A guide to buying a used mobile - safely.Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:48:41 -0400
Buying a used mobile is a great way to get the phone you want at a price you can afford. It’s as easy as buying anything else online but before you begin there are a few things you need to know in order to make the right choice for you and avoid potential pitfalls.
Firstly, decide what you want your mobile for. Perhaps you take lots of photos and so need one with a good camera and large memory so perhaps the Nokia 1020 would be the phone for you. Or maybe you already have a Samsung or Apple tablet and would like a corresponding device so that they communicate automatically.
Secondly, your budget may rule the level of phone you choose; not everyone can afford a 5s no matter how good the deal. The price is likely to vary from site to site for the model you choose, but cheapest is always best right?? Wrong.
There are several issues that you need to consider, starting with security. If you buy a phone from an individual there is no guarantee of its history. It may well genuinely be a phone that has reached the end of its contract and has been fully paid for. Or it could have a darker past. If the contract hasn’t been fully paid the phone will become blocked and may either cease to work or get seized if you try to sell it to a reputable dealer such as Fonebank.com at a later date. The same is true if it has been stolen, and nobody wants the embarrassment of that!
Next is the condition of the phone. There’s no guarantee that the individual’s description is correct, and to the untrained eye it can be hard to tell whether the phone has been tampered with. If you’re not happy with the condition or find it has a fault will the seller definitely refund you? Buying by credit card may offer you some protection, but not if you pay by another kind of card, or even worse, cash! Life is too short for protracted disputes with card insurance or rogue sellers.
Luckily there are ways to avoid these uncertainties. If you buy from an established company such as SmartFoneStore.com they will check the IMEI (unique serial number) has not become blacklisted on the national database. They will do this repeatedly until the moment before it leaves the building. What is more, should the phone become blocked in the future they guarantee to replace the handset at no extra cost. Furthermore, they fully test the phones and inspect them for damage before sale, weeding out any that fall below par. The exterior condition is clearly stated on the web site so that you can choose the condition that best suits what you want.
On the off chance something does go awry with the phone, or you just change your mind, the SmartFoneStore offers a 10 day no quibble returns policy and a 2 month guarantee and free returns pack should you need it. I can’t see the average eBay seller offering anything similar, and certainly not the bloke in the pub! Their prices are great too and often featured in UK Hot Deals.
So, the moral of this story is: protect yourself! There are many unscrupulous dealers but you don’t have to be a victim. Choose a company like SmartFoneStore that has a system in place to do the hard work for you so all you have to do is enjoy your (nearly) new phone!