If you need a cell phone, you might want the latest phone on the market, the newest Android or Apple release – but that’ll cost you. While being able to show off your gadget is definitely one of the perks of buying a smartphone, you don’t necessarily need to spend all your hard-earned cash on a brand new phone. If you’re looking to get more for your money, you might find exactly what you’re looking for on the used market.
Buying used is a great option, but there are still tips to keep in mind to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of. Follow these tips to save a ton on your next phone and still be the technological envy of all your friends.
1. Buy a used cell phone when new models hit the floor.
New cell phones hit the market each year and in an effort to keep up with the latest technology, some people unload their old cell phones on sites like Craigslist, eBay or Gazelle, which specializes in the sale of used smart devices.
If you prefer a recent model, but don’t want to spend a lot, one of the best times to purchase a used cell phone is when companies release their newest models. People looking to upgrade may sell their old phone for extra cash, which means you can get a phone with the latest features and spend less out-of-pocket.
2. Make sure the phone works with your network.
It’s important to make sure the phone you purchase works with your network. It might come as a surprise, but not all phones work with every carrier. For example, if your cell phone carrier is Sprint, Verizon or Boost, you need a phone that will work on CDMA networks. And if you’re an AT&T or T-Mobile customer, you need a phone capable of working on GSM networks. So read the seller’s description of the phone carefully or inquire as to whether the phone with work on your network. Another option is buying an unlocked cell phone that can be used with any network provider.
3. Buy directly from your carrier.
To be absolutely sure a particular used cell phone will work with your network, buy it directly from your carrier. When new cell phone models come on the market, many people trade in their old phones for an upgrade, meaning many cell phone carriers maintain a large supply of used phones in good condition. You can purchase a phone for less and not worry about accidentally buying a phone that doesn’t work with your network provider.
4. Compare prices.
Not every used cell phone is a good deal. Sure, these phones might be cheaper than a newer model, but make sure you shop around and compare prices so you get your money’s worth. Check prices with your carrier and then compare these with prices you find on Amazon, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Let Go or Craigslist. Be sure to compare apples to apples.
5. Ask about a return policy.
If you’re buying a used cell phone from a private seller or an online retailer, make sure the company or seller offers a clear and understandable return policy. This way, you can play around with the phone for a few days and inspect it. If you run into any problems or defects, you have the option of returning the phone for a full refund. Look for a company or seller that allows returns within 14 to 30 days.
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality cell phone. The key is being patient and timing the purchase perfectly. By doing so, you can save money and still enjoy the latest features.