Smartphones are not cheap. Depending on the model you desire, you might have to spend hundreds of dollars (even thousands, if you are particularly picky). With such high prices, it is no wonder that sometimes we find ourselves searching for a more cost-efficient way of obtaining one. One of them (pretty much the only one if you do not want to mug people) is to buy an used mobile device – you’ll always save a couple (dozen/tens/hundred) bucks, right? Of course, but remember that homo homini lupus est, so there is a chance you will get, wittingly or not, ripped off when you buy one. Even an honest seller might not inform us about the phone’s complete state simply out of ignorance. Therefore, for your convenience and happiness of my boss, I have written this here small guide on how to safely buy an used phone.
1. Where to buy one? Well, on the Internets, of course! There is a number of online auction houses or social networks that have people trying to part with their phones to earn a buck. You an try eBay or Craigslist, but from what I have heard, Swappa is one of the most decent places to buy used items at. On Swappa, there is an option to report dishonest sellers and getting your money back through PayPal – something that not every buy/sell website offers.
2. How to buy one? Prudently. Never pay for the phone up front. It is best to set a date and meet with the buyer in person, preferably in a public space with monitoring, like a restaurant. BEFORE paying her/him anything, we have to carefully check the device. Remember, any inconsistencies between the phone’s online description and its factual state is a good reason to thank the seller for his/her time and move along.
2.1 Compare the device’s state to the one described. Are there any cuts or cracks? Fillings or apertures left after a botched repair service? Does the seller possess the phone’s certification of purchase? Does the set include charger, headphones etc? It might be a good idea to simply power up the device and use it to make a call, to see if it properly connects with the network.
2.2 It is important to check the phone’s IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. It can be found behind the smartphone’s battery, on the back of its cover or simply on the device’s box – you can also find it out by tapping *#06# into the device. When you have it, you can enter it to IMEI24.com and check the device’s production date and, more importantly, warranty for free.
2.3 If you REALLY want to be sure about the state of the device you are about to buy, you can have it evaluated in any of its producer’s authorized serves. It will cost around 50 dollars and will give you all the information about the phone’s software and hardware. If the seller does not want to agree on doing that, it is probably a signal that something is wrong with the device, so be wary.
That is all, folks! I hope that this humble guide will help you in buying your used phones safely. Later!