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Should I Buy a Used iPhone?

TipTop's picture
March 7, 2024
a used and new iPhone side by side on a desk

In the realm of smartphones, Apple's iPhone stands out for its innovation, design, and longevity. However, new iPhones can be expensive, prompting potential buyers to consider purchasing a used model.

It's important to weigh the pros and cons of going down this path as you would with any other purchase. We've laid out some of the most important things to think about when coming to grips with this.

Pros of Buying a Used iPhone:

  1. Cost Savings: The most compelling reason to buy a used iPhone is the cost savings. A new iPhone can set you back a significant amount, whereas a used model can be much more affordable, offering similar functionality at a fraction of the price.
  2. Environmental Impact: Purchasing a used iPhone is a more environmentally friendly option. By extending the life of an existing device, you reduce e-waste and the demand for new raw materials used in manufacturing.
  3. Depreciation: New electronics, including iPhones, depreciate rapidly. A used iPhone has already undergone its most significant depreciation, so if you decide to resell it later, the loss in value will be less drastic compared to a new device.
  4. Refurbished Options: Many used iPhones are refurbished, meaning they have been professionally inspected, repaired, and restored to a condition close to new. Refurbished iPhones often come with a warranty, providing additional peace of mind.
  5. Longevity: Apple supports iPhones far longer than competing manufacturers do -- often providing software updates for 7 years.

Cons of Buying a Used iPhone:

  1. Battery Life: One of the main concerns with used iPhones is battery life. Batteries degrade over time, and a used iPhone may not hold a charge as well as a new one. However, battery replacement can mitigate this issue, albeit at an additional cost.
  2. Wear and Tear: Used iPhones may come with cosmetic blemishes or minor damage. While this does not necessarily affect functionality, it can be a downside for those who prefer a pristine device.
  3. Outdated Technology: Depending on the age of the used iPhone, it may not support the latest iOS updates or features. This could limit access to new apps and functionalities, affecting the overall user experience.
  4. Lack of Warranty and Support: Unless you purchase a certified refurbished iPhone from Apple or a reputable retailer, a used iPhone may not come with a warranty. This means any faults or issues that arise will be your responsibility to fix.
  5. Risk of Scams: Buying a used iPhone from an unverified source carries the risk of scams. The device could be stolen, locked, or not as advertised, leading to potential headaches and additional expenses.

Purchasing a used iPhone can be a smart financial decision and an eco-friendly choice. However, it's essential to weigh the potential downsides, such as battery life, wear and tear, and the lack of warranty.

If you decide to go ahead, ensure you buy from a reputable source, check the device thoroughly, and consider opting for a refurbished model to minimize risks. By doing your homework and understanding the trade-offs, you can find a used iPhone that meets your needs and saves you money.

One of the major reasons we created TipTop was to make sure that people had a simple, easy option when trading in or selling their devices. There’s just too much nonsense out there.

TipTop is an app that lets you instantly sell the electronics that you own. Things like iPhones, tablets, computers and more. You can sell any devices in our catalog within minutes of downloading the app.

It’s way easier than options like marketplaces or other trade-in programs and there’s a clear price. You can bring your device to a local UPS drop off or (and this is super cool) we even have an Uber courier option to come pick up your item within 30 minutes.

You can try TipTop here.