Safely Purchasing Used Technology


When buying technology online, it’s important to know what you’re looking for, how it should work, and what’s a fair price. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will make buying a cell phone, laptop or tablet a positive experience.

Do Your Homework

  • Get to know what the product should look like, and what its operating system looks like. Unboxing videos are a great resource for this.
  • Learn what replicas look like, and how to spot the real thing.
  • Research the average price for the item in new and used condition.

Look at the Ad Carefully

  • Read the description of the item thoroughly. If there aren’t many details, ask the seller some questions about its condition, age, and why they’re selling.
  • Fraudsters will often post once-in-a-lifetime deals. If it’s far below market price, in perfect condition, and has all the bells and whistles, be cautious.
  • Once you’ve found the item you want, take a screenshot of the Kijiji ad to use as a reference. Having a copy of the ad can be helpful in many situations.

Buy with Confidence

  • Always meet face to face. Meeting in person can clear up any miscommunications about the item, price, or payment before they happen.
  • Inspect the item thoroughly. Make sure to check the screen, camera and keyboard. Double check that the operating system works as it should.
  • Check that all the parts are there. Make sure they have any necessary cables or other pieces that should come with the item.
  • Ask for a receipt. Have the seller sign the back of it and include their address. Should anything go wrong or you need to contact the seller again, having a receipt will be useful.
  • Once you’ve paid for the item, reset it to factory settings. If there were any malware or viruses on the device, this should get rid of them.

Tips for iPhone Purchases

  • Look at the lock screen. If the phone has been put into lost mode, the lock screen will show it.
  • Ensure that the owner has logged out of their apple account on the phone. If they forget to log out, you may have trouble using the phone later on.
  • Ask the seller to reset the phone while you watch. If they claim they don't remember the password or they're in a rush, be cautious.

Tips for Other Smart Phones

  • Check the IMEI number, before you buy, by opening the dialer and pressing *#06#. For phones with a removable battery, some IMEI numbers are listed on a sticker under the battery on the back of the phone.
  • You can check the status of the device by using Device Check Canada
  • If the seller doesn’t have a SIM card, bring your own so that you can inspect all the features of the phone before you buy.

Note: Take your time and don't rush into any decisions - if in doubt, walk away. You are not obligated to go through with a transaction, even if you’ve already agreed on a price.

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