Vodafone wants to convince those considering buying a used smartphone not to use eBay, but to come to them instead, as it has introduced a new used smartphone scheme named Nearly New. It could work too, as not only will Vodafone offer pre-owned smartphones at lower prices, but also provide each one with a 12-month guarantee if you buy it on Pay As You Go, or a 24-month guarantee if you go for a contract.
So where do these phones come from? Vodafone says they’re returns from new customers, not because they’re broken, but because they’ve decided against keeping them. This means they’ll have had minimal use and shouldn’t be in anything other than good condition. Once received back from the customer, the phones will be checked and the memory wiped, then re-boxed with all the correct accessories.
Sounds good, but what about the prices? Details are still coming through, but a PAYG 8GB iPhone 4 is £250 and an on-contract Samsung Galaxy S3 is £33 per month. A new iPhone 4 is £400 from Vodafone (but far less if you shop around, Apple sells them for £320 for example) and the S3 usually costs £37 per month, so the savings are modest rather than significant.
The HTC One X is also mentioned as being available through Nearly New, but no price has been provided. We also expect more top-of-the-range phones to be added in time, perhaps including the Galaxy Note 2 and iPhones other than the 3GS and the iPhone 4.
The scheme is set to go live online next week, but if you’re really keen and live close to one of Vodafone’s larger high street stores, there’s a chance they’ll be able to help you right now. This isn’t the only new tariff Vodafone has launched recently either, as it introduced its lease-style Red Hot scheme last year too.