How much did you pay for your last smartphone? Chances are, it was a pretty penny, especially if you bought a brand-new device. The price tags for the latest and greatest cell phone models (which are seemingly never-ending) can get pretty costly in no time. Tired of plunking down a whole paycheck for a new cell phone? Consider saving some cash for bills or other expenses and purchasing a used device. If you do your homework, you could score a reliable smartphone at a great price. Here are some tips on what to check before buying a used smartphone.
Buying a used phone can free up some funds and still get you the smartphone you want and need in a snap. However, be a smart consumer and pick a dependable device.
#1 Read up on the return policy (if there is one)–
The first thing you should take into consideration is the seller. Are you buying from an individual on a resale site? Or from a brick-and-mortar storefront? If you’re buying from an individual, you most likely will not be able to return the phone if needed. A single seller isn’t likely to provide a return policy unless they simply decide to be accommodating out of the goodness of their hearts. Still, buying from a store doesn’t guarantee an iron-clad return policy either. Be sure to check out if, how, and when you can bring the phone back if it isn’t up to snuff. It’s important to note that when buying anything from an individual from a resale site, if you are meeting them in person to pick up an item, always meet in a public, well-lit place where you feel safe, and take someone with you for added security. A police or fire station is always a good bet!
#2 Be clear on the description–
Know that whether a smartphone is labeled “used,” “certified pre-owned,” or “refurbished,” there are key differences between each category. A used phone simply tells you that it has been owned and utilized by at least one individual before. A certified pre-owned means that the phone has been previously owned but has been checked over for malfunctions. They have been inspected in-depth and should be free of any issues. A cell phone that is classified as “refurbished” means that it has had a problem that has been repaired. A consumer may have returned the damaged phone to the retailer for repairs and/or to upgrade to a different device. Decide what option you are most comfortable with before proceeding with a sale.
#3 Make sure the price is right–
If you have a certain style or model in mind, don’t just jump on the first deal or promotion that you see. Like smart shopping with most anything, compare prices to ensure you get the best deal and the most for your money. Check for any hidden fees or other obligations you may incur with purchasing the phone (like inadvertently signing up for long-term contracts) and be up-front with what you want–and what you don’t!
#4 Own your options!
After reading all of these tips and tricks, you may feel more prepared to buy a used phone, but you may also feel a little concerned, overwhelmed, or unsure. Fear not! Assist Wireless is another option to consider–and a great one at that. Assist Wireless is the #1 provider of the Federal Lifeline Assistance Program in Oklahoma. They have over 23 retail locations currently (with plans for more in the works) and also offer services to those in Arkansas, Maryland, and Missouri. You can get a free or low-cost smartphone from Assist Wireless without the worry. Knowing that you’re getting a phone and/or plan from a government-backed program can help you to feel more confident in your choice. Free “government phones” and wireless plans provide low-income consumers and/or Veterans with free or low-cost smartphones and talk/text/data plans. If you or your household fall into a particular income bracket or are a recipient of programs like Medicare, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans Pension or Survivor’s Pension Benefits, and more, you can qualify. Assist Wireless even offers a “BYOD” plan. The “bring your own device” promotion lets you bring your current smartphone over to be activated through a Lifeline plan (as long as it is compatible). With Assist Wireless, if you run out of minutes or texts, you can quickly and easily “refill “your account. This awesome company even offers account credits and perks for tons of occasions.