The iPhone has grown in popularity, and as of writing this article, the iPhone 13 is our choice for the best smartphone. However, whether you’re updating to a modern one or replacing a broken one, it doesn’t come cheap.
Fortunately, there are some ways to purchase a new iPhone at a discount. If you still own your previous iPhone model, you can trade it in for money or a deal towards purchasing a new iPhone. This is a smart choice if you want to switch to the latest version. You may also choose to replace a lost or destroyed iPhone with a previously-owned or refurbished unit.
You are also doing the Earth a favor by purchasing a used item since you are prolonging the lifespan of the existing device instead of generating more waste by buying a new one.
Here is all the information you need to purchase a secondhand iPhone.
The difference between refurbished and new iPhone
Regardless of why you need a new iPhone, you may be curious about the differences between used and refurbished models.
A used iPhone is often offered as-is, with the software reinstalled. Generally, it is the seller’s responsibility to provide pictures of the gadget so that you can identify any scuffs or aesthetic flaws. The advertisement should also specify any malfunctioning features, such as a broken screen or blurry front camera.
A refurbished iPhone has undergone diagnostic testing to ensure it satisfies the criteria for being resold. In certain instances, they may be handed back iPhones or damaged iPhones that have been fixed. A supplementary factory-refurbished guarantee may be included when you purchase the item.
Whether you choose used or refurbished, customers must be aware of what they are purchasing. If you intend to purchase through Decluttr, It’s Worth More, particular eBay vendors, a cellphone provider, or maybe even Apple; it’s less of an issue.
The eBay customers would be cellphone companies and large-scale electronic shops, such as Verizon, with storefronts on the site. Purchasing from a legitimate third-party vendor, such as someone on eBay or Swappa, means you have to be a bit more prudent when purchasing.
Do the research
By going through a few checks, you can boost your chances of having a great experience while purchasing used iPhones on eBay. On any auction website, you should avoid listings with promotional images. You have no clue what the actual phone you are betting on looks like while using them. The vendor will likely still state a condition; however, you must be cautious with these as they could be ‘false advertising.’ It’s worth contacting the seller and requesting additional photos, while you explore other alternatives at the same time.
In addition to viewing the device, it is crucial to know the network bands. There are several iPhone models inside every version (6, 6s, 7, 8), and you should make sure that a specific model is compatible with your network. Most vendors will mention this information and make it explicit in the headline, and a search on eBay for “iPhone 7 AT&T” should return the right results.
Some iPhones may be labeled as CDMA or GSM exclusively; however, these designations just refer to the antenna bands within. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM in the United States, whereas Verizon and Sprint utilize CDMA. It’s how your phone communicates with and uses the network.
You may use unlocked iPhones on any of the major American networks. Some carriers will restrict their phones to a particular network to avoid this, even though all iPhone 12 models have the correct bands installed by default. And if you want a 5G phone, you must get an iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or iPhone SE of the third generation.
Trading in your current device
Even if you’re looking to get rid of an old iPhone gathering dust, you can do it through the vendors on our list. Decluttr and It’s Worth More will give you a shipping label and inspect your phone. Generally, it takes only a few days, after which you will be paid. Before getting the label, you will also receive an approximate value.
That means you can pocket some additional cash or use it toward purchasing a new iPhone. We would also consider contacting your cell provider to see if you can trade in your old device and use the value to purchase your new smartphone. When buying straight from Apple, you will also have the opportunity to trade in your smartphone to buy a new one.
With our checklist complete, and you’re now ready to begin the search for a used iPhone that’s right for you.
To get you started, here are some locations to look at:
How to buy a used or refurbished iPhone
With a starting price of $649, the redesigned iPhone SE 2022 is an excellent option for those on a tight budget. For $399, you receive the same chipset as the iPhone 13, a primary lens capable of portrait mode photography, and an all-day battery.
The best way to get the 13 Mini, 13 Pro, or 13 Pro Max is to trade in your existing iPhone. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile give incentives for qualified trade-ins of eligible older models. Additionally, you may sell your iPhone to a company such as Decluttr or Gazelle.
Apple’s refurbished phone shop now sells 11 and 11 Pro models if you don’t want to spend as much money. Currently, only these two phones are available, but each has been inspected by Apple, is unlocked, and comes with a one-year guarantee. And you may save as much as $280. Additionally, Apple’s store includes the refurbished Apple Watch and iPad products.
Thousands of iPhones in varying situations, stretching back to the first model, are available on the most established online auction website eBay (even the ones from 2007). To make yourself well equipped for the future, we recommend acquiring a more modern gadget, such as one that supports 4G. Thanks to the site’s dedicated page, you can quickly begin your research by tapping on the iPhone version you’re interested in.
It begins with a basic search that can be as broad as “iPhone” or as specific as “Verizon 64GB iPhone 8 Plus white.” Regardless of the result, triple-check the images for condition and network bands. Unless the item is sold through a carrier’s eBay shop, you will likely not receive a warranty.
Gazelle has many approved gadgets because it purchases secondhand consumer models. Before going for sale, these iPhones undergo a 30-point proprietary check to guarantee they are in good shape. Each iPhone listing specifies the compatible carriers, condition, storage capacity, and color. In addition to displaying this information front and center, the Gazelle website also features user reviews. Obviously, you can turn in your existing iPhone to Gazelle for cash, rendering the iPhone 13 somewhat cheaper.
If you want to do two things at once, Decluttr might be your best bet. In addition to taking iPhones and other old smartphones as trade-ins, this website also sells refurbished gadgets. Decluttr offers a unique check for evaluating devices and verifying they work correctly, and you may select from several filters, including storage capacity, screen size, and color. You may also turn in outdated CDs, DVDs, other devices, and even Legos for cash. Decluttr does not supply a container, but you will receive a pre-paid shipping label so that the company can assess your items.
Refurbished iPhones are often made available for purchase by wireless providers. Similar to the Gazelle, they undergo testing by the operator to verify functionality. When Apple released the XS and XS Max, there was a bit of a demand for reconditioned iPhone Xs, as that model had been discontinued.
Since it contains a headphone port, the iPhone 6 remains in demand. For example, AT&T’s online store offers an extensive range. However, if none are mentioned, calling telesales or visiting the store would be a good idea.
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