Buying a second hand phone can be a very scary experience. What applies to buying a used car applies to buying a used phone. After all, no-one wants to spend money only to get a broken phone instead of a new one. However, do not fret, we will clarify the do and don’ts of buying a second hand phone.
You don’t have a spend a lot of money to get a nice pre-owned smartphone. With new models being released every year, it’s not financially sustainable to buy the latest considering it’ll depreciate in value as soon as you open the box. The added functionality and improvement by newer models is also minimal, if not negligible. This means buying a phone that is one or two generations behind the latest model doesn’t mean you will be buying outdated technology.
Buying a phone off the classifieds is a no-no for second hand phones. It is not uncommon for thieves and dodgy sellers to offload their broken or stolen phones on some classifieds platform. Meeting up with a complete stranger to buy their mobile phone with cash can also make you vulnerable to a robbery.
The other main issue with buying from a classified is that if you purchase a phone that gets reported as stolen afterwards, there is no recourse for you to get your money back. In a hypothetical situation where the original owner reports his phone stolen, you won’t be able to do anything to unblock your phone (due to an IMEI block) unless you have proof of purchase. If you decide to go down this route, make sure you receive a receipt that shows proof of purchase.
Companies like Gazelle (USA) or Akoda (Australia) are good examples of reputable online retailers that have positive reviews as well as a track record of providing second hand phones. eBay is also a good option considering their strong dispute system, although since there are many sellers, there are also some bad ones which are a nuisance to deal with.
Although it may seem risky purchasing a used phone, the savings can be worth it as long as you do your research.