Planning to Buy Used iPhone: 5 Points You Need to Consider

Planning to Buy Used iPhone: 5 Points You Need to Consider

Buying a used iPhone can be a great deal if you are not willing to spend a fortune on the next Apple device launched in the market. However, when you plan to buy used iPhone there are the 5 points you need to consider so that you get the best value for your money. Most scammers try to sell you an iPhone at a low price but that is generally a duplicate or a clone. So what are these duplicate or clones? Most of the fake ones that are the duplicate or the clone ones are android phones with a skin that looks like iOS.

Furthermore, the internals is impotent enough to work as an original iOS device. Mostly they have a very old and outdated processor and have a worthless camera and hardly 8GB of internal storage. In simple words, stay away from the clones and duplicate iPhone.

There is another aspect when we talk of ‘not a brand new phone‘, are the refurbished iPhones. Refurbished phones are not used or second-hand iPhones, but are phones that are like new and restored by experts. Many times it happens that some devices get back to the company for various reasons. Even the devices that are sent to reviewers and press for testing are sent back to the company. Obviously, the company won’t throw away these devices, so they bring them in-house, replace any damaged parts, give the device a paint job and pack it in sealed boxes with the tag refurbished. Mostly the company refurbished iPhones carry a similar warranty as new phones but they come with a price tag higher than a used phone, mostly few dollars cheap than the original device.

Keep Your Eyes Open Check the Following Before Closing the Deal

Therefore, you are left with only one option that is to get a used device that has minimal signs of wear and tear and performs satisfactorily. However, before you head on to look for your next used iPhone, there are few expectations that you should keep realistic:

  • It is a used device after all, so if you get a device with minor scratches or a little dent for a good price, consider that rather than looking for a perfectly good looking phone as it might cost you higher
  • Your main motive is to save money as well as get the best value, so look for individual sellers whom you can meet in person and bargain for a good price
  • If finding an individual seller is difficult than trust only reputed websites like Amazon, Swappa, eBay, OLX, Quikr or even Craiglist
  • Always look for a seller that has good ratings in past selling used phones
  • Look for  return policy so that if you are paying the amount in advance you have the protection of getting your money back if you get scammed


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Now you know what to expect and where to look for your next used iPhone. What next, is to prepare for buying a used iPhone. Few things to keep ready can come in handy while verifying the device you are about to purchase.

  • A laptop
  • A working sim, a nano sim if the model you are buying is iPhone 5 or higher
  • A headphone
  • A torch or a flashlight to look deep into the holes to see for damages
  • A microfiber cloth to wipe the screen

1.Now as you have your stuff ready it time to find the best used iPhone for you

Decide on the model you wanna buy, for this case; let us take the example of iPhone 6s the flagship of 2015. iPhone 6s was a real hit for the year with its improved design language and excellent camera and faster processor and 3D touch. The phone was launched for $649(Rs.62000) for the base variant of 16GB. Now after a year and half of the launch, the prices have dropped considerably. You can pick a brand new iPhone 6s 16GB variant for around $450(Rs.38000). So you see the prices have dropped quite significantly but still they are quite pricey and can get heavy on your wallet.

However, as the new iPhone has hit the shelves you can get some very good deals on Swappa or eBay. You should do a bit of research on the websites to get the best deal and save further of your hard earned money.If you are lucky, you can get a used iPhone 6s 16GB at around $300-$380 on Swappa or even for $300 on eBay or in India for as low as Rs. 25000-30000 on Quikr or OLX. That is a very appealing deal to grab the attention of anyone looking to save some bucks in buying a used iPhone. Hold on your excitement a little before you click that buy now option on the online portals.

 Swappa is one the most trusted when it comes to getting payment protection. In addition to it, you also know the condition of the device you are about to buy. Always keep in mind, a mint condition device priced $50 more, has more value than a scratched device with a $50 lesser price tag. Never compare two devices of different condition based on the price. On the other hand, if you decide to buy a used iPhone in person from eBay or OLX or Quikr then follow the next step.

2.Meet the Seller

Fix a meeting with the seller to a coffee shop or somewhere public where you can check the device thoroughly. Keep your bag packed up and ready with the things mentioned earlier in the article. Double-check all your things and if possible carry another device with you and your friend with you. Meet the seller, get the device and ask him if it is okay to inspect the device. He hould not disagree; if he does, you have all rights to be suspicious.

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Now once you have the device in your hand, first things first. Run you eyes thoroughly on the device outer body to look for scratches and dents. Use the flashlight at a 45o angle to make any scratch or cracks on the screen visible. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe the screen of any polishing agent that the seller might have applied to hide scratches.

3. Checking all the physical ports and water damage indicator

Now, use the flashlight to check for any rusts in the headphone and charging port. After you are done with the physical inspection, you need to pop the sim tray out and check for any water damage. On iPhone 5 and older, there is a small white paper inside the sim port that should not show any signs of turning pink or red. If it is not white, the phone is water damaged and you avoid getting further on the deal. If the phone passes the water test, pop in your SIM, make a quick phone call, and see if the speakers work fine, use the loudspeaker too to check for any damage done to it.

Also, insert the headphones and play a track on the phone. If there is no track on the phone, connect the phone to your hotspot and play a song online. This would also check for the WiFi to be working or not. Next, plug in the lightning cable that the owner must hand you over. If otherwise, you agreed to leave that out for an extra discount then you need to get a lighting cable yourself before you buy. Therefore, it is advised to buy only the device that comes with all the accessories. As original Apple accessories are quite expensive and alternatives are not good in quality. Connect the device to your laptop to see if it recognized and if it is charging.

 4. Check the device genuineness and the device status on Apple website

(follow it while buying online too)

Start the inspection of the device by unlocking the device. If the seller has his lock on the device, ask him to unlock and reset the device. Note that if the iPhone belongs to the person he must know the passcode. Or else the phone is stolen and you should not buy it. Now to verify if the product is genuine and status of the device, check the serial number on Apple website. To get the serial number go to Settings> General> About> Scroll to the serial number. 

Now get your laptop and connect to the internet or ask your friend to visit this website Check Apple Device and enter the serial number there. It will show you the status of the phone, including the warranty coverage and valid date of purchase. If it shows the status, you can be sure you have a genuine Apple product registered on their website. Furthermore, check that the touch is working fine. There are no flickering of the screen or any blank spots where touch does not respond.

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It is advisable to turn on the rotation mode and type a text message both in portrait and landscape mode. The last very important inspection step is checking if the device is stolen or not. Now as the owner has reset the device, start setting up the new iPhone with your own email ID. This is a tricky step if the phone is still linked to the owner’s account ask the owner to remove it. For doing it, the owner needs to enter his iCloud ID and Password. Hand it over to the owner and ask him to enter the same. If the device is stolen, the owner will never know the password. Hence you should walk away from the deal.

This is the reason why I asked you to meet at a public place so that the owner cannot force you. Your friend will also come in handy if the owner turns out to be a thief, you must be careful.

5.Closing the Deal and negotiating 

If everything is fine and working as necessary, lastly check the camera too by clicking few quick shots and selfies. Clicking a selfie with the owner will also give you a proof from whom you bought the device. To make the purchase more secure if you are in the US, use the tools from Swappa to get more tests on the device. After you are confident and ready to close the deal here is one last step.

Now after you are done with all the inspection work, negotiate the deal. Try to convince the seller by agreeing to buy it for cash at the very moment. In most cases, a seller would want to sell his device early after having spent so much time with you dealing with the used phone. Even a $20 or $50 discount is not a bad discount for that matter. You can treat your phone with a new case for a better look. Shake hands, close the deal by paying him the cash. Make a note of the date, and time you bought the device on a paper. Get the signature of the seller on it as proof of the deal. This is optional but it is advisable as you get a proof of the deal.

Enjoy your new iPhone, yeah it is used but new toyou and you got a good deal.

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