Author Topic: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?  (Read 4235 times)

Carless

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Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« on: June 21, 2017, 04:00:43 PM »
Hello all, I could use some input.  I'm planning to buy a used Moto G4+ for $200 CDN from a person on Kijiji and wondered if there was any advice?  Specifically, I plan to check that it's the right phone (ie not a different model) and that it is truly unlocked, are there any other potential issues I should check for?  Any reasons this is a bad idea?

Advice is greatly appreciated.

Stashasaurus

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 04:27:10 PM »
Hi there Carless,

You got two very important details right, here are some others from my list.

Ensure
To me this is a great idea as you get a new to you phone at half the retail price. Good luck on your phone purchase.
 



okobrien

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 07:47:15 AM »
Carless, I don't know anything about that specific phone, but I have only purchased used phones for the past 4 years.

I have noticed a few common themes with using these older phones.
The battery life generally decreases pretty rapidly and I have found myself buying replacement batteries for every phone. They seem to have software issues and crash more often. I have had issues with the charging ports and touchscreens.

All that being said, I don't know if I could ever justify spending $700 to $1,000 on a new phone, so I think I will continue to buy used.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


Daley

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2017, 08:52:15 AM »
Since Stashasaurus covered all the other major bits, especially the IMEI issue, Okobrien covered the battery issue, and you're actually laying hands on the device... about the only other thing that might be worth looking for is physical condition. Does it look like it's been physically dropped or abused? Check the screen condition, and look at the edge for any dings or scrapes that might be explained by dropping the phone on a hard/rough surface. Any phone that shows signs of a hard-knock life and significant banging around could have potential issues.

If all checks out and you do buy it, do a factory reset on the device before you use it. Personally, I hate phones that don't easily let you replace the battery (such as the G4+ you're looking at), but you might want to look into a battery replacement as well, and factor the issue/difficulty into longer term ownership. When you do need to replace it, try to ensure it's an OEM (actual Motorola) and not a factory aftermarket or counterfeit battery, and watch the following video to determine if replacing the battery will be something you'll want to undergo on your own or not:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_XCHBILrKk

acroy

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2017, 09:26:43 AM »
I have a g4+, bough a few weeks back for $160 from Amazon.

It is not worth the $$ over the regular G4 imho.
- I do not use the thumbpad unlock gizmo
- the 'better' camera is slower and worse to use than the standard camera
- normal web browsing etc is not noticeably faster than DW's G3

If you are going to use the thumbpad gizmo, 'need' the processor for games, etc then maybe it's worth it.

otherwise I suggest a 'normal' G4 brand new for about the same price.

Carless

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2017, 10:18:34 AM »
Hello and thanks for the responses!  In order...

Stashasaurus- thanks for the advice, you gave me some good pointers I've added to the list.  The fellow seems happy enough to have me check the phone out in detail so I figure it's probably good.

okobrien- I'm with you, I'd love a shiny, blingy new iphone/galaxy but it just doesn't make sense.  This one seems like it will work well for several years and I don't need anything super fancy.  I don't play games on it even.  Since my old one was super-cheap and marginally functional this will be an amazing step up.  I had to turn of javascript on my old one to keep it from crashing, which can make logging in at guest wifi a hassle.

I.P. Daley- I'm happy to replace the battery as necessary - my fujitsu laptop had the charging port die and I fixed that (involving soldering and lots of parts removal) so compared to that the battery swap looks easy.  I'll take a good look at the screen and test all the ports.

acroy- It's a matter of supply.  It may be different where you are, but if I buy a certified refurbished G4 the cost is $229 from canada computers, for a new G4 or used G4+ it's $300 , and for a new G4+ it's $400.  Plus 15% tax.  Prices on Amazon.ca are similar- to do better I'd have to do a remote used third party, which is much less trustworthy in my opinion.  That makes a $200 used G4+ I can examine in detail before purchase look pretty good.

Current checklist;
sim cart port/unlocked
visible damage/scratches
IMEI (not stolen)
microSD card port
headphone jack
GPS
Touch-typing works well
text and calling ok.
Camera
Charges from laptop using cable, and connects
can access wifi


HipGnosis

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 01:52:04 PM »
I just recently bought a refurbished Moto G4 from an Amazon reseller.
I've bought my last 3 phones as refurbished.  Always from well known and rated vendors.

catccc

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2017, 07:49:30 AM »
I have purchased used iphones from ebay a few times.  One time someone sold me an iphone and did not disclose that it was icloud locked.  It took some time, but I eventually got my money back.  I opened an ebay case, was told to ship the item back to seller, and when it was delivered, I would get a refund.  But the seller refused the package, so it was never "delivered."  I called ebay and they refunded me anyway.

This isn't a cautionary tale to dissuade you from buying used phones.  Just a tale that ebay's guarantee is good, so IMO, ebay is a decent place to get used phones, even if you can't handle them in person before the purchase.

Carless

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 08:21:17 AM »
Well, the deal fell through.  I couldn't meet before the weekend, so it got sold to someone else instead.  Thanks for all  the advice, and I'll keep it in mind as I keep looking.

powersuitrecall

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 08:25:44 AM »
It's not as nice, but the Moto G4 Play can be had for $210 CDN new unlocked (via amazon)

Carless

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 04:45:32 PM »
I can actually get that one for $150 before tax at Loblaws I think.  The lower resolution is off putting though.  I want something that'll be enjoyable to use for a few years.

Kwill

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 01:36:42 PM »
I bought a used Moto G via Amazon for 53, and when it arrived, it turned out it refused to recognize any SIM card. I returned it and bought a new Doogee X5S for 53 instead.

The Doogee freezes up occasionally, and it isn't as good at guessing the words I mean as my US Moto G is. On the other hand, because it's new it has a lot of features that the old version of the Moto G didn't have. So I have a 5" screen, dual SIM card slots and space for a memory card. As a bonus, I've dropped it bunches of times, and it always starts up again fine after I reassemble it. The screen is a little scratched now but not cracked.

Cassie

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 02:46:37 PM »

WE buy new phones from ebay. It costs about half the price of going to a store.

HipGnosis

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 07:00:17 PM »
The Doogee freezes up occasionally, and it isn't as good at guessing the words I mean as my US Moto G is.
Get SwiftKey (keyboard app).  My last phone was a Moto G (1st version) and swiftkey's word prediction is better than the Moto's.  I don't use it for 'swipe typing'.

Davids

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 08:29:11 AM »
I know buying used can make better sense (I.e. Cars) but there are so many good low cost smart phone options out there that maybe buying new is actually a better option.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 09:59:07 AM »
Just bought a slightly used Iphone5S for my daughter on ebay. I refuse to pay the prices listed for new smart phones and took a chance on used. It arrived in near perfect condition and works perfectly. The combined facts of it being used along with 5S now being "out of favor" made for very good pricing.

Kwill

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 01:23:21 PM »
The Doogee freezes up occasionally, and it isn't as good at guessing the words I mean as my US Moto G is.
Get SwiftKey (keyboard app).  My last phone was a Moto G (1st version) and swiftkey's word prediction is better than the Moto's.  I don't use it for 'swipe typing'.

Thank you! I'm downloading it now. One of the most frustrating thing about Doogee's word prediction is that it doesn't know the word "dear." If I try to start an email with "Dear," it consistently suggests "Death" or "Dead." I'm afraid I'll accidentally email a colleague or elderly relative with "Death" at the beginning of the message.
...
SwiftKey installed. I don't like that it wants to read my email, but already it is obviously better at word prediction.

Cassie

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 01:51:28 PM »
My son told me that some ebay sellers are selling phones that are useless because the inside that makes it work is missing. They tell you this somewhere in the small print but most people don't notice it. I don't know what happens when people try to return them. So I use the sellers that my kids know are reputable. 

Case

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 02:15:07 PM »
Hello all, I could use some input.  I'm planning to buy a used Moto G4+ for $200 CDN from a person on Kijiji and wondered if there was any advice?  Specifically, I plan to check that it's the right phone (ie not a different model) and that it is truly unlocked, are there any other potential issues I should check for?  Any reasons this is a bad idea?

Advice is greatly appreciated.

In my experience with buying used, 'economy' model phones, the main issue has been that they become quite slow within two years.  Obviously YMMV.

Carless

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Re: Buying a used smartphone- pitfalls?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2017, 08:22:44 PM »
This is the problem with my current phone.  *wah poor me! I have to wait 30s to take a picture*.  This is definitely a want rather than a need.  The truth is I have this cellphone ($70 when new) and an ipod touch ($300 when new- 6 years ago), and both are slow.  Neither can take decent pictures.  I can't net surf on the phone, I can't make calls on the touch, and the touch is becoming increasingly flakey.  I need a new internet device, so I want to combine them.  I want something slick and fancy, but it's definitely a frill.