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Second Hand Smartphone – 10 Things To Know Before Buying A Used Mobile Phone

Second Hand Smartphone – 10 Things To Check Before Buying A Used Mobile Phone

Want to buy a used smartphone and know what to look for in a second hand phone in general? Then you've come to the right place! A brand new iPhone or Android phone is not only expensive, but also anything but sustainable. Buying second-hand is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly, as you can reuse an old device that has already been used for as long as possible - thus avoiding the need to buy a new one and saving the environment. natural resources the earth spares.

Unfortunately, many consumers are afraid to buy a used smartphone online because they or a friend have had a bad experience with it. However, if you know exactly what to look out for, you can get a real, virtually new, sustainable bargain, apart from a few blemishes.

In this article, I would therefore like to give you the most valuable tips so that you are always on the safe side when buying a second-hand cell phone. Let's go!

You can find a brief overview here in advance:

  1. Know advantages, disadvantages, risks and opportunities
  2. Know and check typical problems, damage and their characteristics
  3. Do not rely solely on the condition description
  4. Do not buy a smartphone too old
  5. Request and check IMEI serial number
  6. Save with the previous version of the latest model
  7. Compare new price and used price
  8. Check tempting online forum deals carefully
  9. Play it safe with payment
  10. Prefer refurbished devices from dealers

1. know advantages, disadvantages, risks and opportunities

Before you decide to buy a used smartphone, you should first know and weigh up the usual pros and cons. I've put together a short list of pros and cons for you here:

Advantages & Opportunities

  • Money: Save a lot of money and get real bargains
  • Environment: Avoid new purchases and use natural Conserve resources
  • Garbage: Preventing the generation of packaging and electrical waste
  • Repair: Necessary repairs can often be done by yourself
  • Chance: Many disadvantages and risks of buying used can be minimized

Disadvantages & Risks

  • Safety: No invoice, no right of return and no guarantee
  • Usage: Increasing useful life means higher purchase risk
  • Risk: You buy the device online without having held it in your hands beforehand
  • Test: More detailed inspection necessary before purchase
  • Diagnosis: Faults and damage often not visible at first glance

Can you think of any other pros and cons of used smartphones? Then write me a comment with your suggestions.

2. know and check typical problems, damage and their characteristics

Check used cell phone battery before buying

By making the object of your desire put it through its paces as best you can before you buy ityou reduce your risk - and at the same time increase your chances of getting a really good deal and enjoying your "new used" smartphone for a long time.

For this to work, you should follow the usual Problem areas of second hand phones and check every device that comes into question. Here are a few classic examples that go beyond the usual blemishes and scratches of used smartphones:

  • Smartphone does not only contain original parts (e.g. no original battery)
  • Device is locked and useless (e.g. because the cell phone or Apple ID has not been reset to factory settings and "Find my iPhone" is still activated)
  • Camera does not work properly (e.g. recognizable by poor photo quality)
  • Accessories missing (e.g. charging cable or plug)
  • Battery capacity is low (e.g. no longer maximum performance because the appliance has already been in use for 6 years; but can be replaced)
  • Smartphone had water damage (e.g. on many devices this can be recognized by the fact that a certain plate inside the housing has changed colour)
  • Tones of the device sound distorted (e.g. because internal speakers are damaged)
  • High wear and tear on hardware (e.g. worn out pressure points of the keys)
  • Touchscreen does not work properly (e.g. test by dragging the app icon across the entire screen)
  • Display is damagedt (e.g. pixel defects, heavily scratched or broken).

3. do not rely solely on the condition description

A good and comprehensive condition description in combination with a trustworthy seller profile naturally already prevents some risks.

However, if you want to prevent your used smartphone from becoming electronic waste relatively quickly, you should always ask for additional, detailed photos of your device or, if possible, take a close look at it on site - and always ask in case of uncertainty.

4. do not buy too old smartphone

This tip for second-hand smartphones naturally depends on how exactly you want to use it. If you only need it to make calls and send text messages, the model can be a bit older. However, as soon as you need newer apps and want to use your phone to pay in stores or for online banking, for example, the model should be a bit older. not older than three years be

Because at some point, Apple, Samsung and Co. no more updates for your cell phone. In addition, the Experience has shown that the battery quickly loses capacity. Before buying a used device, find out how long your device will receive software support from the manufacturer and what the maximum capacity or maximum performance of the battery is.

Good to know: The latter information can be found on Apple's iPhone, for example, under Settings/Battery/Battery condition & charging process.

5. request and check the IMEI serial number

The abbreviation "IMEI" stands for "International Mobile Station Equipment Identity" and is a 15-digit international number for identifying GSM or UMTS terminal devices. For example, it helps with maintenance and cell phone insurance - but you can also use your own smartphone after a theft with their help to the police or have it blocked by the network operator.

Just as well you can use the But also query IMEI onlineto obtain as much information as possible (e.g. about network, warranty, contract, activation or the status of Apple ID, "Find my iPhone" or a possible theft (blacklist)), to check the truthfulness of the product description and to prevent "invisible" problems and damage.

It is especially important when buying used iPhones that the Device not locked and that the seller has reset the device to the factory settings with "Delete all content and settings" instead of just "Reset". Only then can you free and unrestricted use.

6. save with the previous version of the latest model

Prefer previous model when buying used

When you save a lot of money through your sustainable behavior you should buy a used smartphone that is not the same as the current model but the previous one. With the rapid development of technology of the small "pocket computers", prices are falling quite quickly. Simply because yet another even more powerful model has come onto the market.

As a result, you benefit from the fact that your new, used cell phone is not only visually but also technically almost "like new" and you only have to pay, for example, the Half the original price (or even less).

7. compare new price and used price

This tip is self-explanatory if you don't want to be "ripped off" when buying second-hand. Always take a look at the original price of the smartphone model in question so that the deal is not only worthwhile for the environment, but also for you. As a general rule: The lower the price compared to a new device, the worse the condition.

8. carefully check tempting online forum deals

In Internet forums, you can of course also use the Second hand advantage You can also enjoy the chance to pick up a real bargain or two. However, you do not enjoy any buyer protection with private sales, which is why your risk when buying a used cell phone is ultimately quite high.

However, by ensuring that the respective seller or the respective salesperson already many years registered and active in the forum and has sold smartphones before, you minimize your risk immensely. Some technology forums also have a trusted list that forum members can view.

By the way: Further, useful Tips for sustainable telephonyYou can pick it up in the linked blog post.

9. play it safe with payment

Your risk as a buyer of a second-hand cell phone is quite high if you buy it privately (e.g. via eBay classifieds or at a flea market). There you enjoy neither a guarantee nor any other form of buyer protection.

Accordingly, for private sales you should also do not pay hastily in advance or with "paypal friendsif you are asked to do so. Because then your buyer protection no longer applies and your money is unfortunately lost in the worst case scenario - with buyer protection you can still have it refunded by PayPal.

Talk about playing it safe: If you buy a used smartphone that has been reset according to the seller, you should still reset it to the factory settings yourself to be on the safe side in order to completely remove any malware and reduce your risk to a minimum.

10. give preference to refurbished devices from dealers

Buy refurbished used smartphone

Fortunately, you can also buy used cell phones with a warranty and on account. An absolute bargain is with professional Dealers and their refurbished devices rather improbable, but you benefit from greater security, a flawless, affordable cell phone and a generally uncomplicated purchase decision.

My recommendation: Opt for a used smartphone from the category "Refurbished"if you are looking for an inexpensive, high-performance, as-new alternative to an expensive new device and want to save yourself a lot of testing and research.

Buy used smartphone made easy!

It's great that you can buy a used cell phone, save money and keep your sustainable lifestyle want to promote. Now you know what to look out for. If you know the usual dangers and risks and check them one by one, you will minimize your risk immensely.

Also use the IMEI information and make sure you have sufficient buyer protection when purchasing. If you are unsure, you are on the safe side when buying refurbished smartphones.

Do you have any questions, suggestions, your own experiences or other tips for buying used cell phones that you would like to share? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: A Smartphone also has disadvantages - no matter how useful it may seem. In the linked blog article, I present the potential risks and dangers of using a smartphone so that you can use it more consciously in future.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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