The improved quality of smartphones means phones tend to still have a lot of life left in them, even by the time they are let go by their original owners.
Stay tuned to learn why buying a used phone is a great option for both you and your wallet - plus, we'll tell you how to save huge on your wireless service.
Table of Contents
Why Choose Used Over New?
With the price tag of new phones on a very steep rise, it's easy to spend over a grand on "the next best thing." What major phone companies, like AT&T and T Mobile, don't want you to know is that there are honestly very little changes made between each generation. But by adding a new feature or two, phone companies put an outrageous price on the next upgrade.
Changes in the Market
The used smartphone market is becoming more and more popular as consumers are discovering they can get an amazing quality phone without breaking the bank. If you're looking to change up your carrier phone without spending a ton of money, it's time to consider buying a used mobile device.
Aside from the endless opportunity to save money, other reason's people are choosing used over new include:
- New phones are losing their temptation – the newest iPhones are losing their appeal as their upgrades are decreasing while their price tags are increasing.
- Decreases your environmental footprint – buying a used phone instead of a new phone is keeping yet another phone from ending up in a landfill.
- Functions are unbelievably comparable – when you buy a used phone from a reputable site they will likely function just as well as a new phone would.
- Cheaper to repair than rebuy – growing third-party-repair stores and sites can fix any defects, like a cracked screen, for a whole lot cheaper than buying a new phone altogether.
Key Considerations When Buying A Used Phones:
Knowing what to consider in a used phone and what aspects are most important to you is crucial before buying a used phone. Things to keep in mind as you contemplate which used phone is the best for you include:
- Warranties – where you're buying your used phone will determine if there is a warranty offered. The length of warranties varies so be sure to check this before moving forward with your used phone purchase.
- Returns – knowing how long you have to return your phone can offer some peace of mind while you figure out if the used phone you purchased is the right fit for you.
- Certified – buyback sites offer certified refurbished phones. If you see that a used phone has "certified" next to it, this means it has undergone various testing for functionality and quality assurance before being sold to you.
- Insurance – some specialist phone insurance companies will offer insurance specifically designed for used devices. This insurance options may be great value for the little additional cost.
- Payment Options – Some buyback sites, like Gazelle, offer monthly payment options to help make purchasing your used mobile device even more affordable.
Used Vs. Refurbished - There's A Difference
Before you start scouring the internet to find your next phone, there is one more key factor to consider – the difference between used and refurbished phones. Most people think of these terms as interchangeable, while in fact there are important differences between them.
Used phones are…
- Previously owned/used.
- Potential surface damage.
- Should be fully operative.
Refurbished phones are…
- Previously owned/used.
- Undergone diagnostic tests.
- Replaced any faulty parts.
- Data is wiped clean.
- Should be fully operative.
- Repackaged for next buyer.
While there are benefits to both used and refurbished phones, here at MoneySavingPro we recommend going with refurbished as they offer more benefits to you.
Why You Should Choose Unlocked
Many consumers are unaware that certain phones are locked to specific carriers. This is due to the fact that there are essentially two major radio systems that all cell phones use to function: CDMA and GSM. Verizon and Sprint are locked to CDMA, T-Mobile and AT&T are locked to GSM, and unlocked phoned can be used on either.
While unlocked phones aren't tied to any carrier, they do function best on the carrier they were originally made for. This difference comes into play if you ever drop below 4G.
Get The Best Price On A Used Phone
Let's be real, you're looking for the most bang for your buck when it comes to buying an unlocked smartphone, but searching the web high and low to find the best price doesn't sound too fun. So we've reviewed the best places to buy a used phone and created a phone comparison tool to ensure you get the best price.
Keep in mind you can also use these same sites to sell your old phone and put the cash in your pocket or put it towards your new device.
Save Even More Money
Not only do the recommended sites above offer amazing deals for you to shop, but they also offer impeccable deals if you choose to sell your old phone online. Selling online allows you to compare offers from various sites, as well as getting about twice as much as selling it in person at your Sprint store.
Don't let the money-saving stop there, consider switching to an MVNO. Simply put, MNVOs are small carriers that contract service and tower storage from the "Big Four" – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
With MVNOs you'll enjoy these benefits:
- Lower costs.
- No credit checks.
- No long-term contracts.
- Customizable plan options.
- High customer service ratings.
Wanting to change your phone doesn't have to break the bank.