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A Checklist For Buying Second-Hand Phones

Buying used refurbished or second hand phones is a great way to get a great handset in economical price. Because a brand new smartphone doesn’t come cheap. The ‘latest and greatest’ myth is over now as buying a second-hand device is a tested and approved method by many smartphone users.

A Checklist For Buying Second-Hand Phones

There is no doubt that buying a second-hand or refurbished phone can save you some money, but it clearly involves some risks, such as making sure the condition of the phone is good or bad, the price factor, the battery life etc. Almost every mobile phone manufacturer launches new mobile phone models every year. As a result, many people upgrade their smartphones by selling the ones they are using.

Their used phones come in the market as refurbished or pre-owned mobile phones and you can buy these at very affordable rates. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the points that you should remember while buying a second-hand or refurbished phone. Also note that not all the second-hand phones are equal in class, so let’s get a detailed view of this category.

Buying Refurbished Smartphones

Refurbished phones are the best and number one type of used smartphones. Refurbished phones are those phones which are returned to the manufacturer on account of any defect. They are, then fully tested, repaired and certified by the particular manufacturer. Some manufacturers also offer some warranty with the refurbished phones. So, buying a refurbished phone means you are buying an almost new phone.

For example, Apple provides a new battery, a pristine cover, new box including all the required accessories with its refurbished iPhones. Apple also offers one year warranty with these phones. Keep in mind that these offers are only valid if you buy refurbished iPhone from Apple. So, if you are buying refurbished iPhone from elsewhere, do check the details carefully.

Buying Certified Pre-owned Mobile phones

On step below, there comes Certified pre-owned smartphones. Like refurbished phones, the certified pre-owned phones also went through the testing, repairing (if required) process, and have a limited warranty. These phones are lesscostly than refurbished phones. But they probably won’t be in as best condition as refurb smartphones.

Usually, certified pre-owned phones are not like new phones but they have been checked and tested to make sure that they are in proper working. These pre-owned phones may have internal wear and tear or any kind of physical damage. They also don’t come in new boxes and their accessories could be missing.

So, it is recommended that before buying a pre-owned phone, do check the condition and details of the phone. Because the definition of a certified pre-owned mobile phone varies from one retailer to another.

Buying Used Smartphones

You can buy used smartphones in very good bargains but there is risk involved in buying such mobile phone. You can buy a used smartphone at a good affordable price, but there is no guarantee that how that used smartphone will work for you. And remember, you won’t be entertainedwith a refund.

Here, the checklist is little strict. Check and verify the seller’s authentication and description carefully. If you are buying a used mobile phone online, do check the photos of the item and ask about the conditions of the phone. If possible, try to sell your device to those sellers who have positive ratings.

There are some legitimate online services that offer 12-month guarantee and payment protection to its customers. Alpha Smartphones is one great example of such online services. The company also offers a return policy as well.

On the other hand, if you are buying a used phone from an individual, always meet the seller in public area and take your friend or relative with you. And before buying the phone, test it properly. These precautions will disappoint scammers.

Some more vital things to consider

There are numerous points you should consider when buying a used smartphone. Some points are mentioned above and the rest of the checklist is listed below.

Check if the smartphone locked or unlocked?

Network locked smartphones tend to be a little cheaper than others. If your and the seller’s networks are same, then you can buy that network locked phone happily. On the other hand, unlocked smartphones like these lease to own phones are a little more expensive than network locked phones and can be used on any carrier or network.

Does the phone you are buying have accessories?

When buying a used phone, check out the accessories that come with the phone. Accessories may include the original box, original charger, and cable. Also look for any extra accessories like phone case or headphones. The original box is a positivesign from the seller that the phone is not stolen and the case suggests that the former owner has been taking care of the phone.

Is smartphone Factory Reset?

You should buy a phone that has been wiped clean completely. So, before buying any used phone, check that the seller has removed all of his personal data from the phone. Also, ask the owner that the phone is factory reset or not. Also, make sure that the Factory Reset Protection (FRP) feature is turned off. It’s a security feature added by Google to Android phones. If the feature is on, ask the seller to turn it off.

Is there any physical damage to the phone?

When you are going to buy a used phone, make sure to check its physical condition. Look for any outer and internal damages. Also, before paying the money, do check whether the phone is water damaged or not.

Test your phone

When you finally purchase the phone, make sure to test it as soon as possible. Insert your SIM card in the phone and do some calls and messages. If the phone has an external storage slot, then check that as well by inserting your SD card. Plug the phone and test its charging. Also, don’t forget to check the headphone port of the device.


Here’s our checklist for buying a second-hand phone. We recommend to follow these steps and you will be able to purchase a good conditioned second-hand phone. And one last tip. If there is any problem with your newly purchased phone, it is better to resolve it as soon as possible.

John Paul
John Paul
John is a full-time blogger and loves to write on gadgets, search engine trends, web designing & development, social media, new technologies, and entrepreneurship. You may connect with him on Facebook, Twittter and LinkedIn.


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