Is it worth considering refurbished phones from platforms like eBay, especially when top-of-the-line models like the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra come with hefty price tags exceeding $1,000? Even the more budget-friendly options like the OnePlus 8 Pro are priced at $899. The quest for a quality smartphone without breaking the bank led me to embark on an intriguing experiment with $650 provided by AnyTimeSoftcare.

While exploring options in the UK, I delved into platforms like eBay and discovered services like MusicMagpie, which specializes in refurbishing old phones for resale. Similar services such as Gazelle are popular in the US. The transactions were in pounds, but I will provide currency conversions for clarity.

So, let’s dive in without delay and explore the intriguing outcomes of this venture. Let’s take a closer look at what $650 can fetch in the realm of used smartphones.

Evaluating a Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB Purchase

When considering a pre-owned Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB, priced at £120 ($150, AU$230), it’s essential to delve into the details before making a purchase decision.

Key Details:

  • Release Date: Initially launched in April 2015, the model has been in the market for a significant period.
  • Source of Purchase: Acquired from eBay, via a refurbishing company.
  • Stated Condition: Labeled as Grade A, indicating an “excellent” state.

Physical Condition:

Upon inspection, the device exhibits a promising outlook. The glass surfaces are devoid of scratches, while the metal edges show minimal signs of wear. Noteworthy is a slight cosmetic issue near the camera unit, yet the screen and headphone jack remain fully functional. However, there’s a minor inconvenience with the MicroUSB socket, requiring occasional adjustment for proper charging.

Overall Performance:

Despite the charging cable issue, the phone operates smoothly without significant glitches. There have been no alarming crashes or malfunctions, indicating reliable hardware performance. In light of its functionality, using this device as your primary phone is a viable option.

When assessing the purchase of a pre-owned Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB, meticulous scrutiny is advised to ensure a satisfactory user experience.

HTC One M8 , 16GB

Transaction Amount: £56 ($70, AU$110)

Original Release Date: March 2014

Purchase Source: eBay, private seller

Stated Condition: “Used”

Actual State: Apart from minor blemishes on the top-right and bottom-left corners, the phone’s exterior shows minimal wear. The display, charging port, and headphone jack function flawlessly.

Reliability Assessment: Absolutely reliable. No system crashes or unexpected restarts have occurred, and the phone retains its smooth performance since my initial review of a similar model in 2014.


Review of Motorola Moto X Pure, 64GB

Price Paid: £50 ($60, AU$95)

Original Release Date: September 2015

Purchase Source: eBay, private seller

Advertised Condition: “Used – condition is excellent”

Actual Condition: The phone exhibits minor wear on the rubber backing material, but there are no significant marks on the screen. The screen is free from scratches and functions well.

The phone, however, faces challenges with its battery. On several occasions, it unexpectedly shuts down, even when the battery level is above 50%. The device then displays a battery empty symbol and requires a connection to a power source to turn back on. When powered on, it sometimes immediately shuts down again.

Reliability: Given the uncertainties surrounding the observed issues, it is challenging to trust the device. Determining whether these problems stem from an aging battery, typical for a six-year-old phone, or another underlying cause is complex. The abrupt shutdowns pose a significant concern, making it a less comfortable user experience.

It’s noteworthy that despite these challenges, the Moto X ‘s “Pure Edition” Android, a streamlined version of the operating system, operates smoothly on this aged device, exhibiting minimal lag during usage. While the phone falls short of the expected “excellent” condition, the commendable performance of its operating system is a redeeming quality.


Apple iPhone 6, 16GB

Considering an Apple iPhone 6, 16GB for £75 ($95, AU$145) purchased from a refurbishing company on eBay, with an initial release in September 2014, poses both value and potential concerns.

Device Details:

  • Advertised Condition: Described as “Grade B: good condition,” mentioning possible scratches on the housing and screen from regular use.
  • Actual Condition: Surprisingly, the device exhibits minimal wear, accompanied by a pre-applied screen protector. However, issues arise with an aging battery.

Encountering abrupt shutdowns with a notification indicating performance limitations due to battery aging prompts deliberation on trustworthiness and usability.

Device Assessment:

  • Performance Implications: Acknowledging the warning as a signal of battery deterioration, users face the dilemma of enduring performance throttling or recurrent disruptions.
  • Battery Health: Despite the battery boasting 91% of its original capacity, the persistent shutdown notifications raise concern.

Presented with choices of enduring reduced performance or investing in a battery replacement, users contemplate the balance between functionality and cost-effectiveness.

Resolution Options:

  • Apple’s Battery Replacement: Apple offers a battery replacement service at £49 ($49, AU$79), prompting deliberation on its viability against the initial device cost.
  • Third-Party Alternatives: Exploring third-party repair services emerges as a potential cost-efficient solution, considering the initial investment.

Ultimately, the decision rests upon individual preferences, weighing the balance between device optimization and financial considerations.


Revisiting Samsung Galaxy S8, 64GB

Considering your investment in the Samsung Galaxy S8, 64GB, it’s essential to understand its history and current state comprehensively to make an informed decision. Here are the key details:

  • Cost: £215 ($270, AU$415)
  • Initial Launch: April 2017
  • Purchase Source: MusicMagpie

When looking at the advertised condition described as “Good – This product has signs of wear and tear but has been fully tested and is in great working order,” it’s crucial to assess the actual state.

Upon inspection, minor scratches were observed on the display along with a few small chips on the metal edging. Despite these cosmetic imperfections, the display functions effectively, as do the camera, USB-C charging port, and headphone jack.

If you’re wondering about the reliability of this device, the initial user experience has been positive, with no discernible issues encountered within the first few hours. This indicates a promising start and suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S8, 64GB, could serve as a dependable daily companion.

With the mobile phone market seeing premium devices like the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra breaking the $1,000 mark, many consumers are looking for quality options without breaking the bank. In this exploration, we delve into the world of used phones to discover the value they offer at a fraction of the cost.


  1. Where can I buy used phones?
    You can find used phones on platforms like eBay, specialized refurbishing services such as MusicMagpie, and in the US, services like Gazelle offer similar options.

  2. What are the advantages of buying used phones?
    Purchasing a used phone can offer significant cost savings while still providing functionality comparable to new devices.

  3. What should I consider before buying a used phone?
    Factors to consider include the phone’s condition, age, any potential issues like battery life, and compatibility with the latest software updates.

  4. Are used phones reliable?
    The reliability of a used phone depends on its condition and how well it has been maintained by the previous owner.

  5. How can I ensure the quality of a used phone?
    Thoroughly inspect the phone for any physical damages, test its functionalities, and research the model to be aware of common issues.

  6. What are common challenges with used phones?
    Issues such as battery life degradation, software compatibility, and hardware wear are common challenges with used phones.

  7. Is it worth buying a used phone over a new one?
    Depending on your budget and requirements, a used phone can offer a cost-effective alternative to a new device.

  8. What are some reputable brands for used phones?
    Reliable brands for used phones include Samsung, Apple, HTC, and Motorola, known for their durability and longevity.

  9. How can I extend the lifespan of a used phone?
    Regular maintenance, software updates, and proper charging habits can help extend the lifespan of a used phone.

  10. What warranty options are available for used phones?
    Some refurbishing services offer warranties on used phones, providing peace of mind for buyers.

  11. Can used phones receive software updates?
    While older models may not support the latest updates, manufacturers often provide security patches for a certain period.

  12. How can I recycle or dispose of a used phone responsibly?
    Recycling programs and trade-in options from manufacturers allow you to dispose of used phones in an environmentally friendly manner.


Exploring the realm of used phones unveils a realm of possibilities for budget-conscious consumers. Platforms like eBay and refurbishing services offer access to quality devices at reduced prices. While some phones exhibit minor issues like battery degradation, overall, the performance of these used devices remains commendable. Understanding the nuances of buying used phones, from inspecting the condition to assessing software compatibility, can empower buyers to make informed decisions. Embracing the concept of purchasing used phones not only presents a financial advantage but also contributes to sustainability efforts by extending the lifecycle of electronic devices. As you embark on your journey to find the perfect used phone, remember to prioritize quality, functionality, and long-term value in your selection process. Take the next step towards securing your ideal used phone and unlock a world of affordable technological possibilities.