Things to Examine Before Buying Used iPhone Models [2021 Updated]

Everyone likes to use iOS devices but some like buying used iPhones. This is because it is not possible for all to buy a brand-new iPhone. The best way is to buy a second-hand iPhone. If you are thinking of buying used iPhone models, then you should look for certain things. Look for things that you should check before you purchase a used iOS device.

Purchasing a new iPhone could be exciting, but it can be a lot expensive at the same time, even if you are thinking about getting a contract.

On the other hand, buying used iPhone models is more affordable. Plus, most of the time, these devices are in great condition. This is because these devices are used, but that does not mean they are damaged.

The problem is that if you purchase a used iPhone, you do not have a guarantee that it is in perfect condition as well as is ready for use. So, when you think of buying used iPhone models, it is recommended to go to the checklists mentioned in this article to make sure that you receive the best deal and do not get ripped off!

Part 1: Things to Examine While Carrying Out Online Transactions

When it comes to purchasing a second-hand device, there are some points that you should keep in mind. Go through the checklist listed below while purchasing iOS devices, such as Apple Watch, iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone.

PS: let’s learn more about how to perform Straight Talk unlock and How to remove activation lock without a previous owner with ease.

1. Find My iPhone

While buying used iPhone models, this is the most significant thing that you should check in the first place. Although there are several ways to disable the ‘Find My iPhone‘ feature later, it is tedious. Plus you need to pay sometimes for the iCloud lock removal (to remove iCloud activation lock) service.

People can directly interact with the seller to discover whether the ‘Find My iPhone‘ feature is enabled. The seller can easily do it by visiting ‘Settings‘ and then, their name, and then, ‘Find My‘.

Find My iPhone

If you found out that this feature has been enabled ensure that you ask the seller to remove it along with the linked iCloud account (top iCloud remover) before you purchase the device from the seller.

2. Blacklist Status

So, this is another important thing that you should check before buying used iPhone devices. Check if the device has been blacklisted. If that device is blacklisted, then it means that the device has been reported as lost, stolen, or for various other reasons. In that case, you would not be able to connect your phone to any network carrier.

For checking a device’s blacklist status, you need to get the IMEI number of that device and run the same number through a reliable IMEI checker. Once entered, you will get a brief report about your device. This report includes the blacklist status as well as the reason for the same if it is blacklisted.

3. Examine if the device is unlocked

Most network carriers put up a carrier lock on the mobile devices they sell by default. These carrier locks restrict the device. Thus, users cannot connect those devices to other network carriers. For instance, if the device is Verizon-lock, then users cannot connect that device to T-Mobile without first getting rid of its carrier lock.

Examine if the device is unlocked

If the smartphone is locked, users will come across a message saying ‘SIM Not Supported‘ when they try to insert a new SIM card.

So, it is important that when you decide buying a used iPhone, inquire about if the device is locked or unlocked. If it is not unlocked, then you may get the device cheaper. Plus, there are different ways to remove the carrier lock hassle-free online.

4. Warranty

However, the warranty varies according to the country. Still, you will discover that many smartphones do come with an amazing warranty.

So, you should check whether the device you want to purchase has an active phone warranty or not. If yes, then how long the warranty will last and the conditions related to the warranty, if any. This is because some warranties only cover specific damages.

Again, users can typically discover the warranty of a device by running its IMEI number through an IMEI checker. However, the seller can also inform you about the same.

5. Replacement Status

This is the last point that you should check while purchasing a second-hand iPhone online. This point is about the replacement status. By checking this, you can make sure that you are not being cheated on. If your device is a replacement, then you can get the device’s price lowered.

Now, if you want to check a device through an IMEI checker, learn about a great tool below.

Perfect IMEI Checker if Buying Used iPhone Online

Are you looking for an all-rounder checker for the list mentioned above? If so, we recommend you go with an All-in-one IMEI Checker. This tool comes with lots of amazing features. Check them out below:

  • This tool can carry out all the tests that we mentioned above, including the replacement status and blacklist status.
  • It supports the inspecting of all iOS devices.
  • Every IMEI check is done by a professional manually. Other IMEI checkers typically generate reports, which are done using outdated databases.
  • This service guarantees 100% accuracy when you even employ the WipeLock IMEI Checker.
  • Plus, you get an unlocking guide for free if your device is locked!
Perfect IMEI Checker if Buying Used iPhone Online

Besides, if you wonder how to save iPhone data after your iPhone gets damaged by water and how to unlock the iPhone X passcode, just read more.

Part 2: Things to Examine While Carrying Out Offline Transactions

Just like the above checklist, this checklist is also effective if you are buying used iPhone models. Now, let’s have a look:

1. Verify the Device’s IMEI from Software and Body/SIM Tray

While purchasing a second-hand iPhone, you should check the IMEI number in the first place. This is really important. If the phone has tampered with, then the displayed IMEI number in the settings will be different from the one printed on the device itself.

Now, check the IMEI number as below:

  • Body (Earlier Models): Check the bottom and the back of your device for the printed IMEI number
  • SIM Tray (Latest Models): Remove the SIM card tray to find the printed IMEI along the tray’s edges
  • Software/Settings: Visit Settings on the device and go to ‘General‘ and then ‘About.’ Swipe down to find the IMEI number there.
Verify the Device's IMEI from Software and Body/SIM Tray

Compare both of these numbers that you see in the Settings and on the SIM tray. If different, then the hardware might have been substituted, or the device has been stolen. It is recommended not to buy used iPhones with different IMEI numbers.

2. Examine the Activation Lock

On setting up an iOS device, users get prompted to sign in using their iCloud accounts, which enables various security and iCloud features like iCloud backup access. It even enables the iCloud Activation Lock. When this lock is active, the account is locked to the device even after performing a factory reset.

Examine the Activation Lock

Meaning that when buying a used iPhone and the iCloud account of the previous owner is still locked in, you cannot sign in with another account. Check if this lock is still there on the device and ask the seller to remove it.

3. Confirm the Storage Capacity

So, double-check the storage capacity of the device you like to buy. Visit ‘Settings‘ and then go to ‘General.’ After that, select ‘Device Storage‘ and confirm the capacity if it’s the same as told. As you know, the storage capacity of an iOS device is reflected in its price. If the storage is more, then the price will be too.

Confirm the Storage Capacity

4. Examine the Battery

The battery of an iPhone lasts for longer. However, battery health starts to deteriorate after some months, which means that the device will take more time to charge, and its battery would not last long. So, you need to charge it more frequently.

To check the battery health, visit ‘Settings‘ and then select ‘Battery‘ and then ‘Battery Health.’ This percentage should be closer to 100%. If it is lower, then you have to purchase a new battery. The seller should decrease the price as you are going to pay for the new battery.

Examine the Battery

5. Water Damage

When buying a used iPhone, you should look for water damage. At first, the issue will appear insignificant, and with time, it makes the device unusable. Water damage even voids the iPhone battery. So, you should consider this aspect.

iPhones feature a neat device known as Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI). This appears red if there is water damage or otherwise, it stays silver. Find this device on the SIM Tray’s inside.

Water Damage

6. Microphone and Speaker

Firstly, play a video or audio to check if the phone speakers are working fine. Secondly, make a call to your phone from the second-hand device to determine whether the microphone is clear. In just a few seconds, you can check whether there is any problem with the microphone and speaker.

7. Camera

The damage to the camera could happen from dropping the device too often. It could crack the camera lens and crack the screen that damages the front camera.

Launch ‘Camera‘ and take some pictures with both the back and front camera to ensure they both function properly. Check if the flash is working too.

8. Charging Port and Headphone Jack

Also, you should check the charging port and headphone jack. Plug in the headphones and see if you could listen to music without facing any issue. Check the charging port too. If it’s not working, then do not buy that used device as it is expensive to repair the charging port.

9. Accessories and Retail Box

When buying a used iPhone, look for the accessories, too, such as the power adapter, earphones, USB cable, and a lightning cable adapter. Of course, it is good to get the original box, wherein you get all the accessories.

Accessories and Retail Box

10. Buttons

The buttons of an iPhone get damaged easily as users press them too hard. So, try every button like volume buttons, home button, and side/lock button. Check if they function properly. In the latest iPhone models, you should check if its touch ID functions.

11. Screen

When you check the screen, do not just check the screen’s condition but also how great it lightens up. See if there is any damage like cracks or scratches. To check the brightness, visit ‘Notes‘ and get a bright white background and check the brightness. If not that bright, then the hardware has started deteriorating.

12. Connectivity

Lastly, you should check the device’s connectivity – carrier connectivity and Wi-Fi connectivity. For checking the Wi-Fi, connect the used iPhone to a Wi-Fi network, and see if it browses the internet. To check the carrier one, insert the SIM card, and check if it is able to send or receive texts. In this way, you can even check if there’s a carrier lock or not.


Part 3: Useful Tips for Avoiding Being Scammed

Along with the points listed above, there are other points that you should keep in mind while buying used iPhone models, which include:

  • If the price is lower, this shows that the device is stolen or something is not right with it.
  • If the device’s seller asks you to make the payment electronically when they are not around, this is a scam.
  • Or if the device’s seller cannot answer some questions related to the phone, it is a scam.
  • If the used device is shown as in original packaging, brand new, then this means the device is repackaged and stolen.

Part 4: Top Places to Buy a Used iPhone

Another thing that people often wonder about is where they can buy a used iPhone without getting scammed. So, here are some places they can consider:

Buying Used iPhone via Amazon

Amazon features a renewed section that is full of reputable sellers. Used iPhones listed there are verified to ensure people are not ripped off.

Buying Used iPhone on eBay

eBay offers everything, including a used iPhone. However, it does not hold the same standards as Amazon does. Thus, there is always the risk of buying a damaged or low-quality iPhone.

Buying Used iPhone via Apple

Also, Apple sells refurbished iOS devices that people handed in. Manually, they refurbish these devices and make them look new. These iPhones are renewed professionally, and thus, they are more expensive than other sellers.

Also, you can check out local sales boards online, such as Gumtree and Craigslist.

Part 5: FAQs Regarding Buying Used iPhone

1. What is the difference between a refurbished and used device?

These terms are usually used interchangeably. However, they are quite different. Refurbished iPhones are second-hand devices that have gone through a renewal process and turned into new devices. Sometimes, this involves replacing old batteries and cracked screens.

Used iPhones have not gone through a renewal process. These devices are sold in their current state. Due to this, a refurbished device is a bit more expensive.

2. Is it fine to buy used iPhones?

It depends as there are benefits as well as drawbacks of buying used iPhone models. Have a look at them below:


  • Cheaper
  • Handpicking is possible with used iPhones
  • Cheaper contracts
  • Testing is possible before buying used iPhone models


  • Come as damaged or has exceeded their phone warranty
  • Need buying a new battery sometimes
  • Lesser storage capacity
  • Have scuffs, screen cracks, or scratches

By following the points listed above, you can save yourself from getting a damaged iPhone. Buying used iPhone models come with their own pros and cons. However, the best part is that you just have to pay a fraction of the amount compared to purchasing a brand-new iPhone. So, whether you decide to pay face-to-face or online, go through the checklists for sure!