Checklist after receiving a phone or tablet bought on Swappa

Checklist after receiving a phone or tablet bought on Swappa



Swappa makes it safe and easy to buy a gently used mobile device. We do everything we can ahead of time to try to ensure that every device listed on Swappa is fit for sale. Still, it’s up to you as the buyer to give your new, gently used phone a proper inspection as soon as you receive it to avoid any issues down the road.

Use these tips to help ensure you get what you paid for when buying on Swappa.

Physical inspection

  • Check the screen for any scratches or problems that were not advertised.
  • Check the device body for any defects that were not advertised.
  • Check for water damage. Although modern cell phones are water-resistant, there is no such thing as a truly waterproof phone. Each device has slightly different instructions for checking the “moisture indicators” so use Google.

Test functionality

  • Activate the device with your carrier on your account or SIM card. Do this very soon after receiving the device.
  • Make a test call. A test call should help you test a lot of things about the phone, including the activation status, the ability to make calls, the speaker, the microphone, etc. Put the person you’re calling on speakerphone too.
  • Take pictures with both front and back cameras. Make sure the camera works and there are no artifacts or discoloration that shouldn’t be there.
  • Record a video to test the camera and microphones. Makes sure the camera and microphone work and record properly.
  • Charge the device to ensure the ports and battery work as expected.
  • Check Wi-Fi to make sure it connects and works as expected.
  • Check the sound with and without headphones, including the up and down volume buttons.
  • Check Bluetooth, GPS, etc. Test out all the functionality on the device you can think of.

Other important checks

  • Check the ESN/IMEI and its status with your carrier. Even if the device activates, you want to try to make sure there won’t be any problems down the road, such as the device being blocklisted for non-payment.

    Note: If you bought your phone on Swappa, we already did most of the work for you. Swappa’s expert moderation team checks the ESN/IMEI number of every listing before it goes live. However, there is no guarantee that the phone you received matches the device we checked. To be safe, double-check it on your own with our free IMEI check to be 100% sure.

What if I discover a problem?

  • Notify the seller immediately. The seller will be expected to work with you to fix the problem and make it right.

No matter what, Swappa staff is always there to help. Our expert moderation team is available 24/7/365, and our average response time is measured in minutes, not hours or days. We work hard to make Swappa the safest and easiest way to buy and sell used tech, ensuring that things go smoothly for both buyers and sellers.

So what are you waiting for? Click the button below to join the millions of satisfied community members who use Swappa every year!