Call Me Back

Thinking of a new ‘used’ phone, what should I check before buying?

Here at Cell Crazy we want to help you keep your mobile in tiptop condition, but there comes a time when most of us want to replace and upgrade to a newer shinier model.

Weighing up whether to buy a new or used phone, or take out a contract can be a bit of a mind field and we are asked many questions relating to this subject. Today we thought we would answer some of the key questions relating to buying a used phone, keep following us and keep an eye out for our blog on ‘what to think about when taking on a mobile contract’ coming soon!

Now you have decided on a new ‘used’ phone where do you start looking? Gone are the days of scouring the classified ads of the local paper when looking to buy something used, now we have many websites specialising in buying and selling such as Gumtree, Shpock and Facebook Market place to name a few. Most mobile phone network providers and phone stores offer refurbished options, these are generally a good option if you want more security than buying from a seller direct but can be a bit pricier.

Used Phone Purchase

So you have found the phone you are looking for and it’s a great price but is it too good to be true? Let’s look at what we recommend you check before parting with your hard earned cash. We hate hearing stories of customers buying used phones only to find they aren’t exactly what they thought and the seller has vanished with their cash.

  • Check what the market value is for the model you want to buy, look at the price of a new phone and check some of the resale sites we mentioned earlier to get an idea of what others are selling for.
  • What network do you want to use? This is important when buying a smartphone if it was originally supplied by a network provider as it could be locked to that network. Make sure the previous owner has had the phone unlocked, this should only require a phone call to the network provider for the unlock code and many don’t charge for this service once the phone is out of contract. Depending on the provider this could take anything up to a month.
  • Check the IMEI number of the phone. This is the International Mobile Equipment Identity. If the seller won’t give you the number walk away, chances are its stolen! You can get this number from any handset by typing *#06# now you have the number what do you do with it? Enter it into an online IMEI checker site, there are many free ones available, this will tell you if the phone is lost, stolen, blacklisted or has finance outstanding.
  • Check for activation locks; make sure the previous owner has reset the phone to factory settings as they often need sign in credentials to carry out this process.
  • Appearance sounds a simple one, but check the phone is in the condition you expect for the price. Have any repairs been carried out? If there is any manufacturer warranty left this might invalidate it.
  • Test it, does the touch screen work, check the microphone and speaker for sound quality, take a selfie and check the camera lenses aren’t scratched.

We hope that helps answer some common queries, if you have any other questions relating to purchasing or selling used phones feel free to get in touch and remember any repairs carried out by Cell Crazy come with a 12-month warranty!




Need help? Call the Cellcrazy team on 01753 696664

About SmartFix

We are a family owned business that provides fast, warrantied repairs for all your mobile devices.

Brooklyn Area

2307 Beverley Rd Brooklyn, New York 11226 United States

1000 101-454555

Store Hours
Mon - Sun 09:00 - 18:00

San Francisco Area

358 Battery Street, 6rd Floor San Francisco, CA 27111

1001 101-454555

Store Hours
Mon - Sun 09:00 - 18:00