Rather than going out and buying your phone outright, you may want to look at purchasing your next phone second-hand or refurbished directly from a brand or a company selling them. Major brands like Samsung and Apple refurbish their own devices and sell them at a discounted price. This can be a great way to save big on your next phone. Buying a refurbished phone has many advantages. For one, you get them at a major discount from the surplus database. You also tend to get devices that look and feel brand new. These brands do a good job of replacing the outer shell and casings of their devices and reusing the internals. Therefore, you wouldn’t be able to tell a lot of them are refurbished outside of the battery health and more. Best of all, a lot of brands and retailers will offer a good warranty with the purchase that can give you the peace of mind you need knowing your device is covered.
1. Network Locking
One of the very first things you need to do is figure out whether or not the phone or device can work on your intended network. Not every device will be unlocked to work on a specific mobile carrier. Figure out if the device is network locked. If so, you’ll need to move on. Nothing will be worse than buying a device only to find out it doesn’t activate on your network because it’s carrier locked. While there’s a way to get the phone unlocked to work on different carriers, it’s something you will want to avoid. Not only is it unreliable, but it’s time-consuming and likely to cost extra. Therefore, it’s best to go for a refurbished or used phone that is already unlocked and ready to use on your intended mobile network of choice. Otherwise, you’ll want to buy one for a network you are willing to switch to.
An iPhone will typically come fully unlocked. However, they are also designed to lock to the first network that they are used on. Because of this, if you are buying a phone privately, you’ll want to ensure the phone isn’t locked to a carrier that you won’t be using it on beforehand.
When purchasing a mobile device online, you want to look at the photographs of the device you are buying. The seller will typically have photos of the exact device you are getting. If so, you’ll want to carefully go over the photos and check for any signs the phone or device is damaged. Check to see if there are any signs of damage that weren’t described throughout the listing. You can always ask a seller to provide updated photos or more clear photos if they don’t have them on their listing. They will typically be more than willing to do so if they are a reputable seller. This can be especially helpful if you are buying from a third-party marketplace like eBay since you generally wouldn’t be able to see the device in person beforehand.
3. Check The Phone
If you do go through with buying your phone from a private seller, you’ll want to ensure you are buying from someone reputable. Sites like eBay have seller ratings that you can use to determine how likely you are to get scammed. Ideally, you want to stick to buying from sites like Facebook Marketplace or even Gumtree to opt for a local purchase. This can make it much easier to go see the device and inspect it. This will help you ensure that you are buying a device that is in working order.
It’s best to bring the SIM card that you will be using along with you. That way, you can pop the SIM into the phone to see if it works. This will also give you information about the size of the SIM card you need. If you are aiming to buy a SIM-only deal before purchasing the device, you could look at some of the best deals available and purchase the use plan when you get the new device.
It’s best to visually inspect the device to check for any scratches or other damage that could alter the use of the phone. You should pay special attention to the ports on the device and for any corrosion around the sockets. If the phone has a removable back, always check in that compartment. You want to ensure there isn’t any visible corrosion that could damage the device or make it unsafe to use. It’s always a good idea to check all of the ports to ensure they are in good condition and to see if they are working.
4. Test Call
No one wants to buy a smartphone that doesn’t do basic smartphone functions like making and receiving phone calls. If you are there, you might as well make a test call. This is why you want to bring your own SIM card along with you. You can use your SIM to ensure that it’s working on your network and that you can make phone calls with it. It also helps you test out important functions like microphone quality, speaker quality, and more. You want to test both the loudspeaker and the normal headpiece speaker to ensure both are working properly.
If you are like many, you will be connected to WiFi more often than not. WiFi is an essential function of a device nowadays. Because of this, you want to attempt to connect to a WiFi network. If you are near a place with public WiFi, you could use that. If not, you can ask the seller for access to their WiFi or even use another device to create a local hotspot that you can connect to. To be certain it’s the WiFi that’s allowing you to access the Internet, you can put your phone on Airplane Mode or even disable the mobile network entirely and test your connection.