Buying a used iPhone - what to watch out for?

Buying a used iPhone - what to watch out for?

Buying a new phone, especially an Apple brand, is a big expense. For this reason, many people decide to buy a used model. However, this carries some risk. How to protect yourself against it? What to look for when choosing an iPhone from the secondary market?

What to pay attention to before buying?

It is best to buy a used phone in a reputable salon or second-hand shop. Buying a model directly from the seller, unless you know it very well, you risk a lot. The phones are pre-tested at thrift stores, and some form of start-up warranty is often provided. Analyze it at the beginning of your shopping journey.


A Find my iPhone lock can be placed on your phone if it is stolen. You can easily check it. Go to: and enter the serial number or IMEI of your phone there. Information about the blockade, which the seller did not inform about, is proof that he is not the owner of the equipment. You can read the IMEI number by entering the code *#06# or by going to Settings >> General >> This device. IMEI Pro is a website where you can find information about the phone's history, but the results will not always be 100% correct, so you can't be guided by them. The IMEI number must match the one on the box and phone case. However, even in this case, you should take into account situations such as iPhone repair. Then the number on one of the elements may change. However, an honest seller will inform about this, and thus also allow the buyer to decide whether he wants to take this risk.
This is not the only way to check if the phone has not been stolen. Another option is to enter his data, for example, into the free IMEI Pro service. It is a database of stolen, lost or blocked equipment. Try to always check your purchase in at least two places.

The originality of the phone:

Apple smartphones are often counterfeited. An untrained buyer can become a victim of such a situation. For this reason, be sure to check your operating system. It should of course be the original iOS. Sometimes it is replaced with Android, which is only stylized. A simple method is to determine if you see apps that match what brand of phone it is. For example, Google Play instead of the App Store is a pretty clear signal that everything is not quite right with this model.


In the case of iPhones, the issue of their battery is very important. Its degradation entails the need for costly replacement. Therefore, it should be checked. Fortunately, this is very easy. Just go to Settings, find Batteries there and enter its degradation options. If it's not 100%, don't worry about it. Over time, the efficiency will of course decrease and the level of 90 percent is acceptable in older models.

All parts from one model:

Another problem that a person buying a used phone may encounter is its assembly from elements from different models. For this reason, check that the IMEI number on the screen matches the one on the back body or on the SIM tray (depending on the phone model). Another option is to check the IMEI number at This will tell you if the number matches the model you want to buy. You will also receive information whether the smartphone is under warranty.


Fewer and fewer phones are simlocked, but they may still be available for sale. This restriction imposed by the Polish operator can be easily removed in the company salon for a small fee or completely free of charge. The situation is different if the phone was imported from abroad. Then the removal of the lock will be much more expensive. This is a problem especially if the phone works in a given telephony network available both in Poland and in other countries, such as T-Mobile. Mobile internet can also be a problem. The device can be adapted to work in such an LTE band. Then it is a completely unnecessary additional cost.

Technical condition:

You can assess the technical condition of the phone while looking at it. You will then notice all the scratches and cracks. It's easiest to see if the phone had a replaced display. Chinese substitutes will never be perfectly matched. In addition, they can change the quality of the image, for example by distorting the colors. Any problems with fitting, creaking, etc. should alert you.
Another thing is to check if the phone has not been flooded. The LCI sensor serves this purpose. With higher humidity, it turns red instead of white. In older models, look for it in the upper side of the housing. The newer ones are on the right side. It may also be visible after removing the SIM card.

Original items:

The original power cable should be included with the purchase of a new iPhone. Its absence may suggest an illegal source of origin of the phone or the destruction of the original. Purchasing such items in the Apple store is quite expensive and will greatly increase the cost of the purchase.


Currently, Jailbreak, i.e. removing the original protections imposed on the iOS system, is less popular than a few years ago. For many people, this is an element that protects their safety, which is why any changes in this area exclude the purchase of a given phone.
You can check many elements before buying a phone or before arranging an inspection. These include, above all, the IMEI number. The seller should take a photo showing the number in two points, on the screen and on the box or casing. You can check this information at home.
In the case of a more expensive purchase, it is undoubtedly safer to make it in a consignment shop. If you want to buy a phone from a private person, make an appointment with him in person and preferably go to this meeting with someone. You may find it safer to purchase second-hand items through one of the auction sites that have a buyer protection program.

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