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Best Deal: iPhone 13 with 6 months free Mint Mobile service

Best Places to Buy Used Cell Phones

Save money with a used or refurbished cell phone

The best places to buy used cell phones

Does the following scenario ring any bells?

You walk into the cell phone store with every intention of holding tightly to your wallet. Yet you leave having spent way more money than you expected. Maybe this whole buying a smartphone at retail price thing wasn't such a good idea after all!

We feel your pain. Even with a phone trade-in program, getting your hands on that new iPhone or Android smartphone can be painfully expensive.

Here's the good news:

Refurbished cell phones can cost you as little as half the retail price of new cell phones. The hard part is determining where to buy one. The online marketplace offers several options. But how do you know which sites are trustworthy and that the device will be in good condition?

In this guide, I'll tell you what to look for and where to buy a used cell phone for the best price.

Best used Apple iPhone deals

Apple iPhone SE Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$329*
MSRP: $399* $70 off
Device Specs
Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorA13 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Operating SystemiOS 13
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 14 hours
Dimensions138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
Weight148g
Splash ProofIP67
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight

  • Water-resistant

  • Amazing A13 chip performance

  • Affordable price

  • Touch ID

Cons

  • Battery capacity

  • Night mode is missed

  • Only a 5W charger

Apple iPhone 11 Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$398
MSRP: $699
Best Deals
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution1792 x 828 pixels
HDR ScreenNo pixels
ProcessorA13 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Operating SystemiOS 13
Back Camera12MP (Dual)
Front Camera12MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 17 hours (video playback)
Dimensions150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
Weight194g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Model NumberA2111
User ManualApple iPhone 11 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tougher and water resistant design

  • Great quality speakers

  • Good photos from main camera

  • Excellent selfie photo and video quality

  • Powerful A13 processor

Cons

  • No screen update

  • Storage starts at 64GB

  • Only a 5W charger included

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$490
MSRP: $999
Device Specs
Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution2436 x 1125 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorA13 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Operating SystemiOS 13
Back Camera12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto
Front Camera12MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 18 hours (video playback)
Dimensions144 x 71.4 x 8.1mm
Weight188g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Model NumberA2160
User ManualApple iPhone 11 Pro User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fast charging battery

  • Quality stereo speakers

  • Amazing video quality

  • Fast A13 processor

Cons

  • Ultra wide camera lacks autofocus

  • Very expensive

  • No headphone jack

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max Refurbished
Network
Unlocked
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$597
MSRP: $1,099
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.5"

Screen Resolution2688 x 1242 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorA13 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Operating SystemiOS 13
Back Camera12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto
Front Camera12MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 20 hours (video playback)
Dimensions158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm
Weight226g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
User ManualApple iPhone 11 Max User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful screen

  • Improved battery life

  • Flexible triple camera system

  • High quality build

Cons

  • Nothing new on iOS 13

  • Ultra wide camera lacks detail

  • Phone size

Cheapest used iPhones

Apple iPhone 7 Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
32GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$81
MSRP: $649
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 7 (Refurbished)32GB$86
Device Specs
Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR ScreenNo pixels
ProcessorApple A10 Fusion pixels
Internal Memory32GB, 128GB, 256GB
Operating SystemiOS 10
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, 4K
Wireless ChargingNo
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 14 hours
Standby TimeUp to 240 Hours
Dimensions138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm
Weight138g
Splash ProofIP67
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMNo
Model NumberA1660
User ManualApple iPhone 7 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Water resistance

  • Improved screen and battery life

  • Powerful dual speakers

  • Excellent camera

  • Incredible performance

Cons

  • No headphone jack

  • Poor battery life

  • No design change

  • Expensive

Apple iPhone 8 Refurbished
Network
Unlocked
Storage
256GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$220
MSRP: $849
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone 8 (Refurbished)256GB$169
Device Specs
Screen Size

4.7"

Screen Resolution1334 x 750 pixels
HDR ScreenNo pixels
ProcessorApple A11 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB
Operating SystemiOS 11
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, 4K
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 14 hours
Dimensions138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
Weight148g
Splash ProofIP67
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMNo
User ManualApple iPhone 8 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Super fast processor

  • Wireless charging

  • Good camera

  • Storage starts at 64GB

Cons

  • Old design

  • Disappointing battery life

  • No headphone jack

Apple iPhone XR Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$352
MSRP: $799
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone XR (Refurbished)128GB$308
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution1792 x 828 pixels
HDR ScreenNo pixels
ProcessorApple A12 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Operating SystemiOS 12
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, 4K
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 25 hours
Dimensions150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
Weight194g
Splash ProofIP67
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Model NumberA1984
User ManualApple iPhone XR User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great photos and videos

  • Face ID

  • Wireless charging

  • Best iPhone battery life

  • Excellent performance with A12 Chip

Cons

  • Display is not great

  • Lower res screen

  • No 3D touch

  • No dual lens

Apple iPhone X Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$297
MSRP: $999
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone X (Refurbished)64GB$299
Device Specs
Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution2436 x 1125 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorApple A11 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB
Operating SystemiOS 11
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, 4K
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 21 hours
Dimensions143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
Weight174g
Splash ProofIP67
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Model NumberA1901
User ManualApple iPhone X User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fast processor

  • Facial recognition

  • Excellent screen

  • Impressive battery life

Cons

  • No fast charging plug included

  • Expensive price tag

  • No home button

Apple iPhone XS Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
64GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$341
MSRP: $999
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Apple iPhone XS (Refurbished)64GB$342
Device Specs
Screen Size

5.8"

Screen Resolution2436 x 1125 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorApple A12 Bionic pixels
Internal Memory64GB, 256GB, 512GB
Operating SystemiOS 12
Back Camera12MP
Front Camera7MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, 4K
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 20 hours
Dimensions143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm
Weight177g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
Model NumberA1920
User ManualApple iPhone XS User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great build and durability

  • Good speakers

  • Improved duel camera

  • Faster Face ID

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Average battery life

  • Glass front and back prone to damage

Compare iPhone prices

ModelConditionMemoryCompatibilityPrice
Apple iPhone 11New64GBAT&T$499
Apple iPhone 11 MaxNew64GBAT&T$899
Apple iPhone 11 ProNew64GBAT&T$799
Apple iPhone 12New64GBT-Mobile$729
Apple iPhone 12 miniNew64GBT-Mobile$629
Apple iPhone 12 ProNew128GBVerizon$999
Apple iPhone 12 Pro MaxNew128GBT-Mobile$999
Apple iPhone 13New128GBT-Mobile$829
Apple iPhone 13 miniNew128GBT-Mobile$729
Apple iPhone 13 ProNew128GBT-Mobile$999
Apple iPhone 13 Pro MaxNew128GBT-Mobile$1,099
Apple iPhone SENew64GBT-Mobile$399

Best used Samsung Galaxy deals

Samsung Galaxy S10 Refurbished
Network
AT&T
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$161
MSRP: $899
Best Deals
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.1"

Screen Resolution3040 x 1440 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorSnapdragon 855 pixels
Internal Memory128GB, 512GB
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 (Pie)
Back Camera12MP, 12MP, 16MP (Triple)
Front Camera10MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 34 hours
Standby TimeUp to 3.67 days
Dimensions149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm
Weight157 g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMNo
Model NumberSM-G973U
User ManualSamsung Galaxy S10 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Compact size

  • Amazing photo and video quality

  • Stunning display

  • Reverse wireless charging

Cons

  • Fingerprint reader accuracy

  • Average battery life

  • No auto focus on Ultra wide camera

  • Slow charging

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
256GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$330
MSRP: $949
Best Deals
DeviceStoragePrice
Samsung Galaxy Note10 (Refurbished)256GB$330
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.3"

Screen Resolution2280 x 1080 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
Processor7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor pixels
Internal Memory256GB
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0
Back Camera16MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Wide-angle, 12MP Telephoto
Front Camera10MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 35.38 hours
Standby TimeUp to 12.6 days
Dimensions151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm
Weight168g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMNo
Model NumberSM-N970U
User ManualSamsung Galaxy Note10 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Bright OLED screen

  • Excellent battery life

  • Great sounding speakers

  • Great image quality from camera

  • Generous 256GB storage

Cons

  • No headphone jack

  • Night Mode needs work

  • Ultra-wide angle camera lacks autofocus

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Refurbished
Network
Verizon
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$375
MSRP: $999
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.2"

Screen Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorSnapdragon 865 pixels
Internal Memory128GB
Operating SystemAndroid 10.0
Back Camera12MP, 12MP, 64MP (Triple)
Front Camera10MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video Resolution4K, FHD, HD
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 28 hours
Standby TimeUp to 10 days
Dimensions151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm
Weight163g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM CardNano
eSIMYes
User ManualSamsung Galaxy S20 User Manual
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent camera

  • Brilliant screen

  • 5G Connectivity

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Supports slower 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Refurbished
Network
T-Mobile
Storage
128GB
Condition
Refurbished
Price
$599
Device Specs
Screen Size

6.7"

Screen Resolution2400 x 1080 pixels
HDR ScreenYes pixels
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus pixels
Internal Memory128GB
Operating SystemAndroid 10
Back Camera12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Wide-angle, 64MP Telephoto
Front Camera10MP
HDR for PhotosYes
Video ResolutionHD, FHD, 4K UHD, 8K
Wireless ChargingYes
Voice CommandsYes
Talk TimeUp to 34 hours
Standby TimeUp to 11.8 days
Dimensions161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm
Weight194g
Splash ProofIP68
Water ResistantYes
WiFi & 4G CallingYes
GPSYes
SIM Cardnano
eSIMYes
Pros & Cons

Pros

    Cons

      Cheapest used Samsung phones

      Samsung Galaxy S8 Refurbished
      Network
      Verizon
      Storage
      64GB
      Condition
      Refurbished
      Price
      $102
      MSRP: $725
      Best Deals
      DeviceStoragePrice
      Samsung Galaxy S8 (Refurbished)64GB$110
      Device Specs
      Screen Size

      5.8"

      Screen Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
      HDR ScreenNo pixels
      ProcessorSnapdragon 835 pixels
      Internal Memory64GB, 128GB, 256GB
      Operating SystemAndroid 7.0 (Nougat)
      Back Camera12MP
      Front Camera8MP
      HDR for PhotosYes
      Video ResolutionHD, 4K
      Wireless ChargingYes
      Voice CommandsYes
      Talk TimeUp to 20 hours
      Dimensions148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm
      Weight155g
      Splash ProofIP68
      Water ResistantYes
      WiFi & 4G CallingYes
      GPSYes
      SIM CardNano
      eSIMNo
      Model NumberSM-G950U
      User ManualSamsung Galaxy S8 User Manual
      Pros & Cons

      Pros

      • Excellent camera

      • Large and amazing display

      • Headphone jack

      • MicroSD Support

      Cons

      • Poor Battery life

      • Badly placed fingerprint sensor

      • Fragile

      Samsung Galaxy S9 Refurbished
      Network
      Unlocked
      Storage
      64GB
      Condition
      Refurbished
      Price
      $121
      MSRP: $719
      Best Deals
      Device Specs
      Screen Size

      5.8"

      Screen Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
      HDR ScreenYes pixels
      ProcessorSnapdragon 845 pixels
      Internal Memory64GB, 128GB, 256GB
      Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 (Oreo)
      Back Camera12MP
      Front Camera8MP
      HDR for PhotosYes
      Video ResolutionHD, 4K
      Wireless ChargingYes
      Voice CommandsYes
      Dimensions147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm
      Weight163g
      Splash ProofIP68
      Water ResistantYes
      WiFi & 4G CallingYes
      GPSYes
      SIM CardNano
      eSIMNo
      Model NumberSM-G960U
      User ManualSamsung Galaxy S9 User Manual
      Pros & Cons

      Pros

      • Good quality speakers

      • Quality still and video quality

      • Fast processor

      • Amazing AMOLED screen

      Cons

      • No change with design

      • Expensive

      • Only 720p resolution

      Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Refurbished
      Network
      T-Mobile
      Storage
      64GB
      Condition
      Refurbished
      Price
      $187
      MSRP: $930
      Best Deals
      DeviceStoragePrice
      Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Refurbished)64GB$190
      Device Specs
      Screen Size

      6.3"

      Screen Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
      HDR ScreenNo pixels
      ProcessorSnapdragon 835 pixels
      Internal Memory64GB, 128GB, 256GB
      Operating SystemAndroid 7.1.1 (Nougat)
      Back Camera12MP
      Front Camera8MP
      HDR for PhotosYes
      Video ResolutionHD, 4K
      Wireless ChargingYes
      Voice CommandsYes
      Talk TimeUp to 22 hours
      Dimensions162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm
      Weight195g
      Splash ProofIP68
      Water ResistantYes
      WiFi & 4G CallingYes
      GPSYes
      SIM CardNano
      eSIMNo
      Model NumberSM-N950U
      User ManualSamsung Galaxy Note8 User Manual
      Pros & Cons

      Pros

      • Two cameras take fantastic pictures

      • MicroSD expansion

      • 6GB of RAM

      • Amazing design and build

      Cons

      • Badly placed fingerprint reader

      • Quite big and heavy

      • Speaker is weak

      Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Refurbished
      Network
      Unlocked
      Storage
      128GB
      Condition
      Refurbished
      Price
      $203
      MSRP: $1,000
      Best Deals
      DeviceStoragePrice
      Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Refurbished)128GB$203
      Device Specs
      Screen Size

      6.4"

      Screen Resolution2960 x 1440 pixels
      HDR ScreenYes pixels
      ProcessorSnapdragon 845 pixels
      Internal Memory128GB, 512GB
      Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 (Oreo)
      Back Camera12MP
      Front Camera8MP
      HDR for PhotosYes
      Video ResolutionHD, 4K
      Wireless ChargingYes
      Voice CommandsYes
      Talk TimeUp to 22 hours
      Dimensions161.8 x 76.5 x 8.9mm
      Weight201g
      Splash ProofIP68
      Water ResistantYes
      WiFi & 4G CallingYes
      GPSYes
      SIM CardNano
      eSIMNo
      Model NumberSM-N960U
      User ManualSamsung Galaxy Note9 User Manual
      Pros & Cons

      Pros

      • Excellent battery life

      • High end build

      • Great camera performance

      • Beautiful 6.4 inch Infinity display

      • Good storage options

      Cons

      • Expensive

      • Heavy

      • Lacks Android 9.0 Pie

      • Too many small upgrades

      Compare Samsung phone prices

      ModelConditionMemoryCompatibilityPrice
      Samsung Galaxy A32New64GBT-Mobile$279
      Samsung Galaxy A42New128GBT-Mobile$369
      Samsung Galaxy A52New128GBT-Mobile$499
      Samsung Galaxy Note20New128GBT-Mobile$949
      Samsung Galaxy Note20 UltraNew128GBT-Mobile$1,249
      Samsung Galaxy S20New128GBT-Mobile$699
      Samsung Galaxy S20+New128GBAT&T$629
      Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraNew128GBT-Mobile$1,249
      Samsung Galaxy Z FlipNew256GBT-Mobile$1,049

      Used cell phone benefits

      There are many benefits to checking out used smartphones for sale online instead of buying directly from your carrier. Here is what choosing to buy used can save you:

      1. It can save you a lot of money

      Buying a used cell phone can obviously save you a lot of money. If you are on a budget but desperate for a new phone, a used phone is definitely the way to go. You can find a used iPhone or a used Samsung Galaxy in good condition for as little as half the price of a new one.

      2. It is fantastic for the environment

      The United States throws away up to 9.4 million tons of e-waste annually. Buying pre-owned phones via the online marketplace supports the cell phone recycling process, which is excellent for the environment.

      The EPA has recorded that for every million cell phones recycled, 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be saved.

      If you're looking to help the cause, this article will tell you how to and what to consider before you sell used cell phones.

      Considerations when buying a used phone

      Let's face it: no one wants to end up with someone's water damaged old cell phone that doesn't work right. But how do you know which site to trust? Should you go with factory refurbished, or even eBay or Craigslist? You're in luck.

      In my research, I have uncovered the most vital information to consider before choosing where to buy a used cell phone online.

      1. What am I looking for?

      Before you even think about making a purchase on a cheap used phone, you need to know what you're looking for. Do you need a phone with a big screen to stream videos and shows? Are you on a budget, looking to filter phones for a specific price? Maybe you need a certain amount of memory storage for your pictures and videos.

      Consider these things beforehand. This way, you won't end up with a phone that's completely out of your price range and does nothing to meet your needs. Most used cell phones sites will allow you to filter your options before you search. It's a good idea to use those tools.

      2. What condition is the phone in?

      Probably the biggest worry for anyone searching for the best place to buy a used cell phone is the condition of the device. You'll want to make sure your used phone comes with some sort of return agreement in case it's not in the condition you expected.

      As soon as you receive the phone, make sure there is no water damage. You can do this by thoroughly inspecting the battery and outlets on the phone to see if they are discolored.

      Most new iPhones and Android phones also have a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) sticker. This sticker is located inside the battery compartment and usually turns red if the inside of the device has been exposed to liquid.

      4. Is the phone compatible with my carrier?

      Certain phone companies don't activate certain types of devices. Before you make any purchase, you should call your cell phone provider. Make sure they will activate the phone and determine what kind of plan you'll be able to activate. Also, make sure there is no previous contract so you can activate right away.

      Depending on whether you have a CDMA or GSM device, you may be able to simply put your existing SIM card into your new phone. If you have a provider that uses GSM phones, this allows your account information to automatically transfer to the new device, including your phone number. That's because your customer information is stored right on the SIM card.

      5. Does the phone come with any warranty?

      Some used cell phones for sale come with a limited warranty, but some don't. Are you okay if your device doesn't come with a warranty? Since there are no guarantees when making a purchase, a warranty might make you feel a little better about trusting your seller. I would take this into consideration before making a purchase.

      6. How much cheaper is the used phone compared with MSRP?

      I have seen used cell phones advertised online for around the same price as a brand new phone. This is not how it should be. No matter how like-new the phone is, it should always be considerably less than a brand new phone. Make sure to compare prices to the exact model new cell phone to determine if you're paying more money than you should.

      7. Does the phone come with any accessories?

      Accessories can add to the price of your used cell phone. Does it come with a charger? Chargers can cost up to $40, which is something to think about before you buy.


      Compare used cell phones

      Questions to ask when buying a used phone

      The number of smartphone users worldwide has been forecasted to reach 4.7 billion in 2017. As you can imagine, there are seemingly infinite amounts being traded online within this large group of users.

      In fact, 120 million used smartphones are predicted to generate about $17 million in sales at an estimated $140 per device in 2016. But there are some things you should know before you even consider deciding on where to buy a used phone.

      1. What is a serial number?

      Think of your phone's serial number as its social security number. It is also known as an ESN, MEID, or IMEI. This identification number can allow you to check if the device has been named lost or stolen or has a warranty. You should always check or ask for the serial number when buying a used smartphone online. If the seller won't provide it, I wouldn't do business with them.

      2. What is the condition of the phone?

      A used phone is one that has some wear but is still fully functional. They are usually a little beat up but work just fine. They have also usually not been tested, certified or worked on.

      3. What does certified pre-owned phone mean?

      Certified pre-owned phones are those which have been inspected to determine any problems they have had since leaving the factory. This is definitely something you should look at when deciding on where to buy used cell phones.

      If your phone has been inspected, you'll be able to tell exactly what's right and wrong with it. You should also be able to tell if it was stolen. This will increase the chances of receiving exactly what you paid for. Certified pre-owned cell phones are usually well taken care of compared to used or refurbished phones.

      4. What does refurbished mean?

      If your used cell phone is labeled refurbished, it has been returned because it is not working properly or it is used. Either way, it has been tested for any damage and malfunctions, fixed, cleaned, and restored.

      The difference between a refurbished device and a certified pre-owned device is simple. A refurbished one has been tested and worked on while a certified pre-owned device has simply been inspected. This is important to note when choosing the best place to buy used cell phones.

      5. What are locked and unlocked cell phones?

      A locked cell phone is locked to a specific carrier. When you are locked in, you cannot use your cell phone with another carrier. An unlocked cell phone is not locked in with any carrier; therefore, it can be activated by any carrier at any time, as long as it matches the provider's network type - CDMA or GSM. It's best to contact customer service to ensure that you can use it on your carrier's network.

      This is what you want when looking for a used cell phone online. Make sure the phone is unlocked so you can activate it immediately. You can learn more about how to unlock cell phones with this guide.

      6. Are there any guarantees?

      Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when shopping for used phones online. You won't have the benefit of being able to access your carrier's customer service if you have a problem with your device. Refurbished/used/pre-owned cell phones are hit or miss, which is why you need to take the steps to ensure you get the perfect device at the right price.

      7. How does used phone pricing work?

      Figuring out how much a used cell phone is really worth is difficult. After all, how are you really supposed to tell if the seller is giving you a fair price?

      Fortunately, there are sites out there who will calculate the numbers for you. I suggest checking one out to understand where the price comes from and if the site of your choice is offering legitimate price options. Also, make sure the price of the used phone is significantly less than the price of a brand new model from your local cell phone store.

      Remember, prices on newer phone models go down over time. If you really want an iPhone 6s but it's too expensive right now (even used), just wait it out. It may go down a significant amount in just a couple of months.


      Sell your old phone for cash

      You may now be wondering: where can I sell my iPhone or Android smartphone? Start with our guide on where to sell your used cell phone.

      You could also bring your device into your local Best Buy or contact customer service on one of the sites I reviewed here to determine if they'll pay you for your old cell phone. If not, you can help the environment out by turning it in any way for recycling.


      Recap

      What's the bottom line? You definitely have to be careful when buying cheap used cell phones online because there are no guarantees. If you do it the right way, however, you can save hundreds of dollars. The internet makes it easy to buy and sell almost anything, and electronic devices are no different.

      Whether you're looking for an Android smartphone, an Apple iPhone, or even just a basic Android phone, you can find refurbished unlocked cell phones at a great price on any of these websites.

      Now that you've become an expert on finding the best place to buy used cell phones, you can go out and get a great device for a decent price. We've taken the first step for you and compared the most popular used smartphones on the market.


      Methodology

      I put a lot of time and effort into choosing the top five best places to buy used cell phones. I researched and compared customer reviews, company details, and industry statistics to determine the best way to go about buying and where to do it.

      Ultimately, I have found that buying used, refurbished and pre-owned cell phones online is an excellent way to save money and support the environment. After researching the process, I have no doubt you will find exactly what you're looking for at a great price. Just make sure to follow my tips and get to know your device as best you can before you buy it.

      Rob Webber
      Rob Webber

      Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.