Checks to do before buying a second-hand iPhone — 2022

Buying a second-hand iPhone is often the best option for those who want to have a good device but cannot afford to pay for a new terminal. However, the world of second-hand buying and selling is full of scams and other tricks, so we will give you a series of tips to keep in mind before making any purchase of this type.

If you buy through a store

There are many stores where you can buy a second-hand iPhone and although these are usually trustworthy because they usually offer guarantees and even insurance for the devices. However, the state of the product may not be the most indicated. We recommend, whenever possible, going to one of these stores in person and checking for yourself that the device is in the state you want. You should also make sure of the conditions of sale and whether you will be able to return the device within a reasonable period of time so that you can test it thoroughly. In case you can't return it when you buy it, you'll have to settle for the phone regardless of whether or not you're completely convinced.

If you buy from an individual

The market for buying and selling between individuals is the largest and possibly the more dangerous. Unfortunately, there are numerous people and organizations that offer devices like the iPhone absurdly cheap or at a very competitive price, ensuring that it is original and in good condition. Not everyone who offers a device in this way has to be scammers and the like, but you better make sure of it.



Invoice and serial number

iphone serial number

The first piece of advice in this regard is to use the common sense and not give credibility to someone you don't know no matter how well the matter paints you. If you are in a portal such as Wallapop, Vibbo or some other, you must ask the seller for certain information such as the original invoice showing the serial number of the device. To make sure that this number is the same as the one on the device, ask me to send you a photo of the phone in Settings> General> Information, where this number appears. But be careful, do not ask for a screenshot of it, but rather a photograph taken on the phone, in which the terminal can be seen from the outside and the screen with the data.

If the payment is by transfer, do not trust

One of the most common ways scammers steal money from users is through bank transfers to accounts that cannot be claimed later. We understand, as always, that scammers are not in all cases behind these requests, but it is something that is shocking to say the least. Today there are many forms of payment such as Bizum, PayPal or other methods, so a transfer should be null for this type of sales between individuals.

Use the payment platforms of the applications

Many applications for the sale of second-hand products, such as Wallapop, already implement their own payment system through which, until you have received the product and verify that everything is in the state agreed with the seller, the platform will not You send the money to the old owner of the device. In this way you will avoid many frauds, since you are the one in charge of verifying that everything is in the agreed conditions so that the seller can receive the money from him.

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Prioritize personal meetings

As soon as you have decided on a device and it is possible for you to meet the buyer in person, do it. In fact this condition could be indispensable. Not all platforms, applications and web pages have guarantees of authenticity or proper functioning of the products, despite the fact that they may have shipping services. Therefore checking the terminal in person is the best option.

First you check, then you receive and finally you pay

We understand that for a seller serious doubts can also arise with the buyer, but in the end who makes the disbursement is the latter. Therefore, once you are sure that the device works correctly or that it suits your needs and that it has been delivered to you, pay for it. Try by all means not to make any payment prior to receiving the product. maybe a bail It could be fair so that both parties do not lose too much in case of problems, but as long as it is fair and within common sense.

Check that you do not have an iCloud lock

A fairly common feature of those devices that have been stolen is that they have an iCloud lock. In these cases, the thieves try to sell them as soon as possible because ultimately, a mobile phone that has this type of lock is ultimately a real paperweight that does not have a function as such. This is because the blocking makes it impossible for anyone to configure the device except the rightful owner . It is something that can become quite unknown to many people, but it is a big trap that many people who buy a second-hand iPhone find themselves in the end. And the bad thing is that when you find this lock you can't do anything, and surely the seller will have disappeared without leaving a trace.

That is why you will always have to check that it is not activated. The first way that you are going to be able to use is basically radical in trying to do the initial configuration of the device in front of the supposed owner. If it allows you to log in correctly, it will mean that everything is correct and iCloud lock is not applied. But in case the need arises to enter the email and password of an account that you do not know yourself, then it has a lock applied and you should not buy it, because otherwise you would be acquiring useless equipment. But equally, you will also be able to enter the serial number on the Apple website, specifically in the support area simulating a fictitious repair. If it lets you request the repair then no problem. But there may be a situation in which it is impossible to request the repair and it does not give you any type of option. Given this situation, it is also quite clear that the owner has blocked it and therefore an appointment with the SAT cannot be offered.

Checks on the device

If you have physical access to the device, it is a good idea to know what aspects to assess to ensure that it is working properly. You will be able to check more things in addition to those that we will comment on below, but this checklist that you are going to see must be essential.

Charge cycles and battery health

One of the aspects that we value the most when choosing a mobile is that the autonomy is good. Batteries are the components that can wear out the most with use, so in a second-hand phone you could have serious problems. One way to check the level of wear is from Settings > Battery > Battery health . If you are in telematic contact with the seller, you must ask him to take a photo, again it would not be worth a capture but a photograph in the same conditions as the interior section.

Another useful check you can do is the load cycles that has consumed said iPhone. In the following video you can check what is the use of knowing this information and how it can be obtained.

Screen and touch panel

The screen is another of the basic aspects to guarantee a good user experience. This may be scratched or even have a defective pixel. In the worst case, the touch panel could be completely damaged or not working. That is why you should check as much as possible that it looks good, that you can interact through the interface without problems and that there is no physical damage. If the seller has warned you of a small dent or scratch, make sure that it is not greater than what he tells you.

speakers and microphones

Checking that the microphone works is as simple as doing a test from the app Voice notes. In this you can make a recording of several seconds speaking and then listen to it. If during playback you notice any strange noise or directly see a flat line, it is because the microphone is defective. The speaker can also be checked in this section, although you can also search for a song on YouTube and see how it sounds.

In this same line, it is also advisable to review the headphone jack If it is an iPhone 6s or earlier, you can do it from the 3.5 mm jack connector. If it is an iPhone 7 or later, you must have Lightning headphones or with its corresponding adapter to verify that the device also works well in this part.

check the load

iphone powerbank portable batteries

If the iPhone won't charge, no matter how well it otherwise works, it'll make a nice paperweight. We understand that checking that it charges correctly is somewhat complicated if the transaction is made in person and in a place like the street, so we recommend you go with a powerbank that allows you to check it.

If the device is also capable of burden wireless and this is an aspect that interests you, you should also carry out the corresponding check with a charging base. Although in this case it is more complicated to carry out the analysis if you are in a place like the street.

Camera and Face ID/Touch ID

If necessary, configure the iPhone with the seller to be able to access the camera and verify that both, both front and rear, work well. It also performs video tests in which it also collects audio, so that you can ensure that it works one hundred percent correctly.

The iPhone X and later, except the iPhone SE 2020, have Face ID as a biometric sensor and it is used to unlock the phone or make payments. On iPhone 8 and earlier (up to 5s), Touch ID is the available fingerprint system. In both cases, you must make sure that they work as they should, either with a sample from the seller or by testing it yourself after configuration.

Check connectivity

Although everything may seem fine at first glance, there are some aspects such as the WiFi connection or the Bluetooth that could have an error. That is why they are two highly recommended connections to check before making the purchase. It will be enough to connect to your current mobile sharing data to verify that the first one works. For the second, accessories such as compatible bluetooth headphones will suffice.

Most importantly, is it locked?

iPhone locked

If the iPhone has been locked through Apple or a phone company, it can't be used. You can check if an iPhone has been locked by iCloud very easily. In this sense, you will know that it is not a stolen device if you requested the original invoice from the seller, although it may be the case that the latter blocks it later. That's why you should take the iPhone fully restored in such a way that it is not associated with any Apple ID other than yours.

Following all these tips you should have no problem finding a reliable second-hand iPhone. However, carefully and carefully read each section of the clauses in case you acquire it through a service that is not private. Always try to have documents that prove your purchase in the event of possible subsequent harm and, in the extreme, file the corresponding complaint at a police station or before a consumer association if it is a professional establishment.