What to Check When Buying a Used Smartphone in Nigeria.

What to Check When Buying a Used Smartphone in Nigeria.

The secondhand market is booming and people have found gems for cheaper prices through the secondhand market. We have to say we are grateful for the option. However, when you want to buy a used Smartphone, it is very important that you do a proper check to make sure you are not buying a problem. This is because although it is secondhand, you are still letting go of a sizeable sum of money to buy it. And if you are in Nigeria, you must know that an even extra check is necessary before buying a used Smartphone in Nigeria. 

So what are the things to check before buying a used smartphone in Nigeria? Let’s look at them.

Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do before you decide to buy a phone - whether new or old - is to do your proper research. Ask yourself why you need the phone and what type of phone will meet your needs. Then, you need to consider the realistic factor of price. For instance, if you need your phone for work, you might consider a more expensive phone with more advanced featured. 

But if all you need your Smartphone for is the usual and you have budgetary constraints, you can easily get something cheaper with lesser features. Find out the brand and model, the spec, the price and the right platform to get the phone. So, by the time you are geared up to buy, you are equipped with enough information to properly check the phone or to specify what you need. 

Check for Wears and Tears

The next thing you should check is the body of the phone. Sure, you are buying a used phone but that doesn’t mean you want something that looks like it was just taken out of a dumpster. Check for scratches, broken screen or body parts and any wear and tear on the phone. You should also check all ports for rust and test them for functionality. The side buttons such as the power and volume button should be checked as well. If it has a touch screen - which is practically most of the Smartphones we have these days - be sure it’s functional. 

Then you want to check the battery. If it is removable, open the back panel for the battery to check for rust or corrosion. You also need to be certain it’s not swollen as that will mean the battery is damaged. If it’s an in-built battery, check that there is no bulge at the back to indicate a swollen battery. And try to charge for a few minutes to see that it is charging normally and doesn’t overheat while charging.

Check the Specs

Now, this might not be necessary if you are able to confirm that you got the brand and model that you wanted. However, to further confirm, you can find general details about the phone on most Smartphones. For Android phones, go to Settings > System > About Phone (this might differ from brand to brand but that’s the general outlook). And for iOs, go to Settings  > General > About. 

Check the IMEI

Now, one of the things to check when buying a used Smartphone in Nigeria is the IMEI to be sure it’s not stolen. Remember that ignorance is not an excuse with the law, so you need to be sure not to have a stolen phone in your hands. How do you check the IMEI? You can check for this on the phone box or somewhere around the phone; search around the phone to find it. But if you can’t, you can get the code by dialling *#06# for both iOS and Android phones. 

Then go online and run the IMEI code through an online IMEI database that will help you confirm if the phone is stolen or not. Also, if you find the IMEI code on the phone and it looks scratched off, you should probably just forfeit buying the phone; the source is most likely questionable. 

Additional Caution

I thought to wrap up by adding safety caution because a lot of people have been victims of scammers or worse, kidnappers while trying to buy a used Smartphone in Nigeria. If you are buying from a physical shop with a business name and whatnot, you might not need all these. But if you are buying from an individual you met online or any stranger at all, please note:

  • Pay ONLY after you see and inspect the phone. Don’t pay before delivery, insist on seeing and collecting what you are paying for before processing payment.
  • Don’t share any personal information. In fact, it is better you don’t provide your home address for delivery. You should suggest meeting at a public place instead.
  • ALWAYS meet at a public place. Don’t go to their house or invite them home. Meet somewhere public. And it is not enough that it is outside, it should not be secluded. 
  • You can bring someone with you as a buffer. It will not only make you more confident to question what needs to be questioned, but the seller will also be less inclined to commit anything nefarious with two people present.