Buying Renewed/Refurbished Phones

What sort of experience have you all had with purchasing renewed/refurbished phones? I would imagine places like Gazelle, Amazon renewed store, Best Buy refurbished would be good places to start but was wondering if they are generally reliable and accurate with their “excellent” or “good” ratings on the phones. Has anyone had sketchy or unreliable experiences with these places? Any reason I shouldn’t trust these sources? Any reasonable downsides to having an IMEI that is already connected to someone else?

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I’m hardly an expert on the potential pitfalls, but I’ve purchased a couple refurbed phones off of Amazon, and they were pretty much exactly as advertised, fully working, no issues, etc.

But recently I’ve started using for good deals on used phones, especially unlocked pixels. Last time I bought from them, they had better prices than Amazon, etc.

My last dozen phones have been purchased second hand even from sellers on eBay not to be confused with just regular people selling their old phone.
The ratings to quality to me seem to work out for me because I am looking for unlocked phones. I want verification the phone is OEM bootloader unlocked which requires that human touch. That little extra effort I think shows they actually looked at their phones.
The last phone I returned was not a problem as far as getting a refund. Other than availability of another phone. I ended up paying more for a 512G model.
The damage was on the phone screen upper right corner by the battery level unnoticeable with a dark theme. I had the phone for a couple days before i noticed.

If you flash GrapheneOS on the phone, then nothing will be able to access your IMEI except for your SIM card if you will use one.

But if you buy an iPhone or just a phone to use with stock OS, then it’s a different story.

I’ve been buying used/refurb since 2010/2011. I used to use eBay, and found them to be great. You get images of the actual device (sometimes circling any issues), and a description of the condition.

I’ve mostly avoided sites like Amazon refurb because it seems to be the exact opposite of what I liked about eBay. Not to mention I’ve heard/seen a lot of negative reviews.

If you do go with a big name site, make sure they have a good warranty service. Check reviews for their warranty, and not just the buying/selling experience. You want to know if they’ll honour it, or worm their way out. This is their big advantage over eBay, a lot of the bigger sites have at least a 12 month warranty. Personally, I’ve used Declutter/MusicMagpie (same company, name changes on where you are), and I’ve found them to be great. I’d pick them over Amazon, any day.