Tech Talk

20 Tricks to Find the Best Deal for a Used iPhone on Facebook Marketplace

Jun 30, 2024 Jonathan Sizemore
20 Tricks to Find the Best Deal for a Used iPhone on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a popular platform for buying and selling used items locally, including iPhones. It offers the advantage of local transactions, but also comes with its own set of challenges and risks. Here are 20 tips to help you navigate Facebook Marketplace effectively and secure a high-quality used iPhone at a great price.

Setting the Stage: Why Facebook Marketplace for Used iPhones?

Facebook Marketplace provides a vast array of listings from local sellers, allowing for in-person inspections and direct negotiations. However, due to the informal nature of the platform, it’s crucial to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and successful purchase.

Tricks to Find the Best Deal

1. Set Your Budget:

  • Determine your maximum spending limit before you start browsing.
  • Helps filter out phones beyond your budget.
  • Focus on listings within your price range to avoid overspending.

2. Research Models:

  • Familiarize yourself with different iPhone models and their features.
  • Understand the market value of the models you’re interested in.
  • Knowing the specs helps you make informed decisions.

3. Use Specific Search Terms:

  • Use detailed keywords in your search (e.g., “iPhone 11 64GB unlocked”).
  • This narrows down the results to listings that match your criteria.
  • Saves time by filtering out irrelevant listings.

4. Check the Post Date:

  • Prioritize recent listings as older ones may be outdated or sold.
  • Contact sellers quickly to increase your chances of securing the phone.
  • Set alerts for new listings to stay ahead.

5. Look for Original Photos:

  • Listings with original photos are more trustworthy than those with stock images.
  • Photos should show the actual condition of the phone.
  • Avoid listings with blurry or unclear photos.

6. Read the Description Carefully:

  • Ensure the listing provides detailed information about the phone’s condition.
  • Look for mentions of any damage, repairs, or missing accessories.
  • Detailed descriptions indicate a more reliable seller.

7. Ask Questions:

  • Contact the seller to ask about the phone’s condition, battery health, and included accessories.
  • Inquire about the reason for selling and any warranties or receipts.
  • A responsive seller is often a good sign.

8. Check the Seller’s Profile:

  • Look at the seller’s Facebook profile for authenticity.
  • Check their other listings and activity to gauge reliability.
  • Avoid sellers with incomplete profiles or suspicious activity.

9. Meet in Public Places:

  • Arrange to meet the seller in a safe, public location.
  • Avoid private residences or secluded areas.
  • Bring a friend for added safety.

10. Inspect the Phone Thoroughly:

  • Check the phone’s physical condition, including the screen, body, and buttons.
  • Ensure there are no cracks, dents, or signs of water damage.
  • Test the phone’s functionality by making a call, sending a text, and using apps.

11. Verify the IMEI Number:

  • What is IMEI? The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique identifier for every mobile device. It's used to identify and verify the device.
  • How to Check IMEI: You can find the IMEI number by dialing *#06# on the phone or checking the phone’s settings under "About." Once you have the IMEI, use websites like Swappa or to check its status.
  • Why it Matters: Verifying the IMEI ensures the phone is not stolen or blacklisted, which can affect its usability.

12. Check for Activation Lock:

  • What is Activation Lock? Activation Lock is a security feature on iPhones that prevents unauthorized use of the device if it's lost or stolen. When Activation Lock is enabled, the phone is linked to an Apple ID and requires that Apple ID and password to be entered before it can be used.
  • How to Check Activation Lock: Go to the iPhone’s Settings > [Your Name] > Find My > Find My iPhone. Ensure that Find My iPhone is turned off. Alternatively, ask the seller to erase all content and settings on the phone (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings). This process will prompt the seller to enter their Apple ID password, ensuring Activation Lock is disabled.
  • Why it Matters: A phone with Activation Lock enabled is essentially unusable unless the original owner’s Apple ID and password are provided. Ensuring this feature is turned off prevents you from ending up with a locked device.

13. Test Battery Health:

  • Steps to Check Battery Health: Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health on the iPhone. This section provides information on the battery’s maximum capacity and peak performance capability.
  • Recommended Battery Health Percentage: Ideally, the battery health should be above 80%. Batteries below this threshold may not hold charge well and could require replacement soon.

14. Negotiate the Price:

  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better deal.
  • Use your research on market prices to justify your offer.
  • Be polite and reasonable during negotiations.

15. Look for Bundle Deals:

  • Some sellers offer phones with accessories like cases and chargers.
  • Bundles can provide better value for money.
  • Verify the condition of included accessories.

16. Beware of Scams:

  • Avoid deals that seem too good to be true.
  • Be cautious of sellers who pressure you for a quick decision.
  • Trust your instincts and walk away if something feels off.

17. Check for Returns:

  • Ask if the seller offers any return policy, even if it’s a short period.
  • This can provide some assurance in case the phone has undisclosed issues.
  • Document the agreement if possible.

18. Use Secure Payment Methods:

  • Avoid paying with cash if possible; use secure methods like PayPal.
  • Ensure the payment method offers some level of buyer protection.
  • Avoid wire transfers and prepaid cards.

19. Verify Unlocked Status:

  • What is an Unlocked Phone? An unlocked phone is not tied to any specific carrier and can be used with any compatible network provider’s SIM card.
  • How to Check if the Phone is Unlocked: Insert a SIM card from a different carrier and check if the phone can make calls and access data. Alternatively, go to Settings > General > About, and look for the “Carrier Lock” or “Network Provider Lock” field. If it says “No SIM restrictions,” the phone is unlocked.

20. Get a Bill of Sale:

  • Request a bill of sale to document the transaction.
  • Include details like the date, price, and phone’s IMEI number.
  • This can be useful for future reference or disputes.

Risk of Scams

While Facebook Marketplace offers a convenient platform for buying used iPhones locally, it also carries the risk of scams. Common scams include selling stolen phones, misrepresenting the phone’s condition, or using fake photos and descriptions. To avoid falling victim to these scams, always verify the phone’s IMEI, meet in public places, and trust your instincts if something feels off.

Introducing UpTrade

While Facebook Marketplace can be a good place to find used iPhones, the risks and uncertainties involved can be significant. UpTrade offers a safer and more reliable alternative with its certified refurbished phones. Here’s how UpTrade works:

Certified Refurbished Phones:

  • UpTrade specializes in certified refurbished phones that undergo comprehensive inspection and refurbishment to meet high-quality standards. This ensures you get a phone that works like new without the high price tag.

Certified Sellers:

  • UpTrade only lists phones from certified sellers who adhere to strict refurbishment protocols. Trusted sellers such as Amazon and Gazelle are among those certified by UpTrade, ensuring reliability and quality.

Easy Price Comparison:

  • UpTrade’s platform allows you to easily compare prices from various certified sellers. This transparency helps you find the best deals without the hassle of scouring multiple websites.

For a hassle-free experience and to find the best deals on certified refurbished iPhones, visit UpTrade.

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© 2022 UpTrade Networks Inc. All Rights Reserved