Replacing a phone in the middle of a contract is expensive — even if you skip over flagships for older models. Outdated phones still come with quite the sticker shock, adding electronics to the long list of things affected by inflation.
Most people don’t have a huge lump of cash sitting around to help them with a big purchase. While you can always rely on a personal short-term loan as a backup, you might find another way to afford a replacement device.
Try shopping from certified pre-owned phones before you apply for a short-term loan in an emergency. Below, find out everything you need to know about shopping pre-owned.
What is a Certified Pre-Owned Smartphone?
Don’t confuse a pre-owned phone with a used phone. While many people might use them interchangeably, they are two distinct things.
A used phone is simply a device that has had a previous owner. There’s no telling how long they had it before they decided to get rid of it — it can be weeks, months, or even years before they sell it over online marketplaces and classified platforms.
Sound risky? That’s because it is. While many trustworthy people sell their used phones online, all it takes is for one bad apple to sell you a lemon.
A pre-owned phone, on the other hand, comes with a lot more protection. Only items that have been returned to a carrier or manufacturer can claim this label. Carriers clean, repair, and test these devices to ensure they still run like new. It comes with certification that it will work according to factory settings.
How to Shop for a Certified Pre-Owned Phone?
Anyone can claim to have a certified pre-owned phone online, but only certain retailers can back it up. Here’s how you can ensure you’re shopping from legitimate pre-owned options:
- Shop from familiar retailers or manufacturers that offer warranties on their pre-owned products.
- Buy the warranty to get extra protection in case it glitches, or you drop your phone right out of the box.
- Double-check that it is certified, as this accreditation ensures it’s gone through testing.
Pre-owned options are often a fraction of the price of totally new electronics. However, it can still cost a couple of hundred dollars to buy pre-owned. If your savings account hasn’t reached this size yet, you can try your hand at short-term loans.
Borrowing a short-term loan is a lot like buying a pre-owned one. You want to make sure you’re dealing with legitimate online loan companies to ensure you’re getting a genuine personal loan designed for emergencies.
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Your Smartphone Dies Before Your Contract Ends
When you signed this contract, you assumed the phone would last the whole time. You didn’t imagine your phone would take a dip in the lake or shatter on the sidewalk. But here you are, mourning the loss of your phone months before the contract runs out.
Replacing this phone is a priority, especially if it’s the only connection to the outside world for loved ones, medical appointments, or work. But buying a new phone outright is probably outside your budget right now.
Short-term loans provide a safety net for when you have no other options. Keep this in mind if buying pre-owned doesn’t lower your price enough.