Have you ever thought of buying a refurbished mobile? If you have, you must have come across the terms “manufacturer refurbished” and “seller refurbished”. One can easily locate such terms in the product description section. These terms depict who restored the device and in what process. 

Though these terms explain a lot about the refurbishing process, the online platforms and refurbished mobile stores often do not explain the difference. In short, a buyer mostly remains in the dark about the product quality at the time of purchase.

If these terms are not clear to you, we are here to explain the differences for your understanding.

What do you understand by Manufacturer Refurbished mobile?

When the original manufacturer of a mobile procures and refurbishes the device, we call it a “manufacturer refurbished” mobile. No retailer or third-party stays involved in the process. 

The best example of manufacturer refurbished mobiles is the refurbished devices you buy directly from Samsung or Apple. Apple has its own in-house technicians for restoring used iPhones

Though you can check the prices or manufacturer refurbished phones over different e-commerce platforms, you can only buy them from the brand manufacturer.

What do you understand by Seller Refurbished mobiles?

When dealers, other than the original manufacturer, restore a mobile, it gets labelled under “Seller Refurbished Mobiles.” These dealers are generally the third-party firms that dedicatedly procure used phones and refurbish them to operate as new ones. Some of these third-party operators are not even brands; some even restore mobiles from their open.

Seller Refurbished is a common tag you see when you shop online for refurbished phones on e-commerce platforms like eBay, Gazelle, etc. When you see such tags on a renewed phone and cannot find a known brand name behind it, be sure that the device’s previous owner restored the mobile all by themselves. 

Now that you know the basic definition, you can understand the difference between the two types of refurbishing. You can now easily understand which mobile got manufacturer refurbishing, and the third-party took care of which one. 

Are the Manufacturer Refurbished better than Seller Refurbished?

A mobile refurbished by the original manufacturer is always of better quality is a common misconception that prevails among people. Well, this idea not always true. Regardless of who restores the device, the quality of refurbishing solely depends on the extensive testing and capability of the technician. Sometimes, it is also dependent on the internal software of the device. 

If we compare the quality of Manufacturer Refurbished vs. Seller Refurbished mobiles and other electronic goods, they can turn out to be at par with each other. 

One must understand here that even the Seller refurbished products can be of superior quality. If you are buying the product from an authorized reseller, you can depend on its reliability. 

Do you get a warranty against Manufacturer Refurbished product?

When purchased refurbished items directly from the original manufacturer, in general, they provide you with a warranty and a certificate of refurbishing. For example, if you buy a refurbished MacBook or iPhone from Apple directly, you get a 1-year Apple warranty under the Apple Certified Refurbished Program. 

If you want to extend the warranty coverage, you might need to pay extra for the same. Moreover, the manufacturers also offer a flexible return policy.

Things you need to keep in mind while buying a refurbished mobile from a reseller

Buying a refurbished mobile from a reseller can be tricky. You can easily fall prey to sellers who mislead you through the deal. You need to go for smart shopping in such cases. Some points you need to keep in mind while you purchase a refurbished device from a reseller are-

  • Ask the seller about the refurbishing grades of the products to judge their quality. 
  • Enquire about the restoration procedure. Whether they have an in-house team or if they outsource technicians for the restoration work.
  • Find out the experience of the company in refurbishing electronic items. 
  • Check out other customer reviews to understand their quality of work.

Do you get a warranty on Seller Refurbished products?

The major difference between the manufacturer Refurbished and Seller Refurbished product lies on this point. We always want to go for a secured purchase. It is the sense of back that leads us to purchase a product with a warranty. Moreover, the warranty shows that the seller’s confidence in their products.

If you are purchasing a refurbished mobile from a trusted and authorizes reseller retailer or online platform, they provide you a warranty by default. 

But not all refurbished sellers offer a warranty. Even if they do, whether they will give you an extension on the warranty for additional payment is always a matter of concern.

Final thoughts on Manufacturer Refurbished vs. Seller Refurbished

Now that you are aware of the two kinds of refurbishing, you are sure to ask which one is a better option. Well, when we compare Manufacturer Refurbished and Seller Refurbished products, we can conclude two factors for decision making. Firstly, the Manufacturer Refurbished gadgets are always costlier than the Seller Refurbished ones. Secondly, packing differs. The manufacturer refurbished models usually get flashy packaging with add-on gadgets like headphones, USB cable, etc.

So, when you buy a phone, take a wise decision, compare the certificates and pricing, and purchase your refurbished phone. 


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