Buying Phones for Teens & Kids

Buying Phones for Teens & Kids

Shopping for a phone for the kids? We got you. 

phone for child on swappa

One of the most difficult decisions to make as parents now is when to get your teenager a smartphone. As a parent, you have the responsibility to shop wisely for their first smartphone. You also need to learn how to keep their costs down and to set straightforward rules to make sure your child doesn’t misuse the phone.

Today’s teens are increasingly adept at technology, depending on smartphones for everything – from texting you when their practice is running late, to taking photos and selfies, to looking up information for school assignments. Smartphone use has become common not only among teens but also among tweens. Smartphones seem to be as much a part of their life as schoolwork, practices, and extra-curricular activities.

How to choose the right smartphone

Buying your child’s first smartphone is a big decision, so make sure to choose one that is a combination of what your child wants and what you as a parent need. Be sure to consider the cost, the phone, the carrier, and the plan to see what’s the best fit. Luckily, Swappa is here to help. 

The cost of the phone. Like buying a car (or helping to buy one) for a teen, you want something that is reliable, low cost in case of accidents or loss, and also something they can show off to their friends without some type of embarrassment from Mom and Dad. Getting a low cost but popular and gently used smartphone is what makes Swappa so popular with millions of people nationwide. We work hard to make sure you are buying a dependable device right out of the gate. With the low cost and savings you can find on Swappa, you can afford to also get a popular or protective case to extend the life of their phone from accidents and maybe an extra charger or two to limit those “My phone died” excuses.

Which phone to consider that meets low cost and reliability with a side of popularity for teens? That would be the iPhone 5s. First, it’s an iPhone, so it will have access to all the apps that your teenager’s friends use like, iMessage, Facetime, and Instagram just to name a few. Second it has a very good camera on the front and back, for all the photos and selfies they will want to take with their friends and family. Third, it’s an iPhone.

As much as you want to teach your kids a brand name isn’t important, there are times in life when a certain brand here and there does matter when growing up and this is definitely one of them. With a 5s you also get great security in the form of Touch ID fingerprint scanning on the home button. If they have their 5s get stolen, the thief is not going to be able to get into the 5s to reset it and resell it. Plus, with Touch ID if you make it a rule that you have to be able to access the phone when you want as well, you can include your fingerprint as well as your teen’s to unlock the device.

iphone 5s fingerprint

The carrier is where an iPhone 5s beats so many other low cost phones out there. When you buy a Verizon unlocked (Model A1533) iPhone 5s on Swappa there is no carrier or plan you can’t use the 5s on. Unlocked from Verizon means that this device can be used with most US carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. This flexibility means you can shop for the best condition, storage space size, and color listings on Swappa to fit your teen without being locked into shopping in just the carrier selection you have a family plan with.

used iphone 5s on swappa

The plan. Just like the carrier, you don’t have to worry about a specific plan to go with your phone because with the Verizon unlocked 5s, it can go almost anywhere whether you have a traditional postpaid (contract) plan or a prepaid plan with your family’s carrier. This flexibility also allows you a teaching moment by putting your teen on their own prepaid plan with your carrier or a different carrier. If your teen is prone to using up most or all of the family’s data, you can help teach them budgeting by putting them on their own plan. With their own plan with their own data they need to be aware of, they will learn budgeting if they want to keep posting to social media or stream YouTube videos away from Wi-Fi (phone calls and texts from you won’t be affected).

Wrap Up

Deciding when the right time for your teenager (or tween) to have their own smartphone is no easy task. When you have made the decision that now is the best time for a smartphone, you can count on the Swappa marketplace to have a huge selection of gently used iPhones and other budget-friendly phones in different colors, carriers, storage options, and conditions that will work for you and your teenager.


And done! Now breathe, go look at a million baby pictures and try to remember when they smelled good. 😉

Updated on October 18, 2016 • On Buyer Tips