Refurbished iPhone : test of the smartphone offer by Swappie !

Refurbished iPhone

More than ever, refurbished objects are in the air! As good for the environment as for the wallet, there are now a lot of sites specialised in this market. 

I decided to test the offer of Swappie, just arrived in Belgium, by opting for a refurbished iPhone 12 in an almost new condition. Let me explain it all to you.

Refurbished iPhone: it's clearly like new
Refurbished iPhone: it's clearly like new

Why choose Swappie?

Swappie is a Finnish company, active since 2016 in refurbished smartphones. Currently present in 15 countries, the company is growing steadily and generates more than 100 million euros in annual revenues. They have just arrived in our country and two things immediately attracted me to them:

  • They master the reconditioning chain from A to Z
  • They offer the same conditions as new: 24 months warranty and deductible VAT.

For the first point, this means that there is no intermediary and that all refurbished iPhones go through their centre and undergo exactly the same treatment and quality tests (unlike Backmarket, for example, which obviously outsources all the processes via approved service providers). They use quality replacement parts that have all passed a very rigorous quality process.

For the second point, the two-year warranty is obviously reassuring. As for VAT, it is a bit more specific, but the fact that you can combine the rebate of the refurbished product with the VAT deduction makes the purchase much more interesting as an independent.

Swappie looks very attractive on paper as they manage to offer phones in new condition, at a discounted price, available in a few clicks and with a 2 year warranty included.

Why buy a refurbished smartphone

There are two obvious reasons: to buy a phone at a lower price and to limit its environmental impact.

  • On price:

With ever more sophisticated, ever more expensive phones now regularly topping the £1000 mark, it is important to be able to maintain a certain budget. With phones ranging from £169 for the iPhone 8 to £1099 for the iPhone 13 Max, Swappie offers a range of prices to suit different needs and budgets.

  • Some examples to illustrate my point:

For a budget of £300: you can opt for a brand new Xiaomi Poco X4 or pick up a refurbished iPhone 8 Plus with a new battery.

For a budget of £600: you can go for the new Google Pixel 6 or pick up an iPhone 12 in new condition, with a new battery.

Honestly, the choice is up to you, but as they say: there's a match between these different options.

  • On the environment

In recent years, more than ever, we are all aware of our environmental impact: the weather is getting crazy, strange weather phenomena are becoming the norm and raw materials are becoming increasingly scarce causing countless shortages.  

It is therefore a noble and responsible act to favour the circular economy by opting to buy recycled, second-hand or reconditioned appliances and tools. It is a way to fight against programmed obsolescence which contributes to the increase of waste and pollution by feeding overconsumption.

My experience with Swappie

As I mentioned in my introduction: I made the decision to buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max from the Swappie website. It's Apple's newest iPhone model from last year and overall, it offers more or less the same thing as the latest model.

Buying the product

The order was placed directly on the site as you would on Amazon or any other e-commerce site.  It's a bit trite to say, but before that, when I was buying second hand, I had to talk to the sellers, investigate a bit to avoid scams, and go to the store, and these operations are always stressful and time consuming.

Depending on the stocks available for the model and colour you want: you can choose different states for the phone and the battery. I opted for a "near new" phone with a battery in "good condition".

Here, in a few minutes, you order and the phone arrives the next day, or even the day after. Be aware, however, that the phone on the site is offered bare, and that if you want to get a charger, headphones, a screen protector or a protective pouch: you will have to add the options.

I took all these options because I didn't have an iPhone before this and all the equipment I have is for the Android competitor.

Receiving the package

Refurbished iPhone Swappie : here is the whole package

The iPhone arrived fairly quickly via the DHL carrier and was in a custom-made package made by Swappie. Neither the original Apple packaging, nor the little booklets or the sticker characteristic of the brand's products were present. Nothing serious in absolute terms but I know that some people are attached to it. The phone was perfectly protected and in near new condition.

The battery in the device has a maximum capacity of 87%, which is normal wear and tear for a phone over a year old.

I've been using it for a few days now and at no point do I feel like I'm getting a second hand model or a cheap experience.

Refurbished iPhone: as pleasant as opening a new phone
Refurbished iPhone: as pleasant as opening a new phone

Opinions on Swappie: Good plan or not?

The answer is clearly yes! Swappie allows you to buy an iPhone cheaper than new with the certainty that everything works perfectly and with a 24 months warranty. It is certainly possible to get one for a little less on second hand websites, but then it will be without warranty and with the risks linked to this type of transaction: scam, counterfeit, hidden defect.

To conclude, I will use their slogan: buy smart, not new!

On the ideological level, I am also seduced by the proposal and I hope for a massive adoption of these solutions aiming at degrowth.

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