Apple certified refurbished iPhones are now available via a third party. This is a big sign that after Apple’s recent quarterly report and massive stock slide, it’s not business as usual in Cupertino.
Apple is starting to work a lot harder to move product.
Many consumers buy refurbished phones to get recent tech at a discount. Apple’s certified refurbished program offers one of the best guarantees in the industry that you’re getting a product that is just as good as new, with a new battery, all broken parts fixed, a new display and case, all the accessories that a brand-new device comes with, and full warranty and support. I’ve used Apple’s certified refurbished program multiple times for laptops, and never had an issue.
But Apple is very cautious about who it works with.
Late last year, for example, Apple banned third-party resellers from offering refurbished Macs on Amazon. And I’ve never seen its certified refurbished iPhones available anywhere but on Apple’s own websites. There are plenty of refurbished iPhones available from Amazon, Best Buy, and other retailers, but they are not Apple certified.
Now however, the Apple certified experience is available for the first time from a third-party seller, Back Market.
“The service level and certification process, as well as Apple’s official seal of approval help eliminate skepticism about buying refurbished devices,” Back Market CEO Thibaud Hug de Larauze said in a statement. “This is an important step towards our goal of making buying refurbished products a mainstream shopping experience.”
Buying refurbished isn’t just good for buyers who get a deal, typically about 15% off retail prices.
It’s also good for Apple and other brands who sell refurbished. For whatever reason, there are always people who need to return a product. Allowing buyers to do so is good customer service, and aids in client loyalty. But then having an outlet to re-sell returned product helps recoup some of the lost revenue.
Back Market says it’s the world’s largest online store for refurbished products. Certified refurbished iPhones eligible for the deal with Apple include iPhone 6s through iPhone X, and will come in “freshly sealed” Apple packaging.
Back Market has been providing similar service in Europe for about a year.