There are many advantages to buying a used iPhone 11 as opposed to a new one. You can get it for much cheaper and unlocked out of the box without it being necessarily damaged. In fact, many people sell used phones that are in a brand-new-like condition.
However, buying used electronics also brings a few risks. You may not get what you asked for, you may get scammed, or even worse; you may fall a victim of a cyber-criminal.
This guide aims to explain how to buy a used iPhone 11 while avoiding such things. Let’s get right into it!
Buying Guide: How to Safely Buy A Used iPhone 11
Overall, this is the main guideline that we generally follow regardless of what we want to buy online:
- Choose a trustworthy website and seller
- Try avoiding credit and debit cards
- Keep an eye out for extra import fees and charges
- Pay attention to the condition of the phone
- Prefer unlocked models when possible
That’s all in a nutshell. If you want the details, then keep on reading!
1: Choose Trustworthy Websites
It’s very important that you’ll only shop from websites that have been known to be trustworthy and reliable for a long time now. That’s because such websites have a significantly lower chance of attempting to scam you or selling something of inferior quality.
Not to mention that the services that popular websites offer are often much better compared to other less known solutions. You get things like insurance, return policy, tracking, refunds in case that something goes wrong, and more.
However, do keep in mind that websites and sellers are often not the same thing. For example, eBay is a popular and trustworthy platform, but that doesn’t mean that all of its sellers are trustworthy as well. In fact, we’ve seen numerous scammers on it before.
So, with that being said, don’t just choose a popular and trustworthy website, choose a good seller as well. Look at his past reviews and remember, if a deal is too good to be true, then it most likely is.
As for the websites, some very popular and trustworthy ones to choose from are:
And there a few others to choose from. But, those are some of the most well-known ones. In the case of buying a used iPhone 11, Swappa is a particularly good choice since they are specializing in the specific task of selling used phones and laptops.
2: Try Avoiding Debit and Credit Cards
Credit and debit cards were once traditionally used as the standard online payment method. But, that doesn’t mean that they are safe to use. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
As mentioned above, even if the website is reputable, the same can’t be said for their individual sellers. And that’s especially true for websites like eBay where more or less everyone can sell.
For this reason, it’s highly recommended to rely on PayPal instead of just providing your credit card information. Because when things go wrong, chances are that you’ll be able to request a refund or found a solution with the seller, even if the website of your choice doesn’t allow for anything like that.
That’s especially useful in cases where you may fall victim to a scam or anything similar. PayPal offers a layer of security that you just don’t get with traditional payment methods. So, do keep that in mind!
3: Keep an Eye Out for Extra Import Fees and Charges
Most people don’t seem to know about this. But, if you’re importing a product from outside of your country, there is a good chance that you’ll have to pay extra fees upon delivery. That’s extra money that you weren’t intending on giving in the beginning.
In the worst-case scenario, you may end up having to pay more than the product’s original price. Best case scenario, all the extra costs are mentioned in the checkout page.
The thing is that in both cases, you’ll end up having to pay extra money and nobody wants that. Now, there are a couple of ways to avoid that. But, in the end, it comes down to your country’s regulations. So, do make your research on that.
Ideally, you should always order items only from websites that are based on your country. For example, those who live in the US may can use Amazon.com while the British can rely on Amazon.co.uk.
Do also keep in mind that as long as a website has warehouses in your country, then chances are that it doesn’t matter where it’s based. For example, Gearbest is based in China, but it also has numerous European warehouses. This allows Europeans to purchase specific items without having to pay anything extra.
There are also some other shady methods like Priority shipping, but let’s not go there since that’s not a reliable solution anyway.
4: Pay Attention to the Condition of Your Used iPhone 11
Another common mistake is that people buy a phone that’s offered in a good price without taking a second to look at the condition that it’s in. This often results in unpleasant experiences where you may get something that’s in terrible shape or outrightly broken.
So, with that being said, it’s terribly important that you pay attention to the condition of the used iPhone 11 that you’re going to buy! After all, every reputable website like Swappa is going to mention the condition of each device.
Now, each website may use slightly different terms to describe the overall condition of a device. But, still, here is our general descriptions that apply on most options out there:
- Good/Refurbished/Like New/Grade A: These terms are often used to describe a phone that’s almost brand new without scratches or marks
- Mint/Fair/Grade B/C: Scratches and other signs of wear/use may be present, but the device works normally
- Bad/Damaged/Parts and Repairs only/Grade D: The phone is damaged to the point where normal operation is tough or impossible
Again, always look for the individual description of a phone on the specific website that you’re shopping from because they may be using slightly different terms.
5: Prefer Unlocked Used iPhone 11 Devices
If you’re going to buy a used iPhone 11, then try getting your hands on an unlocked version. Unlocked phones can work with all carriers and you also won’t have to worry about paying extra for an unlocking service down the line.
In case you don’t know about it, phones that are locked down to a specific carrier will only work with it. For example, if you get a phone that’s locked down to Sprint, then you’ll only be able to use it with a Sprint SIM card as the phone will refuse to “cooperate” with anything else.
So, if you’re going to buy a locked device, then at the very least make sure that it’s locked to the carrier of your preference. Otherwise, this may end up turning into a painful buy.
Again, most reputable sellers will mention if a phone is locked or not. So, keep an eye out for that!