A Blackberry like this one will still cost you a pretty penny...so why not save a few on a refurbished model?Cell phones nowadays have graduated from simple communication devices to handheld computing equipment capable of downloading multimedia, accessing email, and almost everything else a full-fledged PC can do. Now with the advent of smartphones and PDAs, there’s more personal organizer than phone on today’s handsets. With all this technology packed into little hand-held devices, the price of these technological wonders have sky rocketed. But there are alternatives to the cheap disposable phones or the ultra expensive models that have people salivating. One of those alternatives is a refurbished phone.

Wait! Where are you going? The word “refurbished” does mean the phone is “used”, it’s true. But what does refurbished really mean? And what makes this particular aspect of the mobile phone revolution so attractive to the right consumers? Read on, and find out.

As it turns out, many major carriers have 30-day return policies where the consumer can return a newly purchased phone, regardless of why. If during that trial period the consumer uses the phone even once, it cannot be resold as new. When this happens, those companies in question usually wipe the phone clean of personal information, repair any damage there might be to the phone, and run tests to make sure it works just as if it was new. This process makes for a reliable, high quality phone that while not “new”, is still worth considering.

Refurbished phones can range from really expensive...to really not.Older phones that are repaired typically end up exported to third world countries. But third party companies often refurbish the phones and then sell them online or to other distributors. There are lots of options out there. If your carrier doesn’t sell refurbished phones on their website, then check out Tigerdirect.com. There are plenty of refurbished models of some of the biggest names and hottest brands. And there are a few for even the most price conscious, as well.

No matter how snazzy your refurb, be sure to read the fine print on contract options, warranty, etc.Make sure that you read the warranty information offered for a refurbished phone you are interested in. There might not be any coverage at all. It might be 30 days. Some places offer 90 days, but often don’t cover everything under the sun, as new phone warrantees often do. And remember, that even in the world of refurbished phones, you still get what you pay for.