How to Check a Used iPhone’s Condition: A Detailed Inspection Checklist

Buying a brand-new iPhone can be a huge investment, so many people decide to purchase a used one. To be fair, most people who own an iPhone take good care of it, using protective masks and foils. But we have a complete right to be suspicious about how the previous owner managed to use the phone.

The initial thing to do is to check the IMEI code through services like or just inspect the phone’s condition by looking at it. Still, when buying a used phone (or any other device), you should have a plan on how to estimate the condition, in order not to spend money on damaged one.

While it’s not easy to assess the used iPhone’s condition by just looking at it, here are a few things to consider doing when buying it:

1. When Initiating the Contact


Once you’ve found a potentially good phone, you’ll need to contact the current owner. Surely, you may have plenty of questions regarding the model and condition.

Initially, we suggest you ask if the phone was ever repaired. That may include screen replacements, battery changes, or other larger repairs. This can give you clues about the phone’s history.

Also, ask the seller to disable their Apple ID. If the phone is locked to another ID, it’s practically unusable, and you shouldn’t buy it.

2. Inspect the Phone in Person

Buying a used phone from someone you don’t know can be a challenge, as you have to do many checks before giving your money. First, inspect the phone from the outside to see if there is some physical damage. Check for screen cracks, body dents, and scratches. Even though they’re minor damages, they may affect the phone’s functionality.

The seller should allow you to turn the iPhone on to see how it works. Check for dead pixels, burn-in, or uneven colors on the screen. If you’ve already used an iPhone, you should compare the features to ensure the phone works on legal software and operating systems.

Make sure all buttons work well, including the volume and power, and eventually the home button on older models. Test the charging port to ensure it works.

Open the Camera app and take photos and videos in different lighting conditions. Check for blurry images or malfunctioning zoom. Play music and videos to test the speakers and microphone. Make calls if possible to ensure call quality.

3. How to Communicate With the Seller


This is probably the most difficult part of any sales process. Communication is a huge challenge, especially when you don’t really know that person.

Still, there are a few things to pay attention to, like:

  • Have an initial conversation with the seller to showcase your interest
  • Ask them about the details you find relevant for a used iPhone
  • Carefully listen to them so you can spot some suspicious behavior at the beginning
  • Don’t hesitate to ask more questions because it’s your money you want to spend
  • Ask to meet them in a public place, like a mall or a coffee shop
  • Be polite, and don’t let anything get on your nerves
  • Politely decline the offer if you don’t like the phone

Even though it seems like a normal thing, these steps will help you learn important things about both the seller and the phone.

First, if they’re not struggling to answer your questions, they’re probably honest with their intention to sell the old device. Second, they won’t cause issues if you want to check the phone in person.

Every behavior that makes you suspicious about their intentions shouldn’t be ignored. If they’re just pushing to sell the device for the price they gave initially, maybe it’s a red flag. If the seller struggles to answer basic questions like what the color of the phone is and how long it has been used, just run away!

It’s not worth investing your time and money, risking to get a low-quality and damaged phone for what seems to be a good price.

4. Additional Tips for Save Buying an Old iPhone

We already mentioned meeting with the seller in a public place. That way, you avoid risky situations like being robbed by someone who used the phone as bait. Also, public spots give a feeling of safety during the exchange. Remember, there’s no need to invite these people to your home because you surely don’t want some random seller to know where you live.

Don’t you ever pay upfront for a device you haven’t seen? Always stick to the cash-on-delivery policy so you can have enough time to inspect the phone, check for visible damages, and go beyond that. Don’t forget that you’re paying money for that device, and you don’t deserve to be scammed.

Also, we suggest you to always compare prices for used iPhones, especially the model you want to buy. That way you avoid overpaying for a device not worth the money.

5. Where to Find Reputable Sellers?


While this is quite difficult, we always suggest using official advertisement platforms so you can find sellers that match your requirements and preferences.

Don’t fall for social media offers that seem too good to be true. Also, don’t trust anyone who says they’ll sell a phone for a very low price, especially when they claim everything works properly.

Finally, you can stick to the Apple-authorized resellers who are also authorized to repair the used phones and then offer them to potentially interested buyers.

Final Thoughts

While buying a used phone always brings some risks, you can use our guide to avoid situations like being scammed or at risk.

It’s simple – ask questions, inspect the phone, and estimate if it’s worth spending your money on it. And don’t forget to follow the seller’s behavior, as it can say a lot more than the actual words.

If they seem suspicious and you don’t like the person’s vibe, just say thank you and look for another chance to buy an iPhone for a fair price.

Similar Posts