What You Should Keep in Mind Before Buying a Used Smartphone

Smartphones have now become a quintessential part of our daily routine rather than being considered as an extravagance. They are used for nearly every task and in essence, hold a record of our entire lives. Regrettably, there could be times when the smartphone you desire might just be beyond your budget.

You dream about the specs your keep hearing here and there, but your budget just doesn’t let you get that phone. The big companies want to make you think that you think that you need the latest phone. That’s not true, the phone you need could very well be a phone from last year or even the year before that.

As long as the phone works fine and has what you need, who care if it’s not this years model. So, you’ve decided that the best thing you can do is buy a used phone. Before you go phone shopping, there are some things you need to keep in mind before you buy.

Things You Should Know Before Buying a Used Smartphone

Check the IMEI Number

The phone’s IMEI number is like out fingerprints; you will not find two phones with the same IMEI number. This is the number that is used when you want to see if a phone has been reported stolen or not. You can get the IMEI number by dialing *#06#, and it doesn’t matter what carrier the phone was locked to. With that number, you can quickly check if the phone is locked or has been reported stolen.

Buying a Used Smartphone

Buy From a Trustworthy Source

If you Google “where to buy used phones” you will get an endless amount of places where you can go. Before you click on the first result you see, you should make sure that it is a trustworthy place where you can buy your phone. With so many places to choose from, where to go?

A place I recommend is Swappa. It’s a site where not only can shop for a used phone, but you can sell them as well. Swappa makes sure that the phone you’re selling is yours. It does this by making you write down on a piece of paper the phone’s identifications number with the photos you post.

Buying a Used Smartphone

They add an extra layer of security by checking the ESN, and they approve every listing. Swappa also uses PayPal, a service most of us already use. If you get a phone that is not what you expected for some reason, you can always get a refund.

Make Sure the Phone is in Good Condition

Don’t let the excitement of getting your phone make you forget to take a good look at it. By knowing what to look into you can either start the refund process or tell the seller it’s not what you’re looking for.

If you’re going to meet the person, don’t forget to take a battery pack or a charging cable. Other things to bring along are a flashlight, headphone, a MicroSD card and an active SIM card that you can use with the phone you’re going to buy.

Don’t turn on the phone right away. First, see if the buttons can easily be pressed, check to see if the screen is cracked, and check for any dents or damage to the camera. Don’t feel rushed and take your time looking. If the other person tries to rush you, so you don’t have a chance to check other things, they might not want to see the real reason they’re selling the phone.

Compare Prices​

Buying a Used Smartphone

Don’t buy your phone on the first site you see. Don’t think that if you don’t buy that phone now, you’re never going to find a phone like that ever again! Calmly shop around and hey, you never know you could even find that phone at a much lower price somewhere else.

Try and Negotiate a Cheaper Price

Always remember that you have hundreds of phones to choose from and that the seller needs you more then you need them. They are the ones that need to sell their phone, not you. Ask if the price that they are asking for is their final price. To get the other persons to lower the price mention all the tiny details about how the phone is not in the condition you expected it to be.

Everything looks great in pictures and almost even brand new! Maybe by hearing everything that’s wrong with it, the person will at least lower the price a little.

Run The Service Code Test

There is a code that each device has that will tell you if certain parts of the phone are in working condition. Each model has its own different code. That’s why you will need to do some research on what the code if for the phone you’re getting. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S3’s service code is *#0*#. By running this code, the LCD test will start and see if things such


If you do your research and you take all the necessary precautions, you’ll be OK. Do as much research as possible on what to look out for and don’t be afraid to speak at the first red flag. What kind of phone are you looking to buy? Let me know in the comments and tell me which one you got.

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Solomen is the founder of MrHow.io, and he is happiest when working with technology and able to help others. In his free time, he often listens to Baroque music, swims or runs. Feel free to contact him on social media!

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