Updated On July 15, 2021
“Should I buy a used cell phone?” It’s a common question whether you’re looking at buying a phone for the first time or upgrading your existing one. While it’s tempting to own the latest and greatest in cell phone technology, there are definite advantages of buying used cell phones – and there are absolutely good, used smartphones available for purchase.
Should I Buy a Used Cell Phone?
So, should you buy a used cell phone? Here are a few advantages of buying used phones to consider:
This is the most obvious advantage of buying a used cell phone. You can get a used phone for a much lower price than a brand-new phone. This is true even if you are buying a used version of the latest generation of that company’s phone. If you are buying an earlier generation, you may be able to get it much more cheaply, and the reality is that there are often only a few minor differences from one phone generation to the next.
2. The Environment
The longer you keep a phone in circulation, the less likely it is to end up in a landfill. Many used phones are perfectly good and are just being discarded because someone has bought a new phone. It’s terribly wasteful (and potentially harmful) to just let those phones go into the garbage, landfills or oceans. By buying a used cell phone, you are contributing to preserving the environment.
3. Helping Others
Someone who is selling their cell phone probably could use the money. By buying it, you’re helping that person and helping to stimulate the economy. And when you’re ready to sell your used cell phone, you’ll certainly appreciate the buyers out there for you.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Cell Phone
As you consider buying a used cell phone and evaluate your options, keep the following factors in mind:
Understand the Different Types of Used Devices
Not all used cell phones are identical. Rather, they fall into three key types:
- Used cell phones: This is often sold directly from a private seller. Generally, this option comes with the greatest risk, as you don’t know if you’re buying a device with a blacklisted ESN.
- Preowned phones: A certified preowned phone tends to undergo some degree of testing and evaluation before it’s sold on the market. As well, preowned phones have a higher chance of coming with a warranty.
- Refurbished phones: Refurbished devices have all been repaired, both for software and hardware, and tend to function like new. These, too, may come with a warranty.
Know What You Want
Don’t just buy a used phone simply to have one. With all the options out there, list out the make and model you’re looking for, as well as key specs – including essential ones and those you can go without.
As well, beyond features, consider what you’ll be getting from the battery. Generally, a device that is a couple of years old has about 80-percent decreased battery life. The older the phone, the more charging a battery will likely need. Keep this in mind if you intend to frequently use the phone without a charger ready.
Know What Comes with the Phone
You don’t just buy a used phone. Rather, you should expect all the essentials needed for safety and operation, including a charger, a case, a screen protector and, if available, the original box. Without these elements, there’s a higher chance you’re purchasing a phone reported as stolen.
Will the used phone you’re about to buy work with your carrier – be it your current provider or the one you intend to set up a plan with? You have a higher chance of compatibility when you purchase a preowned or refurbished phone. Ahead of time, it’s a good idea to reach out to your carrier to discuss device compatibility before you make a purchase.
Check the ESN/IMEI
As already mentioned, you don’t want to be stuck with a blacklisted device – something with a “bad” ESN or “IMEI”. This situation can arise if you purchase a stolen phone or something with an outstanding balance the previous owner never paid off.
Prior to purchasing, see if you can check the ESN to ensure you’re not finding yourself in this scenario. Then, after purchasing, add your SIM card to the phone to see that everything works.
Do Research and Ask Questions
Due to all factors described above, don’t just purchase a used phone blindly. Instead, research the seller – what do other buyers have to say? Then, bring your own questions about the phone’s physical quality and operation. You should be able to get a clear, definite answer.
As a third factor, determine if the used device comes with a return policy and how that works for you. Know what you’ll need to do if the used phone ends up being defective or blocked.
Inspect it Yourself
After everything described above, do your own inspection after inserting your SIM and microSD cards. See how well the device performs as you make a call, send a text and access the internet. Beyond these basic functions, check how well it charges and if you experience any issues with the headphone jack.
Buy Your Used Phone Online
If you’re convinced and you’re ready to buy a used cell phone, a good way to start is by looking at the selection from The Whiz Cells. We are a leading electronics reseller that offers great prices on high-quality phones.
We also have a store on eBay you can check out. You’ll find a wide variety of phone choices, including Galaxy Note phones, Galaxy Edge phones, iPhones and more, in a range of colors and memory capacities that are almost certain to include what you’re looking for. If you want to save a significant amount of money on a phone that will do everything you need it to, a used cell phone can be a great option.
If you’re looking to sell your current phone, you’re already in the right place.