Apple Refurbished vs. Third-Party Refurbished: What’s the Difference?

There are many advantages to buying refurbished, most notable being price. This is especially true when it comes to Apple products: buying a lightly used device makes them more affordable. And we speak from personal experience in most cases you’ll can barely tell it was previously used!



But if you can buy refurbished Apple products from Apple, why would you want to buy refurbished from a third-party instead? We understand that opinion, and will explain in this blog post the differences between the two options. We’ll also explain why in many cases it’s much more cost-effective to buy from a third-party reseller.

At the end of this post, we’ll also share with you some tips to help you find reputable third-party reseller to ensure your buying experience is a positive one. Let’s get started.


One area where Apple does have an advantage is in warranty coverage. Apple offers a one-year warranty on pretty much the same terms as a new product. Third-party sellers offer shorter warranties, and in JemJem’s case 90 days. This said, JemJem and other third-party warranties are on top of any original Apple warranty, so if you purchase a newer model, you might have coverage from both Apple and the third-party seller for a period of time.

Product Availability

While Apple may do better in terms of warranty coverage, product availability is limited. Apple only offers refurbished versions of currently available models, so if you don’t need the latest and greatest you’re out of luck. Third-party sellers often sell several generations of Apple devices, most of which still run current software.


The availability of more versions of Apple devices means you’ll almost always be able to pick up a device much cheaper from a third party versus through Apple. Third parties also don’t have fixed prices for a particular model. Devices in better condition cost more, and those with a little wear and tear cost less, giving you more control over how much you want to pay. With Apple, all devices are refreshed to the company’s tighter specifications and sold for the same price.


Apple has been feeling the pressure from third-party resellers, so it recently started a buyback program of its own that allows you to sell your device back to Apple. However, there’s a catch here: you can only use the credit towards the purchase of a new device. With third-party sellers who offer trade in programs of their own, you can use that trade in money for any used device you want (or pocket the money if you desire!). We think that’s a better option.

Finding a Reputable Third-Party Reseller

There’s many resellers out there, but not all reputable. Here’s three things you want to look for in a reseller:

  • Strict guidelines on what they sell: Anyone can sell used devices on the Internet. Is the reseller doing anything to the device to make it ‘like new’? JemJem sanitizes every device, and doesn’t sell a device with major flaws like broken screens. While there might be a few minor scratches, in many cases the device is ‘like new' for Elite Premium condition, more signs of use for 'Clearnace' condition.  JemJem specifically defines each condition and priced accordingly.
  • Favorable warranty terms: Does the reseller stand by its product? Are warranty terms favorable to you? Make sure just in case something bad happens. JemJem’s 90-day warranty covers you for labor and parts, and if we can’t fix it, we send you a similar device to replace it.
  • Good reviews: Always check the reviews! While you can’t please everybody, resellers with consistently low reviews should be avoided just like any other business. At JemJem, we consistently rank as one of the best third-party refurbished reseller on the Internet.

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1 comment

Ehtesham Shaikh

Ehtesham Shaikh

Really, Buying refurbished phone is good idea?

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