Buying a refurbished iPhone can be a great way to save money compared to buying a brand-new device. Two popular places to purchase refurbished iPhones in the UK are CEX and Backmarket. Here, we are going to compare these two retailers to help you decide which is best for your needs.

Introduction to CEX and Backmarket

CEX is a national chain of stores that sells second-hand electronics, including refurbished smartphones. CEX has over 800 stores across the UK where you can view and purchase devices in person. They also have an online store with delivery options.

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Backmarket is an online marketplace that connects consumers with professional refurbishers selling restored devices. The backmarket itself does not refurbish any products. Instead, it provides a platform for various third-party refurbishers to sell their wares. Purchases are made online and devices are shipped directly from the refurbisher.

Comparison Table: Cex Vs Backmarket

Store FormatPhysical retail stores across the UKOnline marketplace with delivery from third-party refurbishers
Product RangeWide range of iPhone models and storage capacitiesPossibly even wider range with multiple sellers, but stock varies
PricingConsistent across stores, but tends to be higherVaries by seller, but deals can be found for £20-100+ less than CEX
Product ConditionClear A/B/C grading system for level of wearQuality depends on the refurbisher, so check listings closely
Warranties24 months warranty on all products12 months warranty, but provided by the seller, not Backmarket
Returns Policy14 days return or exchange allowed14 days for EU purchases, but varies by seller
ConvenienceView and test phones in-store before buyingHave to rely on product descriptions and seller feedback online
Best ForPriority on quality, warranties, returnsPriority on price and finding the rarest variants

Product Range and Availability

Both CEX and Backmarket offer a wide selection of refurbished iPhone models, from the iPhone 6 up to the latest iPhone 14 series.

CEX tends to have better availability of popular iPhone models in their physical stores. If you want to see and test out a phone before buying, CEX stores allow you to do this. However, specific colors and memory capacities can vary by location.

The benefit of Backmarket is that you can browse iPhone listings from various refurbishers all in one place. So you may have better luck finding a more unusual variant. Stock levels can fluctuate though depending on the individual third-party seller.

Pricing and Costs

Pricing can vary substantially between CEX and Backmarket, and also between individual sellers on Backmarket’s marketplace. In general, Backmarket tends to offer more competitive pricing, especially on higher-end iPhone models. The savings over CEX can be anywhere from £20 up to over £100 in some cases.

One advantage of CEX is that pricing is consistent across stores and online. You know exactly what you’ll pay before purchase. On Backmarket, you have to search listings from different refurbishers to find the best deal.

It’s also worth noting that CEX has a simpler fee structure. You just pay the listed price and nothing more. Backmarket charges additional shipping fees that vary by seller. So factor this into cost comparisons.

Product Condition and Quality

Both CEX and Backmarket refurbished iPhones should be fully functional and in good cosmetic condition. However, standards can vary.

CEX has a clear grading system: Grade A is pristine, Grade B has minor scratches, and Grade C has visible wear but works properly. You know exactly what condition you are getting. Backmarket quality depends on the individual refurbisher, so check listings carefully.

Backmarket does vet and approve refurbishers allowed to sell in their marketplace. So there is some quality control. Reviews of sellers can provide useful insight here. But there will be more variability compared to CEX’s standardized grades.

Warranties and Returns

A key benefit of buying from CEX is that all refurbished products come with a standard 24-month warranty. This covers you for any manufacturing faults. You also have 14 days to return or exchange a phone if you simply change your mind.

Backmarket provides 12 months of warranty coverage, but this is from the individual refurbisher, not the Backmarket itself. Return policies can also vary, although you do have 14 days for EU purchases. Check the specific seller’s policies carefully before purchasing.

So CEX provides more peace of mind and certainty around warranties and returns. But you can find comparable coverage from reputable Backmarket refurbishers too.

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Backmarket generally offers better prices and availability on a wider range of iPhone models. But you’ll get more consistency and certainty around quality and warranties from CEX.

If finding the best deal is most important, then take a chance on Backmarket. Be prepared to search listings and vet seller profiles though.

If convenience, standard warranties, and clear condition grades are higher priorities for you, then CEX is likely the better choice.

So consider your personal preferences and needs. Both CEX and Backmarket are good options for buying refurbished iPhones and have their own pros and cons.