One great way to save money is by buying a used device, as long as you have the proper knowledge to examine it for any damage or functional issues, before purchasing it. Aside from that, you need to consider some other factors when buying a second device or gadget, specifically a smartphone, which we are going to discuss in this post.

DO NOT Buy a Very Old Device


If a smartphone is about three to five years old, expect it to be cheap. That’s because they are barely usable today. Even if the device’s hardware is well-preserved, there is a big risk that you won’t be able to load it with the recent operating system. When you’re not able to install it with the recent operating system, this means you will not be able to install the latest versions of popular apps either.

In addition to this, not being able to install the recent operating system on your old device means there will be a lot of new features and functions that you won’t have access to. For example, many mobile sites don’t support older devices, so if you are getting a used smartphone to browse the mobile Web, you will hardly have a first rate experience.

Make Sure That the Device is Unlocked

Locked smartphones are obviously cheaper, but again this is for a reason. Even though there are ways on how you can have the smartphone unlocked, the process involves additional cost, and there’s also the risk that the unlock process will be unsuccessful. If this is the case, you’ll be stuck with a different network carrier, which means you will have to deal with another monthly bill for that carrier, instead of getting a phone with a slightly higher price, but you don’t have to spend more to have it unlock and you also get to use your preferred network carrier at the same time.

Make Sure the Device is Not Stolen

This is the biggest dilemma one could ever think of when buying second hand smartphones. If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Of course, the phone’s ad won’t indicate that it is stolen, so in order to avoid this risk, buy from reputable places only, such as sellers with good ratings in eBay.

Ask for the phone’s IMEI, ESN, or MEID and then check it online if these numbers belong to a phone that has been reported stolen. Even if the search yields no results, this still isn’t a guarantee the phone is clean, but it’s better than nothing.

Examine the Phone’s Physical Appearance Carefully


Since you’re getting a used phone, don’t expect it to be shiny as new. However, if the phone is damaged beyond repair, or if it’s too costly to have it repaired, then don’t get that unit. While a few minor scratches here and there are not too much if the price is right, if the glass is seriously scratched or broken, or if there is a leakage from the battery, such repairs, if possible at all, are too costly.

Lots of dents or scratches on the unit’s surface simply imply rough use by its previous owner, which could mean that there might be damaged components inside even though it looks fine on the outside.

Consider the Price


You may think that the price of a used smartphone is the most essential thing to check, but it’s not. If the device you’re planning to buy failed the first four checks, then no price is low enough — the device is simply useless.

When you are considering the price, determine whether it’s a fair price. The unit is suspicious if the price is too low — it might be broken or stolen. Meanwhile, if the price is too high — for instance, if the same new device costs $100, and then the price for the used one is $80-$90, then it isn’t worth it. Check first how much the same device costs new on sites like Amazon, eBay, or BestBuy, and this will give you an idea if the unit is a bargain or just a ripoff.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 6:10:45 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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