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Buying used cellphones: Good idea or bad?

Consumer Reports says it can be good idea if buyer informed

SAN ANTONIO – With the price of some new cellphones causing sticker shock, refurbished phones are popular buys.

If you search “refurbished" online, you see thousands of offers and some attractive prices.

“Oh, it’s definitely tempting, but you don’t know where that phone has been,” said Tercius Bufete, Consumer Reports’ tech editor.

Buying a new-to-you phone can be a way to save money, but you want to be sure it's reliable first.

Consumer Reports suggests buying a refurbished cellphone directly from the manufacturer as a reliable option.

Companies such as Apple and Samsung promise pre-owned phones go through a stringent refurbishment process, and are fully inspected to meet company standards, and the companies replace any damage with quality parts and offer 12-month warranties like they do with their new phones.

“That will ensure that it’s not just cleaned up but restored to its original condition, with original parts,” Bufete said.

Big retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy also sell refurbished phones, but usually with only 90-day warranties. 

Consumer Reports also said it’s important to ask about a return policy. Typically, using the phone for at least a month is a good amount of time to help you notice any defects.


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