10 things to check when buying a used iPhone

Purchasing second-hand electronics, especially iPhones, requires careful consideration and thorough checking to ensure you get a reliable device.

Here’s a detailed checklist to help you navigate the process:

Things to check before buying a used iPhone

Check the Condition

Credit image: iDrop

Before committing, ask the seller for photos of the iPhone from all angles, including close-ups. Look for any scratches, dents, discoloration, or marks, especially on the camera lens and areas affecting wireless charging.

Proof of Purchase

Request a copy of the original receipt to verify previous ownership and warranty status. Ensure the seller’s name matches the receipt and check the purchase date. If no receipt is available, weigh the risks of not being able to trace the device’s ownership history.

IMEI Number

Ask the seller to provide the IMEI number by checking Settings > General > About or dialing *#06#. Verify this number against the proof of purchase and use online tools like IMEI.info to check the device’s specs and history.

Serial Number

Similar to the IMEI, the serial number, found under Settings > General > About, can be used to validate warranty status and device specifications. Cross-check this with Apple’s coverage page for additional details.

Part Authenticity

Inquire if the device has undergone any repairs and if they were performed by an Apple-authorized service provider. Unauthorized repairs might involve non-authentic parts, affecting performance and durability.

Touch Test

Ask for a live demonstration of the physical buttons and touch screen functionality. Ensure all buttons respond correctly and basic gestures like swiping, zooming, and tapping work seamlessly.

Camera Test


Request the seller to take photos with both the front and back cameras and share the results. Ensure the images are clear and the camera hardware is intact.

Speaker Test


To check the speakers, have the seller play music or make a call with the volume at its maximum. Listen for any static or distortion. Test the vibrate function by placing the phone on a hard surface and listening to the vibrations.

Microphone Test

Verify the microphone by asking the seller to record a phrase and play it back, or by making a call to assess the sound quality.

Port Checks


Ensure all ports are functional. Ask the seller to test the charging port and, if applicable, the headphone jack by plugging in respective accessories.


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