6 Things To Consider When Buying a Used Smartphone

Buying a used smartphone can be an excellent way to get a cheap, reliable device. However, you need to ensure you’re not getting a stolen phone or that it’s not broken. You also want to know that you’re paying a fair price for the smartphone.

So, what can you do? We put together this guide on everything you need to consider when buying a used smartphone, so keep reading!

1. Check the Phone’s Condition

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First, you’ll want to inspect the phone’s condition. Start by looking over the phone for cracks, scratches, and chips on the screen and main body. You’ll want to buy used phones in person when you can so the seller can’t hide any damages.

However, if you buy the phone online, don’t purchase it until the seller agrees to show you images of the phone from all angles. Ask for a close-up of the cameras to check they aren’t cracked or scratched.

Next, check the buttons and charging ports on the smartphone. You want to make sure that they work properly. Broken charging ports are typical with many devices, so always have the seller show you that the phone can charge appropriately.

You can easily tell if the charging port is broken if you see bent pins inside the port. A loose connection is another problem and means the port isn’t working correctly. You must check that the phone still charges with other chargers, too.

Lastly, you want to know that the device’s speakers work. In most cases, you won’t use headphones every time you’re on the phone. Ask the seller to play a ringtone from the phone.

Overall, you must look over the phone to ensure everything works properly. In many older phones, the charging ports and side buttons break easily. You’ll want to check those features thoroughly before you pay for the smartphone.

2. Search the IMEI Number

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Next, search the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). This number is an identifier that every smart device has. By looking up the IMEI, you can tell if the phone’s been stolen or blacklisted from networks.

An IMEI check will send you information from the phone’s manufacturers and carriers. You should always do this before buying any used phone. If it was used for criminal activity, you wouldn’t want to use it as your daily device.

You’ll also verify that it’s the phone the seller says it is. You’ll know for sure it’s not a counterfeit that way, so you’re not paying for a fake.

No matter what, always run the IMEI number before buying a used phone.

3. Ask About Warranties

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Next, ask the seller about any warranties or return policies they have on the phone, or you can check that information here. A used phone won’t last as long as a new one. So you want to get a guarantee that it can be replaced or refunded by the seller if something goes wrong with it.

Get the terms and conditions for the warranty in writing. You’ll also need to consider whether the smart device is still worth it to you if it doesn’t come with a warranty. Many cheaper smart devices may not include one.

4. Research the Prices

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You must research the prices of the smartphones you’re looking at buying. You shouldn’t pay the whole cost for a used phone. The older the phone, the more you can expect its market price to drop.

Your best option would be to compare prices. Check several marketplaces to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist are some options. You’ll want to take note of the condition of the listed phones on those sites and compare them to the ones you’re considering buying.

If the phone you’re considering getting is in worse condition, you should pay less for it. You might be able to work out a deal with the seller if you show them your research.

5. Consider the Seller

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You must think about the reputation of the seller. Even if the price of the smart device is suitable, you might not be getting a fair deal if the seller doesn’t have a good reputation. It could be damaged, not working, or about to break.

You’ll want to check online reviews for the seller. Other buyers who’ve left reviews can give you a better idea of what to expect from the seller.

If you’re buying from an individual, check that they’ve sold other smartphones before. Their history of selling devices might help you determine if they’re a trustworthy source or not. It’s generally riskier to buy from an individual, so you want to know that you can rely on them to provide you with a good phone. Ensure you get a lot of photos of the phone before buying it. You’ll also want to see it in person to check that it’s stable and running before you hand over any money.

Meet in a Safe Place

If you’re meeting with an individual, you’ll want to meet in a safe location. You should never meet with a stranger at their home or another secluded place.

Make sure they agree to meet up to sell the phone somewhere public. If they don’t, you shouldn’t buy the phone. You can always find another one somewhere else without putting yourself at risk.

6. Factory Reset the Phone

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Next, it’s good to ask the seller to factory reset the phone before you buy it. That way, you know the phone is “new” and not linked to other accounts.

It’s best to do this before purchase so you know the phone operates as intended, and it’s not only working because the seller is already signed into everything they need to make it look like it runs.

Get the Best-Used Smartphone

You can get a used smartphone that suits your needs with these tips. You’ll know it’s not stolen, and you’re paying a fair price. You’ll also want to check the seller’s reputation and whether you get a warranty with the phone.