Before Proceeding to Buy:
1. Look for one that suits you: model, price, condition, warranty status
Buying from Second-hand shops
Buying online from e-Commerce Site
2. Buy from reputable seller
Check for any information on reputable seller (both shops and e-Commerce site). Most of the cases are the more reputable the seller, the lesser chances you get cheated, but don’t let your guard down just because the seller is reputable seller. Continue to read the rest to make sure you get the best second-hand iPhone.
Checking seller reputation on e-Commerce site is much easier compared to check or get seller reputation on shops since most e-Commerce site has reputation features. Check their feedbacks from another buyer.
3. Ask to view the iPhone
4. Check with seller whether he allows you to do thorough check the iPhone
5. Agree The Time and Place to Meet
When buying – Meeting with the seller:
6. Check the iPhone Exterior
Look for any damages such as paint peelings, dents, scratches. Make sure they are acceptable for you.
7. Check the iPhone Liquid/Water Damage Indicator
For iPhone 4 and before, do check inside the headphone jack port to see if there’s any white or red color paper sticks to it.
For iPhone 5 and after, including the latest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, do check inside their sim card tray to see if there’s any white or red color paper sticks to it.
If the color is white then there’s no indication the iPhone has been water damage before.
If the color is red then the iPhone was water-damaged before. In this case, best not to pick this iPhone.
More from Apple here to see where is the liquid/water damage indicator located on every iPhone to date.
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8. Check for iCloud Activation Lock
Turn on the iPhone, then:
If the iPhone was reset – in which you will see “hello” word in many languages and need to choose language and region kind of thing – make sure you are not prompted to enter iCloud Activation Lock. To ensure, do the rest of setup until you’ll see the iPhone home screen with all the apps icons.
If the iPhone was not reset during meet up, quickly go to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Make sure they are turned off or if it’s turned on, ask the seller to turn it off.
9. Check if the iPhone is SIM-FREE or Lock to certain carriers
Depends on your plan to use the iPhone, but getting a SIM-Free iPhone is the best choice. SIM-Free means the iPhone is unlocked and free to be used with any telecommunication operator world-wide.
If you are getting a locked non-SIM-Free iPhone, make sure it’s usable with your choice of telecommunication operator, otherwise you’ll just buy an iPod with the price of an iPhone.
How to check if the iPhone is SIM-Free or not:
The easiest and dumbest way to check are by bringing two or more sim cards from different telecommunication operator. If all those sim cards work on the iPhone, that means it’s SIM-Free.
10. Check and Test Power Button, Home Button, Touch ID, Volumes Buttons, Mute Switch on the iPhone
Press all the buttons to see if they are working as expected. If the iPhone has Touch ID (iPhone 5S and after), make sure to test them as well.
11. Check the iPhone Charging port
Bring power bank in case you need it. Using the cable provided from the iPhone box, test charge the iPhone and see if it can charge. Test also the cable by plugging and unplugging few times to see if cable is still in good condition.
12. Check the iPhone Camera: Front and Back
Open the camera app, try to take few pictures from the front and back camera. Make sure both camera are working and no blurry images. Test the camera flash as well to see if it’s working.
13. Check the iPhone Sound, Speaker and Headphone Jack
Next thing to check is the iPhone sound. You don’t need a music file or download Spotify for this reason. You can simply go to Settings > Sound. Play the sounds. If you are able to hear something, that means the speaker is ok.
Put your headphone to the headphone jack (or headphone that comes with the iPhone), if sounds come out, that means headphone jack is also ok.
14. Check the Vibration
While checking the iPhone sound, you can also check the iPhone vibration here on Settings > Sound. Activate the “Vibrate on Ring”. If you feel some vibration, then the iPhone vibration function is working fine.
15. Test the iPhone phone functionality: Try to make a phone call
You are buying an iPhone which is a phone, so make sure the phone functionality works as the way we expect a phone to works. In case you haven’t put your Sim card, put it now. Dial number that you know and make a phone call. During a phone call, switch over to loud speaker, if you can hear the other party and other party can hear you well, that means both speaker, loud speaker and mic are good.
16. Check the Sensor
While making a phone call, test also the ambient sensor. Try to put your hand, covering the upper part of the iPhone, by right if the ambient sensor is working, the iPhone screen should dimmed. Now try to uncover it, the iPhone screen should light up again.
If above scenario is working fine, means the ambient sensor is working as expected.
17. Check the Gyroscope
On iOS 7 and above, scroll bottom to up to activate control center. On the upper right corner of control center is the screen rotation lock. If it’s locked, unlock it.
While the screen rotation is unlocked, try to put the iPhone into different position. If you are holding it in vertical/portrait position, rotate 90 degrees to the left and right, to see if the screen rotates.
As long as you can see the screen rotates, that means the gyroscope is working fine.
18. Check the Actual iPhone Warranty Status
In case you didn’t know, all iPhone warranty status can be checked online, even via the iPhone itself. Click here to open your browser and bring you to Apple Warranty Status check page. Enter your iPhone serial number. Go to Settings > General > About > Serial Number. Tap on it to copy the serial number.
If the iPhone is still covered with warranty, the status should be green and the site will show you the estimated date of the warranty expiry.
Match the date with the one you get from seller. If matched with what the seller is saying, then warranty-wise, your iPhone is good.
19. Check iPhone Serial Number / IMEI and Match it with the iPhone box
This is not something mandatory as long as all the previous steps are fine. It’s rather a step to know the background of the iPhone.
If the iPhone serial number tally with the box, that means it’s the same iPhone that the seller purchased before. If somehow the iPhone serial number is different with what stated on the box, you can ask the seller why they are different. As long as the seller answer satisfied you, continue to the next step.
20. Make the Actual Purchase and Ask for Personal Warranty
Things you can’t really check during the meet up:
21. Battery life
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