Tips for Buying a Refurbished Google Pixel – Used Phone Buying Guide

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When it’s time to say goodbye to your old phone, the prospect of looking for a new one can be overwhelming. Whether your phone was broken, stolen, or just getting too slow, upgrading your device does not have to be accompanied by a $1,000 price tag.

Many people default to buying new devices because they are unsure about the used electronics market. As someone who enjoys trying out different devices, I have saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years by purchasing refurbished devices. I am a long-time advocate for buying refurbished phones and have had nothing but positive experiences with my last four refurbished Google Pixels. The key to my success is through the research I conduct beforehand.

While I won’t be getting into the details of various Pixel models, I highly recommend figuring out which device you want beforehand and then putting these tips to good use when hunting for the best deal.

Refurbished phones offer the opportunity to own the same device your friends have at a fraction of the cost. Today, I’m here to help you consider all the important factors when making a purchase, particularly the Google Pixel.

Perks of Refurbished Phones

The term “refurbished” sometimes carries a misconception. Refurbished simply refers to reconditioning and reselling a device.

There can be various reasons behind the resale of a device, it could be as straightforward as someone having a change of heart about their purchase. The truth is, there are nearly brand-new devices labeled as “refurbished” being sold at significant discounts, sometimes over 50% off the new version. It’s key to approach refurbished products without the preconceived idea that they all come with significant issues.

Considering the significant discounts they are offered at, refurbished phones often offer superior features and capabilities compared to brand-new phones within the same price range. Another advantage is that smartphones usually become obsolete within a year, making opting for a refurbished model your only chance to acquire a particular model that’s no longer available as new.

Buying refurbished devices is not as bad or scary as it may seem. To ensure a great experience, it’s important to follow a few steps.

Refurbished vs Used

When considering the purchase of a product, it is important to understand the difference between “used” and “refurbished”. Used items have been previously owned and may show signs of wear and tear. They typically do not undergo any restoration or quality assurance. Refurbished products, on the other hand, have been thoroughly inspected and restored to a functional and often almost new condition by either the manufacturer or a certified refurbisher.

Refurbished items come in varying levels of quality, from “like new” with minimal to no cosmetic flaws or defects, to “acceptable” with noticeable but non-significant imperfections. This allows consumers to choose the level of quality and price point that best fits their preferences and budget.

Comparing Prices

Where to Buy Refurbished Pixels?

When it comes to purchasing refurbished Google Pixels, you’ve got a variety of platforms to choose from. The big players include Amazon, eBay, Newegg, and Best Buy, while marketplaces like Swappa, Back Market, and Facebook Marketplace also offer options.


Now, while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which sites are good or bad, here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind.

First, check the seller’s reputation. While the platforms mentioned are typically reliable, it’s important to make sure that the specific seller you’re dealing with has a solid track record. Look for reviews and feedback from previous buyers to get a better sense of their trustworthiness and the quality of their refurbished products.

Second, understand the condition you’re getting. “Acceptable” and “like new” refurbished phones come in different conditions and price ranges. To make sure your refurbished phone meets expectations, carefully read product descriptions for functionality and appearance. Doing this will help you learn about any cosmetic imperfections so that you can make an informed decision. Sellers’ commitment to maintaining a positive reputation means the product will often exceed your expectations.

Lastly, know your carrier. If you buy a phone locked to a different carrier than yours, your SIM card won’t work, and unlocking can be a hassle. Sellers will specify the carrier in the title or description, so make sure you buy a device compatible with your SIM card.

Older Pixel Devices

The Google Pixel 3 has held a special place in my heart as one of my favorite smartphones. It offered a budget-friendly option that delivered reliability and an impressive camera, ticking off all the boxes for what you’d want in a phone. Unfortunately, Google discontinued updates for the 3 series a few years back, followed by the 4 series just last year, and the final security update for the Pixel 5 will roll out in October 2023.

While it’s undeniably safer to use a smartphone that receives regular security updates, many people continue to use older phones without major issues. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going on eBay and buying a Pixel 3 for $70, you’d still get a dependable phone for the price of a pair of sneakers. It may not be the most secure option out there, but for $70, it’s a fantastic deal for a capable device.


Buying refurbished electronics can be a smart choice for several reasons. First, it’s an excellent way to save money, as refurbished devices are often available at a fraction of the cost of brand-new ones. These products have been meticulously inspected and restored to a functional, almost new state. Many refurbished items also come with warranties, providing added peace of mind.

So, buying refurbished can be a wise and cost-effective decision if you’re in the market for a new Google Pixel.