Distinguish Between Refurbished iPhone and Open box

By Chris Cui
  • Oct 25, 2017


It is obvious that Apple products boast such an outspoken and devoted following: they're pretty, they're user-friendly, and they've topped the American Consumer Satisfaction Index's annual consumer satisfaction survey for the past 12 years and counting. They are so good but so high in selling price. Not everyone could afford a new iPhone but a refurbished one is ok. We've written before about why buying a Mac at the Apple store is a waste of money, but just because the brick and mortar store doesn't offer many (read: any) discounts on its gadgets, doesn't mean you can't find a deal on an iPhone, MacBook or iPad directly from Apple. Choose a refurbished iPhone is a good choice on this situation.


What does "refurbished" mean in this context?


Refurbished phone doesn’t mean a waste cellphone with new shell outside. You don’t have to worry about the quality and performance if you purchased on from a regular store a manufacturer. We get a lot of reader questions like: "Are refurbished Apple products worth it?" or "Can I trust refurbished Apple devices?" The answer to these questions is yes. Sometimes it depends on what kind of store you purchased them. People refused on buying an electronic products because of bad quality, problems of warranty and repair, but when you buy an Apple Certified refurbished item, it's guaranteed to be just as good as the one brand new -- as long as you buy it directly from the Apple Certified Refurbished section of Apple's website. Apple Certified Refurbished items aren't going drastically cheaper than buying new but it still attracts people of buying in the market.


To be mentioned, there is a messy issue of refurbished iPhone sales. If you buy a refurbished iPhone product from another retailer, you could be stuck with no warranty at all, because some irregular resellers will only provide a warranty that's based on when the item was originally purchased. So if you're buying an electronic at Best Buy on March 1, 2016 and the previous owner of that MacBook bought it at Best Buy with a year-long warranty on March 4, 2015, you're now the proud owner with a warranty that is set to expire in three days. Lucky you!


What's the difference between "open-box" and "refurbished?"


A refurbished iPhone was returned to the retailer because there was something wrong with it. When this happens, the retailer (or a third-party refurbishing outfit) takes it apart, fixes the problem and returns it to operational status before selling it again under a refurbished banner. Apple runs its refurbished items through pretty extensive testing. Since they are making these products in the first place, that testing is going to be a lot better than the testing done by a resale company. A refurbished phone from apple store is much better on guarantee than the one from an irregular retailer.


An open-box item is something that was returned to the retailer after the original buyer changed his or her mind. Often the store in question will inspect the item to determine whether or not it has anything mechanically wrong with it. If they find it no problem, they call it an open-box sale. Most retailers will not take apart the electronic item apart and replace parts inside because it is unwisely for the warranty. Apple doesn't offer-box items, although many of the items it sells under the refurbished banner are likely open-box returns, it still has to call them refurbished because they've been previously owned.


How to buy a refurbished Apple product like an expert?


Since there are so many irregular retailers on selling refurbished iPhones on the market, it is important to know some ticks about buying refurbished electronic products. Although we are not exports on cellphone business, we still hope our customers to be wise on choosing their cellphone. Here we offer some tips about how to choose a good one from a iPhone store.


If you're going to buy an Apple Certified refurbished item, make sure you check the prices against the brand-new models at other retailers. New products are never discounted at the Apple Store, so while the price on an Apple Certified refurbish will be lower than the Apple Store price on a new model, it might be selling for more than a discounted new item at another store. For example, this past holiday season, E-bye was selling the iPhone 5s -- brand new -- for $2556, but the Apple Certified 32G unlock refurbished iPhone 5s model was going for $2880. Once you've done your homework and are sure that the refurbished price is the best out there, don't be hesitated to too long to buy. Apple refurbish sell out quickly and often take weeks to restock. This is especially for laptops, iPad and the Mac Mini. With this expert knowledge under our belts, let's dive into the deals.


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