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What's the difference between refurbished and CPO phones?
If you think you may be in the market for a previously owned phone, it's important to know that anyone can sell an old device and call it a "used phone" or a "pre-owned phone," but there is a difference.
Refurbished phones: This typically refers to devices that have undergone some sort of repair. The previous user's data has been wiped and the factory settings are typically restored, allowing you to set up the device the same way you would a brand-new phone.
Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) phones: This refers to all of the pre-owned smartphones Verizon sells. These devices have been inspected and are in full working order. "Certified Pre-Owned" is also potentially more accurate than "used" or "refurbished" — some smartphones are returned in full working order after only a few days. While these devices are definitely pre-owned and cannot be sold as new, some may not have been used at all by previous owners.
Where do pre-owned and used phones come from?
It's a common misconception that all used or refurbished phones were returned due to defects. While it's true that some pre-owned devices require repairs, many people bring back smartphones within the allowed return window simply because they've decided they want a different model or color. Other pre-owned phones find their way back onto store shelves via trade-ins.
The condition of
certified pre-owned phones
What kind of shape are refurbished phones in?
Refurbished phones often seem identical to brand-new devices.
When phones are returned or recycled due to defects, the refurbishment process may involve repairs such as new internal components, new screens and fixed ports. But before these smartphones can be sold as Certified Pre-Owned devices, they must be fully inspected by Verizon to ensure they work properly.
All of Verizon's Certified Pre-Owned devices are assigned a grade according to their cosmetic condition. All certified pre-owned and refurbished phones sold at Verizon will have a rating associated with them, and that will give you an idea what kind of condition they are in. Overall, refurbished phones are safe to use and come in varying condition levels.
How do I know a pre-owned phone or Verizon device is reliable?
All Verizon Certified Pre-Owned devices have passed Verizon's Total Quality Inspection, which ensures:
- The battery charges up, and the battery charge indicator works.
- All ports are completely functional, and all card slots work.
- Each pixel on the display works, and images on the screen are clear and bright.
- Wi-Fi and other connectivity functions work properly.
- Speakers, microphones and Bluetooth audio all work.
- All buttons and soft keyboards work.
- The software is up to date.
In addition to making sure the battery charges up, battery health and maximum capacity is thoroughly tested before certifying the device. And, if there is a manufacturer issue that occurs within 30 days of purchase, you can learn about our 30-day device return and exchange policy here.
Why would I get a used phone instead of buying a new one?
A Certified Pre-Owned smartphone will often sell for less than an identical new model and also qualify for our payment plan. This allows buyers to move up to a model they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford or to. Buying a Certified Pre-Owned model is also an affordable way to replace a lost or broken device, especially if you weren't planning to buy a new one for another year or more.
Some people are also drawn to refurbished phones due to the reduced environmental footprint. Purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned device helps to keep old phones out of landfills and saves energy, water and other resources required to make new devices.
Why not buy "regular" used phones?
Buying a used phone from a trustworthy source that vets for quality and certifies a phone's pre-owned status is important in terms of knowing what condition your phone is in, and how to keep it protected in the event something does go wrong. You may find lower prices from individuals selling their used smartphones online. But a lower price may not turn out to be a better "deal" if the phone comes with technical problems. If you buy a used phone from someone you don’t know, you'll be unprotected when something goes wrong. And, Verizon's Customer Service and Support can help with anything you need after purchasing your CPO phone. And, you can learn about Verizon's 30-Day return policy here.
Benefits of buying
a pre-owned phone
How do other people feel about their used phones?
According to consumer reports, the refurbished phones offered by manufacturers, cell phone carriers, and major retailers are generally "certified," which means they've been inspected and often upgraded to make sure they're in good working condition. This means these phones operate as they should, and consumers can use them like a new device.
What's the difference between pre-owned and certified pre-owned phones?
The term "certified pre-owned" refers to all pre-owned smartphones Verizon sells, which are vetted for quality and given a quality rating by Verizon before being sold to the consumer. Not all retailers certify their devices before selling them to consumers, so this is an extra step Verizon takes in quality assurance with all pre-owned devices we sell.
Is it safe to buy a pre-owned cell phone?
Yes. It is safe to buy a pre-owned phone from a trusted source that vets them for quality and ensures they are in good working condition. Verizon rates all certified pre-owned phones and makes that rating known to the consumer.
How do you know if a phone is refurbished?
All pre-owned phones at Verizon are sold as "certified pre-owned" devices.
Trading in your device
and customer support
Is trading in your phone worth it? What phones qualify for trade in?
Your phone may have substantial trade-in value. Visit our Trade-In page to find out what your phone may be worth.
Do I get Verizon customer support for my used phones?
Yes. You can access Verizon's customer support site here, or visit your local retail store to chat with an in-person representative.
Do certified pre-owned phones come with accessories?
In terms of accessories, a charger is provided when purchasing a certified pre-owned phone from Verizon.
What happens if my battery is defective?
If there is a manufacturer issue with the device, you can return or exchange it within 30 days. Learn more about our device return and exchange policy here.
Are Verizon's used phones compatible with Verizon's network?
Yes. Certified pre-owned phones purchased from Verizon are compatible with Verizon's network.
Are there payment options for used phones?
Yes, Verizon offers monthly payment plans for qualified customers.
Does Verizon sell other certified pre-owned devices?
Yes, Verizon also sells a variety of certified pre-owned smartwatches and other devices. You can shop all CPO devices here.
Bringing older phones
to a new service provider
Can I bring my own device to Verizon?
Yes. Learn more about bringing your own device to Verizon.
Can I bring my own device from another phone company or from a third party?
Yes, if your device is compatible with the Verizon mobile network, you can bring it over from another carrier (e.g., AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) or third party.
Note: To check compatibility, you need the device ID. To find your device ID, on your device go to:
- Android: Settings > About Phone
- iOS: Settings > General > About
- Basic phones: Tools & Settings > About Phone > Status
What is an IMEI number and how does it differ from device ID?
An IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Think of it as your phone's fingerprint — it's a 15-digit number unique to each device. Phone carriers and manufacturers share IMEI numbers to enable tracking of smartphones that may be stolen or compromised.
Don't confuse the IMEI number with the serial number listed on the device. Manufacturers only use serial numbers internally; IMEI numbers are standard across the industry.
If you've decided to purchase a used phone from a vendor other than Verizon, you will need to understand how to check the IMEI before activating the device on the Verizon network.
How do I perform an IMEI number search?
The IMEI number is in different places depending on the device.
For iOS Apple, Android, Windows or basic phone devices, follow these simple steps to find your unique IMEI number.
For a Google Pixel, dial *#06# on your phone's keyboard to get the IMEI number.
For phones with a removable battery, some IMEI numbers are listed on a sticker under the battery on the back of the phone.
Tip: If you're purchasing a phone from a 3rd party, request the IMEI number before paying for the device.
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