Buying a used phone is like playing Russian roulette. You just don’t know what you’ve got till it’s too late. Granted, buying a used phone is not at all a bad idea given that you can save a bundle right off the bat. However, you will need to put in quite a bit of work to get a good deal. If you do not mind getting something a little less than the latest model, then here are some tips to help you sift through second-hand mobile phones for sale.
- Where to Buy
Your first option would be to buy the phone on a classified ad site like Craigslist. This is the riskiest option since you’ll be buying directly from an individual. The phone won’t come with a guarantee or return policy. You’re basically on your own with no recourse should you not get what you paid for. You should be careful to avoid scams if you choose to go with this option.
You could also buy the phone from auction sites like Swappa or eBay. While these sites won’t inspect the products sold on their platform, they provide a safety net in that the product should arrive as described. You can always lodge a complaint and get your money back if something is amiss.
Another option is used marketplaces such as Gazelle. Here, the marketplace acts as an intermediary between the seller and buyer. The goods are inspected and guaranteed by the marketplace so you can rest assured you’re receiving a good quality product.
You can also get second-hand mobile phones for sale at a traditional online shop. They sell refurbished products that are guaranteed to be like new. This option is the most expensive, but you’re bound to get a better-quality device than most other options.
- Determine If It Will Work with Your Carrier
Mobile phone carriers use either CDMA or GSM on their network. Make sure the phone works with the network of your choice. Some phones have both GSM and CDMA and won’t have a problem connecting to any network. You should also ensure that the phone isn’t locked to a particular network. If this is the case, you won’t be able to use it with another carrier. Go for an unlocked phone if you want to be able to switch between providers.
- Call Your Carrier
Buying a used phone puts you in a situation where you might end up buying a stolen phone. To avoid this, get the serial number of the phone you want to buy and call your carrier. They should be able to tell whether the phone has been blacklisted. If it is, then you will not be able to activate the phone.
- Check the Condition
A few dings and scratches might not be an issue since you can easily buy a case for it. However, if the phone shows signs of extreme wear, you should steer clear since the problems could go deeper than that. If there’s a chance the phone has damaged electronics, then you’re in for trouble if you make the purchase.
- Get It at The Right Price
There’s really no recommended price for a used phone. Check out the price of a new phone and make sure you’re getting a reasonable discount on the price. Things like color, condition, carrier, and model should have an impact on the price. Do not forget to negotiate.