What to Check Before Buying a Second Hand iPhone

Buying certain things secondhand makes sense to people. Cars. Clothes. Houses. No one really sticks their nose up when those things are secondhand. But for some reason, second hand phones get a bad reputation. Maybe everyone is just so set on having the newest model, or perhaps it’s just because people don’t know what to check before buying a second hand or refurbished phone. We’re willing to bet it’s the latter. 

Obviously, we here at Frank are big supporters of buying secondhand, but we also totally get the hesitation. The unknown is a scary place! No need to stay spooked, though. We put together a list of what to check before buying a second hand iPhone. 

What to check before buying a second hand phone Frank Mobile

Battery Life

Battery life is a big thing to look for in a second hand phone. It could be in pristine condition, looking brand new from the box, but if it only holds a charge for an hour then congratulations...you own a paperweight. Every Frank refurbished phone has a minimum Battery Health of 80%, which Apple considers to optimal condition. 


You’re the one who knows what you’re willing to work with in terms of the condition of your new phone, so it’s not really about making sure it’s in PERFECT condition. However, you will want to make sure that you have a clear idea of the condition of your iPhone before purchasing it. Take Frank phones, for example, which are categorized into four conditions:

  • MINT CONDITION Refurbished iPhone: appears "as new" and there are virtually no signs of wear. 
  • GREAT CONDITION Refurbished iPhone: may have a small scratch here and there but overall it appears in great condition. 
  • GOOD CONDITION Refurbished iPhone: has more visible signs of wear, some noticeable scratches and marks.  
  • CHARACTER CONDITION Refurbished iPhone: has been put to good use, and has distinctive signs of wear and visible scratches.

We don't sell iPhones with cracked screens or camera lenses, so you don’t have to worry about checking for that. 

Is it unlocked?

A locked iPhone is going to end up costing you more money in the long run. If a phone is locked, it means it can only be used with the original carrier it was purchased from. Bummer, huh? To unlock it, you’ll have to find a place that provides that service and pay them to unlock the device. Paying more money for a second hand phone? Defeats the purpose a bit, doesn’t it? Luckily, all iPhone from Frank are unlocked when you buy them, so you won’t be tied down to a specific provider. Be free, butterflies! No one can hold you back! 


This might be the most important thing to look for when buying a second hand iPhone. If the device doesn’t come with some type of warranty, it probably means the person/company selling it doesn’t have faith it’ll work. It also puts you at risk. What happens if you buy a second hand phone (with no warranty) and a week later it stops working? You have to start the process all over again and spend even more money. Gross. No thanks. That’s why it’s so important to look for a second hand phone that comes with a warranty. 

Psst...over here. 

All Frank phones come with a one year warranty, covering all technical issues with things like the camera and speakers. For a full twelve months after you buy your phone, you can make a claim with Frank and we’ll provide you with a new phone or fix the device. Careful, though. Our warranty doesn’t cover any damage you inflict on the phone. So...probably worth investing in a protective case.


Okay we sorta lied in the warranty part. Honesty is the most important thing to look for when buying a second hand phone. If you can’t get answers to all of your questions, then it might be time to look somewhere else. Sellers that are honest about the phone’s condition, warranty, specs, accessories, and everything else are the ones you want to buy from. You shouldn’t be waiting for the other shoe to drop. That’s never a good feeling. 

Buying a second hand iPhone is all about research. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Well, unless you’re looking at Frank phones. If that’s the case, it’s all true baby. 



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