One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, and iPhones are no exception. Just because an iPhone is used doesn’t mean it’s past its prime. In reality, purchasing a used iPhone instead of a brand new one may be the smarter route to go.

However, there are a few questions and concerns to consider while shopping around for a secondhand iPhone. Let’s dive into some of the most important ones to keep in mind.

Is it safe to buy a used iPhone?

The answer to this question depends on where you’re shopping for a phone. If you’re buying a used iPhone from an established, reputable reseller, then you’ll likely have no trouble finding a good, reliable used iPhone. Should you decide to go a more adventurous (read: risky) route like Craigslist, you’ll have to be much more discerning about both the reseller and the phone itself.

At Glyde, each of our phones goes through rigorous testing and more than 30 functional tests to make sure they’re in great working condition. We also offer a safe, 14-day money-back return policy – if something’s not right with your phone, we’ll make sure to set things straight. If you’d like to take a look at our wide selection of used phones, you can do that here.

Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell a used iPhone, there are a couple of things you’ll want to check before you do so! Let’s dive right in.

What to look for before you buy a used iPhone

  • Check the IMEI number – I am E-what? Even though you’ve probably never heard of IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers, they’re crucial bits of information that can help you track down your phone if it gets lost or stolen. An IMEI number is essentially a 15-digit social security number that identifies a phone on a mobile network. If you know your phone’s IMEI number, you can disable your phone so that no one can make or receive any phone calls, whether they change the SIM card or not.

So why is checking the IMEI number of a used iPhone important? Well, you wouldn’t want to buy something you can’t use, right? By verifying that your used iPhone’s IMEI number isn’t on a worldwide mobile carrier blacklist, you can rest easy knowing you can perform the most basic functions on your new used phone. If you shop through Glyde, this is all taken care of as part of our screening process for phones.

  • Check the activation lock – On a similar note, you’ll also want to check to make sure the activation lock isn’t still active. This can keep you locked out of your phone, and it’s particularly common with phones purchased from sites like Craigslist. You check the activation lock by heading to Apple’s site and typing in the phone’s IMEI number.

Another way to check for an activation lock is to take your iPhone and go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Once you reset it, insert your SIM card and try to activate it. If the phone still prompts you to enter an Apple ID or passcode, then the activation lock is still active.

Fortunately, not all activation locks mean the reseller is a crafty crook. It could very well be that they just didn’t know it was still on the phone. If you’re looking into selling your phone, you’ll also want to make sure you disable the activation lock before you list it for sale!

  • Reset the iPhone – Resetting the iPhone isn’t just a way to find active activation locks, but it’s a good rule of thumb for starting from scratch with a used iPhone. Head to the iCloud page in your phone’s Settings. Then, go to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to wipe the slate clean.
  • Check the phone’s warranty – It doesn’t hurt to check if the phone is still under warranty. Head to Apple to do that.

How to decide which iPhone is right for you

We’ve mentioned a few things to look out for while shopping for a new iPhone. Like we discussed earlier, many listings on resale sites include information that is crucial to know when shopping for a used iPhone. But, if you’re in the market for a new phone, the most important part is figuring out which iPhone model will be right for you! Here are a few things to consider.

  • Condition – The beauty of purchasing a used iPhone in good condition is you save a lot of money and get a phone that’s likely to last a long time. However, this win-win situation hinges on the phone’s condition. If you shop on Glyde, you can rest easy knowing that all of our phones go through the same functional and cosmetic testing before being listed for sale.

If you’re buying a used phone in person, check the hardware of the phone. Are there any dents or large scratches? Is the screen intact? Does the camera work, or is there any water damage? These are just a few of the things you should look for when inspecting a used iPhone. If you can’t inspect the phone yourself, you may want to go to an official reseller who you can trust to provide you with a quality used iPhone.

  • Storage capacity – Even a used iPhone in the best condition won’t mean much if it doesn’t have a large storage capacity. Nowadays, the largest storage capacity for a new iPhone is 512 GB, whereas some of the older models feature a paltry 16 GB. If you can, it’s a great choice to at least go with a 64 GB, as the extra storage will most definitely come in handy for photos, apps, and messages. This is Apple’s standard storage size on most of their newer phones.
  • Features – If you’re looking to buy a used iPhone, you’ll most likely end up with a model that is one generation behind the current one. This only becomes a problem if there are certain features you’re looking for in an iPhone. For example, the camera quality of older models isn’t always as high as it is on newer models. It never hurts to do your research on each model’s specific features before hitting the stores, as it might save you both time and unnecessary headaches.
  • How to buy a used iPhone safely online – Scams abound on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, which can make the process of buying a used iPhone overwhelming. Glyde can help you navigate this process by putting devices through a rigorous functional and cosmetic inspection before listing them. When it comes to buying a used iPhone from a trusted reseller, you’ll very much preserve your peace of mind by going with Glyde. 

Hopefully, you’ve learned a little more about what you need to look for in a used iPhone. As always, thanks for reading, and best of luck on your phone hunt! Click here to browse the used phones that we offer at Glyde.


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