In the last few years, you have probably noticed prices for mobile phones steadily going up. In this situation, given the today’s economy, the best solution for many people who want to upgrade their smartphones is to buy a used device – for example, an iPhone. However, you need to be especially careful while shopping for a used iPhone.
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1. “Brand New” iPhone
Very often you may come across a listing claiming that a brand new iPhone is up for sale. However, if you order the iPhone instead of meeting with the seller in person, it will likely turn out that the device is far from being new and has visible physical signs of use. If you’re determined to purchase a totally unused iPhone, make sure the packaging is intact and that the box is tightly wrapped in plastic, just as it looks in the official Apple store.
iPhones have gotten so popular that today there are dozens of iPhone copies, mainly from Chinese brands. Visually they can be indistinguishable from a genuine iPhone, but as soon as you unlock them, there’s a huge difference with the original iPhone. A fake iPhone’s OS may look very similar to iOS, but it doesn’t feel anywhere close to iPhone’s original operating system, and a fake iPhone’s technical characteristics are much poorer as well.
3. Water damage
Until iPhone 7 was released in September 2016, iPhones have never been waterproof: even a minute spent underwater can seriously damage the device’s mechanics. Some iPhones seem to have recovered from water damage and their owners try to sell them as quickly as possible, but in reality different problems caused by exposure to water can come out later. The easiest way to check if the iPhone you want to buy has been subjected to water is to check the SIM tray for the signs of water damage.
4. Stolen iPhone
It happens quite often that the thieves try to sell stolen goods online, and if you’re not being careful, you can fall victim to this scam too. The first sign that the iPhone has been stolen is if the ad says the device comes without any accessories like charging cable or headphones, and even without a box or a user manual. You can also use Apple’s Activation Lock tool to see if the iPhone’s serial number is linked to an iCloud account – and if it is, it is likely the iPhone is stolen.