I’m looking for a used Apple iPhone 7 or 8 unlocked in good shape, for my 15-year-old for Christmas. Where can I find one?
I completely understand this dilemma! Apple iPhones can last for a long time, and if you don’t want to hand your teen the latest pricey model, looking for used is definitely the way to go!
Since I just happened to buy a used unlocked iPhone successfully in the last month, I’m happy to pass on what I’ve learned….
Some important considerations for you:
Look for a trusted site and trusted seller.
You can certainly find used iPhones listed on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, but because they’re not a low cost item, you don’t want to end up wasting your money on a lemon that you can’t return (and a seller that disappears or blocks you after they have your money). In the end, there’s no seller protection for tech items on those platforms.
A few sites have taken the uncertainty out of this process – these are currently the two I have used and can wholeheartedly recommend:Decluttr offers users a chance to buy and sell all kinds of tech (including phones, tablets, Kindles, smartwatches, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, gaming consoles and more). If you’re selling, you sell directly to them. If you’re buying, you don’t have to deal with an outside seller – they have the items in hand. They have already cleaned and refurbished the items, confirmed their working condition and remaining battery life. Each device undergoes extensive in-house refurbishment with up to 90 different checks on iPhones to ensure the tech you buy is of fantastic quality at a fraction of the original price. USB chargers are included along with a Sim opening tool. You’ll get FREE tracked shipping with every order plus every tech item comes with a 12 month limited warranty. They’re also a BBB Accredited Business and offer a 14 day money back guarantee, since you’re only dealing with their company directly.
Swappa is similar to an eBay platform where people can list and sell their tech (including phones, tablets, laptops, watches and video games). On Swappa you buy and sell directly with other users. Cutting out the middleman means you join a community market with the best prices and highest value. Every product has listing requirements and an approval process to ensure confident shopping; broken items are not allowed. You can view the seller (along with how many items they’ve sold and their seller rating) when you view the item; you can also ask the seller questions about the item by commenting on the sale page. Sometimes chargers are included, sometimes not; it depends on the seller. Swappa uses PayPal for payments because they provide extensive buyer and seller protections. Get what was advertised or get a refund.
Confirm the unlocked phone will work with your carrier before you buy.
An unlocked phone will allow to you to use it with any carrier – however, there can be some trickiness along the way. Some unlocked phones still won’t work with every service. For best results, visit your carrier’s website and look for a “bring your own phone” page (here’s an example of a BYO page from my favorite low-cost high-quality provider, Twigby). It will provide details on what information you’ll need – and what you’ll want to ask a seller to confirm that the phone will transfer easily. Send the seller the direct link to the bring you own phone website page and they can use it to verify for you.
I hope that helps – and that you can find something great to put under the tree at a price within your budget!