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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

What Do I Need to Check Before I Buy a Used Smartphone or Tablet?

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Hey Everyone!

Buying used technology such as a smartphone or tablet is a great way to save money. Before you make that purchase, there are several things you need to watch out for such as outdated tech to stolen tech. Here are some things you should look for before purchasing a second hand device.

Do NOT Buy something older than 3 Years. Even if the device's hardware is in good shape, there is a big risk that you won't be able to load it with the recent operating system. When you're not able to install it with the recent operating system, this means you will not be able to install the latest versions of popular apps either.

Make Sure it's Not Stolen. This is the biggest dilemma one could ever think of when buying second hand smartphones. If the offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Always buy from reputable places only, such as sellers with good ratings in eBay. If it's smartphone you're purchasing, ask for the phone's IMEI, ESN, or MEID and then check it online if these numbers belong to a phone that has been reported stolen. Even if the search yields no results, this still isn't a guarantee the phone is clean, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Examine the Phone's Physical Appearance Carefully. Don't expect your used device to be in pristine condition. However, if the smartphone or tablet is damaged beyond repair, or if it's too costly to have it repaired, then don't get that unit. If the glass is seriously scratched or broken, or if there is a leakage from the battery, such repairs, if possible at all, are too costly.

Consider the Price. You may think that the price of a used smartphone or tablet is the most essential thing to check, but it's not. If the device you're planning to buy failed the first three checks, then no price is low enough - the device is simply useless. Check first how much the same device costs new on sites like Amazon, eBay, or BestBuy, and this will give you an idea if the unit is a bargain or just a ripoff.

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