When it comes time to upgrade to a new smartphone the price tag can be a huge deterrent. Maybe it's time to ask yourself whether you really need a brand-new phone. Not is it expensive but you're generally tied to your carrier, at least until it's paid off.
The used smartphone market is a $19-billion-dollar industry (International Data Corporation as reported by Gartner) because:
- Higher quality means longer life for today's devices.
- Third-party repair stores make it easy and affordable to get a phone fixed.
- New versions of flagship smartphones typically only come with minor changes to the previous model, making it difficult to justify a $600 to $900 price tag.
If you're a T-Mobile network devotee you're in luck. I'm going to tell you how to find used T-Mobile phones (and service) at a great price.
In This Guide
Key Considerations When Buying a Used T-Mobile Phone
There are a few factors to keep in mind when shopping for a phone:
- Warranty: Not all device seller sites offer a warranty or guarantee but many do. These can range from one month to one year.
- Shipping: The vast majority of phone sellers offer free shipping with your purchase.
- Return policy: Return policies vary from 30 days no questions asked to return only accepted if the item is not as described. Also, be sure you know whether you'd be expected to pay shipping to return your item.
- Insurance: If you like some added protection on your phone, you can purchase third-party coverage for used devices.
- Certified pre-owned: If this is important to you look for sites that offer a more rigorous inspection process than just making sure the phone works.
- Phone payments: There are a few sites that offer to finance through third-party companies like SmartPay, however interest rates are high so this should never be your first choice. It's much better to just pay for your phone in full.
- Compatibility: You will find that there are refurbished phones made for a specific carrier, then there are unlocked phones, which can technically be used with almost any carrier. If you know which network you want your cell phone plan to be on then it's best to get a phone that's made for that network.
Check Out Refurbished Phones
The next important thing to know about buying a secondhand smartphone is that there are two main terms used to describe these devices:
- Sold as-is
- Often comes directly from a private seller
- Condition rated in terms of "Good", "Fair", etc.
- Repaired and restored for sale
- Often sold through a buyback site/third-party seller
- The condition may be rated on a letter scale - A being like new, B = good, etc.
You'll typically find the best quality by choosing a refurbished phone. Whichever you prefer we make it simple for you to compare prices on refurbished T-Mobile phones.
Buybacks Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck
The best way to get a high quality used phone at a great price is to shop with a reputable seller.
We've made it simple for you to find your next cell phone. Check out our reviews of the best places to buy used and refurbished cell phones.
Compare prices on used T-Mobile phones from these sellers in just seconds using our cell phone comparison engine.
How Else Can You Save Money?
Besides saving over 50% on your used T-Mobile phone you can also save money in other ways.
Switch to an MVNO
Alternative carriers can save you hundreds every year by cutting your cell phone bill in half.
MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. All that means is that this is a smaller carrier that rents extra capacity on the big four networks - AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint.
MVNOs save you money because:
- They don't have the marketing and advertising costs of the four major carriers.
- They operate almost exclusively online, thus avoiding the overhead of brick-and-mortar stores.
- MVNOs use existing infrastructure so they don't have the expense of building and maintenance costs.
Benefits of MVNOs:
There are many reasons you should consider making a switch:
- Save 50% or more on your wireless bill.
- There are no contracts or credit checks.
- There are plenty of T-Mobile MVNOs that use the exact same network equipment.
- You can bring your own used T-Mobile phone and keep your number.
- You can customize your own plan so you don't pay for anything you don't need.
- It's easy to switch because you can sign up online.
- MVNOs have high customer service ratings.
Want to find out how much you can save over your current cell phone plan? Use our cell phone plan savings calculator.
Sell Your Old Phone for More Cash
Finally, you can put even more money back into your wallet by selling those old devices you've got laying around.
Compare offers from our favorite buyback sites using our handy comparison engine.
- Get as much as 40% more than you would by trading in with a carrier.
- Get your money fast - within a few days of shipping your phone to the buyback site.
- Make an environmentally friendly move. Cell phones require special recycling processes - tossing them isn't eco-friendly.
Consider a used T-Mobile phone for your next upgrade. Pair a quality pre-owned smartphone with a cheaper cell phone plan from a T-Mobile MVNO and you'll be set to save hundreds just in the first year.
- Decide which features are important to you in a refurbished phone.
- Compare prices on premium devices including Apple and Samsung T-Mobile phones using our cell phone price comparison tool.
- Find a cheap cell phone plan that fits your budget and needs.
- Sell your old phone for cash.
Not sure how much data you'll need in your new plan? Check out our data usage calculator for a quick answer!