Look Out For When Buying a Second Hand Phone

Buying a second hand phone doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise on quality, especially if it’s a refurbished device. Refurbished phones are those that have been returned to the manufacturer for inspection, repaired and cleaned and then sold on again, usually with a warranty. They’re a good option if you’re looking to avoid the risk of getting a stolen or faulty device and they can still be found at a price that won’t break the bank.

On the other hand, there are second hand phone that have been privately sold between owners and don’t undergo any cleaning or testing. They can also vary significantly in condition and performance, with the battery especially being impacted by its previous use. It’s worth checking if the battery in a second-hand handset has been replaced with a new one before making a purchase. It’s not uncommon for older batteries to lose their performance over time, and it may not be covered by any warranty from the seller.

It’s worth pointing out here that you’re still protected by the same rights as when you buy a new phone, including those provided by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It’s a good idea to check your retailer or online auction provider’s return and warranty policies before making any purchases though, and a quick scan of their website will often highlight these.

What to Look Out For When Buying a Second Hand Phone

The second hand mobile market is a big one, and with a little bit of research you can find a device that suits you perfectly at a fraction of the cost. Not only that, but it helps to keep technology in circulation, rather than languishing in drawers or ending up in landfill.

As for the risks, the most common are that you might end up with a broken or stolen handset or one that has been badly repaired. Taking care to check a seller’s feedback and reputation, or a specific product page on the retailer’s site will help you avoid any major issues here.

Other things to look out for include a clear description of the cosmetic damage on the device and whether it’s been cleaned or not (a dirty device can have hidden problems such as water damage). It’s also worth asking if the phone has been wiped or if you’ll need to perform a factory reset yourself, as this will delete the data of its previous owner such as messages, photographs, browsing history and Wi-Fi codes.

If you want to be extra cautious, try to only purchase from a reputable online or high street seller that offers a warranty. eBay for example has an eBay certified refurbished store and these devices come with a one-year seller guarantee, which can provide some peace of mind.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to sheck out the listing’s images. If a seller is using stock photos or generic press shots it could be a warning sign. It’s a great idea to also ask the seller about their returns policy before you make a purchase, and to check that they offer a prepaid postage label or other shipping options.

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