Buying used tech is a great way to save money, while still getting a quality device. Swappa has a strict no-junk policy and we verify listings before they go live, in order to ensure that you always get a fully-functional device that’s ready for activation. And now with Swappa Local, we make it easier than ever to get next-day delivery on all the best tech deals, sent straight to your door.
No matter where you bought your phone, it’s always a good idea to inspect it as soon as you receive it, in order to make sure that everything is in working order. Here’s a quick checklist that you should run through when getting a newish phone.
Used phone and tablet buyer checklist
✅ Check for physical damage on the device body and screen
Swappa requires that sellers provide listing verification images in order to ensure that you get a device that’s fully functional and doesn’t have a cracked screen or major damage. However, it’s always a good idea to carefully inspect your device once you get it, and make sure that it matches the listing images.
- Carefully inspect the screen for any cracks or defects
- Check the device body for dents and defects that were not advertised
✅ Make sure the device is erased and not linked to the seller’s online account
Next, make sure the phone is factory reset and no longer tied to an iCloud or Google account. On iPhones, make sure the seller turned off the Activation Lock, so you can set up the phone with your information.
✅ Activate the device
After verifying that the device is not tied to the seller’s account, we’ll want to make sure that your phone or 4G/5G-enabled tablet can connect to your wireless network.
Make sure your device is fully powered off, then insert your SIM card and power on the device. If the SIM card works with your device and you’re in an area with good reception, the network indicator in the top-right corner should display a few signal bars within about 20-30 seconds. Learn how to remove or switch a SIM card on an iPhone.
✅ Make a test call
After activating your phone or 4G/5G-enabled tablet, make a test call or use cellular data. A test call on a phone is great because it allows you to test a lot of phone features, including the activation status, the ability to make calls, the speaker, the microphone, etc. Put the person you’re calling on speakerphone too to check the sound quality.
✅ Check the Wi-Fi connection
Next, connect to your home Wi-Fi network and browse the web or watch a few YouTube videos to make sure that the Wi-Fi radio works as expected.
✅ Charge the device
If the device you purchased included a charger, try plugging it in and charging your device. If it was sold without a charger, use your own charger to test your device’s charging port and make sure the battery charges as expected.
✅ Take pictures and record a video
Test the camera and take pictures with the front and rear cameras. Make sure the camera works and there are no artifacts or discoloration that shouldn’t be there. Next, take a video to test the camera and microphone quality.
✅ Test audio playback
Check the sound from your device with and without headphones to make sure that everything works as expected. Be sure to check both volume buttons and the mute switch, if your device has one.
✅ Check additional functionality
In addition to the basics above, you may also want to test some additional features:
- Connect to a Bluetooth device to make sure the Bluetooth radio works
- Test GPS by firing up Google Maps or Apple Maps
- Set up and test the fingerprint sensor (e.g. Touch ID) if your device has one
- Set up and test Face ID if your device uses face authentication instead
What if there’s an issue?
Swappa verifies listings before they go live to prevent issues before they happen. But if something slipped through the cracks and you need to contact the seller, please reach out on your private sale page and click the “Swappa I need Help!” button to alert our team that there’s an issue. This ensures Swappa staff is kept in the loop, and helps us better resolve disputes should they arise.
Swappa is the safest and easiest way to buy and sell gently used tech online. Whether you buy from the standard Swappa Marketplace or you choose next-day delivery with Swappa Local, we do all the hard work, so you don’t have to. We run ESN / IMEI checks to make sure that devices aren’t blocklisted or marked lost or stolen, and our strict no-junk policy means you’ll always get the best deals on a fully functional device. Then, real people verify listings before they go live to make sure that everything is as described.
So what are you waiting for? Click below to browse the best tech deals on Swappa!