10 Great Places to Buy Quality Used Cell Phones & Save

Best Places to buy used cell phones samsung galaxy s8+ and iPhone 8

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If you’re in the market to buy a used cell phone, try some of these sites to save some money and get a quality phone.

To make your research easier, we’ve included pricing for a couple of the most popular used cell phones. We’ve also listed the number of phones each site had available at the time of publishing.

Our strategy was to focus on these two phones to get an accurate estimate of platforms that cell phones for less. Our research should apply to other makes and models of cell phones. 

In this article, we researched 8 different places where you could buy a used cell phone. We compared the price you would pay for both an iPhone 8 Plus and a Samsung Galaxy S8+

1. Ebay – Buy and Sell Used Cell Phones

We love buying phones from eBay. Their selling rating system of 0 to 100 is very reliable. We only buy from sellers who have a 98% positive feedback or higher. AND with higher dollar purchases like a cell phone, we always ask the seller a specific question about the equipment or their return policy.

If they don’t answer with a personal response, then we won’t buy. We make purchases using Paypal AND we fund our Paypal account with our Visa Debit card.

Paypal, Visa, and eBay offer buyer protection. If something goes wrong with the transaction they provide insurance to cover us.

Return Policy: Most sellers will state their return and refund policies on their listing. Additionally, eBay offers a Money Back Guarantee if you have a problem with a purchase.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Unlocked (Buy it now) 

    • Price Range: $350 – $450
    • Number of Phones Listed: 200 (64gb) and 100 (128 Gb)

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus (Buy it now)

  • Price Range: $179 – $270
  • Number of Phones Listed: 2600

 

 

RELATED ARTICLE: Best Places to Sell Your Used Cell Phone

 

2. Amazon

Amazon has a huge marketplace of 3rd party sellers. We like being able to read seller ratings from previous customers.

Cell Phone Insurance: Amazon offers Square Trade Insurance by Allstate. It is a 2-year policy (most other insurance policies are for 1 year only) and the price is based on the value of the electronics item purchased. Prices currently range from $6.68 to $160. There is a $50 deductible on all policies.

Amazon Return Policy: Although the policy will differ from one 3rd party reseller to the next, we’ve found Amazon’s Customer Service to usually favor the buyer. In the event that something goes wrong with a transaction, Amazon makes it easy to resolve issues and get refunds when necessary.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Unlocked

  • Price Range: $324 – $494
  • Number of Phones Listed: 127

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $289 – $639
  • Number of Phones Listed: $270

 

3. Gazelle – Buy and Sell Used Cell Phones

Gazelle not only sells used cell phones, but they also will purchase your old phone. All phones are certified and refurbished. They perform a 30 point inspection and phones that don’t pass won’t be sold.

Gazelle has a rating system on their site that is confusing. Each product is giving a star rating. But what people are rating is Gazelle’s customer service and product condition.

Their site has filters you can use to limit your search to the exact model and features you want. You can also control the price range you see.

Their selection at the time of this article was very limited.

Device Protection Policy: For an additional fee they offer a device protection insurance policy.

  • Device Protection Plans must be purchased at the time of sale & applies to all quantities of the same model in each order. So purchasing multiple phones saves you money.
  • One year of accidental damage protection.
  • Pays for repair or replacement of your device due to mechanical or electrical failure
  • $50 deductible and fully refundable

Clearance Section: One unique area on their site is the clearance section. This is where they have slightly older phones for sale at discounted prices. We saw some iPhone 7s for less than $299.

Gazelle Return Policy: Gazelle accepts return requests for 30 days following delivery. Just contact them at 1-800-Gazelle or use their contact us form. They’ll provide a prepaid FedEx or USPS label and issue a refund within 5-7 days.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus Unlocked

  • Price Range: $389 – $429
  • Number of Phones for Sale: 9

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus:

  • Price Range: $334 – $389
  • Number of Phones for Sale: 4

 

4. Swappa – Buy and Sell Used Cell Phones

Swappa is a platform for peer to peer selling. All of the devices listed include a 30-day hassle-free warranty. The battery life of each used cell phone is guaranteed to be at 80% or higher.

On Swappa sellers are listed by name and include a 5-star rating and number of reviews.

They also include a listing of recently sold similar items. Their seller ratings feel a lot like eBay. You can feel relatively confident when you buy from a highly rated seller that you’ll get what you paid for.

What’s interesting about Swappa is that sellers don’t pay a fee to list their products. And buyers may pay a small fee, but it’s included in the price.

All transactions use Paypal which means you’re protected by their buying and selling policy.

Swappa Return Policy: Swappa will repair, replace or refund; in that order, within 30 days after delivery. This does not cover accidental damage.

They don’t have a stated return policy so you’ll have to work with a seller if there is a problem with the device.

Phone Warranty Program: However they do offer a “Used Phone Protection Plan” from WarrantyLife. The insurance plans cover damage and repairs for one year and cost between $50 and $70 depending on the replacement value you choose.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • Price Range: $384 – $525
  • Number of Phones Listed: 9

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $227 – $399
  • Number of Phones Listed: 37

 

 

5. DeCluttr

Decluttr is based in Kennesaw, Georgia and was launched in 2014 by entrepreneurs Steve Oliver and Walter Gleeson. The duo also founded the UK’s most successful “recommerce” site, musicMagpie.

All phones are refurbished with a 70 point diagnostic test and inspection.

Used Cell Phone Warranty: They offer a 12-month limited warranty. 

DeCluttr Return Policy: There is a 14-day money back guarantee. And they also guarantee that the phone has not been registered as lost or stolen (clean EMI).

Extras: Each phone sold also includes a charging cable at no additional cost and they don’t charge for shipping.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus : https://fxo.co/7VZD (deep link)

  • Price Range: $469 – $639
  • Number of Phones Listed: 7

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
https://fxo.co/7VZI (deep link)

  • Price Range: $249.99 – $369.99
  • Number of Phones Listed: 21

 

6. CraigsList: Caution

We have purchased and sold items on CraigsList. In the past 10 years, we’ve only had a couple of transactions that were sketchy. As in, we had questions about how the person came into possession of the item.

If you’re going to buy used cell phone from an individual on CraigsList, be careful and follow these safety tips:

  1. Ask Questions: As with most platforms, we always start a conversation with the seller via email. If they won’t answer our questions in a satisfactory way, we won’t buy.
  2. Get A Serial Number: We push to have them give us the MEI/MEID so we can see if the phone is stolen or available to sell. If they won’t give this information, we’ll pass.
  3. Do a Voice Call: We also try to do a voice call to get a read on the person.
  4. Set a Meet Up: If all of these tests are passed, then we schedule to meet at our cell provider’s store to finalize the deal and insert a new SIM card.

We’ve noticed that prices on CraigsList tend to be 10 to 20 percent higher than on eBay. But there is room for negotiation, so see if you can get the buyer to drop their price a little.

Warranty: None

Buyer Protection: None, unless you can pay with an ePayment like Paypal.

Caution: Stolen or damaged merchandise could be sold on this platform.

Paying with cash gives you no protection.

But if you follow our advice and set some communication hurdles before meeting with the person you should be safe. We recommend going to a meet-up with a friend and meeting in a public place. Offer to pay with Paypal, Venmo or Zelle. If these payments won’t work, then pay with cash.

Why all of this caution? One of our son-in-laws bought a used iPhone and it turned out to be stolen and unusable for him. It was a costly learning experience.

Here’s the pricing we saw on Phoenix Craigslist – prices may be slightly different in your area.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • Price Range: $200 – $900
  • Number of Phones Listed: 35

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $270 – $375
  • Number of Phones Listed: 7

 

7. OfferUp: Caution

Offer-Up has more layers of protection than CraigsList, so we feel more comfortable making a higher dollar purchase there.

Their communication portal protects both buyer and seller. They also show a rating of both buyers and sellers (5 stars), how long they have been on the platform and any other items they may have for sale.

We have met much more reliable sellers on OfferUp than on CraigsList. And we’ve never had a question about whether the seller was the legitimate owner of the item.

Still, the same cautions apply with OfferUp as on CraigsList:

  • Ask Questions
  • Get A Serial Number
  • Do a Voice Call (this is a little harder on OfferUp because their portal initially hides phone numbers and addresses)
  • Set a Meet Up at your Cell Phone Provider’s Store

Warranty: None

Buyer Protection: None, unless you can pay with an ePayment like Paypal.

Caution: Stolen or damaged merchandise could be sold on this platform.

Paying with cash gives you no protection.

If you follow our advice and set some communication hurdles before meeting with the person you should be safe. We recommend going to a meet-up with a friend and meeting in a public place. Offer to pay with Paypal, Venmo or Zelle. If these payments won’t work, then pay with cash.

Here’s the pricing we saw on Phoenix OfferUp – prices may be slightly different in your area.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • Price Range: $338 – $680
  • Number of Phones Listed: 38

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $180-$400
  • Number of Phones Listed: 90

Find the best places to buy used cell phones samsung galaxy s8+ and iPhone 8

 

 

8. Facebook Marketplace & SwipSwap: Slight Caution

We have purchased several lower dollar items on Facebook Marketplace and SwipSwap Groups.

Of the three social media selling platforms (CraigsList, OfferUp and Facebook) this one seems the safest. This is due to the fact that your profile is accessible to people in the groups. Also, most SwipSwap groups have a moderator who screens all people who want to join.

Despite the relative safety of this platform, we still recommend caution when buying a higher dollar item in person.

Here’s the pricing we saw on Facebook Marketplace in our area (this does not include any of the SwipSwap groups that we are a part of) – prices may be slightly different in your area.

Caution: Stolen or damaged merchandise could be sold on this platform

Although it is less likely on Facebook. Paying with cash gives you no protection.

If you follow our advice and set some communication hurdles before meeting with the person you should be safe. We recommend going to a meet-up with a friend and meeting in a public place. Offer to pay with Paypal, Venmo or Zelle. Payments using Facebook Messenger Payments (learn more about FB payments) If these payment options aren’t acceptable, then pay with cash.

 

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • Price Range: $425 – $800
  • Number of Phones Listed: 5

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $220 – $500
  • Number of Phones Listed: 29

 

9. Apple Store Refurbished Phones

Buying directly from Apple is much more expensive than the other options we’ve listed. However, you do get the full Apple-Care warranty. You also will have an Apple certified refurbished phone which should be more reliable than other refurbished phones.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

  • Price Range: $729
  • Number of Phones Listed: 3

 

10. Samsung Certified Pre-Owned Phones

Samsung lists older Pre-Owned refurbished phones on their site. Each refurbed phone comes with a 12-month warranty and accessories.

They will also give you credit for your old phone (only certain models) of between $50 and $400.

Samsung offers to finance phone purchases for zero percent interest if you pay it off in 12 months. At MoneySmartFamily, we don’t encourage putting a phone on payments.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

  • Price Range: $550
  • Number of Phones Listed: Unknown

 

9 Tips to Win When You Buy A Used Cell Phone

At MoneySmartFamily we usually buy gently used cell phones at discounted prices. Over the years we have learned to evaluate our purchase based on these factors:

  • Network – This is changing but there are two different types of cellular networks: CDMA and GSM. In the US, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular use CDMA. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. Make sure you purchase a phone that will work on your network. 
  • Seller Rating: Does the platform they are selling on allow both buyer and seller to be rated? If so, is the seller rating close to the highest number possible? If not, we won’t buy.
  • Under Contract or leased? If the phone is still under a contract or lease agreement you won’t be able to reactivate until the agreement is fulfilled. This means the seller will need to pay off the balance or you’ll need to wait until the contract expires.
  • Seller Communication – When making a high dollar purchase we always ask the seller a specific question about the item, shipping or some other question. If the seller doesn’t answer or doesn’t give us the information we requested, we won’t buy.
  • Product Condition:

  • We look carefully at the photos. We like to buy items in pristine condition. Look for or ask about dead pixels, screen scratches, cracks in the case, water damage.
  • Warranty or Guarantee: Does the seller or the platform offer some sort of buyer assurance, return policy, or non-DOA guarantee.
  • Pay with a Card or Paypal: This offers yet another level of buyer protection. Most Visa and Master Cards offer some sort of buyer protection, insurance or extended warranty coverage. Get the details from your account.
  • Clean IMEI (GSM)/ MEID (CDMA): Is the phone stolen? An easy way to check is to ask the seller to provide the IMEI or MEID (serial number).
  • Language: Some sellers from China and other countries will sell phones set up with their language as the primary. For most models, the language can be changed pretty easily. Research your phone type and steps for changing the language to be sure you can do it.

 

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How to Check if IMEI/MEID/ESN is Blacklisted

If a phone has been reported stolen you won’t be able to use it. This is one of the most important steps to check when buying a used or refurbished phone.

You’ll need to get the IMEI and MEID and use the IGotOffer.com website to check if it has been blacklisted or if it’s clean.

On most Android phones do the following:

  1. Dial *#06# to see the IMEI/MEID number of the phone.
  2. Use iGotOffer.com/check-imei
  3. Enter the IMEI/MEID to the field on the link above. Make sure you click the captcha test.

 

On iOS Devices

With an iPhone, or an iPad with cellular service, look up your IMEI and MEID numbers by doing the following:

  1. Tap Settings > General > About
  2. Scroll down to find the IMEI and MEID numbers.
  3. Tap and hold either the IMEI or MEID to copy the number to your clipboard for pasting elsewhere.
  4. Use iGotOffer.com/check-imei
  5. Enter the IMEI/MEID to the field on the link above. Make sure you click the captcha test.

 

Phones That Work on all Networks

Several phone manufacturers have built phones that combine CDMA, GSM and LTE capabilities. Phones that will work all networks (US, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, AT&T and T-Mobile) include:

  • Motorola Moto G4, E4, and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and newer
  • Google Pixel
  • iPhone 6 series and XS, XS Max, and XR
  • iPhone 7, 8 and X generations: Verizon, Sprint and unlocked models work on all carriers; AT&T and T-Mobile units work only on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Now that you know all of the platforms, pricing and what to look for when buying a used cell phone, let’s sum this who process up.

 

RELATED ARTICLE: Phone and Internet Savings page

 

Price Chart Summary

We know all of this information can be overwhelming. So we’ve boiled it down to two charts:

Used iPhone 8 Plus High and Low Prices

Used iPhone 8 plus cost chart from resellers

Used Samsung S8+: High and Low Prices 

Used Samsung Galaxy 8+ cost chart from resellers

Conclusion about Buying Used Cell Phones

If you do your research and are careful in selecting a buying platform, you can save a great deal of money.

At MoneySmartFamily we’ve been buying used cell phones for years and have always found great deals.

We know we expressed caution about buying items on CraigsList, OfferUp and Facebook, but if you’re in a bind and need a phone today, these are the platforms to use.

You could also contact your cell phone provider and ask if they have any refurbished phone in stock. TMobile did this in the past, but they have discontinued that practice.

Do your research, and let us know what kind of deal you can get.

 

Author: Sarah Sharkey – Staff Writer
Founder of AdventurousAdulting.com

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