Skip to content

Precautions before buying a second-hand iPhone

Buying used items has never been easier. Perhaps too much, in the case of “de luxe” items, like the iPhone .

It’s tempting to get hold of one of these sophisticated smartphones when you see a good price. But all that glitters isn’t gold. You have to be careful not to fall victim to swindlers, or even a mobile phone mafia that is in vogue these days.

Precautions before buying a second-hand iPhonePrecautions before buying a second-hand iPhone

This guide to buying a pre-owned iPhone talks about some precautions that will come in handy if you’re thinking about buying a pre-owned iPhone. These are common sense things, but they’re worth remembering and keeping in mind before making a purchase of a smartphone over the Internet, and they’re especially focused on the Apple iPhone.

Things to consider when buying a used iPhone

Trap Ads

This type of advertisement is usually found on second-hand websites, such as Milanuncios, Segundamano, Wallapop and others. What are its characteristics?

  • You don’t see the photo or it is a “product” photo, often taken from Apple’s official website.
  • Date of purchase (original) uncertain or says it’s just bought. The smartphone has no defects, no scratches, no falls… Too beautiful to be true.
  • The buyer asks for payment in advance.
  • Prices too cheap.
  • The buyer refuses to close the sale in person.

I think anyone would notice right away that something’s not right. But that said, be very careful. It could be cheap knockoffs, broken-down units, or the like, and you’d be in for a treat.

Check that Find My iPhone is not active. Watch out for stolen iPhones!

Another problem is stolen cell phones. In this case the ads are usually just the opposite, photos of the phone, take note of all the details and gives many facilities to close the sale, the day you want and where you want. But the price sets off the alarm.

If someone offers you an iPhone for £30, don’t buy it . Well, at least I wouldn’t buy it. It has all the hallmarks of a stolen phone. Remember that iPhones have a GPS tracking system and they can accuse you of stealing the phone. That’s why you should always keep track of your transactions, wherever you buy it. Even if it’s in person.

It is also very important that you check that Search my iPhone is turned off , because if it is and the person who sells it to you doesn’t know the password, the chances of it being a stolen iPhone are very high.

Previously Apple offered a tool where by putting the IMEI of the device could be checked remotely, but now they no longer exist. Currently Apple recommends following the steps below to check if Find My iPhone and Activation Lock are enabled on the device:

  1. Turn on the device, if the lock screen appears and asks for a code it means that the device has not been reset and is activated. In this case the previous owner must reset it to factory default. You can do this from iTunes or from the device itself by accessing Settings – General – Reset – Delete contents and settings.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate the device. In case I ask for the owner’s Apple ID password, Search My iPhone and Activation Lock are locked. If this happens, the owner can disable these features remotely from

Confirms the warranty status of the device

This only applies to recent generation iPhones and when the seller assures you that the phone is still under warranty. Checking is really easy and can be done by following the steps explained in this guide. To do the check, all you need to know is the serial number of the device, so the vendor can give it to you to check and make sure that the iPhone is not in a different situation from the one it tells you .

Check that the iPhone is free

At present most of the iPhone sold are completely free, but there are still telecom operators that sell them blocked. That is why it is very important that you make sure that the iPhone you are going to be sold is free or, at least, that it works with your mobile phone operator . This check is very simple, you only have to put the SIM card that you are going to use regularly in the phone to get out of doubt. If it picks up a signal and works, everything is fine.

Unfortunately, you can only do this check if you close the deal by hand. When you do it by courier it is more difficult to do the check. You can always ask the seller to send you a picture with the phone connected to some operator and the advantage of SettingsGeneralInformation open in the area where you see the serial number. This is not 100% valid proof, but at least you would have proof to claim if when you receive the phone it is not what you were promised.

Any more precautions when buying a second-hand iPhone?

You can buy second-hand iPhones, of course , but it is very important to be very careful when asking for a unit for sale. In this case common sense is extremely important so that you don’t get ripped off and can buy a second-hand smartphone without any problem.