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5 Places to Buy a Used Cell Phone and What to Ask Before You Buy

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A glossy new cellular phone is hard to withstand, until you take a look at the price. However you can obtain a new-to-you smartphone and also save thousands of dollars if you buy an utilized cell phone.

“If you’re OK with a phone with some scratches on the back or a damage– you can toss a brand-new instance on it, as well as you’re going to save a lot of money,” says Brendan McCue, a previous gadget expert for NextWorth, which purchases used phones and also reuses or markets them.

An utilized iPhone 7, as an example, costs as reduced as $275 on Swappa, an on the internet marketplace for made use of phones and tablets. That’s half the retail price of a brand-new apple iphone 7.

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The first step to buying a used phone is locating a trusted website, which can be complicated. Craigslist is filled with rip-offs, and also it can be tough to tell whether more recent online merchants are official. After that, when you pick a website and also begin purchasing phones, it is necessary to ask the right concerns before clicking the “Buy” switch.

Where to get a made use of cell phone

Search for a store that has customer defenses, states McCue, who purchased his used phone on eBay. Vendor rankings and detailed phone descriptions are also helpful when buying a phone online, as is the capability to ask the vendor questions.

Right here are a few relied on areas to look for a used mobile phone:

  1. eBay: Vendors can upload photos and provide in-depth summaries of the phone’s condition. You can likewise ask inquiries to get even more information (extra on that particular below). With eBay’s refund assurance, you can return the phone for a full reimbursement if it isn’t specifically as the seller explained.
  2. You can acquire used and also refurbished phones straight from suppliers such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola as well as LG, or from a third-party reseller. Sellers on are ranked and also evaluated by other purchasers, so make sure to read reviews prior to acquiring. Licensed reconditioned phones marketed via Amazon included a 90-day warranty. Warranties on other phones differ by vendor.
  3. Swappa: The website examines listings to make sure the device serial number is clean (read: not taken) and also requires sellers to post photos of the phone, powered on, beside a personalized listing code to make certain the seller has the gadget. Swappa makes use of PayPal for all settlements.
  4. Gazelle: Each gadget is examined to ensure the phone charges appropriately, the speaker and also microphone work, the touch screen is functional and also the phone will certainly attach to Wi-Fi. You’re buying the phone straight from Gazelle, rather than a private seller, and also there is a 30-day return window for all gadgets.
  5. Your carrier: Most wireless carriers offer reconditioned phones. These phones are normally more expensive than what you ‘d locate on other sites. Verizon, as an example, offers a licensed preowned Samsung Galaxy S7 for $380. The exact same version costs about $170 on Swappa.Yet buying from a carrier indicates that you know the phone will work with your service provider. You additionally know it’s not stolen and also it typically has a minimal service warranty. This need to offer you much more peace of mind than getting that used iPhone on Craigslist.

” COMPARE: Best mobile phone plans

What to ask before acquiring a used cell phone

Purchasing from a trusted site takes several of the risk out of getting a used phone, but you still need to ensure you can turn on and utilize the phone when it gets here.

What is the serial number? Additionally referred to as the ESN or IMEI. This is an important piece of details to get, since you’ll need it to confirm whether the phone has actually been signed up as lost or stolen. If it has, you will not have the ability to trigger the phone. The identification number will certainly likewise inform you whether the phone will certainly collaborate with your provider. A lot of carriers allow you examine this online, yet you can also most likely to a store or call customer service.

Is the phone under contract or lease agreement? Phones under an agreement or lease can not be reactivated till the agreement is fulfilled. So, if the seller has a year left on the agreement, it will go to the very least a year prior to you can turn on the phone.

Does the phone have water damage? Moisture erodes a phone’s parts with time. So while the gadget may look fine and also work well currently, it will not last long if it’s been revealed to water. Unfortunately, you normally can not look at a phone as well as tell if it has water damages, so you’re trusting the vendor to be truthful.

For included safety, do not pay cash or straight from your checking account. Instead, pick a payment technique that has built-in defenses, such as PayPal. Ramon Khan performed when he bought a used phone on Swappa.

“I did a triple-threat kind of bargain here in such a way,” Khan states. “I experienced a website that had buyer security already integrated in, used PayPal to shield my purchase and likewise used my Discover card, which issues refunds no matter the refund plan of a website.”

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Kelsey Sheehy is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email shielded]. Twitter: @KelseyLSheehy.

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