Things You Need to Know When Buying a Used iPhone

We all love iPhones and we know that we all cannot afford it. Even a few who own iPhone today at one time were the aspiring ones to own an iPhone someday. Obviously leaving a few lucky ones aside!

But times have changed and buying Used iPhone too has become easy. You can now buy an iPhone on credit, on installments or a refurbished iPhone. A refurbished iPhone is a used phone, but just because it says a used, it doesn’t mean that these will be in a bad condition.

Some people use their iPhones with a lot of care that except for the few wear and tear damages, you will never see any damages on their devices. So, if you are planning to buy a used iPhone, there are a few things you must keep in mind. Here’s a list to get you started:



Check IMEI Number & Serial Number of iPhone

First things first! Ask the seller for or check yourself the serial and the IMEI number of the phone you are planning to buy. Checking it all by yourself is not big deal, you just need to follow the following instructions:

IPhone Model: iOS Settings > General > About > Model

IPhone Serial Number: iOS Settings > General > About > Serial Number

IPhone IMEI Number: iOS Settings > General > About > IMEI 

With the phone in hand, you can also check the Phone memory (capacity), and Available free space.


Make sure iPhone is Original not Fake

There are a plenty of fake iPhones available in the market. These devices often lack a valid serial number, IMEI number or may have issues with the capacity. So make sure to collect the iPhone serial number from the seller and check it at Check Your Service and Support Coverage at Apple’s official website.

If this online check reports that the iPhone model and expected expiration of warranty, you can say the iPhone is a genuine one. Once you have iPhone in handy you can connect Apple store and try to download one free app from Apple store. If the phone is original, then you will be able to download and run apps from the iTunes Store.



Make sure iPhone Compatible with your Provider

Make sure that phone is compatible with your service provider. Usually, iPhones come either with GSM or CDMA. For example, in the USA, AT&T and T-Mobile is GSM and phones are compatible each other. 

It is important to know what type of phone you are going to buy and you can definitely verify with its model number. Once you have the iPhone model number, you can get the details of your phone from iOS Settings > General > About > Model. There is an option ‘Identify your iPhone’ model published by Apple that describes the technology used in each phone model.

Make sure iPhone is Career Unlocked (need IMEI)

Refurbished iPhones come in two versions: The locked version and unlocked version. There are a couple of choices to check the phone is carrier / SIM unlocked or not.

Contact Original iPhone Service Provider: This is a worry free method. When you buy a used iPhone, you have to contact the current network provider with a phone serial or IMEI number to make certain the phone is unlocked by your network provider.

Check with Online Tools: If you don’t have the freedom to do the above 2 methods, the last option is to depend on an online tool like IMEI INFO that displays the iPhone status if you provide Serial number/ IMEI of the phone.

Test with a Different SIM: If you already have the phone with you, turn off the phone and replace the SIM with different career network. Turn back the phone and if the phone is unlocked one, you will be able to use the phone just like the other SIM.

Check iPhone Warranty

Apple offers one-year default warranty for Apple products. Sometimes, buyers may purchase an additional warranty for their peace of mind. You will be in the same protection if you buy a used iPhone before the expiration of the service warranty.



Make sure iPhone is Not Stolen or Activation Locked

Apple introduced the activation lock on iPhones to protect them from theft. Before you pay for a used phone, try and get the IMEI number or the serial number to check the iPhone activation lock status. If you see activation lock enabled, you won’t be able to use that phone as yours.

Try and contact the phone seller and request to disable the activation lock and check again before you pay him. To disable the activation lock successfully, iPhones need original owner user ID and password.

In case the phone you are planning to buy is stolen or seller is not the right owner, then he won’t be able to disable the activation lock.

Then again, if you have iPhone in handy, you can check the activation lock on the device itself, iPhone Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. This should be turned off before you pay money to the seller. The owner needs username and password to turn off these Find My iPhone settings.

There are a couple of sites that you can check your if used iPhones reported lost or stolen.  Here are few sites that we like &  Swappa offers free up to so many IMEI but has fees to check IMEI numbers.  We found both of them to work pretty well though.  

All this is quite much that you can investigate with an IMEI or a serial number of your phone. Once you have a phone handy, you can have a complete hardware checkup before using it.

 As always, if you need to buy used iPhones those are all checked out already and fully snaitized and need some assurances with 90 Day warranty, check out

Apple how to

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