When you’re looking for, say, an iPhone 6, you have basically two options: Spending over $600 on a new, contract free one, or trying to find a better deal for a second-hand one. If you’re smart about it, you can pay much less for a device that will serve you exactly as a new one would –
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Just check out these tips –
If you decide to buy a used iPhone, and you don’t have a lucky opportunity such as a family member or friend who’s looking to sell theirs, you’ll basically have three options: Get it from a reputable secondhand iPhone seller, such as HandsetHero; bid on one at an auction site such as eBay; or pay in cash for one from a local seller, or a website such as Craigslist.
Make Sure Your Phone Is Right For Your Carrier
A while ago, it was simpler – there were GSM and CDMA iPhones, and that was it. AT&T and T-Mobile phones worked exclusively on GSM networks; Verizon and Sprint were made to work with CDMA ones. However, since the iPhone 5 and LTE, things got a bit more confusing. It is possible to switch models between many networks and carriers, but it’s usually best to buy the specific model made for your provider.
In any case, keep in mind that if your phone was first activated on another carrier, you’re going to have to unlock it before switching over to your carrier of choice.
Make Sure You’re Not Buying A Stolen Phone
Before sending the payment or even exchanging the cash personally, use the Activation Lock status tool that Apple provides in order to see if the device has not been stolen. Get the device’s IMEI or its serial number with the seller – they will have no problem providing this info if they’re legitimate – and before buying the device, verify that the numbers provided are indeed those of the device. If you buy a stolen phone, not only you’ll likely end up unable to use it, you’ll probably run into legal trouble as well.
Verify If It Can Be Activated
Phones can be blocked for reasons other than theft. Even if the Activation Lock is off, it never hurts to call your carrier and make sure that the phone can be activated under your account, by providing an IMEI number in case of T-Mobile or AT&T, or a MEID number in case of Sprint or Verizon.
Check The Phone For Damage
It’s very important that you account for any issues that the seller might be keeping to themselves, since you might find problems later on that’ll make you regret the transaction. Be aware that many small issues aren’t that relevant, but some can lead to trouble on the long term. Minor cracks at the edge of the screen, for instance, are not usually problematic, but hairline cracks through the screen can cause further damage with use. Not all damage is as obvious as a cracked screen, dents or scratches in the case, though. Check every button for usability, including the fingerprint reader in the Home button, if it has one. Play music over the speakers and through headphones, check for dead pixels and try the camera.
It’s also a good idea to check the phone’s water damage indicators. They are located in the SIM card slot in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – this way you can make sure it didn’t fall in a pool or something like that recently.