Keep the following 7 tips in mind before you buy a second-hand smartphone to get the best deal…
Ask for bill, box and accessories
Asking for bill not only assures that the seller is not giving you a stolen product but also makes it easy for you if you ever need to sell it or replace it (Apple replaced some iPhone 5 units two years after its launch, but only to those with proper bills). The box helps you check IMEI number for added verification.
If you don’t get original accessories, you can always ask the seller to lower the price by a few hundred rupees.
2 GB RAM minimum
Phones with 2GB RAM have become common even under Rs 10,000 (think Lenovo A7000, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G and Micromax Yu Yureka), so it’s important that whatever used phone you buy should have a minimum of 2GB RAM. Of course, you will have to settle for 1GB RAM smartphones if your budget tops out at Rs 5,000-6,000.
Also check the processor, since Mediatek-powered phones that are over a year old do not deliver good performance. Try to score a second-hand smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip since these last longer. Intel-powered smartphones would be good too, but they affect battery life adversely.
Check if it’s stolen
Many a times, sellers may try to peddle stolen smartphones to unsuspecting buyers. If that is a concern, then ask the seller to give you the box along with the smartphone, since the chances of a thief having the box are very, very slim.
If the box is not available, then check the phone’s IMEI number by dialling *#06# and checking the IMEI number on phone tracking websites like IMEIdetective.com. If the device is stolen and the owner has put in the IMEI number for tracking, then you will be saved from buying a stolen product and can even help the owner get his/her phone back.
Physically check the hardware
You will obviously check the body of the smartphone to see if it’s chipped or has scruff marks. But it is important to dig deeper.
If you are buying the smartphone in-person, then bring a laptop and a USB cable. Connect the laptop and the smartphone to see if it charges well and does not show issues while transferring data.
Also, insert your own sim card to ensure that it catches the network easily. Surf the web, download a few apps, take a few photos etc to make sure that the unit is not defective in any way.
Prefer paying via a secure channel like PayPal
Websites like eBay allow you to pay via PayPal, which makes it easier to get your money back in case you decide to return the smartphone for some reason.
Try buying on Facebook
Facebook has become a great place to buy/sell goods as it lets you see the seller’s profile (to an extent at least), their activities on the group where the goods are being sold, and check what others are offering for the same smartphone.
It also lets you warn others of a bad product being sold by sellers.
Look for warranty
Many a times, buyers upgrade their smartphones soon after buying a handset, sometimes even within months. This means that official warranty is still valid on these handsets, making them an excellent buy for you. So, obviously, look for sellers who are looking to sell phones with (at least some) warranty.
Also, keep an eye out for smartphones that have third-party warranties, since these also mean that you get some damage protection, which is better than none.