Checklist to Buying a Second-Hand Phone

Checklist to Buying a Second-Hand Phone 1

In recent years, buying a used phone has become increasingly popular. Even though it comes with a slightly lower price, it can have its fair share of wear and tear, as well as a lack of warranty coverage. However, with the proper knowledge, you may be able to obtain a high-end device while staying within a reasonable budget. So, here’s what you need to know to score a good deal:

Operating System

Choosing a budget phone from many options can be daunting, but in the end, it all boils down to two options- Android or iOS. If you enjoy tinkering with your phone and customising it to your heart’s delight, you might want to consider Android. But, if you prefer a straightforward operating system with regular software updates, iOS is the one for you.

Carrier Compatibility

When purchasing a used phone, one of the most important aspects is whether the device will work with your preferred carrier. The simplest way to accomplish this is to check if a service provider has unlocked the phone. If a cell phone is labelled carrier A, but you have a carrier B SIM card instead, know that future complications may arise. The bottom line is, make sure you’ve done extensive research before buying.

Know When to Buy

If you’re aiming for the latest smartphoneswhile maximising your savings, then the best time to buy one is right after its successor arrives. This is when early adopters leave their old phones in favour of the newest and fanciest model. While the dates for specific phone releases vary from year to year, the smartphone calendar is fairly consistent.

Popular Android manufacturers such as HTC, LG and the Samsung Galaxy line are typically released in the spring. At the same time, the stylus-centric Galaxy Note, Google’s Pixel and Apple will roll out their latest model sometime in the fall. If you can time your purchase to coincide with the release of the new models, then best believe you’ll get a good bargain.

Know Your Rights

If your phone is not what you expected it to be, you may be entitled to a refund. Return policies are typically 14 to 30 days in length. If you’re purchasing a phone from Carousell, Shopee, eBay, or another online retailer, familiarise yourself with the return policy. Some platforms establish a solid return-and-refund policy, whereas others rely heavily on the integrity and honesty of the seller- meaning that the seller can refuse a refund at any given time.

It is also vital to note that some websites accept PayPal payments, so buyers are protected by the company’s 180-day money-back guarantee. Just make sure to notice the last day of the return and exercise the option if need be.

Battery Life

There is nothing worse than a battery jumping from 50% to 0% in seconds. A phone that has been used for over a year or more will not have the same battery life as one that has only been used for a few months. Keep in mind that lithium-ion batteries lose a small amount of capacity each day, so in 2 years, they are likely to have only 70% of the battery capacity. You can either equip yourself with a power bank in case of emergency or buy a replacement battery.

Be on the Look-Out for Fake Phones

Today’s market is rife with a vast amount of replicas and are sometimes difficult to distinguish. But don’t worry, all phone’s internal stickers contain IMEI numbers and model numbers, so you might want to check the authenticity online. However, bear in mind that sometimes fraudsters will replace these stickers with counterfeited ones.

You can execute the following checks to ensure that your seller is not defrauding you. First, check the phone’s ‘Settings’ menu for the model number and other hardware specifications to ensure its legitimacy. Then, you can compare the model number with the sticker attached on the phone’s battery. If the numbers are the same, then you’re good to go.


Even as you engage in all the elaborated checklist above, make sure to also be on the lookout for other minor problems. For example, faulty charging ports can cause more damage than you think. So, don’t be surprised if your charging connection is a bit iffy. Also, make certain that the buttons are free of flaws. After a while, key elements like the volume and home buttons can lose their crisp feel and completely cease to work.

Yes, buying a second-hand phone can be a bit of a minefield. But at this point, it is worth casting an eye over the checklist if you don’t want your money to be washed down the drain. Just don’t forget to do your research, and you’ll be a wise buyer.

Leave a Comment