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How to examine an used phone purchased online

ByinTips & Guides | January 1, 2015

Test used phoneSo, you have searched through thousands of online offers and bought an used phone because it was cheap, didn’t require long term contract and the seller ensured you it was in a mint condition and works flawlessly. Now, when the phone has been delivered, you’re asking yourself if it was a smart decision to have bought a pre-owned phone. What if it is a stolen device, or has some hidden issues? How the find out of the phone’s real value once it get to your hands? Here are some tips how to properly examine an used phone purchased online once you put your hands on it.

Examine physical appearance.

Examine Physical AppearanceThe very first thing you should pay attention to when putting your hands on the used phone is its physical appearance. You need to check if the display is scratched or the back cover loose, to check the phone for scratches you should make sure that it is switched on. Next, you should check the camera lens for signs of damages.

Remember that numerous scratches covering the phone’s body can mean that it was dropped many times, so the internal components may also work inappropriately. But, the physical appearance examination should go far beyond just looking for scratches.

You should also focus on the water damage signs, which may cause rust. How to do it? Well, open the back cover and look at the battery sticker, check if there are any signs of discoloration, particularly yellow or orange hue, if you find them you can be sure the phone had contact with water.

If the battery has been changed, then examine other internal stickers for discoloration. Additionally, you should also check all the input ports for marks of rust, it’s obvious that metal elements and water are not a great match.

Test features and software.

Test phone featuresOf course before purchase you checked phone’s tech specs and features on manufacturer website so many times that you’re probably learnt them by heart. If you like watching videos or spend hours searching the net you probably chosen a model with a larger screen. If for example you are a social network addict, you probably pick a smartphone with a good front-facing camera to share quickly selfie photos. Now, the question is, what if some of the phone features are out of order?

Even if the used phone looks brand new, it may feature hidden functional and software flaws. It’s very important to examine all crucial features for you, like the touch screen for instance. Swipe, tap and rotate it to make sure everything works properly. For camera, snap some photos using front and back shooter. For network, establish Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity. Pay attention to any lags you notice since they may indicate future problems with the use of the phone.

Check if the phone is not stolen.

DEC HEX NumbersIf the phone looks great and works even greater, you may be still suspicious and ask another question to yourself. What if the phone you’ve purchased has been stolen? Surely, it won’t be nice to learn that you’re not the phone’s legal owner. How to check if the phone doesn’t belong to someone else?

There are several reliable websites where you can find out if the phone is legit by using your phone’s IMEI, ESN and MEID numbers. For instance, the CheckMEND website offers you to generate your smartphone’s history for just $2.99. Other way to check if the phone has been stolen is to call the carrier to confirm the phone’s IMEI or ESN, but this will only work when the phone is locked to a specific carrier.

We recommend to request any serial number from the merchant prior purchase and check if is clean. Once the phone arrive double check if the serial number located on the phone is the same as provided prior purchase.

Money back guarantee.

Buyer protection programIf still after examining all the aspects you have some doubts concerning phone’s physical or legal condition, you should have no reason to worry. If you bought your phone via eBay, the eBay’s Money Back Guarantee provides users handy tools with a good level of scam protection that guarantees to return the money if product you’ve purchased was false advertised.

In case eBay isn’t your favorite shopping place and you bought the phone somewhere else but paid for it using PayPal, you may also take advantage of the service purchase protection option. Of course, those are just two examples of the buyer’s online protection options, many other online shops and credit cards offers their customers similar level of protection.

Hope that our guide dedicated how to check the used phone purchased online gives you a picture how to properly examine your device and will help to avoid get scammed by fraudulent merchants. But if you have been deceived by dishonest seller, don’t panic since you may get all the money back you’ve paid for the phone. Remember, it’s not the end of the world, just be more careful when doing your next online purchase and follow our tips.

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