Last Updated on May 2, 2019 by Husain Parvez
How to buy a used or refurbished Samsung?
Opting for a used Samsung unlocked phone is a great way to save yourself a lot of money and to still end up with the same great handset that you would have if you paid out for a far more expensive brand new phone and the contract that comes with it.
There are however a few common pitfalls that it is essential to be aware of if you are to save yourself from disappointment and the whole host of headaches that come with buying something that is not as it first appears. Luckily for you, this is where our handy buyer’s guide that you’ve just started reading comes to the rescue!
By covering anything and everything you’ll need to know when you go shopping for a cheap refurbished Samsung Galaxy or Samsung Note you’ll be able to find the right device, at the right price. Perfect for shopping with the peace of mind that you are buying at the right place, and asking all the right questions.
Why buy a used Samsung Phone?
It’s a good question and one that has a whole host of answers…
#1 There’s Amazing Value to Be Had!
A used Samsung Galaxy will give you years of happy calling, texting, and browsing if that’s the model you’re after. With new models coming out every single year, and sometimes twice a year, you’ll have plenty of choices which means there are lots of bargains to be found. This is perfect as it means you’re dealing with a buyer’s market. One where you can negotiate for better deals safe in the knowledge that there will always be other avenues open to you.
With so many people looking to sell or trade in their unwanted phones the prices are coming down every single day. Perfect for allowing you to start shopping around and finding the bargain that you’ve been waiting for.
#2 You’re not tethered to a contract
An unlocked Samsung Galaxy is the perfect way to save yourself money because it gives you the option to shop around for a contract and a carrier network that fits within the confines of your monthly household budget.
With the freedom to choose, you’ll be able to free yourself from the higher fees providers charge users, who they know is tied to contract. Perfect for negotiating a custom deal that works for you from day one so that you only pay for what you need, and you never have to pay extra for a whole host of add-ons that you have little or no use for.
#3 You can shop a larger range of refurbished Samsung phones
Phone networks only really supply the latest couple of generations of phones with their contracts. That makes sense from their point of view because it makes them more money and it’s what the phone manufacturers want them to do.
The downside is that with every generation companies like Samsung add features and functions that some of us just don’t like. That doesn’t mean that these new additions are bad or unsuitable, it’s just a matter of personal taste. If you have your heart set on a used Samsung Galaxy S4 because you’re not a big fan of the options that have come after it you won’t be able to find one provided as part of a contract, but you will be able to find plenty of viable used options online.
The secret here is in knowing where to shop, and what to look out for so that you don’t end up disappointed when a deal falls through that with hindsight was actually too good to be true. Once you know both of those things, you’ll have covered all of the bases and will dramatically reduce the risk of spending your hard earned money on something that you’re just not happy with from the moment it arrives at your door.
How much do refurbished Samsung phones cost?
With so many models to choose from when it comes to shopping for your next used Samsung phone it certainly pays to shop around. You could, for example, be able to go back one more generation but get double the storage for barely any extra money.
Deals like that are well worth looking out for as they will save you a lot more money in few months’ time when you have to pay for extra storage anyway!
To give you an idea of what you can get for your money, why not take a look at these starting prices for a selection of the most popular used and refurbished Samsung Phones:
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5…………. Starting from $75
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge…..Starting from $174
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy Note 4……..Starting from $119
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 or Note…………. Starting from $195
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S8…………. Starting from $205
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S8 Note…………. Starting from $279
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S9 …………. Starting from $295
- Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S9 Note…………. Starting from $495
Next, we’ll take a look at where to buy cheap Samsung phones, and we’ll also cover a few of the pitfalls of the places that you are better off avoiding all together…
Where should I buy a used Samsung Phone from?
There is a whole host of online marketplaces that you can buy a used Samsung phone from; the art is in finding one you can trust and where it’s not hit and miss whether you get a great seller or a bad seller.
Let’s take a look at some of the common ways people go about it and the pros and cons of each:
Swappa.com: Simple, dependable, affordable
Swappa is a great alternative because you’re dealing with a specialist seller who puts the customer first. They stand by every item that is sold on their platform, and they’ll be by your side 24/7 if you wish to raise an issue or concern with the quality of your purchase.
That alone gives you the peace of mind that you’re being offered the same protection as a consumer that you would expect when buying a brand new handset online or in a physical store.
Another thing to consider is that you can search, by unlocked handsets, and also by the carrier network. Unlocked handsets will often be a little more expensive as you’re paying a small premium for the freedom to use it on any network, but in the long run, you’ll certainly save money as you’ll have the freedom to choose which provider you go with. By knowing exactly what you’re getting for your money well before you buy you’ll be in the best position to find something that fulfills all of your needs
Amazon.com: A Trusted Platform with lots of options, fast shipping and return policy
We’ve all bought stuff from Amazon, and on the whole, it’s a great platform that enables you to find great deals from many vendors in a safe environment. We love Amazon for its price comparison, ease of shopping experience and for it great no-hassle return policy. It’s important to remember however that Samsung phones are absolutely everywhere, so you won’t have any difficulty in finding a huge range of offers and models to choose from Amazon.
The downside of this is that there are lots of vendors to choose from on Amazon. So, take your time and check the product descriptions, the seller ratings and comments and make sure that the phones are in good condition, test, certified and unlocked.
Buy Unlocked Refurbished Samsung Phones on Amazon.
Craigslist: Can be difficult to receive a refund
Craigslist is another option where you can get a lot of things at a whole host of prices. As with eBay, it’s worth being wary of what you’re being offered before you part with your hard-earned money.
Purchasing from huge marketplaces can be risky as you don’t know who you’re dealing with and they may just be someone who is keen to make a quick profit at your expense. If you encounter problems, then it can be a long time before you get refunded, if you do at all.
Social Media: Best avoided
Many of us will have friends or acquaintances who tag us in all manner of things that are for sale that day. While often on social media you’ll be able to buy locally and inspect the device in person before you buy, the general quality may not be the best.
If you see something pop up on your Facebook feed that seems like the bargain of the century, please do remember that if something seems like it’s too good to be true, then it often is!
For this reason alone, avoiding social media purchases altogether can be the safest way forward. Play it safe and shop with a reputable specialist seller and you’ll avoid a whole host of stress because you’ll have the peace of mind every step of the way that you’re dealing with a team that has your best interests at hear
Assessing The Quality of Your Phone
When you want to figure out whether you have found a bargain or whether you’re facing the prospect of parting with too much money for what you get in return, it’s essential to work through the steps below. Do that, and you’ll be a giant step closer to finding the used Samsung Phone you have been searching for.
#1: Make sure you get the IMEI
Your first question will likely be: ‘what’s the IMEI?’
Every phone in the world will have an IMEI; it’s a unique 15-digit code that is used to identify the handset. It plays a crucial role in getting your handset unlocked because it tells network providers whether they can use it, or if it is tied to one particular network.
It may not seem like the most important thing to get when you’re in the middle of getting excited about a shiny new handset, but without it, you’ll struggle to get the full suite of functionality that you expect from a used Samsung phone you can use on any network you wish
#2: If you’re paying for an unlocked Samsung phone…read on…
We said a little bit earlier on that you can expect to pay a small premium for an unlocked phone. That is because the process of unlocking costs money, and someone else will have already paid for it to be carried out.
One thing to be aware of are listings that don’t specify whether the phone is unlocked or not. As an unlocked phone is a definite selling point, it’s most likely that the phone is locked to a particular carrier and that the seller has opted out of explicitly stating this as doing so would make their listing less attractive to potential buyers.
Make sure you get written confirmation that your handset is unlocked if that’s what you’re paying extra for. That way you’ll be able to use that as insurance should it turn out to not be the case. One potential pitfall here is if you purchase a phone described as unlocked on a vast nonspecialist marketplace like eBay only to find it is locked, you may struggle to get your money back in a timely fashion, if at all, from the seller.
Step 3: Make sure you know how to unlock your handset
If you find you need to unlock your phone, or you decide to pay a little less upfront and purposefully opt for a locked handset, then you’ll need to make sure you know how to get it up and running!
Let’s be clear; you’ll be able to use it if it’s locked, but you’ll be constrained to just the one network. Because the supplier will know you can’t go anywhere else in search of a better deal, they won’t give you the best rates. That is why having a locked phone is such a big deal; you miss out on savings from the minutes it arrives
Unlocking your phone isn’t that difficult, but it’s important to be aware of some of the common mistakes people make. Learn about that here.
First of all, there are a lot of companies out there who advertise their services as specializing in unlocking any type of phone and getting you on any carrier. This may not be the best way for you to proceed because while the offers and rates they advertise will no doubt stand out as quite enticing, they offer limited protection to you should something go wrong. It’s not uncommon for you to pay for a universally unlocked phone, only to find that you only have access to a couple of additional networks. While this is better than what you had to begin with it isn’t the service that was advertised, and it won’t allow you to shop around for the most attractive monthly contracts.
Instead, the best way forward is to deal with the networks directly. While they won’t want to lose your business, they won’t want to do anything that damages their reputation either. This is true now more than ever, with millions of consumers leveraging the power of Twitter to publicly name and shame companies and sellers they’re not happy with.
Make sure you have your new SIM to hand if you’ve already bought one, and try loading it in and powering your device back on as soon as you can. The best way to proceed is to get the estimated time to complete the unlocking from the original network, and then try your new SIM as soon as they say it’s done. You can also save yourself time and energy going through call centers if you ask for a direct number to the point of contact that you’re dealing with.
#4: Any other business?
One thing to be aware of is that Samsung phones come fitted with activation locks. These are something that you need to be mindful of because they can cause all manner of headaches.
They’re designed to make sure that if your phone is lost or stolen that someone else cannot illicitly begin using your phone. Essentially they’re an immobilizer for your phone, just like the one in your car that means the keys have to be in the ignition for the engine to run.
If they aren’t disabled by the seller before purchasing, then you will be unable to use the phone at all, regardless of whether you’ve bought a locked or an unlocked phone. Remember ‘unlocked’ only refers to the choice of network provider. If you unwittingly purchase a phone that has had the activation locks turned on by the seller, or if the phone has been sold without the real owner’s permission, then you won’t even be able to get onto the home screen.
There are plenty of great options out there if you’re willing to shop around.
Be safe and always ignore deals that appear too good to be true, and listings that omit some of the critical details we’ve covered above.
Stick with a reputable specialist dealer, and you’ll have more choice, more options, and increased peace of min