Last Updated on July 16, 2019 by Husain Parvez
Looking for a used iPhone SE? You should know that buying stuff from the used market requires a lot of attention. It can be a risky procedure in a number of different ways.
You may get a different phone, something damaged, or not anything at all. Worst case scenario, you may even get robbed. The odds of that last one happening are rather slim, but, still, buying used electronics is without a doubt a process that has its risks. And that’s why you need to know where to look. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
Used iPhone SE Buying Guide
There are primarily 4 things to keep in mind when buying a used phone, or any used electronic for that matter:
- Locked and unlocked devices
- Extra fees, taxes, anything like that
So, let’s start with the first big issue, the seller.
1: Only Buy From Trustworthy And Reputable Sellers
Buying from someone who you know that you can trust is extremely important. And finding reputable sellers is seriously tougher than you may think. If you know where to look, even huge websites like eBay are full of scams.
There are a number of ways that the seller himself can harm your buying experience. Particularly:
- You may get a defective phone with no RMA support
- The website or seller may claim that they offer RMA in case that something goes wrong. But, when you mention that the phone was dead on arrival they’ll say that you broke it
- False information about the state of the phone. Condition, locked or unlocked, etc
- You may have to pay extra fees on arrival
- And more
This certainly sounds scary, so, what can we do about it? Well, our best advice is to always buy from places and people who you know that you can absolutely trust.
There is a chance that you’ll find better offers on questionable websites and contacts. But, do you truly want to take the risk? It’s your call. We’d recommend only buying from known sellers like Swappa and Amazon.
While Amazon is one of the biggest websites, their individual sellers are often not the best. Just look at the reviews of used products there. That’s why we often prefer Swappa as it offers a more controlled environment for used products.
The second thing to keep in mind when buying a used iPhone SE, or any phone for that matter, is the condition of the device. When it comes to used devices, every listing should mention the condition of the product.
If you’re on a website that lists used phones but it doesn’t mention the condition of the devices everywhere, then do seriously consider staying away from it. Every decent seller should accurately report what you’re looking at.
After all, nobody wants to pay a hundred bucks or more for a broken phone. So, firstly, as mentioned above, always buy your used products from reputable sellers to avoid things like that. Secondly, understand what the used terms mean and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of misunderstandings:
- Good/Refurbished/Like New: These terms are often used to describe a phone that’s almost brand new without scratches or marks
- Mint/Fair: Scratches and other signs of wear/use may be present, but the device works normally
- Bad/Damaged/Parts and Repairs only: The phone is damaged to the point where normal operation is tough or impossible.
Do keep in mind that every website may use slightly different terms to describe the condition of their products. Mint/Fair can sometimes mean that the phone is damaged while “Good” can still mean that there are a few scratches. It comes down to the seller.
If you can get photos of the phone, then that would be best. But, more often than not, we don’t have that luxury.
3: Carriers And Locked Devices
Many phones, especially in the US, come locked out of the box. This means that they’ll only work with a specific carrier unless you pay someone to unlock it for you.
If you want to avoid that, then you need to either:
- Buy an unlocked device
- Or at least buy a phone that is locked down to your preferred carrier
Do keep in mind that there are times where certain carriers/SIMs will refuse to work with an unlocked device. Maybe out of stubbornness. Especially the ones that were officially locked down to that one specific carrier.
So, do keep an eye out for this. There are a lot of sellers which mention the carrier state of a device – including Swappa.
4: Extra Fees And Taxes
This is something that a lot of people don’t know about. Let’s start with the standard fees:
When you’re checking out a used device, always assume that the final price is going to be a bit higher due to the added costs of shipping and taxes. Shipping costs can wildly vary even on the same website. Especially those like Amazon, Swappa, and eBay because they are mostly relying on individual sellers.
Then there are the import fees and taxes. That’s one thing that most people don’t know and they only find out when it’s too late and they already need to pay upwards of 200 bucks on delivery.
See, there are a lot of countries that ask you to pay taxes and import fees for goods that have been imported from another region. And when you buy something that’s from another region, you’re being treated as an importer.
That mostly happens because the taxes for a product that’s out of the country haven’t been paid yet. And well, they do need to be paid. So, if not the buyer, then who else is going to do it?
To solve this, try not to buy anything that’s out of your country. The rules generally differ from region to region. So, you’ll have to make your own research on that.
Europe generally allows you to buy anything from European countries without having to deal with things like that. But, for other continents, we can’t vouch for anything.
Why Buy a Used iPhone SE?
So, when everything is said and done, buying used devices can be a bit of a pain in the butt. There’s a bit of a learning curve and until you go over it, things do definitely look a bit tough. Then why would we want to buy used devices at all? Mainly two reasons:
- Used iPhones are much cheaper
- Some models come unlocked without any extra costs
First, to state the obvious, used phones are cheaper. Buying a used iPhone SE is a great way to get a decent device and save a lot of money in the process. Just make sure you do it right and you’ll end up being a winner.
Secondly, as we mentioned above, there are a lot of locked phones out in the market. Finding brand new devices in the US that are unlocked out of the box is a challenging task, to say the least. But, finding unlocked devices on the used market? Piece of cake.
The latter one is particularly useful if you don’t feel like being tied to any carriers. And that’s about it for now. Let us know if you’ve got any questions in the comments down below and we’ll try to help!
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