Five Common Mistakes People Make While Buying a Used Cell Phone


Every day, used or refurbished cell phones are sold and purchased in great numbers. Some consumers are always looking to get their hands on the latest models and because you usually don’t really need more than one or two handsets at a time, they usually sell the old mobile phones at much cheaper prices before going for the new ones. On the other hand, those who don’t have the kind of money to purchase the high-end mobile phones, which are recently launched, settle for the older ones at relatively low prices.

The used mobile phone market is thriving in developing countries where new and pricey phones are usually out of an average consumer’s reach, so they are more than happy to get their hands on a used mobile phone in good working conditions. Everyday hundreds and thousands of used mobile phones are sold,there are entire markets dedicated for the sale and purchase of used phone, while many people use websites with classified ads.

The only problem with the purchase of used mobile phones is that you are buying it on “as it as” basis, and there’s no company or vendor’s warranty that you can claim in case it stops working. Therefore, one needs to be extra vigilant when buying a used phone, especially if you have limited knowledge of the common faults and the tricks some imposter might use to pull the wool over your eyes.

The following are five common mistakes people made while buying a used mobile phone.

The Basics:

Some people are naturally good at scrutinizing a used mobile phone, mainly because they know the product inside out, but a normal user can often miss an obvious fault because of naivety. Ideally, you should take some of your friend who is good at doing the “inspection.” In case, you can’t get someone to accompany you, you should at least look into some basic things.

To start with, you need to check if the phone is locked or unlocked, but the battery timing is also important. Ask the seller about the battery time and plan to return the phone if battery dies down significantly sooner than what they are claiming. Don’t forget to make a short call to some of your contacts and see if they can hear your voice clearly and vice versa. Check out the keys or touch screen, and look closely for scratches as well as the overall condition. Last but not least, use the IMEI number to confirm that the phone is not a stolen one.

Buying From Total Strangers:

You might find some vendors selling refurbished phones, but used phones are normally sold by the individual owners or small shopkeepers. Even though you are not going to get a warranty in any case, but when you are buying from unfamiliar person, you are taking a huge risk. Unless you are not good at scrutinizing a mobile phone and its basic features, you should prefer to buy from someone you already know, because they will be much more honest while selling to someone they know. The least you could do is purchase one from a shopkeeper, so that you can easily return it in case of a mishap. If you must buy from a stranger, you should ask for a copy of something such as their National Identity Card. Not that you can go to the seller and get your money back, but a con artist will be wary of sharing his/her true identity for obvious reasons (for example:  someone who’s trying to sell you a stolen phone), while a honest seller wouldn’t mind doing so.

Not Knowing Your Own Requirements:

Some buyers simply head to the market, without making their mind up on exactly what features they need. All these people know is the money they have, and they keep going from one shop to another looking at all the possibilities. While this seems like a flexible approach, it often results in an impulsive decision that usually turns out to be a bad one.

Don’t start looking for options unless you are completely sure about your own requirements and the features you really need. Do you want a touch screen or a Qwerty keypad? Do you really need a good camera handset or exceptional multimedia support? Knowing this in advance will ensure that you will purchase a phone that is suited to your needs and not a set that attracts you on the spur of moment.

Buying a Phone Without Its Original Accessories:

Almost all new mobile or smartphones come with accessories such as a charger, hands free capability, data cable, stylus and the like. But there are also cheap and poor quality alternatives available in the market. The genuine accessories are expensive, because they are of higher quality and they work the best with the phone. Ideally, you should get the original accessories in working conditions with the phone. If that’s not the case, remember to add the cost of these accessories when evaluating your options, also make sure that the accessories are easily available in the market before buying a phone without some of its accessories.

Not Negotiating On Price:

When you are buying a brand new set, the prices are fixed and there’s no point to bargain, but when you are buying a used phone, there is no fixed price and you can save quite some bucks only by negotiating on the price. You can get the idea of the average price of the mobile phone you are looking to buy, by visiting the market or some local website. But many sellers will come further down from the average price because they are in need of urgent cash or they just want to go through with the sale so they can get a new one. Therefore, always negotiate and try to bring them down to the lowest possible price.

Joel is a tech and gadgets enthusiast. If you are looking for used AT&T phones, you can find a lot of them for sale at, with a well-designed rating system to help you choose the best one according to your own specifications.

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