1. Mark Squires's Avatar
    Hi everyone

    I'm on the fence with getting a brand new device or getting something on a local Buy/Sell site.

    Besides checking the IMEI, is there anything else that can protect a user when buying an unlocked phone. I'm getting some good offers on A70, One Vision and A50 phones. I just want to protect myself so I'm not throwing money away.

    One seller responded back regarding changing csc firmware, but that was a bit over my head.

    Any help would be awesome

    Thanks
    01-24-2020 07:49 PM
  2. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I would do the purchase in person and at your carrier if possible. That way you can ensure functionality before making it official. You'll want to factory reset it, go through the setup process and verify it doesn't ask for prior owner Google login info, and activate it on your network. This makes sure there's no factory reset protection in place and that the phone is usable.
    aximtreo likes this.
    01-24-2020 08:01 PM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I'd stay away from the one talking about changing the firmware. That means the phone (presumably one of the Samsung ones) was intended for a different geographic region, and for it to work correctly where you live, you probably have to flash a different firmware. Although it typically works, it can be a hassle, and there's no guarantee it'll work completely smoothly.

    One potential risk of buying a used phone is that you don't know if the seller mistreated the battery on a regular basis. If they habitually drained the battery to zero, for example, that can significantly shorten the battery's lifespan after just a few months. This may not be feasible, but if the seller is agreeable, you could ask them to install AccuBattery and run a battery health test and show the results to you.

    If you do end up getting a used phone, ask the seller to make sure they remove their Google account from the phone before doing a factory reset (in the Settings>Accounts menu). Although doing a factory reset from the system settings menu will typically remove the user's Google account properly, on some phones it might not -- and in that situation, if you were to try to set the phone up, the phone might actually ask for the seller's Google account and username (as part of Factory Reset Protection).
    VidJunky and aximtreo like this.
    01-24-2020 08:02 PM
  4. VidJunky's Avatar
    This is all in my opinion just to put that out there first. Others may share or disagree with me on some or all of these points but;

    With a used device, from a private owner it sounds like in your post, comes with a lot of uncertainty. Even referb devices can have issues but most of those will at least come with some kind of return, refund or exchange policy where private sells usually will not. With a private sell or really any used device you don't know what has happen to the device. Has it taken a drop, gotten wet, been rooted, left in the sun, left in the cold, allowed to discharge many times until the battery is damaged or the firmware is corrupt? The outer appearance of the device is only superficial and the real serious damage is not always apparent since most of what the device does is on the inside. This is not to say that buying used is all bad just to say that these are things that one should be prepared for, after all they are selling the device for a reason, sellers are not always forthright with true or accurate information. If you trust the seller's reputation or trust the seller, period, and the price is right buying used can get you a nice device at a discount price.

    Alternatively buying new is just that. It's a new device and you should reasonably expect no damage or harsh treatment. That's really all that needs to be said.

    I mentioned Referb devices earlier which are another alternative. These devices have usually been tested, at least reasonably, and again usually come with some warranties. If nothing else they can be returned or exchanged if issues arise, but the price will reflect that added peace of mind.
    B. Diddy and J Dubbs like this.
    01-24-2020 08:16 PM
  5. Mark Squires's Avatar
    I think, with me, buying new is that safe idea. If something isn't right, simply return it.

    Again, with a private sale, that's out the window.

    The sellers are offering "brand new, unlocked" phones. I'm curious how they got them. But the price could be worth the shot.

    I'm a Public Mobile user..... So going to the carrier won't work.

    The sellers say they have original receipts from when they purchased the phone (ex. Koodo)
    01-24-2020 08:31 PM
  6. J Dubbs's Avatar
    I never buy used phones anymore...... it's WAY too easy to find great sale prices on 1 or 2 year old brand new flagship phones. I like having the flagship experience with budget to mid-range pricing. Plus used smartphones have become scam central..... it's not worth the hassle to save a few bucks.
    Mark Squires likes this.
    01-25-2020 06:37 AM
  7. bryantj3303's Avatar
    I bought my first used phone, a Note 9, via Swappa and had a good experience. In order to sell on Swappa, the IMEI number is vetted to make sure the phone is unlocked, pictures are required before they allow the post to go live and they provide a confirmation number that the phone is eligible. That confirmation number is then required to be included with the ad. Some sellers have warranties up to 30 days. Also, if you buy a phone that came out within the past year, it could still be under the manufacturer's warranty, which is verified by the IMEI number. My Note 9 had a camera issue and since it was still under warranty, the repair was done at no charge at Ubreakifix.
    01-25-2020 10:11 AM
  8. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    Main thing to do is check to make sure it's factory reset and not asking for a previous Google account at start up. Never buy a phone that has a dead battery and cannot be powered on at time of purchase.

    Also a good idea to check the IMEI to ensure it isn't black listed.

    When I worked at Verizon, if someone asked me about buying used phones I'd usually suggest they meet at the store for the transaction. That way we could verify on location the phone was usable and transaction took place at a public location with security cameras. It was just a safe way to handle it and if someone refused to meet at the store it's a good indication something about the deal was shady and worth avoiding.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    01-25-2020 10:46 AM
  9. mustang7757's Avatar
    Some very good advice here Mark I wish I could add more .
    Mark Squires and aximtreo like this.
    01-25-2020 12:01 PM
  10. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Me personally, I would go for new. You get the warranty, and no questions as how the device was used before you.
    01-25-2020 02:20 PM
  11. Mark Squires's Avatar
    Hi guys.... Thanks for all the help. Although there's some good looking phones for sale here privately, I'm going to buy new. As the user above stated, new phone, warranty and peace of mind

    Now to decide on what device!!
    mustang7757, B. Diddy and J Dubbs like this.
    01-26-2020 08:51 AM
  12. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Hi guys.... Thanks for all the help. Although there's some good looking phones for sale here privately, I'm going to buy new. As the user above stated, new phone, warranty and peace of mind

    Now to decide on what device!!
    What are you looking at?
    01-26-2020 01:29 PM
  13. Mark Squires's Avatar
    Moto g7 plus, A50 or a motorcycle one vision
    01-26-2020 01:57 PM
  14. recumbentbob's Avatar
    I buy new unlocked mid range phones.
    01-29-2020 08:39 AM
  15. scott1jb's Avatar
    I buy both new and used phones. I rarely have issues with used phones, especially when I buy on Swappa. It enables me to try out different flagship phones, then sell them on Swappa if I don't like them.
    01-29-2020 08:10 PM

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