BY ANTHONY NLEBEM
Buying a used phone online can cost less, but the big question for buyers is how safe these phones are.
These phones will feature your everyday essentials, like photo editing, gaming and video streaming tools.
But there are other important features to keep in mind if you want the best phone for your money and you want to stay safe when you get it.
Here are three tips on how to safely buy a used phone, whether you want an iPhone ($500 at Best Buy) or an Android phone.
Buy from a trusted source
Not every phone dealer has your best interests at heart, so it’s important to be savvy when you are shopping for a phone online.
I will advise you to buy from reputable online retail stores. Some of these are sold by refurbishing companies that deal solely in buying and selling used handsets. Others are regular people trying to offload their old devices when they upgrade.
My best advice though is to go to trusted companies that buy old phones, refurbish them and sell them.
Check phone details
Even if you are buying from any of the trusted online retail stores, it’s important to pay close attention to what you are getting. Read the listing carefully, including any small print that might be hidden further down among other details. It may be that phrases like “nonfunctioning” or “battery faulty” are intentionally buried to trick people into buying a phone that no longer works. They’ll also likely explain whether you’re getting the original charging cable, packaging and what sort of nicks and scratches you can expect.
For instance, if a new Android phone is sold for N200,000, and you find the used one for N20,000, it means something fishy is going on.
Buy phones with security updates
Do not buy a phone that no longer gets security updates from its manufacturer. Unsupported phones are open to all kinds of vulnerabilities that can give hackers easy access to every single piece of information on your handset — or even control it completely.
Most Android phone manufacturers support their handsets for two to three years.
Outdated software makes the phones vulnerable, and it’s simply not advisable to continue using phones outside their support period.
Your best bet is to look at phones that came out within the last two years and are therefore likely still receiving security updates. When you find a phone that suits you, search the model name and try and find out if it’s still getting updates.
Before making payment, ensure you factory-reset the phone yourself and check all the available software.