How To Purchase A Second-Hand Phone Successfully

Are you planning on purchasing a second hand cell phone online? We have some tips on how to make a successful purchase.
U
Melissa
Cohen
Published: Monday, January 8th 2018
General
With the steady rise of inflation and fuel, many people don't want to spend their last pennies on expensive cell phones. Nowadays, it has become a popular trend among South Africans to buy and sell second hand mobile phones online. While the latest iPhone X sells for over R20 000, online shoppers can get their hands on a fairly decent device for more than half the price. Sites such as Gumtree, Phone Tradr and Reware are the sites most people can scrap up a great deal on their dream device. Many people purchase a second hand phone online, without knowing what to look for. We spoke to Price Check's Tech reporter, Brendon Petersen and local second hand phone seller, Monique Maron to find out how to purchase a second hand device right the first time.
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Where To Start? 

Purchasing a new phone can be an exciting, but yet extremely daunting experience- especially if you don't know what to look for. There are two things you need to ask yourself before you start the process:
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • What phone am I looking for?
Once you have established the answers to those initial questions, then you can commence the search. You need to be aware that you are purchasing a previously used device, this means that it might have a few minor scratches or chips.

Important Things To Consider

Here are some of the most important things that a buyer must look for when purchasing second hand, as listed by Petersen:
  • What condition is the phone in?
  • Take note of the model and the year that it was released;
  • Ask about / check for any visible signs of water damage and dings from the phone being dropped or knocked;
  • Check around online for the actual cost of the phone. Once you know the value of the handset, you can determine whether or not you're getting a good deal on the secondhand device phone you're contemplating buying;
  • Know what you're looking for in a phone. Don't buy the latest, flashiest device on the market if you don't need it;
  • Confirm whether it's a secondhand phone or a refurbished / CPO (certified pre-owned) device. CPO handsets are usually tested by the handset manufacturer and verified to work properly, while secondhand devices do not have that manufacturer's guarantee.
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5 Questions To Ask The Seller

So now that you have found a prospective deal online, you will now have to approach the seller. Is this your first time purchasing a second hand device from a random person you met online? If your answer is yes, here are five questions to ask the seller to ensure that your money is well-spent.
  1. How long has the phone been used for?
  2. What's the reason for selling the device?
  3. Does the phone come with the original box, charger and earphones?
  4. Are there any scratches or has any parts of the device been replaced?
  5. Is the price negotiable?
Maron explains that the buyer must check that the phone that they are purchasing is not a scam.
"The buyer must always check that the IMEI number on the device matches the box of the phone. They can also type this number into either Apple or Samsung’s website to ensure that the phone isn’t blacklisted or blocked. The buyer may also check if the screen of the phone has been replaced by a non- reputable source. They can do this by placing the phone at eye level and to see if the device screen has been lifted or not. "

From The Seller's Point Of View

While the buyers are looking for the best deal, sellers are looking to make an easy buck or two. Sometimes potential buyers may be skeptical with online purchases. Purchasing an expensive device from someone that you don't know can be quite scary. If you are a seller, you need to differentiate yourselves from the thousands of other people trying to sell devices. "Always take cash, never let someone EFT you and allow for delivery of the phone- it won’t arrive. Don’t negotiate too much, some buyers try to negotiate and make silly offers. Another important aspect is to always meet in a public area whether you are a buyer or seller. Always try to take clear photos of the device you selling, and tell the buyer about any clear issues with the phone. Lying doesn’t get you anywhere in life," explains Maron. Petersen also adds that it is important to list relevant information on your post such as:
  • Model number and year the device was released;
  • Any damage on the phone;
  • Any accessories that is included with the purchase;
  • Warranty information, if there is any.
Just remember that once you have purchased the device that you want, insure it immediately. You don't want to spend all that money and then not enjoy your new connection to the world! *Click here to check the IMEI number of the device.
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