We have all been there.  Everyone is always in need of a phone whether your phone broke and you need one for a few days or you would like to be a used phone from someone.  Where is the first place you check to buy a used phone?  Probably somewhere like Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, OfferUp and now even Facebook has this option.  Wherever the case maybe, you need to follow these simple rules.


Check the IMEI of the Phone

Checking the IMEI/ESN of the phone is the most crucial step.  This will determine if the phone is blacklisted (Reported Lost, Stolen, Unpaid Bills, or Fraud) or factory locked with a company.  You may check your IMEI here with this link:  Free IMEI Check.  Or you can run a check on the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. To find the IMEI on the phone check under Setttings/About Device on Android, or punch in *#06#. The IMEI will instantly appear on the screen.  


You can then check the phone’s status at sites such as IMEIPro or CheckMend, said to be the world’s largest data resource on smartphones. While there is a small charge to check on this site, it’s well worth the price. Equipped with the IMEI number you can quickly find out the phone’s full specifications and its history, whether or not the Seller wants you to know about it. It’s like a VIN check for vehicles.

As soon as dodgy sellers realize you know about the requirement of checking for the IMEI, they may well quickly back off and try their luck with a less savvy buyer.

Even if you are buying online, most sites will provide you the IMEI of the phone if requested.  You are the customer rememeber!

Locked or unlocked

If the smartphone is locked to a certain network provider which you don’t want, you can quickly, easily and cost effectively unlock it with Day One Unlocks, the leading online remote unlock service. You can also bargain down the seller as it should be cheaper than an unlocked phone. An unlocked phone gives you complete freedom to choose your own network at a price you want to pay.


Negotiating Price

Depending whether the phone is locked or unlocked is a huge factor in determining the price of your phone.  If they’re selling you the phone for only $100 but the unlock required is another $150, then do some quick math.  You would like to buy a phone already unlocked if possible, if not do some research beforehand to determine whether it is worth it or not.  You can use this to your advantage if you are selling phones for a profit.  A future blog will get that discussion started up.  Just do a little bit of research before you go out and buy.  


Secret codes and apps

Smartphones usually have hidden codes that provide access to extra information and self-test routines. As an example of this, Android phones, *#*#4636#*#* will provide usage statistics and battery information, while *#*#0*#*#* will run an LCD display test. A useful site for checking out codes is Redmond Pie. You can also research the phone you’re after on a YouTube. You can alternatively run an app test such as Phone Tester for Android or Phone Doctor Plus for Android and Apple’s iOS. These apps will give you a quick gauge of the smartphone hardware and the state of the battery. There’s no excuse for not doing your homework, it takes just a few minutes to save yourself a lot of hassle down the line.



Armed with this information and plenty of due diligence, you should be able to find a good quality second-hand or refurbished phone at a good price.  Don’t get scammed or screwed over, that is what I’m here for.  You wouldn’t even imagine how many requests I get because someone bought a locked phone.