Fiction vs. Fact: Are Certified Pre-Owned Phones Good Buys?

Is the newest Smartphone not your speed? Prefer to hold off on getting the latest version until all the bugs get squashed? Or are you simply looking to save money on your next phone? Certified pre-owned (CPO) phones could be a great option if you’re looking for affordable reliability and more function than flash.

The facts about CPO phones may surprise you, in a good way.

Fiction: CPO phones are unreliable because there’s no way to know what you’re getting.

Fact: Certified pre-owned phones are thoroughly inspected, repaired and reconditioned to meet marketplace standards.

If you shop for a CPO phone through U.S. Cellular, for example, it will have been through a rigorous quality assurance process that includes cosmetic repair, thorough testing, a 60-point standard inspection, a software upgrade, and a reset to the original manufacturer’s settings. By the end of that process, you won’t be able to tell that your new phone was pre-owned – except for the fact that you’re getting it at a steep discount.

Fiction: CPO phones are outmoded and out-of-date.

Fact: Though it’s hard to buy the very latest Smartphone pre-owned, the CPO models offered through trustworthy sellers are up-to-date.

What’s more, only the most suitable phones are refurbished and certified from the many phones that are returned or traded in to cellular providers. That could include any phone that was opened and returned – even as soon as the next day – and always recent enough to be compatible with current apps and operating systems.

Think of it this way: most people would buy a certified pre-owned car from a couple of years ago, especially if they were confident the vehicle had been fully inspected and restored. A high-quality used car can give you years of reliable service, and so can a certified pre-owned Smartphone. In both cases, no one will know you didn’t buy it brand-new.

Fiction: If something goes wrong with my certified pre-owned phone, I’m out of luck.

Fact: Nope, that’s why it’s deemed “certified.”

In addition to undergoing a comprehensive quality assurance process, U.S. Cellular’s certified pre-owned phones come with a 90-day limited warranty and a 15-day excellence guarantee. You can feel just as secure as if you were buying a brand-new phone.

Fiction: You can buy a certified pre-owned phone from any website or seller.

Fact: You can buy a pre-owned phone from many sources, but it won’t be certified.

Only shop CPO through trusted sellers – that means the manufacturer or your cell provider. Pre-owned devices purchased from third parties may not be inspected or restored properly, so they could have external or internal damage. They could be infected with malware or spyware. And it’s much harder to hold third-party sellers accountable, especially online. To shop safely, only buy pre-owned if it’s certified by a cellular provider.

Shop the full range of U.S. Cellular’s certified pre-owned phones here.