Security Checks: Biggest Things to Check Before Buying a Used Phone


In this day and age, the cost to live is so expensive! Rent is constantly going up with every renewal, gas prices are steadily rising, and, of course, the price of cell phones is increasing with every mobile advancement. Paying rent and needing gas are definitely monthly and weekly expenses we all need to function throughout our daily lives but what people don’t even realize is just how much cell phones have become such a huge part of our daily lives as well.

If you’re like most people, you use your cell phone every day… You use it to talk on the phone, send text messages, respond to emails, check your social media, and pay bills. Some people even use it to run their entire business! So, as you can see, cell phones have become a major and routine part of our lives just as washing your face and brushing your teeth is.

But because cell phones have so many functions and features, allowing you to perform various tasks, that has caused them to not be just a simple purchase… buying a cell phone is now looked at as making a major investment. The going rates of new cell phones these days are astronomical. You can pay anything from $800 to well over $1,000… if you’re a “tech junkie,” then you’ll be paying well over $3,000 for some of the new folding phones!

People Aren’t Buying New Phones Anymore

Because these phones are so expensive, people have stopped buying new phones and instead opted to buy pre-owned phones. One of the biggest reasons why people stopped buying new phones is because of the hefty price, of course, but according to CNBC, the reason people aren’t buying new phones anymore because there’s nothing wrong with their current phone!

Mobile technology has taken the world by storm adding all these new features and functions but in the process of making all these mobile advancements, it’s given cell phones a longer life cycle. Because of the longer cell phone life cycle, people are holding on to their current phones much longer.

And even when their current phones reach the end of its life cycle, lots of people still aren’t upgrading their phones with a new one… high-quality used smartphones are what they’re buying. They figure they’d still be able to get a newer model phone with all the updated features and functions without paying the outrageous price tag.

Check Before You Buy

Yes, buying used phones is a cost-effective solution to getting a phone without paying the retail price tag but buying used phones also comes with some risks. The biggest risk of buying used phones is making sure you’re not buying a stolen phone.

People lose phones all the time or they get stolen, and when that happens, people will track their iPhone or Android devices with various phone tracking solutions. These monitoring programs work but what if you don’t get those programs in enough time? Your phone will be packaged up and sold to the highest bidder.

So if you’re in the market for a used phone, here are a few tips to follow to make sure you’re not buying a used phone.

1.    Ask the Seller For the IMEI

If this acronym is unfamiliar to you, it stands for international mobile equipment identity. Depending on who you’re buying from, if it’s an unofficial reseller, you can ask the seller to send you the IMEI. Now, in asking for this information, you want to explain why you want the number.

It’s important to explain that because the seller could then make the seller not trust you and have them think that you have ill intentions with the number. But if you’re buying from a reputable seller, you won’t have to worry about this issue.

2.    Make Sure You’re Buying From a Reputable Seller

So, in buying used phones, you definitely want to make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller. It can be a little difficult to tell who’s a reputable seller when looking for a used phone outside your carrier, especially if shopping online. But it’s not impossible.

There are plenty of reputable online sellers of used phones, you just have to do a little research. When shopping online, you’ll want to check a couple of things.

  • In the search bar, look for the little lock symbol. That lets you know that the site is secure and your information is private.
  • Check the website for warranties and return policies. If you don’t see them, you probably need to find a different site.
  • The site should make mention of the various tests and functionality checks it’s passed.

3.    Check With Your Carrier to See If the Phone Can Be Activated

You would think that regardless of what kind of phone you have, your carrier should be able to activate it but that’s not the case at all… there are quite a few things to take into consideration as to why it doesn’t always work like that.

Certain models of phones only work with certain networks. Not only that but the age of your phone plays a significant role in what networks your phone will pick up as well. For example, if you purchased an iPhone that’s older than the iPhone 5, it will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile networks.