3 Things To Know When Buying a Used Smartphone, Guest Post

3 Things To Know When Buying a Used Smartphone
Guest Post by Frank Tate of PHYX iPhone Repair. Frank repairs and sells iPhones and Androids and is a wiz at fixing broken screens!


3 Things To Know When Buying a Used Smartphone

Our electronic internet devices are seemingly indispensable. They’ve become everyday tools that hold a similar value to that of cars and other modern utilities. The basic concept when buying a mobile device is similar to that of buying a car: you need to get a task done, and you need a good and working machine to do it. But you need to acquire this machine in the most financially responsible way. The same economic ideas apply in purchasing a new device: it will immediately depreciate after first opening/use, the unit will eventually need repairs and some upkeep, and the unit will eventually (and sooner than your average car) be obsolete. Based on these three concepts, it’s strategically better to buy a good used mobile device.

Do Your Homework

The used device business is a multi billion dollar industry, and is super popular around the world. In America, there’s a stigma attached to used electronics. This is not only because of our throwaway culture, but also because many people aren’t educated about the benefits of actually buying used. Since a phone or tablet is simply just a tool, consumers need to find appropriate tools that will enable them to accomplish what they need to do. That means going to a *reputable reseller*¬†and picking out something that’s in good working condition and has no underlying issues that will affect the future usage of said device.

This is where the hard part begins, as you have to make sure your purchase is solid. The one advantage of buying new from a major retailer is that there is no question about the functionality or integrity of device, as it is fresh out of the box. Some people enjoy the feeling of buying new things, but it’s not the smartest choice.

Don’t Pay MRSP

A new iPhone 6s from the Apple Store or from any major carrier might cost about $600-$650 plus tax if you were to pay in full (and the majority of people don’t/can’t pay the MSRP upfront). Buying the same unit in a similar like-new condition might run about $400-450. That’s an instant savings of $200, and there are no taxes. You have the same device, you support local business, the unit is unlocked for any carrier, and you own the device. And there is no need to worry about financing options.

My advice is never pay MSRP for a device. You will always lose on that deal. And with the financing option, you’re locked in to paying unnecessarily high priced service plans for 24 months, plus the cost of the device with interest. Payment plans on a device — which is essentially a utility — is just about the worst financial decision you can make. After fees, insurance, taxes, interest, etc, you obviously end up paying a lot more than the value of the device. And by the time you actually own the phone, it’s not even current anymore. Even with these facts, millions of people subscribe to this option. Fundamentally, the idea behind all of this is to always buy a used device that you can afford upfront.

Choose The Carrier That’s Best for You

Major carrier rates are skyrocketing. When you elect to purchase a used device, you give power to yourself. You can decide your carrier, you can pay as you go, decide your plan, and basically do whatever you like with the device. And since you have already put equity into it, that equity is still yours, and therefore, you can sell the device for its current market value if you so choose. None of this can be done with a phone that’s being financed by a bank. Just like a car. Why? Because technically the phone isn’t yours. You are making payments and you are locked in to what your contract says. Read your contract.

Just remember to make the best financial decision for yourself. Is your current device able to do everything that you are asking it to do? If not, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. If your device is functional or if you simply want to move up, the upgrade needs to be paid for in full, whether it’s a tablet, camera, phone, or any other similar consumer electronic device.