Buying a used mobile phone

Have you perhaps dropped your mobile phone into a pool and need to replace it quickly and cheaply? Or perhaps you need a cell phone in case of an emergency on the road? Then again you may not be able to justify the cost of purchasing a new mobile phone right now. For any of these circumstances purchasing a used cell phone is a viable option.

Finding a used cell phone to purchase is easy, finding the right one isn't. The biggest obstacle to getting a good phone is the possibility of fraud with the second biggest obstacle being damage to the phone. The easiest way to avoid a fraud problem is to deal with people that you know and businesses that you respect and doing a little investigating before your purchase the phone. A big advantage to dealing with people that you know is that you have an idea as to how they treat the equipment.

If none of your friends are parting with their cell phone then you can search the papers or use an online auction service such as eBay. Once you have searched for and found a suitable cell phone you will want to do some research before placing a bid on the item. Start by going to a site such as to see what experts and other users have to say about the product. If their reviews support your choice then you can begin investigating the device itself. One important point to keep in mind is the compatibility of the SIM. In order to transfer your existing account the new phone will have to be able to use the same SIM as your current phone does.

When investigating the cell phone you need to determine several things. First the condition of the unit, second the reason for selling the unit, the IMEI number, the previous service provider and what accessories come with it. While some of these question may seem a bit personal, a reputable seller of the phone will be happy to answer them for you.

The condition of the cell phone is only of minor importance. What you really want to be sure of is that there are not any cracks in the case that might indicate serious damage. Scratches on the case, faded numbers and other things are minor since you can replace the faceplate and keypad for a few pounds.

It is important to ask the seller why they are selling the cell phone as was as for the IMEI number and previous service provider. Devious sellers will undoubtedly lie to you, but legitimate sellers will tell you what you need to know. If the reason that they gave for selling the phone is supported by the condition of the phone they you can probably trust the seller.

In order to try to ensure that you are getting a valid trouble free phone you need to know the previous service provider and the IMEI number of the cell phone. It is not uncommon for devious people to dump their cell phones before the have to pay their bill. If you have purchased the phone and transferred it into your name you are liable for the unpaid bills. It only makes sense to call the service provider and ask them to verify that there are no outstanding bills or long term contracts on the phone you plan on purchasing.

The IMEI number is a 15-digit number that is unique to that cell phone. This number is often used to identify cloned, lost or stolen cell phones but only if they are reported as lost, stolen or have been flagged for fraudulent use. The IMEI number on most phones call be found by entering *#06# on the keypad. There are many sites that will tell you if the IMEI has be flagged as fraudulent however there are also many sites that will tell you how to change this number with your computer. For this reason you can not rely on only the IMEI number to identify a problem phone.

The last thing to determine is what accessories your phone comes with. Typical accessories would be spare batteries, carrying case, PC to phone cables, CDs and user guides. All of this will save you hours of searching on the Internet and many pounds replacing missing bits.

If you are careful and research your options you can safely and confidently purchase a used cell phone from either friends or from online sources. Be sure to investigate you’re the cell phone you are thinking of purchasing in order to ensure that you get a trouble free phone and the most value from your purchase.

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