Buying A Used Tablet? Protect Yourself From Scams With These Tips

Posted July 16, 2020 by in Lifestyle
woman holding tablet

Tablets cater to a very niche crowd. However, regardless of that, they have garnered quite a bit of popularity, and for good reason. Tablets offer all the advantages of smartphones and some of the utility of personal computers, in a compact, yet capable device.

With that said, as technology evolves and the components for mobile devices becomes increasingly expensive, the trend is reflected in the cost of latest mobile devices, including tablets.

In other words, buying a new tablet is an expensive undertaking. Purchasing a used tablet however, is an affordable one. For a fraction of the cost of a new tablet, you can get a relatively recent used model that offers decent performance.

With that said, there are a lot of scams happening with buyers of used mobile devices. From overselling the condition of the device to selling off stolen devices, sellers with malicious intent are targeting unsuspecting buyers.

However, none of these are problems that cannot be fixed with thorough research and a free IMEI checker tool.

Want to know how? Read on:

woman holding an iPad

Choose The Platform Carefully

This is critical to ensuring you only deal with genuine sellers. To make sure you don’t run into scammers, the foremost step is to avoid less known platforms and online marketplaces. 

Stick to platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay. On eBay, make sure you only buy from sellers that have a few positive reviews. Similarly, on Facebook Marketplace, make sure you are only buying from (or even negotiating with) someone after you have checked out their profile and find that it is a genuine one.

Ask The Seller For IMEI Number

The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number is a unique number that is installed on ALL the mobile devices manufactured anywhere in the world. This unique number is comparable to the VIN (Vehicle Identity Number) found on automobiles.

The IMEI number can be used to identify stolen devices using an IMEI checker tool. All you need to do is enter the IMEI number into the tool and you will receive the basic information about the device and the tool will also tell you if the IMEI number is ‘bad’ or ‘blacklisted’.

Devices with ‘bad’ or ‘blacklisted’ IMEI numbers have been reported lost or stolen by the real owner and have been flagged by the authorities. If you run into someone selling such a phone, you should report the incident to the police immediately.

If a seller is hesitant about sharing the IMEI number with you, it means they have something to hide and thus, it is in your best interest to walk away.

Conduct A Thorough Physical Inspection

Many sellers will oversell the condition of their device in hopes of a higher payout. Therefore, to avoid overpaying for a tablet that is in a bad condition, it is always recommended to meet the seller so that you can conduct a physical evaluation of the product. 

If you find any issues with the device that were not mentioned in the listing, be it scratches on the body panels or issues with the software, make sure you talk to the seller about them. 

If this happens, you can either ask the seller for a bargain or simply look for another device that will hopefully be in a better condition.


These tips will surely help you root out the bad sellers and identify genuine sellers that are offering great, dependable products.