Ultimate Guide To Buying A Refurbished Phone In Malaysia 2020

refurbished smartphone

Considering to buy a refurbished phone in Malaysia in 2020? Or, perhaps you are looking for a cheap iPhone? This is definitely a MUST READ guide for you!

Before we begin, below is an excerpt from an article by telecommunication services provider CELCOM of Malaysia:

If you’re one of the unlucky smartphone users who always ends up dropping their new phone within a short period of time after buying, you’re not alone.

CELCOM Malaysia, Monday, 29 Jul 2019

According to an article by Protectcell, it only takes about 10 weeks from the moment of purchase to accidentally cause damage to the device (if you hadn’t already dropped it on the day of purchase). When going through the distress caused by a cracked iPhone or Samsung screen, the thought of getting a refurbished phone at a cheaper price to save some Ringgits may have occurred to you.

Refurbished phones are checked by the manufacturer for defects before being sold

Before we go any further, it’s imperative to know the difference between a refurbished phone and a used one. Although used interchangeably, refurbished phones are more than just pre-owned. Unlike used smartphones that are sold as-is, refurbished iPhones and Android devices are returned devices which the manufacturer checked for any defects before being sold almost new-like.

If you’re now in the market for a refurbished phone, here’s a quick cheat sheet before walking up to a phone shop in KL or Malaysia.

Make Sure the Smartphone is Actually Refurbished

First thing to do when shopping for a refurbished phone is making sure that the smartphone is actually refurbished. From checking the box for the presence of a device when buying to ensuring that it’s authentically re-assembled by the manufacturer.

There are many ways you could verify the status of the phone. For example, Samsung label refurbished phones with the term “certified pre-owned” after “a detailed, top-down inspection of every feature and function”.

Pick a Reputable Seller

Unless you’re used to buying a refurbished phone, chances are you may not know where to turn to when you’re in the market for refurbished iPhones or other Android devices in Malaysia.

Do check out Seibifon, a company originally started distributing and selling Japanese refurbished phone across Asia since 2013.

Take Note of the Warranty and Return Policy

If you’re not used to buying refurbished phone chances are you may not readily be at ease with your purchase. Although the refurbished phone may be as good as new with new internal parts it’s always best to still have it covered by warranty.

Refurbished phone bought from Samsung or Apple are both covered by warranty for a year – the same amount of time offered for a new smartphone. On the retailer front, local e-merchant limits warranty for a refurbished phone on its platform to a month.

Decide on the Grade You’re After

There is a grading system behind a refurbished phone, based on cosmetic condition of a phone mainly, as below

refurbished grade
Source: Refurb.me

Depending on the retailer – whether manufacturers themselves like Samsung and Apple or e-commerce platforms – you will encounter refurbished devices of various grades up for the purchase with different price tags.

It’s important to identify your budget when going in and understand the implication of a cheaper refurbished phone – the possibility of a short lifespan. While Grade A restored smartphones are as good as new, lower-grade devices could potentially have briefer longevity.

Check with Your Network for Replacement

Now, before you rush off to get your hands on any new phone, refurbished or otherwise, first thing to do is check with your network provider whether your comprised device is covered by a protection plan.

Protection plans by telcos help you save money by allowing you to replace compromised devices.

In Malaysia for example, Celcom offers a protection plan called Phone Care which allows you to swap or replace your phone bought from the telco with monthly instalments starting as low as RM4.

Subscription to such protection plans come in handy when your device is damaged or misplaced and saves you the time and money that you may spend finding a replacement refurbished phone.

phone display
Source – Celcom


To avoid legal complication arising from the use of certain corporate names (other than giving credit to Celcom as source of article) in the article, certain key sentences are either amended or deleted altogether. For completeness of this article, please refer to CELCOM’s website)

Helpful Resources

Celcom’s Guide on Buying Refurbished Phone 2019
Refurbished Cosmetic Condition: What Is Refurbished Grade A, B, and C?