Buying a phone from a source other than a cell phone carrier is a good way to save money, but buying from the wrong place or the wrong seller can be a waste of money. This particularly true when buying unlocked cell phones, or what are advertised as unlocked phones, from less than reputable sellers.
The good news is that it is now possible to buy unlocked cell phones directly from the manufacturer. This is always the best option as it provides you with a low-cost, top quality phone that is brand new and up to date on all the latest in Android technology.
However, people still choose to buy cell phones from risky buyers and through less than reputable companies. To help avoid these situations, here are three specific issues that are problematic when buying an unlocked phone.
Buying from an Online Auction Site
Many of the unlocked cell phones for sale on online auction sites are not new, but they are good condition refurbished phones. These phones often have some minor cosmetic damage, which can include scratches, dings and even more substantial issues.
Online auction sites are typically buyer beware, and there are limited to no options to verify the phone is in working order, or actually unlocked, until you have paid for the phone and the shipping.
Buying from a Private Individual
Buying from a private individual through an online classified or through a classified section in the newspaper is very similar to buying from an online auction site. You will be able to try out the phone in most cases, if you are in the same area as the seller, or you may have to wait until the phone is shipped to you.
There is always the concern about verifying ownership of the phone. It is possible to buy a phone and then find out it cannot be registered with your carrier as it is a stolen phone.
Buying Old Technology
Buying a used or a refurbished unlocked phone, even if it is in great condition and able to be registered, typically means buying old technology. Even six months out of date can mean that the phone doesn’t have the latest in graphics display technology or call features and quality.
Buying from a phone manufacturer that has phones that use cutting edge technology and can carry forward for use with upcoming technology is always the best option. This allows you to take advantage of the low cost of buying the phone, stay away from contracts with the carrier, and to also have the most advanced phone on the market today.