Best Buy offers refurbished iPhones

Looking for a good deal on an iPhone? You could try eBay but a safer bet might be Best Buy in the U.S., which announced on Tuesday that it has started selling refurbished iPhone 3Gs at a slightly discounted price.

The 8GB model costs $149, instead of $199 for a new one. A refurbished 16GB model is going for $249 instead of $299 for the new model.

While the price of the iPhone has come down since the first version was introduced in 2007, the $50 discount on the refurbished models could prove attractive to some people, especially those who are more carefully watching spending during the economic downturn.

Of course, Best Buy isn't the only one selling refurbished iPhones at a discount rate. As reported previously on iPhone Central, AT&T has gotten into the refurb act as well. The exclusive U.S. service provider for the iPhone had been selling used iPhone 3Gs for $99 as part of a promotion that ended on New Year’s Eve.

Like new iPhones, the refurbished models require a two-year contract with AT&T.

Buyers get a one-year warranty on the phones from Best Buy.

The secondhand devices aren't necessarily handsets that buyers replaced because of defects. The phones are those that were returned during a 30-day trial period that comes with the sale and then refurbished to their original condition, Best Buy said. People may return phones because of coverage issues where they live or other reasons unrelated to the quality of the device.

Initially, 350 Best Buy stores are selling the phones, but by the end of the month all stores are expected to have them, the retailer said.

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