So it's time for a new phone and you don't want to break the bank. Well, buying a used phone is a great alternative to buying new. You will not only save money in the process, but you will also be helping our environment by putting a phone that might otherwise end up in a landfill to good use. However, with so many horror stories out there about buying a used phone, it's a good idea to have some information to make the whole process easier and safer, so here is what you need to know in order to safely buy a used phone in 2019.
1) Make sure the phone is NOT locked!
I cannot begin to tell you how important that is! Here at Sellphone we get people trying to sell their locked phones to us with the sentence starting something like this:
"I bought a phone from someone ... and its locked"
Unfortunately, there are people in the world that would sell locked phones to people in purpose in order to get rid of stolen phones. As if that is not bad enough already, the worst part is being stuck with a phone that you cannot use and this HURTS if you paid big bucks for it! Here is how to check :
- Don't fall for the "The battery is dead, but it works" talk. If you hear this DO NOT buy the phone. This should be an immediate red flag telling you that the person you are buying it from wants to scam you.
- Make sure you are able to log into the phone. If the phone has a passcode make sure you ask for it and if they don't know it DON'T buy it.
- Make sure there is NOT an icloud, Google, or Samsung account of the phone when you buy it. Buying a phone without removing this information will result in headaches later on. Furthermore, if you buy a phone in this condition and later go on to reset the phone you WILL be locked out and WILL NOT be able to use the phone.
2) Check for STOLEN/LOST devices.
Many people do not know this, but you can actually check that a device has not been reported as lost or stolen. If it has then DO NOT buy it. When a phone is reported as lost or stolen this can mean one of two things. (1) The phone has literally been lost or stolen and the original owner reported it to prevent others from taking advantage of the situation. (2) The person selling the phone has reported it in order to commit insurance fraud and avoid having to pay their dues to a carrier. Either way, if a device has been reported as lost or stolen, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACTIVATE IT. In other words, it will ONLY BE GOOD FOR USE WITH WIFI. The easiest way to check is to call the carrier of the phone you plan on using it with or walk into their store and ask them.
3) Check for any owed bills
Here is another thing many people do not know, you can check if a phone owes any bills. This is important because if you buy a phone that owes bills, you WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACTIVATE IT. Again, an easy way to check is to call your carrier or take it into the carrier store.
4) Check that the phone works for the carrier you plan on using it with
If you don't already know, phones do not always work on ALL carriers. This means that a phone might only be able to work on T-Mobile or AT&T. One way to check if a phone will work with your carrier is by popping in your SIM card. A SIM card is that little piece of plastic that you stick in your phone in order to have cell service. If you are able to pop in your sim card and make calls and receive texts properly (depending on your phone plan) then you can be sure that the phone will work with your carrier.
5) Test everything
This is the most obvious one, but sometimes we have things to do and places to be at! That said, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take your time and make sure that everything works. Test the camera and speaker. The touch ID if it supports it. The flashlight and charger. Really, just test everything you do not want to buy the phone and later end up paying even more because you didn't see that the earphone piece or something more expensive is not working.
So now you know what to look for when buying a used phone. Like I said before, buying a used phone is a great way to save some money, but you have to be careful and know what to look for. Hopefully, this list has helped you. If it has, feel free to share it with others so that we can all buy used phones and not get scammed in the process because let's face it, that just sucks! Also, if you are looking to save even more money, don't forget that you can always sell your old phone to Sellphone and get cash in your pocket for that new phone!
Image courtesy of Bagus Hernawan