5 Things to Consider When Buying Fairly Used Phones in Niger­ia

Any day, anytime, it is the best to buy a brand new phone. But what if you can’t afford that mid-range or high-end phone you crave for? Your only option is to hope that one day you see someone (or a vendor) that wants to sell it as fairly used. However, buying fairly used phones in Nigeria can be risky. You don’t know the history of the phone — and the seller may want to use that against you.

In order to get the best deal from fairly used phones, always consider the following five (5) things.

buying fairly used phones

5 Things to Consider When Buying Fairly Used Phones in Nigeria

The physical appearance of the phone

Your first consideration when buying a fairly used phone in Nigeria should be the appearance of the phone. You need to check the body of the phone for not only scratches but also rust, which is a sign of liquid damage.

When the seller delivers the phone to you, you should thoroughly check the body of the phone and power it on, to check for screen damage. You should operate the phone (make calls and open apps) and take note of how the screen responds to tap and swipe. A fairly used phone in a good condition shouldn’t lag while operating it and the call quality should be good without background noise.

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If you are satisfied with the screen and external body of the body, the next thing you should check is the ports (charging port and headphone jack port). Check the two ports for any sign of rust and use earpiece and charger to test the working condition of the two ports.

Lastly, remove the battery of the phone (if it is removable) and check the terminals for rust. You should also check the battery and make sure it isn’t swelling already.

The specifications of the phone

This isn’t applicable only when buying fairly used phones in Nigeria – it is equally applicable when buying new phones. Before you put your money on a fairly used phone, check out the specifications of the phone online.

By doing this, you get to know if the phone is suitable for the main purpose you are buying it for. As a mobile-game lover, the megapixels of the camera mightn’t matter to you; instead, you would be interested in the RAM size, the GPU, and the speed and number of cores of the processor.

Ownership of the phone

As we all know, people’s phones are stolen every day – and all these stolen phones end up in the black markets of the fairly used phones in Nigeria. So if you are buying a fairly used phone, especially from individuals, you must ask questions about the ownership of the phone and the reason the phone is put up for sale.

Asking to see the original receipt of the phone is a way to authenticate ownership, and as a rule, if a fairly used phone comes with a security lock (like phone lock, SIM lock or any other locks) don’t buy it and go format or restore to factory settings. Those kinds of fairly used phones are likely to be have been stolen.

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If the seller is really the owner of the phone, he shouldn’t have forgotten his security codes at the point of sale. Be careful when buying fairly used phones in Nigeria, for most of them are stolen.


When it comes to buying fairly used phones in Nigeria, over the Internet, scams should be a major concern to you. There are some websites in the country that allow users to publish their fairly used phones so that other users come contact them to buy the phones.

This kind of initiative is a good one, but the problem is that scammers are abusing these platforms. We have heard different stories of people losing their money to these scammers claiming to be selling fairly used phones.
If you are buying a fairly used phone online, make sure you only pay on delivery. Don’t send any initial payment to the seller, and when you are to meet the seller one-on-one, make sure you are meeting in a public area.


This consideration is related to scams. It is true that fairly used phones are expected to be cheaper than to the new one, but when the price is unrealistic cheap, you should be worried. How can someone say she is selling her fairly used iPhone 7 for NGN70,000 and you want to buy it. It is either the phone is stolen or it is a scam.

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Adedapo Olatunde

Adedapo Olatunde is an editor at Techrabytes and an author at HowToTechNaija. He loves everything tech and everything space – and hopes to be one of the first tourists to Mars.

9 thoughts on “5 Things to Consider When Buying Fairly Used Phones in Niger­ia

  • August 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    I love this information, every phone buyer should know this. The most two part I found interesting are the SCAMS and the PRICE, we all should always look out for those two whenever we want to buy a fairly used phone. I really appreciate this right up.

  • August 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Great piece of information. Hope a word is enough for the wise.

  • August 21, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Battery damage is important but unfortunately can’t be verified. Some people can like to put the battery on their phone through unnecessary stress which kills it before its time

  • August 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Good write-up.Have had on three occasions to buy from 2 of those sites. I actually had good experiences.Nonetheless you have good points here. A prospective buyer must ‘shine your eyes’

  • August 21, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    If possible buy from shops and have proof of payment(receipt)

    Insert sim and make sure you make a call to check if both mic and speaker are working.

    Also insert SD card and see if phone recognises and does not corrupt data on it.

  • August 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    thanks for sharing this article so as we should know which phone to buy.

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