Looking to grab a used Google Pixel 3 and enjoy the best of Android straight from the company that has built it? Here’s a definitive buyer’s guide to purchase a second hand Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL smartphone, and how you can fetch one without overpaying or settling for a subpar device.
How to buy a Used Google Pixel 3?
Back in the early 2000s when Android OS was first developed, the intention was to create a software platform for digital cameras. Google Inc. was quick to notice the potential behind this mobile operating system and acquired Android OS, along with the team that worked on it in the year 2005. Just a couple of years later, Google, in partnership with Taiwanese tech company HTC, released the very first Android OS powered smartphone – the HTC Desire. In the beginning, Google needed to support of big names in the tech manufacturing space, thus creating the Nexus series of devices.
Over the years, the Mountain View company collaborated with brands such as HTC, Samsung, LG and Motorola to release different iterations of the Nexus series of smartphones and tablets. However, in the year 2016, the very first Google Pixel was unveiled, which officially kick started Google’s bidding in the premium smartphone wars. Deemed as the flagship Android smartphone straight from Google, the Pixel series has become a benchmark by which all other Android flagship phones are measured, and the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are no different.
With the premium hardware specs that the flagship mobile phone from Google, you also get a hefty price tag. Each year, the Google Pixel gets updated with design refinements and significant hardware upgrades, so are you willing to shell out nearly a thousand dollars for the high-end variant of the flagship phone? If you’re among the power users who want the best of Android straight from Google, but don’t want to put a serious dent in your budget, buying a used Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is your best option.
There is no shortage of second hand Google Pixel sellers in the market and online, so how do you find an affordable one that’s in the best possible condition? Purchasing a used electronic device can be an unnerving experience, but only if you don’t know what to look for and do the due diligence to find out that device you’re about to buy is worth the ask. We’ve rolled up our sleeves and done the work of understanding how you can buy a used Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL in the best condition possible, without making any compromises, and pay considerably less than what you would for a new one.
Why buy a used Google Pixel 3?
Reason #1 – Premium hardware and software
Google has designed its official phone to be a flagship device that is the measurement standard for all other Android smartphones. Google Pixel devices almost always beat every other Android OEM phone on benchmark scores, all thanks to the latest and great hardware configuration, and the Google Pixel 3 lives up to this promise. Packing the Snapdragon 845 processor that is paired with 4GB of RAM capacity, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have the highest DxOMark score among all Android phones.
Thanks to the combination of the camera hardware and software optimizations done for the Google Camera, you get to capture fleeting moments better than ever. Additionally, each and every software update that is rolled out for the device, comes straight from Google, which means reduced wait times. So when you get yourself a Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, you can expect nothing less than the best of Android OS, with support for two years of major software updates right out of the box.
Reason #2 – Great value for money
The Google Pixel is built up to be the iPhone among Android devices, being the go-to choice for users who want the most from their smartphone. Back in the day, upgrading to the latest mobile phone seemed like a justifiable act, since each and every update came with significant hardware improvements. However, the Pixel series of devices from Google, just like many other premium Android smartphones, packs a powerful punch in terms of hardware processing.
Since you get seamless software support for 2 years and additional security update for a year more, your phone is far from being outdated within a year of use. Even if you choose to buy a used Google Pixel device, you still get the latest software updates straight from Google, before all other Android OEMs. Getting yourself a second hand Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL instead of a new one can mean big savings, since any electronic device loses value once it is out of the original packaging.
Reason #3 – Free of contracts
Purchasing a brand new Google Pixel on easy installments may require you to be restricted to a particular carrier, or you might have to select a carrier-locked variant to enjoy some rebates. However, when you choose to buy a used smartphone, you have the ability to go for an unlocked variant of the Google Pixel. Since most of the used Pixel devices that you find online are either in factory unlocked, or carrier unlocked state, you don’t have to worry about being bogged down to a single network.
You might not require the need to have network unlocked capabilities if you have been linked to a specific network carrier for years. However, the ability to use your phone with any SIM card comes in handy, especially if you’re traveling and want to save up on international roaming costs.
How much does it cost?
Just as you would expect and hope for, the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are offered at a far more affordable price when purchased in used condition. The actual price of the device is evaluated based on the physical condition of the phone, how long it has been used, whether or not the phone comes carrier unlocked or not, and the accessories that are being offered by the seller with the device. Either way, you can expect to save up big when buying a second hand Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL instead of a brand new one.
- 64GB Google Pixel 3 – Starts at $422
- 128GB Google Pixel 3 – Starts at $566
- 64GB Google Pixel 3 XL – Starts at $476
- 128GB Google Pixel 3 XL – Starts at $630
Where can I buy a used Google Pixel 3 online?
Being able to take a look at the device that you’re about to buy, especially if it’s a used one, certainly has its benefits. While it helps you make your purchase confidently, getting a phone from a reseller means that you end up paying more than you would have to if you chose to buy directly from the seller themselves. All thanks to the online marketplaces at facilitate the buying and selling of used electronics, you can get a wider variety of devices to check out and competitive pricing as well, which makes the following ways to buy a used Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL ideal.
Swappa – Top Recommendation
Designed to be your one-stop shop for all of your used electronics needs and wants, Swappa offers everything from mobile phones and tablets, to gaming consoles and home tech. A platform by the users, for the users, Swappa has become the face of second hand tech marketplaces online ever since its inception back in the year 2010. Hosting a gargantuan listing of mobile devices categorized based on the brand manufacturer and sorted out into unlocked and carrier-locked variants, the simplified user interface that is put in place by Swappa makes sorting through thousands of devices easier than ever.
When taking a deeper look at the products that are sold on Swappa, you will realize the depth of how this marketplace performs. Each and every product listing is first verified by moderators before being made public, and these listing must adhere to the strict guidelines put in place. Pictures from all angles are mandatory when selling a product on Swappa, and you need to do so while displaying a verification code provided, which ensures that the used product that you’re displaying in the images is the one that’s up for selling on the used
The listings are separated based not just on the network carrier status of the device, but the condition too. You can choose a product based on its evaluated physical state, which can be determined by choosing between Good, Fair, Mint, and even New state. Additionally, each of the seller is given a star rating, which helps you determine how trustworthy they are before you go ahead and spend your hard-earned money on a used gadget. Additionally, Swappa comes with PayPal Protection, which means that your money is always in safe hands.
- Online marketplace that is dedicated to selling only used and refurbished electronic items, guaranteeing a cheaper price.
- The platform is designed to be intuitive and categorized for ease of use, based on type of product, brand, network carrier status, and more.
- Mandatory visual inspection with images and full disclosure about any damage or defects in the device.
- Users can communicate directly with the sellers, clear any queries they may have regarding the device, and even negotiate prices in the comments section.
AmazonShop Google Pixel 3 on Amazon
With potentially millions of products sold each day all across the world, Amazon certainly is the giant among e-commerce platforms. While the e-retailer is not exactly known for being a dedicated reseller of used and refurbished products, you can find a wide variety of it on its website. Whether you’re looking for used devices, refurbished products sold by the brand manufacturer, or open box products which have been returned by unsatisfied buyers, Amazon can help you cut a good deal on your second hand electronics purchase. The sheer size of this e-commerce giant is what attracts thousands of sellers to it, which also help you, the buyer, enjoys plenty of choices to pick from.
Similar to the way Swappa dictates that the buyer maintains complete transparency, Amazon also mandates that the seller mentions details regarding the condition of the device being sold. However, Amazon does not make it compulsory to add images of the product with a verification code for assurance like Swappa does. However, most of the used devices that sold, are secured through Amazon Purchase Protection, so you don’t have to worry about losing your money in case the product fails to meet your expectations.
Since Amazon is not an exclusive store just for used products, you might have to do more digging in comparison to Swappa. However, you can expect the general price point to be somewhat lower on Amazon, along with a larger selection of products to choose from. However, you do not get a direct channel of communication that helps you easily communicate with the seller, although you do get to send out messages. Additionally, if you do have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can even enjoy one-day delivery if your chosen product qualifies for it.
- Almost every major electronics item on Amazon is available in multiple buying options, giving you a larger selection of second hand devices to choose from.
- Prices of the used products is highly competitive among the sellers, which enables you to find the right device for a cheaper price.
- Amazon Purchase Protection secures your investment when buying a used device, while Prime service guarantees quicker delivery to your doorstep.
- Product details are not as descriptive as you would be able to view over at Swappa.
If you’ve been shopping online long enough, the eBay brand should not seem unknown, since it is one of the oldest one in the business. The guidelines to start listing products on eBay are fairly simple, which is why you can expect to find a higher density of used Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones on this platform. Additionally, you can expect the prices of the phone to be lower on eBay compared to other used device marketplaces, since the commission charged by eBay to the sellers is lower. You don’t have to worry about your money either, since eBay also comes with PayPal Protection in place, so you can always take things up with PayPal if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.
The loose guidelines might make the task easier for the sellers, but at a buyer, not being able to verify the physical condition of the device through pictures may be a deal-breaker for some. You don’t get a dedicated shipping service from eBay, and the entire process has to be done by the seller themselves, which means that you’re at their mercy when it comes to having the product shipped out on time and delivered to you. eBay also has a single-dimensional rating system for its sellers, where a seller in any category of products can go ahead and put up a second-hand device on sale, while their high rating might fool customers into thinking that their purchase is coming from a top-rated electronics seller.
eBay certainly has its merits apart from the competitive pricing, which is apparent through the filtering system that allows you to find the cheaper device right away. One unique feature of this e-commerce platform is the auction system, which allows you to bid for the product you want to buy. This way, you can compete with other buyers to bag the item, while being assured that you did not end up paying a cent more than what the device is worth. Most of the reputed sellers on eBay are responsive and even offer a return policy with 100% refund if you aren’t satisfied with the product You will, however, have to manage the return process yourself and have the product shipped back, which can be quite the ordeal.
- The number of listings available are higher in number since any user is allowed to create a private listing and start selling.
- The auction system that is put in place allows the buyer to find the most suited price to buy the item and make big savings.
- Moderation of the products sold through the listings is subpar, which may result in a poor buying experience.
Users all across the world have been using online classifieds such as Craigslist to buy and sell products such as furniture, cars, and even rent out places. It should come as no surprise that Craigslist is also effectively used for buying and selling of used electronics such as mobile phones, and the ability to create listings for free right away, makes it more accessible to the masses. You can expect significantly lower prices when buying products off Craigslist, since there is no middleman with commission fees.
However, the freedom of being able to buy directly from the seller comes at its own risks, especially without a moderator in place. When purchasing a used Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL from a seller on Craigslist, you need to make a judgement call. You can do so based on the description that the seller provides, pictures of the actual device, and how responsive they are to your queries regarding the listing. Either way, there is a certain amount of risk that comes with buying something from a complete stranger, so the price of the phone should be able to justify it.
If you are willing to go out into the open and look for someone who wants to sell their used phone, why not look into your social circle first? Ask friends and family around if someone they know is looking to sell their used mobile phone, and with a direct connection, you can fetch one for the right price. Asking as many questions as possible when buying a used phone directly through the seller is always a smart practice, so don’t hold back on any queries you may have. Albeit there is no protection in place that can safeguard your money, but that’s the price you have to pay for a cheaper smartphone.
Evaluate a used Google Pixel 3 before buying
Once you’ve decided where you want to buy the second hand Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL from, the work isn’t done just yet. Purchasing a phone that you are most likely going to be using for a year or two should be a well-informed decision that you feel confident about. Covering the basics such as looking closely at the cosmetic condition of the phone is just the first step to qualifying a device for purchase. However, you need to look deeper into whether the device that you have your eyes on is worth your money and the effort you put into buying it.
Step 1: Verify the IMEI Number
The very reason device manufacturers assign the unique IMEI Number to mobile phones and tablets is to curb the illegal trading of phones. Additionally, stolen devices can also easily be tracked using the IMEI Number, and when it comes to purchasing a used Google Pixel 3, you need to be sure about the fact that the device you’re purchasing is neither stolen or blacklisted. Before you go ahead and make the purchase, it is essential to ask the seller for the IMEI Number of the phone for verification purposes.
One of the first things you need to ask the seller is the IMEI Number, and if they fail to provide it, you might want to steer clear of the purchase. A blacklisted IMEI phone will not only be rendered useless, but using one can get you into legal trouble, so regardless of the enticing price tag that it comes with, avoid such products at all costs. If you are able to get your hands on the device, here’s what you need to do to find out the IMEI of the used Google Pixel phone that you’re looking to buy:
- From the home screen of the device, head over to the Settings
- Scroll down to find the System tab and open it.
- Now head over to the About phone
- Access the MEID menu, which should give you a view of the IMEI Number of the device.
- You can also choose to dial *#06# from the Phone app to find out the IMEI Number.
Step 2: Network unlock the device
If you’re choosing to get yourself a factory unlocked Pixel 3, you don’t need to worry about this particular step. However, if you’re planning to save a few bucks by getting a network locked variant, you might want to consider having it unlocked. Not only is the 15-digit IMEI Number the signaling factor that validates the legitimacy of the seller, but is also essential for unlocking the phone from the network carrier. If the phone does not come unlocked right out of the box, you will need to verify if the phone is unlockable, for which you will need to provide the IMEI Number of the device to the unlocking service provider.
Even if you’re planning to use the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL with the same network carrier that the phone is locked to, we recommend that you have it network unlocked. Down the road if you decide to change your network carrier for better coverage or cheaper service plans, having an unlocked phone would give you plenty of options to choose from. Additionally, if you travel abroad often and need to stay connected on the go, swapping your SIM card with a local one would help you save big on international roaming costs. This is why we especially like the feature of Swappa that allows you to choose a device which is carrier-specific or unlocked right out of the box.
Step 3: Ensure that Google FRP is disabled
Apple devices come with a security feature called iCloud Activation Lock, which restricts the user from accessing a newly formatted iDevice without entering the owner’s Apple ID and password first. This straightforward security feature works as a deterrent of mobile theft, since it effectively makes the device useless without accessing the iCloud account. Google has adopted a similar security protocol in the form of Google Account Verification, which is also known as FRP (Factory Reset Protection).
There is no apparent way of knowing whether the FRP feature is enabled or disabled on a used Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL. This is what makes it crucial that you ensure that the feature has been disabled by the seller before they send over the device to you. Since reaching out to the seller after the point of sale may not always be possible, or they may be hesitant to share their Google account username and password with you, this is a process that you need to complete before making the purchase.
To disable the FRP feature on any Android phone, all that you need to do is remove the Google account that is associated with the device.
- From the home screen of your Google Pixel device, head over to the Settings
- In the Settings app, scroll down to find the Accounts
- Tap on the Google icon and find the associated Google account and select it.
- Select the Remove account button and confirm your action.
Step 4: Perform a general inspection
Once you have the phone arrive to you in the mail, or you are able to get a hold of the device before making the purchase, a general inspection is in order. Since you will be able to either turn down the seller or send the phone back within the first few days, it is essential that you get to testing things out about the used Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL right away.
Physical condition – With the phone’s display being the main concern, the first thing you should start observing is the wear and tear on the housing of the Google Pixel. If you notice any chips on the side of the screen or hairline cracks that run all the way, that could mean hundreds of dollars in screen repair. While a broken screen is unacceptable, other oddities such as dents on the corner of the phone or abrasions on the back might just help you negotiate for a better price. Additionally, taking a look at the accessories that are provided with the phone, along with any damage in the charging cable should also be considered.
Verify the battery life – The amount out screen on time that you get from your mobile phone is a crucial aspect that you must consider. Since the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are not even a year old, you should expect the battery to be in healthy condition and give you hours of performance for communication, entertainment, and everything in between. You can start off by performing an entire battery cycle, by charging the phone all the way up to 100% and then letting it drain down to 0% until it shuts off. This process should help cleanse the battery and also give you an estimate of how many hours of screen-on time to expect.
The speed with which technology is evolving is mesmerizing, with personal tech devices getting faster, smarter, and more expensive with each iteration. Back in 2016 when Google released the very first Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it did not hold back on the hardware specs and premium build quality, and that hasn’t changed now either. If you’re a power user who appreciates the pure stock Android experience that Google offers with its Pixel line of devices, but don’t feel that the premium price tag is justified, then saving hundreds of bucks on a used Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL is the way to go.
We’ve closely examined the marketplaces that offer a healthy range of mobile devices and other electronics, and shortlisted the best options for you. If you have any questions regarding how an e-commerce platform such as Swappa works, or need any assistance related to how you can unlock your Google Pixel phone the easy way, just reach out to us in the comments section right down below, and you’ll hear back from us soon.