What’s the Difference Between New, Pre-Owned, and Refurbished?

Pre-Owned simply means it’s been used but returned within the return policy, such Products have passed all quality and performance tests like new closed Products and have not been repaired. Refurbished means it was brought back to the manufacturer for repair. It was broken or defective, then repaired, and then re-sold.

With the latest smartphones phones costing nearly Ksh 100,000, you’re probably looking to save some cash on your next device. Buying used and refurbished aren’t just cheaper, they’re better for the environment—but what do you give up when you opt for a “previously loved” gadget?

New vs. Used vs. Refurbished

You probably have a decent understanding of what “new” and “used” mean, but refurbished is a bit trickier. Refurbished can mean different things depending on where you buy, so it’s important to do your due diligence before spending out your hard-earned cash. In general, here’s what you need to consider when shopping in these three categories:

New devices come straight from the factory: When you buy a phone off the shelf at a Phone Shop, sealed in-box, it’s a new device. It went straight from the factory to the store to your hands, and comes with the manufacturer’s full warranty—usually one year—and all the included accessories. New devices may occasionally go on sale for moderate discounts, and generally decrease in price over time, but will still fetch a higher price than used and refurbished devices.

Used devices come straight from the previous user: If you buy a phone or laptop used or a PRE-OWNED, that means it’s coming from an individual who used the device and has moved on—though they may sell it through an intermediary site like Craigslist, Jiji, Pigiame, or eBay. It may come with light. Buying used tends to be the cheapest way to get your tech (saving 50% off the list price isn’t uncommon, depending on the condition)

Refurbished devices include some cleanup, repair, or other maintenance: Refurbished units lie somewhere in between used and new. They may be units that were returned shortly after sale, or they may be used items that undergo maintenance before being resold. The manufacturer or seller may have replaced the battery or other components, cleaned up the device, and—in some cases—included a fresh warranty with the product. This can all vary from seller to seller, though—some refurbished units can be nearly indistinguishable from new ones, while other refurbished units may be more similar to buying used. That means the discount you get can vary too, though you’re sure to save at least 15% if not more.

Manufacturer Refurbished vs. Seller Refurbished

Every retailer has different standards for what constitutes a “refurbished” device. Devices refurbished by the manufacturer themselves—e.g., Apple, Samsung, or Dell—tend to have stringent requirements and will offer manufacturer warranties with the devices. Apple, for example, guarantees that refurbished products from their store meet the same standards as new products, with a proportionally modest discount of up to 15%. Samsung is similar, ensuring refurbished devices are inspected and repaired by Samsung engineers before being put into a box with all-new accessories. Other manufacturers, like Dell, may offer different tiers of devices in their Outlet store—some may be unused devices that were returned to the store, while others may have cosmetic blemishes but are guaranteed to be working like new. That way, you can choose whether you want to save a bit more in exchange for some skin-deep sacrifices. Manufacturer refurbished devices often come with the same year-long warranty as new devices too, which is quite valuable (though occasionally they can be shorter).

Buying used and refurbished can seem like a minefield of risk, but it’s a great way to save money on tech—and as long as you do your research, you’ll probably end up pretty happy.

Why buy Pre-OWNED instead of REFURBISHED?


Product has never been repaired for hardware damage or software defects. Everything is manufacturer original.
Product has been lightly used and has minimal to zero signs of wear and tear. No dents, scratches, breaks. Any wear is from normal use.
We have a history of why previous owner parted with the product. We only source one-owner, clean, defect free, lightly used and from USA ONLY.


Product has had hardware or software damage/defect/malfunction requiring repairs.
No evidence that repairs were done by manufacturer or authorized repair service provider.
No evidence that repair parts used were original/genuine from manufacturer. In almost all cases, after-market/replicated/non-original parts are used to fix the issue(s). These parts pose long-term compatibility/functional risks.
Buy PRE-OWNED from a trusted US based local dealer. Our products are handpicked in USA and shipped direct to our store in CBD Nairobi. There are NO MIDDLEMEN/BROKERS involved (Be aware of Stolen products being resold by established dealers).
We are legit, honest, and have a history of each product sold in our store. We strive to deliver quality, value, and GENUINE products to our customers at prices no local dealer can match.