The smart way to buy a used phone online

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– The time has come. I’m coming clean. I’ve had the S7 for two years now. And being someone that films the latest and greatest tech everyday, it’s gotten me wanting a new phone. The thing is, I don’t wanna spend $1,000 and I don’t necessarily need something that came out yesterday. So I’m gonna show you how
to buy a good, used phone. (light music) Okay, I’m buying an S9+. Now, I am not here to
tell you what phone to buy and I’m sure you’ll
sound off in the comments about your favorite devices
and what you would buy, but what I am here to do is to tell you the best buying practices
for a used device. The safest and most reliable ways. Before we get to any of that, though. You have to remember that
phones come out in cycles and there are better and worst
times to buy certain devices. So I hit up Chris Welch, a
reporter here at The Verge, and I was like, Chris, is it
a good time to buy an S9+? – [Chris] So there are pretty
clear timelines for when it’s a good idea or bad
idea to buy a phone. New iPhones come out every September so you really shouldn’t buy
one if it’s July or August. Samsung puts out the Galaxy
S at the start of each year, March or April. Then the Note follows
that up in the summer. Google does Pixel updates in October. In general, Apple and Samsung
both change their designs every two years. Then in between, there’s a more powerful
version of the same phone with better specs, nicer
camera, stuff like that. That’s what we call the S year. So the question comes down to: do you want the new
flashy design right away? Or can you wait one year
for the more powerful, more refined version of that same phone. Now Google is a bit different because the Pixel generally hasn’t
used the same design more than once. But maybe you’d be totally
happy with last year’s phone. You don’t need a neural
engine to browse Instagram, or a Snapdragon 845 to play Spotify. So in your case, you’d be totally safe to
buy the S9+ right now. And since it’s less than a year old, buying it used will save you at least $100 and still get you a great phone. – Okay, so we are in luck. It is a good time to buy a used S9+. But, where do you start? I mean there’s a million
different options. Personally, I always look at
eBay and Craigslist first. Craigslist can be a little
bit of a slippery slope. If a phone is stolen and
then you go to turn it on and the serial number’s flagged as stolen, you’ll be out the phone and the cash. And you’ll have no
connection to the seller. So for this video, I’m
gonna skip it entirely. But let’s have a look at eBay. eBay has a ton of listings and I went onto Samsung’s website to see what a brand new S9+ would be, it was around $840. So I’m gonna try to beat that. Now, for my sake, I’m
going to search by Verizon because that’s my carrier. There are unlocked devices, but you’ll have to do research on your own to figure out if they’ll
work on your network. I’ve looked through a bunch of listings and I found this one. This is the most promising. It’s a Samsung Galaxy
S9+, 64 gigs, for $549. For me this looks nice because
the photos are very clear, I can tell that there’s no
scratches on the device. Wow, they have a lot of five star reviews. 760 positive reviews
and only six negative. When a seller has a lot of
positive feedback like this, it’s usually a pretty good sign that they’re safe to buy from. Also when searching I’ve noticed a lot of stock photos used for
the photo of the phones, this is something you
wanna stay away from. It’s really important to see
your device in the photos and maybe that means
reaching out to the seller and asking for a photo
of a specific thing. Just to be sure that’s the
device and that he has it. So $549 on eBay. That’s pretty good but if
you know anything about me, you know I’m all about the deal. So I’m gonna keep shopping. There’s this website called
swappa.com that I really like. You’re still buying person-to-person so there is a level of risk, but there’s a lot more safeguards in place to ensure that you’re getting the device that you’re actually looking at. There’s a few listings
for the S9+ on here. They range from about 500 to $800. That mostly has to do with the storage but I’m looking for the 64 gigabyte model so it’s not a huge problem for me. I’ll be at the lower end. Okay so this one looks
pretty good, it’s $514. If you look at the photos you’ll notice that there’s a code in there. That’s one of the
safeguards that Swappa has. It basically is the code for the sell. So the phone that you’re
seeing in the photo, is the phone for that listing. I’m gonna scroll down, I’m gonna read some of the comments next. Maybe I’ll go in and I’ll
see who the seller is, if he sold things here before. Kind of all the same steps as eBay. Okay so this looks pretty good and another safeguard is that
Swappa doesn’t allow the sell of broken or unusable devices. Now since you are buying used, it doesn’t come with a warranty. So say down the line something
happens to your phone or it glitches out. You’re on your own to get it repaired. If you wanna little bit
more reassurance when buying a used phone, you might wanna look
at refurbished models. They come with a guarantee. So if there’s a defect down the road, they’ll replace the device for you. You can buy refurbs from
a few different places, including the manufacturer
and your carrier. But there’s also sites
like Gazelle or Best Buy. They often have cheaper prices on these. All right, Best Buy’s
website is a little confusing in trying to find refurbs, but if you scroll all the way down to the bottom where it
says buying options, that’s where you’ll see them. Now you can open-box online,
it’s a little more expensive, or if you got into the store,
they have cheaper options. But it’s probably because they want you to actually look at it and know what you’re getting
before you leave the store. So gazelle.com has
certified pre-owns as well, here’s an S9+, 64 gig,
through Verizon for $639. That’s cheaper than Best Buy, but it’s still not as cheap
as Swappa or eBay was. So buying a refurbished device
is definitely the safest way to buy a used devices. But, for me, I’d rather
have the cheaper price and take the risk. So Swappa is the most appealing to me. The price was the lowest
and although it doesn’t come with a guarantee, the seller
seems like he’s sold things on here before and he
has really good reviews. And I feel good about it. So I’m gonna go with Swappa for this one. And I’m gonna waive that whole guarantee so if something goes
wrong, I guess it’s on me. But what I will use Gazelle
for is selling my old phone. It’s not in great condition, but I definitely want it recycled properly and I no longer need. So you can go on their
website, enter some info, if it has scratches,
if it turns on at all, and then they’ll offer you a price. They’re gonna give me
10 bucks for this thing and free shipping, so I guess
that means lunch on Gazelle? (soft music) All right, so sound off in the
comments of your favorite way to buy and sell devices. And who’s got the oldest phone out there? Anyone got me beat? Also, like and subscribe. We’ll see you next time.

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