Skip to content

Used iPhone Hunt: 11 Crucial Checks Before You Buy (and Win!) 

  • by
  • 4 min read

Tempted by the allure of a gently used iPhone at a fraction of the price? Hold your horses! While snagging a bargain is exciting, navigating the used iPhone market requires caution. This comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge to confidently score the perfect pre-owned iPhone. This list of 10 points will help you to avoid common pitfalls and scams along the way.

11 Crucial Checks Before You Buy Used iPhone

Used iPhone Hunt: 11 Crucial Checks Before You Buy (and Win!) 

Before We Begin

Safety First

When meeting sellers in person, prioritize your safety. Choose well-lit, public spaces and consider bringing a companion. Avoid carrying large sums of cash and use secure payment methods like peer-to-peer services.

photo of cafe interior
Photo by Igor Starkov on

Price Check

If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut and walk away from suspiciously cheap offers. Genuine sellers understand reasonable prices and won’t pressure you.

conceptual photo of a money scam
Photo by Tara Winstead on

Check Also – Top 5 Smartphones of 2023: A Roundup of Experts’ Picks

Used iPhone Check List

Power Up

Ensure the iPhone boots up and reaches the lock screen. Don’t settle for anything less and verify presence of a charger and adapter.

Photo by Tyler Lastovich on

Activation Lock

Beware of locked iPhones! They are essentially useless unless seller can deactivate it with their Apple ID. Ask seller to deactivate it before your eyes.

Factory Fresh

An already erased iPhone limits testing. Request seller to log in and test it fully before committing to the purchase. Remember, they should erase it again with Activation Lock disabled before you take ownership.

Damage Patrol

Inspect the device thoroughly for scratches, cracks, dents and camera lens issues. Superficial wear is okay but major damage warrants negotiation or walking away.

Battery Health Matters

Check “Battery Health” under Settings. Anything above 90% is good but prioritize “Peak Performance Capability” to avoid slowdowns.

Used iPhone Hunt: 11 Crucial Checks Before You Buy (and Win!) 

Refurbished Realities

Check “Model Number” under “About”. An “F” indicates a refurbished Apple or carrier model which isn’t inherently bad but transparency is key.

Used iPhone Hunt: 11 Crucial Checks Before You Buy (and Win!) 

Performance Checkup

Put iPhone through its paces! Browse websites, launch apps and test functionalities to ensure smooth operation.

Display Details

Check for burn-in (permanent images) on OLED displays and uneven backlighting on LCDs. Use various color backgrounds to reveal potential issues.

Sound Check

Test the speakers with music, ringtones and a phone call (via Wi-Fi or FaceTime if no SIM card). Ensure all microphones work clearly with the Voice Memos app.

Button Basics

Check mute switch, volume buttons and side buttons for proper functionality and responsiveness. A mushy button might be a sign of trouble.

Camera Capture

Test all cameras and lenses in good lighting. Look for clear images, smooth focus and responsiveness to tapping the screen.

Bonus Tip
Consider buying a refurbished iPhone directly from Apple! You get the peace of mind of Apple’s warranty and certification, often at significantly lower prices than brand new models.

Remember: A little caution and knowledge go a long way! By following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the used iPhone market and land the perfect device for your needs. Now, go forth and score that tech treasure!

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences buying used iPhones in the comments below! Let’s help each other navigate this tech world together.

Leave a Reply