Grades of Refurbished Mobiles - What they actually should be!

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How to avoid overpaying for a lower grade refurbished handset.....

Buying a refurbished handset is one of the best ways to own a top of the range handset at a fraction of the price and you should not be put off as a customer in using this route to purchase your next handset. However, it can be a mind field and our guides are here to help and guide you through what can be a difficult process, one that we face every day.... 

As mentioned in one of our earlier guides, grading of refurbished mobile phones is extremely subjective. What the seller deems it to be, and what the buyer expects it to be, are often two different things! There has been no industry wide grading criteria Until NOW. In this guide we provide you our process and grading criteria table so you can make comparisons and know what to avoid more to the point, when looking at listings on eBay.

When we receive a mobile phone, we grade it using a 27 point inspection process which will categorise them easily into certain grades before we do anything with them. Then based on their initial condition, cost, handset model, we then decide how much time, effort and cost to put into them to bring them to a resale handset.

Based on the quality of refurbishment we carry out, the following grades will apply to our handsets, these should also be uniform across other suppliers. If not, then that grade A handset they are selling you, is more likely to be a grade B or even worse....

 Grade “28 Day Return” • Product is as new/pristine standard condition. • We would describe this grade as equivalent to a brand new product both inside and out! • The item has been returned to the original manufacturer, network provider or retailer by a customer as it was either surplus to requirements, change of mind or ordered incorrectly. • As it has been opened it cannot be sold as new, even though it looks like a new product and does not come in original packaging. • Full and comprehensive OEM approved QC process on 100% of the product. • Product has been fully checked and had an OEM master reset and flash. • Minimum 60 day standard warranty included.

Grade “A” • All Cosmetics are replaced and so looks as if a brand new product! • Product has been through a thorough screening process by OEM approved engineers and is graded as A standard. • Product has had an OEM master reset and flash. • Full and comprehensive OEM approved QC process on 100% of the product. • Minimum 28 day standard warranty included.

Grade “B” • Product will have minor scratches, scuffs and imperfections. We would best describe this grade as “used but well loved condition” • Product has been through a thorough screening process by OEM approved engineers and is graded as B standard. • Product has had an OEM master reset and flash. • Full and comprehensive OEM approved QC process on 100% of the product. • Minimum 14 day standard warranty included.

Grade “C” • Product will have minor scratches, scuffs and imperfections. We would best describe this grade as “well used but looked after working condition”. • Product has been through a thorough screening process by OEM approved engineers and is graded as C standard. • Product is power up tested. • Product will have a working LCD and non cracked digitiser (screen). • No warranty usually

Grade “D" or Lower • Will be broken to some varying degree and should only be purchased by a competent handset technician. AVOID!

We hope this has helped you make an informed choice when purchasing your next refurbished handset.

P.S. As mentioned in an earlier guide, we still feel that despite having one of, if not the most comprehensive and transparent grading criteria, we find it still better to describe the product as is to the customer in the listing rather than simply quote a level of grade, simply to avoid any ambiguity and disappointment for the customer
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