Why not save money with a refurbished Samsung Galaxy smartphone, Apple iPhone or laptop?

Sure, you can buy the latest iPhone 12 starting at $699, but doesn’t a classic iPhone for $200 sound more up your alley?

a bus that is parked on the side of a building: Bus sign for BackMarket

© BackMarket
Bus sign for BackMarket

Or why not just $849 on a 21-inch Apple iMac, instead of $1,099 for a new one?


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In other words, instead of spending big money on Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, why not save money on a refurb? 

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With a refurbished product, you won’t get the latest technology, but you will get a workable device that didn’t need to be thrown away – one that’s been cleaned, inspected and re-packaged to continue serving customers. 

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“Like-new devices. Second-hand prices,” is how Back Market, one of the many websites that re-sells used products describes its inventory. 

True, you won’t get the latest technology. That $200 iPhone 8 is from 2017, and Apple’s processor wasn’t as fast then, nor were the cameras as advanced. 

But we’re in a pandemic where many people have lost their jobs or been furloughed. They don’t need to spend on the latest and greatest. 

“The number one reason people come to us is for the price,” says Serge Verdoux, managing director for Back Market. “Some customers only want what’s new.” Others are skeptical that the newer phone is actually that much better than the older one, he adds. Is it really that much faster? Is the camera that much better?

Beyond the obvious candidates like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook’s Marketplace section, several websites like Back Market have popped up to serve the used demand. Others include Swappa, Gazelle and TradeMore.

Swappa, for instance, has a full selection of iPhones, Samsung Galaxy smartphones and laptops. An iPhone 11, from 2019, is $415. Apple sells the same phone new on its website for $599.

A better deal would be for the Galaxy S10, also…