Tips for Purchasing a Used Cell Phone

Expert Tips for Purchasing a Used Cell Phone

The following tips from the cell phone repair and buy/sell experts at Cell Clinic Ltd. will help reduce risks associated with purchasing used cell phones that are damaged or blacklisted.

BUYER BEWARE when purchasing a used cell phone from Craigslist, or any other forum where individuals / businesses sell used mobile devices.

BLACKLISTED PHONES are a huge problem and the issue is on the rise. If a cell phone or tablet is on Canada’s blacklist (e.g., reported lost/stolen) it cannot pick up cellular service in Canada, and most likely North America. To check if a phone is blacklisted contact the telecommunications company the phone was locked to, or enter the phone's IMEI number (serial number) into a free line blacklist checker database such as CheckESNFree - A used or new phone sold by an individual can get blacklisted days or weeks after the purchase. To help safeguard yourself, get the name and contact information of the person selling the phone (preferably picture ID and cell phone number). If the phone you purchased gets blacklisted, report the incident to the appropriate telecommunication company and give them the IMEI number of the phone and the name / cell phone of the seller.

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING -- there are a lot of components under the screen that can be damaged due to water or other factors. Therefore, it's important to run a few checks before purchasing a used mobile device...

  • CELLULAR -- ensure the phone picks up a cellular signal (at least two bars). If it doesn't pick up cellular do not buy the phone -- it's likely blacklisted.

  • WI-FI/BLUETOOTH - confirm the phone will pick up Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

  • POWER -- take a charger with you and ensure the battery percentage increases when being charged.

  • CAMERA’S -- test both the front and back cameras for focus and to ensure they take good photos. Watch for black spots on the screen when taking a picture, which is an indication that the camera is broken. Check to see if the camera lens at the back of the phone is cracked or missing.

  • SPEAKER/MICROPHONES -- use voice memos to determine if the speakers and microphones are in good working condition. Place a test call to check if the earpiece and microphone are working. Bring headphones to test the headphone jac