BBB Offers Tips to Take Advantage of Bargains to Avoid Upgrading Fees and Contractsby Nick LaFleur on Sep. 21, 2013, under alert, Life, scam, Tips
Used smart phones have become a hot consumer commodity, according to Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona.
Industry analysts have report more than half of American adults own a smartphone. This week’s announcement of a new series of smartphones that are about to hit the market means consumers who want to get the latest technology may be looking to sell their existing equipment. In turn, that means you can find good deals on used smart phones if you are newcomer to the technology, or want upgrade to a more recent model.
Wireless providers sell subsidized new smart phones in return for signing a contract. However, consumers who don’t want to get locked-in to one carrier will have to pay $400 to $700 for the new phones without a wireless plan. This makes the used cellphone market especially attractive to consumers wanting to save money by purchasing a used, older version for considerably less money.
Used cellphones are widely available online at “recommerce” sites and via classified ads and online auctions. Whether you’re trying to unload your old smart phone or looking to buy a used one, do your research before jumping at what appears to be a great deal.
BBB offers the following tips for buying and selling used phones:
Hot deal or hot merchandise? – If you’re buying a cellphone from an individual, you’ll want to make sure it has not been reported lost or stolen. You can do this by asking for the phone’s unique identification or serial number and checking it through one of several free online services. These electronic serial number databases can also tell you if the phone has been locked because of an unpaid bill.
Check all of the angles – Don’t rely on photos when making a purchase. You should carefully inspect the phone for scratches or dents, which may indicate that it has been dropped. Make sure all of the buttons, headphone jack and charging port are in working order. Discoloration near the charging port may indicate water damage.
Research the seller – If you’re purchasing from or selling to an online reseller, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.tucson.bbb.org to check whether there is a pattern of complaints. If you’re going through an online auction site, check the seller’s history and rating. Pass if the seller has a low score.
If you’re buying a phone via an online classified ad, insist on making the transaction in person to ensure there is indeed a phone and that it’s in good condition, and make sure that the seller provides the equipment’s accessories. If they are not available, you may want to pass or offer a lower bid.
Finally, if you are selling a phone, check out recommerce sites to compare what they will pay you. If you sell your phone online, insist the buyer use a secured form of payment such as PayPal, to avoid getting stuck with a counterfeit check.