Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tips for buying a second-hand mobile phone

Here is a tip for buying a second-hand mobile phone

If you have plenty of extra money in your pocket, you can buy anything you like. However, it's wise to know that so many brand new cell phones or hardly used phones are cheaply thrown out or stolen and resold to a second hand store. Sometimes you should know that buying a second hand cell phone will save you a lot of money. Needless to say, there are some seemingly authentic dealers who turn out to be quite dishonest both about the age, the origin and the condition of the phone. Just to help everyone, here is a handy list of items to check when buying a second hand phone.

Firstly, check IMEI. The IMEI is a code that identifies each phone. No two phones have the same number and manufacturers use this number to verify stolen phones and the amount of warranty that your phone has. Check that the IMEI number on the phone corresponds to the number on the box and receipts. If the numbers differ, there could be several reasons. The first is that the phone is a stolen one or the phone had been sent for servicing and had the main board replaced. Both situations are warning signs of a problematic phone.

Secondly, examine the original receipt. Get a receipt from the seller. If it comes from a reputable retail outlet, then you do not have to worry much. The receipt will be able to tell you when the phone is bought and how much warranty is left. Phones usually have only 1 year warranty. However if you see a receipt that is of dubious origin, be very wary. The receipt might be faked to make the phone look younger than it actually is. It might even be from a second hand dealer trying to sell off the phone again.

Closely inspect the exterior. This step is rather simple and should give you an idea of how old the phone is. Wear and tear will occur. Usually this means the buttons' paint will peel off. For PDA phones, the paint near the Stylus slot will also peel off. Ensure that the condition is what you expect to pay for. Ratings by sellers are very subjective therefore when no photos are uploaded, buy only when satisfied of the condition.

Test the keypad. Press all the buttons many times. Phones should be able to withstand multiple presses without giving away.

Do a detailed check of the functions. After you are done with the exterior, it is time to check the phone itself. Try every function that the phone has. A laptop or another phone will come in handy at this time.

Is there scratches on the display? Check the LCD display. Dead pixels are rare in phones unlike LCD monitors. But for phones, try to see if there are scratches on the screen. Scratches are expensive to repair and most people should buy a lcd screen protector to ensure the high resale value of their phone.

Check moving parts. Some phones have sliders, flippers. Try them to test if they are flimsy. Moving parts tend to be easily damaged by drops and frequent use.

How long is battery life? Batteries drop in performance as they age. However even a second hand phone should not use more than 10% of its battery in the time you are testing. This point is hard to check and the best solution is to get a personal warranty from the seller so that you can test the battery life later.

One last thing. Is there a Warranty? Get the warranty card. See if it has been sent in. Some manufacturers will not honor their warranty if the card has not been sent in within a few days of purchase. Some brands will also have their users register their warranty online. Prior to meeting the seller, get the IMEI number and do a warranty check online. Also ask the seller for a 7 days personal warranty so that you have time to interact and ensure that the phone is in working condition.

This is unlikely to be an exhaustive list of what to check when buying a second hand phone. However, you stick to the tips above, it is difficult to get ripped off.

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