Buying a used or refurbished phone on eBay? Not so fast

Buying a used phone can be a great way of saving Here's how to shop preowned and still stay safe, on eBay or elsewhere.

Curated via Twitter from CNET News’s twitter account….

The Galaxy S9, being a newer model than the S8, will likely continue getting security updates for longer. leads"> ($205 at Back Market), for example, is still listed on Samsung’s support page as getting updates, but it likely won’t be for much longer.

Some places to avoid should be obvious; don’t buy from the guy selling phones on a street corner, for example, but others can be hit and miss. eBay is a well-known source for buying anything used and there’s a huge selection of phones to be had.

Having a great phone that can handle gaming, streaming and take lovely photos doesn’t mean spending a fortune on the latest flagships like the iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Discuss: Buying a used or refurbished phone on eBay?

Buying a used or refurbished phone on eBay?

Buying a used or refurbished phone on eBay?

MusicMagpie’s product pages make it very easy to see the condition of the exact phone you’re buying.

Buying an older phone, used, can save you a bunch of money, but still puts some awesome hardware in your pocket.

It may be that phrases like "nonfunctioning" or "battery faulty" are intentionally buried to trick people into buying a phone that no longer works.

Make sure when your phone of choice arrives that you fully factory reset it yourself, and make sure to check for all available software updates before doing anything else.

But there are some key things to keep in mind if you want the best phone for your money and you want to stay safe when you get it.

If you’re keen to save some cash by buying used, make sure to check out our full article on the security advice you need to be aware of.

When you find a phone that suits, google the model name and try and find out if it’s still definitely getting updates, and if there’s an indication of how much longer it’ll get them for.

Most Android phone manufacturers tend to support their handsets for two to three years. leads"> ($128 at Back Market) with the latest iOS 13.

Buying a used phone can be a great way of saving money.

If you’re not keen on buying used but still don’t want to spend all your savings, take a look at our roundup of the best phones under $200.

I recently compared the 2017 Galaxy S8 to the brand-new Moto G Power and while the S8 performed superbly, it’s right on the cusp of being cut off from Samsung’s regular updates, meaning that it won’t be long before it becomes gradually less safe to use.

If you just want something to handle some casual WhatsApp messages and play Spotify on your commute, you don’t need flagship levels of performance. leads"> ($499 at Amazon) will likely fit you well.

Your best bet is to look at phones that came out within the last two years and are therefore likely still receiving security updates.

I’ll make this as clear as possible: Do not buy a phone that no longer gets security updates from its manufacturer.

Whether you’re buying from eBay, Amazon Marketplace or anywhere else, it’s important to pay close attention to what you’re actually getting.

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