first_imgIf you’re a trend-setter and Pokemon Go Master, like myself, you like the idea of owning the latest and greatest mobile phone.In reality sometimes our budgets can get in the way of this goal, especially for those of us that prefer not to tie ourselves down to a contract to avail of the subsidized phone prices.One way to stay up to date without breaking the bank is to buy a used phone. Personally, I’ve bought a number of used phones over the years. Armed with the simple tips below buying a second hand phone can be a very positive experience. Firstly where to buy: The dealer, done deal, eBay, amazon the list goes on for online shops providing access to used phones. It really is buyer beware when buying from these sites as you can’t physically inspect the phone you are buying. If you are buying online and can’t meet the seller in person, make sure you buy from someone with a return policy in place. Not only does this give you room to return it if the phone isn’t as described, but it also is the mark of a good seller who is confident in their product.You can also buy from a specialised shop like Alphatronic. We stock used iPhones that all come with a warranty. When a phone is refurbished by a retailer it will be given a ‘grade’. Grades are broken down as follows;Grade A Phones – These phones are fully refurbished phones all parts that have been replaced are new and have never been used. Cosmetically these phones look like new with no scratches or blemishes. Alphatronic provide a 6 month warranty on these models. Grade B Phones – Any faulty or damaged parts have been replaced with new parts. The phone will likely have numerous minor scratches on the body and screen that you would expect to see on a phone from normal usage. Alphatronic provide a 3 month warranty on these models.Grade C Phones – The general condition of these phones will reflect heavy usage with scratches and possibly dents to the body work and sometimes scuff marks and scratches on the screen. We don’t stock grade c phones as we have found them troublesome.Two of the biggest problems people encounter when buying second hand phones are barred phones and locked phones. Here’s an outline of what the difference is between barred and locked phones.Barred PhonesThis happens when a person buys a Pay As You Go phone, or gets one free, or cheap on a contract or pre-pay tariff on any network and the person either:1. loses their mobile phone and reports this to their service or network provider. 2. has their mobile stolen and reports this to their service or network provider.The network provider then puts the serial number (the IMEI number for the phone) on a shared blacklist database. This list stops any phone on it from registering on any network. The phone is now no good to anyone; it should not be bought for spare parts and it is a criminal offence to handle it. If you find such a phone it should be handed in to the Gardai so that it can be returned to the owner as he or she may have some important numbers, text messages or pictures in the memory of the mobile phone.It’s common for people to abuse the insurance on their phone by selling it, then later on reporting it as stolen. That way they get a replacement phone whilst the person they have sold the phone to lose out as their phone will be barred and blocked.Make sure that if you buy a phone you register the phone with your network provider as if the phone gets barred at a later date you are mostly covered. CheckMEND is a service to help people avoid buying or selling stolen goods or disabled mobile phones. Every phone reported lost or stolen to a network is recorded for reference on using the phones IMEI number.Locked PhonesPhones are locked to a particular network so the network can subsidise the price of the phone to their customers. This allows the customer to pick up for the phone, often a high priced smartphone, for a cheaper cost than if they were to buy the phone already unlocked, which is also known as “SIM free”. This is vastly different to a phone that has been barred. An example of this is the popular iPhone 6 16GB, available from Vodafone for free on a higher tariff or SIM free from Apple direct €649, a huge difference.Unlocking is a legal process and involves removing the network lock on a phone so it can accept all compatible SIM cards. When buying a phone that’s locked to a network it’s always best to check first the price of the unlocking service for the model and network as prices vary. Also the unlocking process times can vary from 1 hour to 3 weeks depending on the model and network also.These tips should help you if you’re in the market for a second hand phone. Call to Alphatronic Letterkenny to see the phones we currently have on offer.By Sean Bonner – Alphatronic Repair TechnicianAlphatronic 38 Port Road, Letterkenny, Co DonegalContact me 074 9113445 or email [email protected] Technology: Alphatronics’ guide to buying a second-hand phone was last modified: July 24th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Alphatronicsdonegalsecond-hand phoneslast_img