Read This Before Purchasing a Device Online

iPhone smartphone unable to activate

New Vs. Used

If you’re considering buying a used device online, read this first! You’re a resourceful person, so you know that it’s wise to consider Pre-Owned before shelling out “Brand New” cash. Depending on the item you’re looking to buy, used can be every bit as useful as new at close to half the cost. The same can be said about mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets. In 2023, there are endless places to find listings for used electronics such as Craigslist, Facebook and eBay, just to name a few. The advantages of buying used are real such as lower costs, no sales tax, and avoiding the crowds at the big box store. As a bonus, buying used keeps one more device out of our landfills.

8 pitfalls to avoid

At our retails stores, we receive calls almost daily from customers who have purchased a mobile device, such as an Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, which they are having trouble activating. While there are certain blocks we can help correct, many times even we cannot get around the obstacles. A seemingly perfect used device can be rendered useless regardless of what you’ve paid for it. Here is what to look out for:

  1. The previous user has forgotten to log out of an iCloud or Gmail account. A device which is security locked cannot be activated even if we force restore it.
  2. The previous owner has enabled an MDM or Mobile Device Management software on the device. Less common, but once again, this cannot be removed unless the login credentials are known.
  3. The device is listed as lost or stolen by the carrier. In the early 2010s, carriers got wise and started to track the device serial numbers known as an IMEI. If a user reports a device lost or stolen, it will be permanently disallowed to connect to the network.
  4. Devices exhibiting intermittent feature or function defects. Murphy’s law says that when you take your car to the mechanic, you will never be able to experience the issue to show him or her. Then on the way home, here comes that noise again. This can happen with electronics as well. Despite all your efforts to test every feature you can think of, it’s possible that something you didn’t test isn’t working.
  5. A worn or faulty battery. Check the device’s battery health. To accomplish this with most Android devices, you’ll need to install a third party app. If it’s an Apple iPhone, you can see this by going to Settings > Battery > Health. A battery below 85% will need replacing soon.
  6. Not receiving signal. Bring your SIM card along and insert it into the new phone to ensure it connects to your network. If a device is “locked” to a particular network and you attempt to use a different network, you will not be able to connect.
  7. The device was financed by the carrier but has not yet been paid in full. You will not be able to use the device until the balance is paid.
  8. Obtain a good contact phone number and email address of the seller. Some stumbling blocks can be gotten around with the aid of the seller.
Buy used but from a reputable company

It’s easy to see why buying used can be a little daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. There are many reputable companies out there which specialize in used devices. “Certified Pre-Owned,” or CPOs, are devices that are fully tested and guaranteed. Look for companies that offer things like a 60-point diagnostic test  and a money back guarantee and will offer to let you test the device with your SIM card before completing the purchase.

At All Mobile Matters, we offer CPO Devices and we guarantee them to be free of defect for 90 days. You’re welcome to browse our inventory or you can ask us to source you virtually any make, model, or size device. We also offer financing for orders of $250 or more. And of course, when or if your device needs to be repaired or protected, we will be here to help just like we have been since 2010!

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