Used Samsung Galaxy phones: How to buy or trade

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Buying a used or refurbished Samsung Galaxy phone is one of the easiest ways to save money on a new mobile phone purchase, whether it’s because of a cracked screen or simply because it’s time to upgrade. grant. Top devices like Galaxy S22 Ultra has a minimum price of $1,199. And that’s a huge amount of money to spend on a phone. Plus, buying a used phone is better for the environment as you’re avoiding waste from buying a brand new phone.

If you’re not someone who needs the latest and greatest tech, it might make more sense to find a used Galaxy Note, an older Galaxy S9/S10/S20 or similar for a fraction of the cost. of a new phone. Not only can you find a great deal on a used or refurbished Galaxy phone, but many places accept your current phone in exchange, transforming your current phone into some form. Cash or credit can be applied to the cost of your new handset – your phone.

And don’t worry, buying a used or refurbished device is worry-free. To help you, we want to start by analyzing the difference between a used phone and a refurbished phone.

Used vs Refurbished

When shopping for a replacement phone, you’ll see three terms used quite often: new, used, and refurbished. While there are some similarities between the latter two, there are some obvious differences that you need to be aware of.

First of all, a new device is as the name suggests – new. It has never been opened or used in any capacity. It is in the same condition as when it left the factory. When you buy directly from Samsung, your wireless carrier, or a retailer like Best Buy, you’re buying a new device unless it’s clearly stated that you’re buying a refurbished phone. .

There’s nothing wrong with buying a new device. It’s in mint condition and has a factory warranty and the latest technology, but it’s often the most expensive way to go without any form of promotional offers.

Used Samsung Galaxy phones are very popular on sites like Swappa. That means it’s a previously used device and may show signs of daily wear and tear. You may have minor scratches on the edges of your phone or a small scratch on the screen or glass back. The software running on the phone will be factory reset, erasing all personal information the previous owner had stored on the phone and giving you a whole new setup experience.

When buying a used phone, be sure to read the product description carefully. Pay attention to any cosmetic defects noted, and when in doubt, ask for a photo (or better photos) so you fully understand what you’re buying. Usually, used phones are not covered by warranty. If it breaks a few months after you receive it, you will be back to normal.

The advantage of dealing with some scuffs and scratches is that you can often save yourself a ton of money. This is finally where to find the best deals on Samsung Galaxy phones.

Refurbished Galaxy phones, on the other hand, have been inspected and repaired by the company that sells them. For example, if a company receives a Galaxy S20 with a damaged screen, it can replace the screen and then list the phone as refurbished. Most companies that sell refurbished phones will have some kind of diagnostic test to verify everything is in working order and all required repairs have been done.

Not all repairs are performed by the original manufacturer or in this case, Samsung. Companies like Amazon use a third-party service to refurbish devices before listing them.

One benefit of buying a refurbished device, aside from knowing the phone is in good working order, is that most businesses will include some sort of warranty. Some are limited to 90 days, while others are for a full year.

Regardless of the condition of the Samsung phone you ultimately bought, the most important factor you want to consider is whether the company you’re buying from is a reputable retailer. Companies like Swappa, Decluttr, select eBay sellers, and wireless carriers meet that bar.

What to check: Antenna condition and range

Once you’ve narrowed down the type of Samsung Galaxy phone you want – new, used or refurbished – here are two more things you need to keep in mind as you shop. Carefully check the condition of the device. Sites like Swappa The listing requires a photo showing any damage as well as the display, and most sellers will upload additional photos upon request. Again, just be sure to read the description carefully and take note of any issues, and talk to the seller when you have questions.

Another factor you need to take into account is carrier compatibility or antenna bands. If your Samsung phone is listed as unlocked, it will most likely work on any and all US carriers. However, there are some Galaxy phones that are listed as GSM or CDMA phones, and the two technologies are very different.

The short version of it: AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, while Verizon and Sprint customers who haven’t switched to T-Mobile’s network after the merger use CDMA.

Our best advice is to buy an unlocked Samsung phone. Not only will that ensure you can use your phone on your current carrier, but if you decide to switch carriers, you can simply swap out the SIM card inside your phone. And if you happen to be traveling internationally, chances are you’ll be able to use your phone abroad.

While shopping, you’ll need to decide on the type of phone you want, color, and storage, but sites like Declutter list every detail you need to know.

Things to know about trading

After choosing a new Samsung phone, you must learn what to do with your old phone. All wireless carriers and even most retailers that sell mobile phones now accept the transaction. That is, you give them your old phone and in return they give you a store credit or hard cash.

We strongly recommend booking a case – or, at least, screen protector – on your Samsung phone to protect it and help increase its value.

Trading sites like Decluttr or It’s worth more will ask you a series of questions to determine the condition of your phone and then make you an offer. If you accept, you will be sent a box with a prepaid label to put your old phone in. A few days later, the money will magically show up in your account. It’s pretty cool.


Even Samsung itself got into the used phone game through its official Samsung Re-Newed Store. These devices are thoroughly tested to work like new and come in brand new packaging with new batteries. Samsung is currently offering discounts on previous generations of Galaxy Refresh phones, including recent generations. Galaxy S21 starts at just $675 (or less if you’re in business).

If you are looking to upgrade to a new phone like Galaxy S22, Z Fold 3 or Z Flip 3 and you’re buying directly from Samsung, you can trade in up to four of your old devices directly. Samsung will have phones, tablets and wearables. You will need to go through a short question and answer session, select the device(s) you are trading with, its current status, and then accept the offer.


If you want a large selection of Galaxy S smartphones from the S5 and Note 9, then Decluttr could be your best bet. You can find savings on recent and still very good purchases Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultraas well as some older devices like Galaxy Note and original Galaxy Z Flip. With any of these devices, Decluttr very clearly lists storage sizes, colors, networks it supports, and refurbishment status.

This allows you to choose a device with a clear understanding of what you are really getting and hopefully avoid any problems. Decluttr also shares a lot of information about the refurbishment and inspection process, so that way you’ll know exactly how your equipment will look when it arrives.

And if you’re looking to trade, Decluttr makes it easy to enter the name of your device, assess its condition, and see how much you’ll be offered. You can lock in that price, choose how to pay, and even get prepaid labels to ship.


This online marketplace isn’t just about auctions anymore, and many listings also offer buy-now options. There are some great deals on eBay, but not all are created equal. As with anything on the site, you’ll want to check the item description and seller ratings. In some cases, you can find a large store like Best Buy selling items on its eBay storefront.

And as you’d expect, eBay is a treasure trove of Samsung Galaxy devices, including limited edition models. Just make sure to check network conditions and compatibility, and remember that you can always ask the seller for clarification. Now, if you’re looking to sell on eBay, you’ll need to list, but there’s no guarantee of how much you’ll get. And even if you do complete the sale on eBay, you’ll face some sizable fees, not to mention the occasional scam asking you to send the device overseas.


If you want a relatively uncomplicated selling or buying experience, give Swappa a try. Browse through all Samsung Galaxy listings and you’ll find a wide range of devices at every price point and quality. You’re buying directly from the phone’s current owner, so anything you get on Swappa will be used.

You can ask the seller a question in the comments section of the listing, and if you need assistance from Swappa, the company is happy to help.

Selling on Swappa is just as easy, allowing you to list any supported device. Just be willing to let potential buyers try to negotiate a better price in the comments section of your listing.

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