrast to used iPhones, refurbished iPhones go through a quality check process, making them more reliable. However, the quality levels of refurbished iPhones can vary based on who performed the refurbishment. For instance, an Apple-certified refurbished iPhone is likely to have a higher quality standard compared to an iPhone refurbished by a third party.

3. Where to Buy a Refurbished iPhone

When buying a refurbished iPhone, the source matters a lot. Reputable sources such as Apple’s refurbished store, reputable phone retailers, or certified refurbished sellers offer more reliable and trustworthy deals.

While buying from independent sellers on platforms like Amazon might sometimes offer lower prices, it also poses more risks. Always check the seller’s rating, reviews, and return policy before purchasing.

4. Checking the Price

The price of a refurbished iPhone can be influenced by many factors, such as the model, the device’s condition, and storage capacity. Generally, refurbished iPhones should be cheaper than new ones. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to compare iPhone prices between refurbished and new models to ensure you get a fair deal.

5. Evaluating the Cosmetic Condition

One of the first things to check when buying a pre-owned iPhone is its cosmetic condition. Check for any visible signs of damage, such as scratches, dents, or screen cracks.

While cosmetic flaws might not affect the functionality of the iPhone, they can give you an idea of how the previous owner treated the device. For example, excessive scratches might imply careless handling, which could mean unseen issues.

6. Verifying the iPhone’s Functional Condition

A refurbished iPhone should function like a new one. Check essential functions such as the camera, microphone, speakers, touchscreen sensitivity, and buttons.

One crucial aspect often overlooked is battery health. Like all smartphones, iPhones have lithium-ion batteries, which degrade over time. Check the battery’s health in the settings to ensure it’s satisfactory.

7. Checking the iPhone’s Software Health

Just as hardware is essential, the software of the iPhone needs to be in perfect working order too. Ensure the iPhone is running the latest iOS version that its model supports and that there are no software glitches.

A jailbroken or modified iPhone might seem enticing due to the added customization, but it also poses security risks and might void any remaining warranty.

8. Understanding the iPhone’s Warranty Status

While not all refurbished iPhones come with a warranty, those that do offer more peace of mind. Check if the refurbished iPhone has a warranty from Apple or a third party. Warranties can be checked using the iPhone’s serial number on Apple’s warranty check page.

9. Importance of an Unlocked iPhone

An unlocked iPhone isn’t tied to a specific carrier, meaning you can use it with any carrier that supports iPhones. When buying a refurbished iPhone, ensuring it’s unlocked gives you flexibility and can save you from potential compatibility issues. You can check if an iPhone is unlocked by inserting a different carrier’s SIM card or checking the iPhone’s settings.

Refurbished Apple iPhone 13 Review

10. Ensuring the iPhone is Not Stolen

This is perhaps one of the most critical checks when buying a refurbished or used iPhone. You can verify the iPhone’s IMEI/MEID number in several online databases to ensure it hasn’t been reported stolen. Additionally, use Apple’s Activation Lock status tool to ensure the iPhone isn’t linked to someone else’s Apple ID.


And there you have it, the top 10 things to check when buying a refurbished iPhone! By taking the time to make these checks, you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure that you’re getting a quality iPhone that will serve you well for years to come.

Final Thoughts

Found this guide helpful? Don’t forget to share it with your friends and family who might be considering buying a refurbished iPhone. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. And be sure to check out our other articles for more useful tips and guides!

Q: Is buying a refurbished iPhone a good idea?

A: If done right, buying a refurbished iPhone can be a cost-effective way to enjoy Apple’s features without paying the full price for a new one.

Q: How much cheaper are refurbished iPhones?

A: The price can vary, but refurbished iPhones are typically 15-30% cheaper than new models.

Q: Where can I buy a reputable refurbished iPhone?

A: Check out Apple’s official refurbished store, certified refurbished sellers, or reputable electronics retailers.


  1. Apple (2023). Apple Certified Refurbished. Retrieved from
  2. CNET (2023). How to Check if Your Used iPhone is Stolen Before You Buy It. Retrieved from

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