How To Buy A Used iPhone And Not Get Scammed

Buying a used iPhone can save you some money. Especially with the times we are currently in with COVID-19, everyone is looking to cut costs where necessary. New iPhones & Samsung phones are being released every year, sometimes even twice a year. It's can be hard to keep up with the latest tech. Buying used is a great option right now to save a few hundred off retail generally speaking. But with the current situation we are all facing, it's very important to have a working device so we can stay connected with our friends & family, while cutting costs where necessary.


I've been in this industry for 3 years now and I'm going to go over some things you should look for when buying your new (used) phone. This also applies to any used electronics you are wanting to buy.

1. Price

The main reason we all choose to buy a pre-owned device over a new one is the price. We all want to save money where we can. It's important to do a bit of research here to figure out what the market is like for the phone you are looking to buy. We sell on many platforms such as eBay, Swappa, Mercari, Facebook, and also directly on our site. We do our research on each platform to see what devices sell for, for the best return with our business as well. eBay is a great way to check what certain items are selling for as it's such a well known site for consumer electronics. In order to get an accurate price of what you should pay for your used phone, type the phone you are looking for in the search bar but make sure you filter the listings to "Sold Listings" to get a better idea of what these phones are selling for, so you know what to buy them for. An image has been attached.

You don't need to buy from eBay. This is just a great way to check what the market is like for certain devices because eBay has such a big customer base for these products. If you do buy your next phone on eBay, there are a few things you actually need to look for in order to not get scammed. Keep on reading and we will explain how to avoid that.

2. Carrier Unlocked vs Carrier Locked

It is always better to purchase a carrier unlocked device over a carrier locked device. To make this as simple as possible, with carrier unlocked devices, you can take your phone to any carrier. With carrier locked devices, you can only use it for the carrier that it is listed for.

3. Stolen items

If you are buying items off Craigslist, Facebook, Letgo, Offerup, eBay, Mercari, etc. There are some people that are trying to pull a fast one. At Cell My Device, we use software on our backend to check all of our items before we sell anything. Everyone does not have access to our software and if you are a consumer, you probably don't have this luxury. In any listing or if you decide to buy in person, make sure that the phone has no accounts or locks on the device. The best way to clear all previous info from the owner is to factory reset the device. Once you do that, set up the phone and put your sim card into the phone. Make sure you can make phone calls before you purchase this device. If a call goes through successfully, you should be good to go. If you are buying online, make sure they have some kind of warranty or return policy if there is any issues.

4. Condition

When you buy a used iPhone, make sure the condition is up to your standards. If the description doesn't match what you received, don't hesitate to return that phone. Here are some important features we recommend checking before buying after a factory reset.


Front/Back Cameras

Volume buttons

Mute button

Power button

Home button (if applicable)

Touch ID / Face ID

Wifi functionality


I might be missing a few things but make sure the condition is up to your standards.

5. Warranty/Return policies

This part is very important and key when buying devices online. If the seller or company does not have a warranty or return policy in place for their devices, it would be a red flag. The reason I believe it's a red flag is because that seller didn't do a thorough check of their device. You want to buy from sellers/companies that back their devices with a warranty because these are companies that believe in their product and if there are any issues, (you won't have any issues if you buy from reputable sellers) you can return the device to them. This should also be free of charge. 

6. Where to buy

There are many places to buy your next iPhone. You can buy on Craigslist, Facebook, Mercari, eBay, Swappa, Amazon, etc. You can also purchase your next iPhone through our website. We make sure that devices are ready for resale and have our own systems in place to thoroughly check devices. We believe in selling good products and have a 30 day warranty and free returns. Whether you choose to buy from us or not, we hope that this answers some questions you had. If you have any further questions, please feel free to send our support team a message -