Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

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BHawks87
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Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by BHawks87 »

Has anyone bought phones off of Swappa? There are phones that have a few scratches on them for 40ish% off on a phone that is only a year old. The only thing I am worried about is the battery but can a phones battery really be that bad after only a year of use? Has anyone had good or bad experiences using Swappa to buy used phones?
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tarnation
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by tarnation »

I have e bought from swappa , but mine was new condition. Had fine experience. I recall them having a tutorial on how to check deals including checking the moisture indicators built into iPhones.
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zimmer0
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by zimmer0 »

It will be hit or miss with how the previous owner's charging habits were.
purchased a samsung galaxy s4 off swappa few years back. Thankfully it had a removable/replaceable battery so i didnt have this issue. Have since dumbed down my phone requirements and utilize the Moto G Series for ~250-300 bnib. Phones have certainly become cheaper if you stay away from the flagship models and even buying the unlocked phones whether its LG/HTC/Moto/Google.
Certainly you have a used phone business around you that may offer some sort of warranty if performance is not up to snuff.
mega317
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by mega317 »

Swappa made me a little nervous. I had a good experience with Gazelle which has a 30 day return policy.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
BrownEyedGirl_27
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

Have bought 2 unlocked iPhone 8s at two different times for reasonable prices, great site!

I go for the mint condition phones that are a year old or slightly older. My phone had 96% battery life when I received it and it came exactly as described, including the charger and cable in the box. When you're using the site just look for sellers that have had multiple highly-rated sales and you should be good to go (I think my seller had 14 5-star reviews. Read every review).

I love using PayPal on Swappa and having the confidence of getting my money back if the items aren't as advertised. I have no problem using this site and I like that you can comment on the items and ask specific questions before you click 'buy.'
"Your mind has a mind of its own. At the very moment when you are most convinced of your own rationality, you may be feeling rather than thinking your way toward a decision.” | Jason Zweig
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

I've had good luck with mine which was mint new-old stock. $125 for a Google Pixel.
atikovi
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by atikovi »

I imagine you would be be much better protected buying on Ebay with their buyer protection and backed up with Paypal purchase protection for 180 days. You so much as say the color isn't as described, you can get your money back.
mogg
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by mogg »

I've bought 4 phones on Swappa. I'm willing to accept scratches for lower prices.

As you mention, battery life can be a concern although it has not been a problem for me. For iPhones, the listing should display what IOS thinks the battery life is.

For android, you might look for a phone with a user replaceable battery, though they tend to be older phones.
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DameTime
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by DameTime »

No issues buying or selling on Swappa x 3. Look at the pictures carefully. Most sellers seem to have good return policies and are motivated to maintain high ratings/positive feedback.
92irish
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by 92irish »

Couple good experiences, one bad. The bad involved a “blacklisted” phone that could not be set up on my carrier. Could have been a stolen phone or the owner did not pay the contract so the carrier bricked it. Either way I had a phone that was worthless to me and the seller jerked me around until I got PayPal involved. Swappa did nothing other than send some messages to seller. Eventually I got a refund after a few weeks of dealing with a loser seller. Be careful about the seller (just like eBay) and use PayPal or other method to avoid getting scammed.
anoop
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by anoop »

Battery can be bad after one year of use depending on how many cycles it’s been through and the kind of temperatures the phone was subject to.

If looking for Apple phones definitely check out the official refurbished store.
https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/iphone
inbox788
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by inbox788 »

Not anymore. Last purchase was in worse condition than described and photos didn’t reveal problems. Only recourse was to try to go thru the hassle of returning the phone. It was easier for me to just get rid of it locally. Nowadays, listings are full of used phone recyclers selling in bulk, so even the photos are often generic. Avoid.
jjface
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by jjface »

atikovi wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 5:59 pm I imagine you would be be much better protected buying on Ebay with their buyer protection and backed up with Paypal purchase protection for 180 days. You so much as say the color isn't as described, you can get your money back.

swappa uses paypal. Same protection
jjface
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by jjface »

I think swappa is the best place to buy used. But it isn't fool proof so do your due diligence on the item for sale and the seller and ask questions. If it looks like a scratch in the photo it probably is. Zoom in and take a good look. You have paypal protection so it is easy enough the get your money back if it goes wrong as a buyer.

I too dislike the way resellers have populated swappa so avoid those unless they are willing to discuss a particular phone for sale rather than a bulk listing. Resellers at least give you no hassle with returns usually.

1yr old phones should still have decent battery life. Generally the more smashed up the phone looks the harder they used it too. If it looks in good condition chances are the battery will be too.

What phone are you looking for? Often you can pick up phones new for cheap if you know where to look.

Also check out bestbuy as they have some as new listings for up to 20% or so off that are usually decent.
Momus
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by Momus »

Bought at least 5-6 phones used at eBay. always cheaper than Swappa. eBay has money back guarantee. Never a problem. They back buyers 99% of the time.

I am an eBay seller with 200+ sales.
sd323232
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by sd323232 »

Momus wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 3:22 am Bought at least 5-6 phones used at eBay. always cheaper than Swappa. eBay has money back guarantee. Never a problem. They back buyers 99% of the time.

I am an eBay seller with 200+ sales.
wow same here! i have been buying used phones from ebay for 7 years now, i always buy a Samsung phone two years behind the newest one for like 250 and upgrade every two years. the last note 8 i bought was in very good condition, only cost me 250.
Gufomel
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by Gufomel »

BHawks87 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 3:27 pm Has anyone bought phones off of Swappa? There are phones that have a few scratches on them for 40ish% off on a phone that is only a year old. The only thing I am worried about is the battery but can a phones battery really be that bad after only a year of use? Has anyone had good or bad experiences using Swappa to buy used phones?
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 4:15 pm Have bought 2 unlocked iPhone 8s at two different times for reasonable prices, great site!

I go for the mint condition phones that are a year old or slightly older. My phone had 96% battery life when I received it and it came exactly as described, including the charger and cable in the box. When you're using the site just look for sellers that have had multiple highly-rated sales and you should be good to go (I think my seller had 14 5-star reviews. Read every review).

I love using PayPal on Swappa and having the confidence of getting my money back if the items aren't as advertised. I have no problem using this site and I like that you can comment on the items and ask specific questions before you click 'buy.'
Both of you mentioned looking at phones that are only a year old. Is there a way to tell from the Swappa listing how old that specific phone is, or are you just referring to how old the phone model is?

FWIW we literally just bought a phone on Swappa for the first time. An iPhone 7 Plus in Good condition for $195. The listing was from one of the large recyclers. Only have had the phone for a few days but we’re pleased. Has a fair amount of scuffing on the back and sides, but that’s as expected for Good condition (not Excellent or Mint). No noticeable scratches on the screen. Battery health is 92%, so it’s mid-life but not end of life. Phone seems to work with no issues. Definitely pleased so far.
atikovi
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by atikovi »

jjface wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 2:10 am
atikovi wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 5:59 pm I imagine you would be be much better protected buying on Ebay with their buyer protection and backed up with Paypal purchase protection for 180 days. You so much as say the color isn't as described, you can get your money back.

swappa uses paypal. Same protection
Actually two layers of protection when you include Ebay buyer protection.
RobLyons
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by RobLyons »

BHawks87 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 3:27 pm Has anyone bought phones off of Swappa? There are phones that have a few scratches on them for 40ish% off on a phone that is only a year old. The only thing I am worried about is the battery but can a phones battery really be that bad after only a year of use? Has anyone had good or bad experiences using Swappa to buy used phones?

Yes I have bought and sold multiple phones off Swappa.

My experience - LOVED Swappa at first when I scored decent phones for a good discount but quickly became disenchanted when I started receiving phones with problems which the owner claimed to have no knowledge of.

- One device had a problem with the earpiece.
- Another device had dirt/grime mashed into the mic and charging port, causing issues with charging
- Another was never paid off and AT&T locked it to the network so I couldn't unlock and bring elsewhere, even though it was sold as an unlocked device.


Beyond the issues was the back and forth hassle, and even when a seller accepted a refund I still had to pay return shipping (or split the cost).
The lost time and days without a device alone is worth buying new or buying from a better trusted source.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
atikovi
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by atikovi »

RobLyons wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 7:00 am
Beyond the issues was the back and forth hassle, and even when a seller accepted a refund I still had to pay return shipping (or split the cost).
Ebay would have required the seller to either send you a return shipping label or refund without requiring a return.
pjhalifax
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by pjhalifax »

I think it's worth using Swappa if you find what appears to be a quality listing ("quality" being whatever criteria you set - age of phone, seller reviews, good photos, good description). But your tolerance for small issues is also in play - how much would superficial damage that you couldn't see in the photos bother you, etc.? I like buying used phones because I can switch every 2 years and not feel like I've sunk too much money into the process. The tradeoff is the possibility of Swappa shenanigans, I guess, and my phones always look a little beat up. But overall I've had good luck and actually just made a purchase the other day.

I've had to return one phone when the item didn't match the description and the process was easy - the seller sent a prepaid label and I got a full refund quickly.

I do agree that the bulk resellers are getting annoying. I don't buy from places like that that only use generic photos.

Now, for my wife - she'll use a phone until it decomposes so we get hers new and never try the used route. Getting her a shiny new phone is a fun event because she certainly makes those things last.
bloom2708
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by bloom2708 »

I buy Mint or New with 100% Battery Health (iPhone) from swappa.

Have had good luck. Currently have 3 XS Max and 2 XR. For family of 5.

I look for certain resellers like "Adopt A Phone". Devices are very nice.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
jjface
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by jjface »

atikovi wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 6:34 am
jjface wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 2:10 am
atikovi wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 5:59 pm I imagine you would be be much better protected buying on Ebay with their buyer protection and backed up with Paypal purchase protection for 180 days. You so much as say the color isn't as described, you can get your money back.

swappa uses paypal. Same protection
Actually two layers of protection when you include Ebay buyer protection.
I guess but they really overlap 99.9% of the time. Easier to scam on ebay. Swappa requires you to provide a valid imei number for the phone you are listing which adds some extra protection.
BogleMelon
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by BogleMelon »

I have reasonable experience with some of the phones except 2:
- Was listed as Mint, came out with signs of wear and tear, worked with the vendor to get it refunded.
- Was listed as Unlocked, came out as carrier unlocked not factory unlocked "against swappa listing terms", the vendor was a beginner and gave me a real tough time, but eventually I got it returned and got my money back.

If you will use Swappa, do that:
- Make sure the vendor has at least one 5* rating. Avoid no star rating vendors
- Avoid dealers, they basically refurbished the phones and listed them as Mint or Good. Dealers can be distinguished as those with thousands or hundreds of reviews.
- Once you find a good deal, do it. I once tried to negotiate the deal, once the vendor agreed to the price and updated it, another seller was watching the conversation and immediately bought the phone before I have the chance to put my card information! After I have been negotiating it for 2 days, another one bought it! I lost the purchase and swappa could do nothing.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
Topic Author
BHawks87
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by BHawks87 »

Thanks a lot for all the replies!

I am thinking about buying a Pixel 3a but am going to wait for the Pixel 4a to come out later this month to see how much they drop in price. Also considering getting a Moto G7 Power which is new at $180 right now.

Anyone have either of these phones?
pjhalifax
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by pjhalifax »

BHawks87 wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:16 am Thanks a lot for all the replies!

I am thinking about buying a Pixel 3a but am going to wait for the Pixel 4a to come out later this month to see how much they drop in price. Also considering getting a Moto G7 Power which is new at $180 right now.

Anyone have either of these phones?
I can report on the 3a in a few days - mine arrives tomorrow. Ideally I'd have waited, too, but I'm replacing my broken Pixel 2 and needed a replacement sooner.
BrownEyedGirl_27
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by BrownEyedGirl_27 »

Gufomel wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 5:59 am
BHawks87 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 3:27 pm Has anyone bought phones off of Swappa? There are phones that have a few scratches on them for 40ish% off on a phone that is only a year old. The only thing I am worried about is the battery but can a phones battery really be that bad after only a year of use? Has anyone had good or bad experiences using Swappa to buy used phones?
BrownEyedGirl_27 wrote: Wed May 06, 2020 4:15 pm Have bought 2 unlocked iPhone 8s at two different times for reasonable prices, great site!

I go for the mint condition phones that are a year old or slightly older. My phone had 96% battery life when I received it and it came exactly as described, including the charger and cable in the box. When you're using the site just look for sellers that have had multiple highly-rated sales and you should be good to go (I think my seller had 14 5-star reviews. Read every review).

I love using PayPal on Swappa and having the confidence of getting my money back if the items aren't as advertised. I have no problem using this site and I like that you can comment on the items and ask specific questions before you click 'buy.'
Both of you mentioned looking at phones that are only a year old. Is there a way to tell from the Swappa listing how old that specific phone is, or are you just referring to how old the phone model is?

FWIW we literally just bought a phone on Swappa for the first time. An iPhone 7 Plus in Good condition for $195. The listing was from one of the large recyclers. Only have had the phone for a few days but we’re pleased. Has a fair amount of scuffing on the back and sides, but that’s as expected for Good condition (not Excellent or Mint). No noticeable scratches on the screen. Battery health is 92%, so it’s mid-life but not end of life. Phone seems to work with no issues. Definitely pleased so far.
The last time I was on the site they listed the year the iPhone was released. I searched by year, too, on the left hand side of the page and also by condition.

I’m glad you are pleased with the service. 92% is pretty good—my husband’s was at 94% when his arrived but his phone was also a year older than mine. I like buying the Product Red iPhones because they are released later than the original model. Plus I like the color!

P.S. —I’ve bought used phones on eBay and Facebook and had worse buying experiences there. I didn’t really know what to expect and there aren’t buying guarantees. It’s also nice not to have to pick up a phone in person with cash or have someone scam you on eBay. I also read consumer reviews on Swappa before going through with it.
"Your mind has a mind of its own. At the very moment when you are most convinced of your own rationality, you may be feeling rather than thinking your way toward a decision.” | Jason Zweig
TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

I have bought several phones on Swappa, looking for like-new examples of the just replaced model. Recently I bought a Pixel 3XL for $300, it was from someone who asserted they tried it and decided to go back to an iPhone. It was very mint and hundreds less that Google wanted.

I did have one example of an LG, it had a known problem with an endless loop of some sort, contacted the seller through Swappa and got a refund,
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
johnny
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Re: Worth Buying a Used Phone on Swappa?

Post by johnny »

pjhalifax wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:43 am
BHawks87 wrote: Thu May 07, 2020 11:16 am Thanks a lot for all the replies!

I am thinking about buying a Pixel 3a but am going to wait for the Pixel 4a to come out later this month to see how much they drop in price. Also considering getting a Moto G7 Power which is new at $180 right now.

Anyone have either of these phones?
I can report on the 3a in a few days - mine arrives tomorrow. Ideally I'd have waited, too, but I'm replacing my broken Pixel 2 and needed a replacement sooner.
Just purchased a Pixel 3a on swappa myself. Arriving tomorrow. This will be my 3rd phone purchase on swappa. Nothing bad to report. Once received a Moto X4 instead of a G4 by accident and the seller let me keep the X4.
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