Buying a smartphone is not cheap. Depending on the model you wish to buy, you might have to spend hundreds, even one to two thousand dollars. With prices being so high, it is no surprise that sometimes we look for a more cost-efficient way of obtaining a smartphone. We can mug people - although I suggest that you do not do that -or we can buy an used mobile device - you'll always save a couple (dozen / tens / hundred) bucks, right? Of course, but remember that there is a chance you will get 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 I have written this here small guide on how to safely buy an used phone.
1. Where to buy one? Online! 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, Craigslist or Swappa. On Swappa there is even 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? Carefully. Never payup 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, carefully check the device. Remember, any inconsistencies between the phone's online description and its factual state are a good reason to find another sller.
3. 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.
4. Remember 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 to IMEI check service and check the device's production date and, more importantly, warranty for free.
On this video you can check how check IMEI on your device.
5. Also it's necessary to check IMEI blacklist status. When you check IMEI and the result BLACKLISTED appears it means that device has been reported as lost or stolen in the GSMa database. It can also be blocked, because there are unpaid bills for this device.
How to check blacklist status ? Just go to check IMEI blacklist service, type your phone IMEI number and get results.
6. Check any others blockade on phone. Producers like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi prepared special blockades for unauthorized using of lost or stolen device. So before buying a used device you need to check whatever lock is turn ON or OFF.
How to check it ?If you have phone in your hands, put sim card to it and check if phone will functionally normal.
If you do it online, just ask seller for IMEI number and go to to iCloud checker to confirm status of iCloud.
7. Lastly, 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 - keep that in mind.
That is all, folks! I hope that this humble guide will help you in buying your used phones safely.