Last Updated on February 25, 2020 by Husain Parvez
Buying a galaxy Note 9 refurbished instead of brand-new is an easy way to get your favorite smartphone on the cheap without getting too much into the risks of the used market.
That said, buying any sort of used device is still a risky process – especially if you’re new to all this. That’s why we decided to write this article for you so that you can get your Note 9 safely and at a good price. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
Galaxy Note 9 Refurbished VS Used – Know the Difference
So, when buying a refurbished device, be it a Galaxy Note 9 refurbished or anything, really, the first thing that you must understand is that there is a small difference between like-new, refurbished, and used.
Something like this, for example, should never be classified as a refurbished smartphone. See, a used device could be in any condition from “brand-new” to “it barely works”.
A refurbished smartphone, on the other hand, should be, well, refurbished. Refurbished means that the device is brought to a brand-new-like condition with a variety of different methods.
Most refurbished phones are thoroughly cleaned and/or have various parts replaced with brand-new ones (Battery, display, etc).
TL;DR: Refurbished devices are generally found in a brand-new-like condition. Used phones, on the other hand, could be anything from brand-new to almost broken.
Just keep in mind that just sellers can claim that their phone is refurbished even if it’s not and there’s not much you can do about it. Except, of course, pay attention to what kind of seller you choose. But, more on that later.
Why You May Want a Galaxy Note 9 Refurbished – or Used
Buying your phone brand-new from an actual retailer is quite obviously the safest bet. Not only you don’t have to worry about how badly the phone has been treated by its previous owner – but you also almost always get warranty and coverage by the retailer and/or the phone’s manufacturer.
That’s why many people totally ignore the benefits of buying used/refurbished smartphones – and there are quite a lot of them. For starters, one of the biggest advantages is the price. It’s not uncommon to find a phone at half of its original price or even lower on the used market.
Other than that, don’t forget about unlocked variants – especially in the US and Canada. Unlocking a brand-new phone costs extra money and can be quite a tedious process as well. By buying a used phone, you’re saving not just money and time – but quite a lot of effort and troubleshooting as well.
Also, many older smartphones are hard to find brand-new. And it makes sense. Manufacturers want to focus on selling their newer, more expensive models and we can hardly blame them.
Let us not forget to mention that a used smartphone makes for a great backup. After all, you can get it for much cheaper and without having to worry too much about warranty periods and stuff like that, It’s worth noting that many reputable sellers will give you a 1-year warranty nowadays, though. Even for used phones.
Refurbished Note 9 Buying Guide and Deals
This is the part where we show you where to get some sweet refurbished deals – and how you can also get them safely. That said, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Seller reputation/background/trustworthiness
- Phone condition
- Locked and unlocked variants of the phone
- Import fees and hidden charges
1: Seller Reputation/Background/Trustworthiness
The very first thing that you need to do is look for a seller that can be trusted. After all, those who are the most popular are usually also the ones who are the least likely to try and scam you in any way. Not to mention anything about buyer protection, warranties, and anything like that.
While there are a ton of trustworthy sellers out there, the best ones for used smartphones are usually:
Samsung is obviously the safest bet. The only problem with them is that you rarely find their refurbished devices on stock – if ever. So, Amazon and Swappa are our next best picks.
Amazon is without a doubt one of the most popular platforms – but as far as used products are concerned, you’re often left at the mercy of their individual sellers. While they are much easier to shop on compared to other platforms, they are arguably not the best at it.
And that’s where Swappa comes in. Swappa is a platform that’s specifically focused on selling used and refurbished smartphones – which includes both locked and unlocked variants.
That said, buying from a reputable platform is one thing. Choosing a trustworthy seller is another.
Always pay attention to individual user ratings and reviews; just to make sure that you’re dealing with someone who is trustworthy. It goes without saying that Swappa and most platforms out there are always trying to only let decent people in – but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful as well.
2: Phone Condition
As we mentioned above, a used phone could be anything from basically “new out of its box” to “almost destroyed”. The easiest way to find out what you’re dealing with is by either looking at photos, the description of the device, or, ideally, both!
Different sellers have their own ways of describing the overall condition of their phone. But, generally, this is what you can expect to come across:
- Grade D/Only for repairs: A phone that’s partially or completely broken
- Grade C/Cosmetic Damage: Should work like a brand-new device – any damage is purely cosmetic; things like scratches, broken plastic, etc
- Grade B/Good: Generally in good condition without any damage
- Grade A/Very Good/Pre-used: You basically can’t tell it apart from a brand-new phone
- Refurbished: A device that has been restored to its primary glory. The repairs may involve anything from cleaning to even replacing certain parts like the battery or display
Don’t forget that different sellers may use different ratings or descriptions in general. So, always read the item’s description and always pay attention to the small letters.
3: Locked and Unlocked Variants
In case you’re not familiar with the term, a “locked” device is a phone or tablet that’s only going to work with a very specific carrier. That could be Verizon, AT&T, or anyone, really.
This is most commonly found in the US and Canada – but it can obviously happen in other regions as well. So, when buying a Galaxy Note 9 refurbished or used you want to make sure that it’s unlocked. Unless, of course, the phone is locked down to the carrier of your choice.
While we are at it, let us not forget to mention that an unlocked phone that was previously locked may no longer work with the carrier that it was locked down to. This may be due to carriers being angry that a certain customer left them – or something like that. But, you can draw your own conclusions on this subject.
4: Import Fees and Hidden Charges
Last, but not least, there are lots of small letters when buying something that may escape those of you who are new to all this. Some of them refer to import fees that you may end up paying if you’re buying from a warehouse that’s outside of your region.
The truth is that there is nothing that can accurately calculate how much we’re going to pay. The exact price could be anything from nothing to even half the value of the item that you bought – sometimes even more than that.
Amazon is currently one of the very few platforms that handle such tasks on checkout.
And even that estimate is not something that you can always trust. After all, at the end of the day, you’re at the mercy of the laws of your own country.
Since the aforementioned laws can greatly differ from region to region, we’d recommend making your own research on that subject for your country.
The easiest way to avoid such issues altogether is by not buying outside of your country at all. Admittedly, that can be a bit of a tough task as there are a ton of decent deals out there. Sometimes you just have to take the risk.
Refurbished Note 9 Guide and Deals: Wrapping Up
That’s all we’ve got for now. We assume that this is a lot of information to take in at once. So, here’s everything that we mentioned in this articled as fast as possible:
- Where to get the best deals safely: Swappa, Amazon, and Samsung are usually your safest bet
- Phone condition: Pay attention to the overall condition of the device. Grade A is usually the best while Grade D is usually the worst. Each seller may use different ratings and descriptions, though
- Import fees and hidden charges: Importing anything from outside of your country comes with the risk of having to pay import fees and hidden charges. The easiest way to avoid that is to shop from warehouses that are in your region – but, even then, depending on the law, you may still need to be careful. Make your own research on that subject for your own country
- Only buy from reputable sellers and platforms: Buying a used device from a shady platform and/or seller is just a huge gamble
And that should be about everything. Hopefully, we didn’t miss anything important. That said, if you’ve got any questions or anything extra to ask, feel free to let us know about it in the comments section down below!
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