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5 Dos And Don’ts Of Buying Used Phones




The contemporary digital era has seen an influx of smartphones. With each new model offering exciting, advanced features, it’s no surprise that the demand for affordable options is on the rise. Consequently, the demand for cost-effective options has also increased, leading consumers to consider used phones a viable alternative.   


Despite the cost advantage, purchasing a used phone can seem daunting, primarily due to quality, functionality, and reliability concerns. However, entering the used phone market doesn’t have to be intimidating. On the contrary, it can be prudent to obtain a high-end device without the hefty price tag that often accompanies the latest models.  

This article offers guidance into the dos and don’ts of purchasing used phones to make the process less daunting and more fruitful. Read on to learn more.  

Understanding Used Phones 

Before delving into the specifics of buying used phones, it’s crucial to understand what “used” means in this context. Generally, used phones are pre-owned devices that vary in condition depending on the care they received and how long they were used. 

The Dos of Buying Used Phones 

Buying used phones can be straightforward if you know what you’re doing. Below are some tips to guide you:

1. Do: Research the Phone Model 

Before making any purchase, conducting thorough research on the specific phone model you’re looking for is important. Familiarize yourself with the device’s specifications, features, and market price when it first came out. Knowing these details is crucial to assess whether the used phone’s price is reasonable based on its current condition and age.  

2. Do: Verify the Phone’s IMEI/ESN 

An International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) or Electronic Serial Number (ESN) is a unique number assigned to every mobile phone. Verify this number before buying to ensure the device isn’t stolen, blocked, or linked with unpaid carrier bills. There are online platforms available that facilitate this process free of charge. 

You can also buy from reputable sellers in the market if you want to ensure the phone is legitimate. You can check out reliable websites and online resources to know where to buy second-hand phones without worrying if it’s blocked or stolen.  

3. Do: Assess Phone Condition 

Examine the phone thoroughly for any signs of physical damage. Check the screen for scratches or cracks, inspect the body for dents or signs of dropping, and ensure all buttons are functional.  

Also, look for signs of water damage. This is indicated by a water damage indicator inside the phone. Paying attention to these tell-tale signs can save you from buying a phone you’ll regret later.  

4. Do: Check Battery Health 

The lifespan of a phone’s battery diminishes over time and usage. Before buying a used phone, confirm its battery health, either through the phone’s settings (if available) or by noticing any rapid drain during your examination. 

5. Do: Ensure the Phone Is Unlocked 

An unlocked phone can operate with any carrier, providing more flexibility and ease of use. So, confirm that the used phone is carrier-unlocked, allowing you to use the service provider of your choice. 

The Don’ts of Buying Used Phones 

There are also things that you should refrain from getting a used phone. To avoid problems, below are the don’ts of buying a used device to consider:

1. Don’t: Buy Without a Return Policy 

Always check for a return policy when buying a used phone. This policy offers a safety net if the device has hidden issues not immediately apparent during your initial examination. So, make sure to read the seller’s return policy carefully. With this, you can prevent the risks involved in the purchase process before spending money.  

2. Don’t: Ignore the Accessories 

While the primary focus is the phone, accessories are also important. Confirm if the phone comes with essential accessories like the charger and if they are original or generic. Generic chargers can sometimes harm the device or degrade the battery quickly. Be sure to use good quality accessories to get the most out of your phone purchase.   

3. Don’t: Neglect Software and Hardware Functionality 

Test all functionalities, from the camera and speakers to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Verify the operating system and check if it supports the latest updates. Overlooking these aspects can lead to unpleasant surprises later on.  

4. Don’t: Forget About Compatibility with Your Carrier 

Just because a phone is unlocked doesn’t necessarily mean it’s compatible with all networks. Some phones may not support certain bands or frequencies used by specific carriers. Always check for compatibility with your intended service provider before making a purchase.  

5. Don’t: Purchase Without Validating Phone Ownership 

To avoid fraud, make sure the seller is the legitimate owner. Ask for proof of purchase or original receipt when dealing with individual sellers. If they can’t provide anything, it’s a sign to walk away and consider other options.  


Buying a used phone can be a savvy decision if approached correctly, saving significant costs while still providing a quality device. Following these dos and don’ts can aid in navigating the used phone market, helping you secure a device that meets your needs while avoiding potential pitfalls.

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