The iPhone is a great overall phone but it does cost a lot. This is why so many people consider buying a used one, especially now that the iphone 5 is out and that many people are selling their iphone 4 or 4S. Here are some tips about how to buy a used iPhone on Craigslist: what to look out for, what to check before meeting the seller, etc...
Craigslist or eBay?
Why Craigslist and not ebay? This is an ongoing debate and if you are reading this article, you have probably already made your choice. However, if you have not decided yet, be aware that it is mostly a matter of trust. When you use Craigslist, you can examine the phone before buying it. Ebay has some user protection but there are still many scams who are hoping that you will not go through the hassle of returning the phone, even if it does not fit with the description or with the photos you saw on the site.
When to buy the iPhone, which one to buy, ... ?
Now is actually a good option as the iPhone 5 is out and many people are trying to sell their old iphone (4 or 4S) to buy the iphone 5. You could also wait until after Christmas, as some may get the iphone 5 (or buy it for themselves) and will then sell their old one.
There is not enough space in this article to review in details the differences between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, but basically the iPhone 4S is taking better photos, has a more powerful processor but has a smaller battery life. You could even get an iPhone 3 if you are broke, but the prices getting lower and lower, you will probably be able to afford an iPhone 4.
Prior to meeting a seller
This is what you should check before you meet the seller:
- try to deal with someone local
- contact him/her and ask for the details about the phone. Make the seller confirm the state of the phone (scratches, dead pixels, working fine, ...), get the serial number, ask about the warranty (check it online through the serial number), ask whether the phone will come with the box, the charger, etc...
- be sure to check both eBay and Craigslist to get a good idea of the market price (it does not matter whether you intend to buy at ebay or not, just check it for the price information).
- tell the seller you will want to test the phone (test calls), and check that he is fine with that
- ask if the phone has been jailbroken (normally it should not be a problem after a factory reset but it may void the warranty)
- stop at anytime if you find the seller suspicious, you will find other offers
Meeting the seller
The same precautions should be taken as any other type of sales. Don't meet at your place, don't meet at the other party's place, don't meet in a dark and desert underground, ... A public place with many witnesses and during daytime.
Examine the phone properly even if it makes you look like a badass. You are the customer, you need to check what you are buying. Test the phone: make a phone call, receive a phone call, check the screen for dead pixels, check the wifi module, etc...
Negotiate the price. Don't forget the seller wants probably to get rid of it to buy the new one.
After buying the phone
Factory reset it. It is very improbable that the person who sold it to you installed some spying apps but don't take the risk. Finally, enjoy your newly bought phone that everyone wanted when it went out, for a price people could not even dreamed of when they bought it.
Have you bought a used iPhone on Craigslist yourself? Are you considering it? Did you choose eBay instead? Feel free to leave a message below.