Where to Buy Cheap iPhones in 2024

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So, you’re considering a switch from Android to iPhone, eager to explore the world of iOS. But you’re not ready to splurge just yet. It’s wise to start with an inexpensive iPhone for this transition. But where do you buy cheap iPhones? Please stick with us to find out. 

Buying Cheap iPhones: Figure Out Where to Start

Begin by narrowing down the models of interest. When on a tight budget, understand that you probably won’t get the latest flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max. Instead, consider Apple’s budget version, the iPhone SE. With this model, you will experience all the perks and features iOS has to offer; you will still get that great-quality camera, even better battery life, and speedy performance, thanks to Apple’s proprietary bionic chip. Right now, you can get the new iPhone SE directly on the Apple site for as little as $429 (or even less if you choose to trade in your older phone). Better yet, snag it for even less on one of the marketplaces we’ll discuss in more detail below. 

Alternatively, consider purchasing an earlier iPhone flagship version, like an iPhone 14 or iPhone 13, which is not all that different from the newest one. The best time to look for a year or so old iPhone is when Apple is about to release a new model or right after a release. That’s when people sell their older phones, saturating the markets with offers and driving prices down.

Top 4 Marketplaces to Scout for Cheap iPhones

While buying an iPhone from an obscure third-party site may sound sketchy, there are marketplaces where you, as a buyer, have a certain level of security and assurance in case anything goes awry.

1. Buy Cheap iPhones on eBay

Yes, the good ole eBay is still kicking, so you might as well start your quest for a cheap iPhone here. And if you are persistent, you might just store a sweet deal. 

Here is how to find a cheap Apple iPhone on eBay:

  • Look up your desired model and use eBay filters (storage size, condition, carrier, etc.) to narrow your search. Sort the results by the lowest price. Filter out non-functional iPhones. 
  • Follow auctions. Add listings with ongoing auctions to your watchlist. You want to look for an auction that ends on a weekday and at an odd time. For example, people are often available to bid on a Sunday night, driving the price up. But you have a way better chance to snatch an iPhone for less on a Tuesday morning. 
  • Check the sellers’ feedback. No matter how appealing their asking price is, stay away from members with no prior selling history. 
  • Read the description carefully and make sure the seller offers a warranty (unless you are buying an iPhone for repair). 

2. Facebook Marketplace

Finding a cheap iPhone on Facebook is similar to the process described above. But it has a few key differences. On the plus side, you can meet the seller in person and test the phone before buying. However, it is often a cash sale, and if you discover something wrong with your iPhone afterward, you are out of luck. There is no warranty and no way to return the merchandise. Ask yourself if you want to take that risk.

When narrowing down your options, consider when the listing was created. If a person has been trying to sell for a while, try sending them an offer–they might be more willing to work with you on the price. At the same time, don’t sleep on a deal. If the price is reasonable, that iPhone will go fast.

3. Back Market

Backmarket is a fairly new platform that has gained a lot of popularity, especially with tech-savvy Gen Z. And for good reason. It offers an abundant inventory of pre-owned iPhones and other smartphones at great prices. 

While you may find that iPhones are priced a little higher here (compared to eBay or Facebook Marketplace), here is why Backmarket is still well worth it:

  • Buyers get free shipping.
  • 30-day returns and one year warranty.
  • iPhones are checked for unpaid balances, iCloud locks, and other activation restrictions. 
  • Post-sale customer service.

4. Gazelle

This online marketplace has existed since 2007 and has gained much popularity over the years. Here, you can find a pre-owned iPhone in pretty much any model, color, and configuration. Every used product Gazelle sells comes with a 30-day return warranty.

Why choose Gazelle to buy an iPhone? Here are a few compelling reasons: 

  • Electronics go through a 30-point inspection process before being offered for sale.
  • Although Gazelle does not use real pictures of products, they provide a detailed description and cosmetic condition grading. 
  • Browsing products here is much more convenient than on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. You do not have to weed out listings with, say, defective or otherwise compromised products, as Gazelle guarantees 100% functionality. 

However, even though their iPhone inventory is quite expansive, certain especially popular models are often out of stock. As for the prices, while lower than new, iPhones here are a little more expensive than on the peer-to-peer platforms discussed above. While you want peace of mind when shopping for cheap tech, with a little time and persistence, it is possible to score a sweeter deal on Facebook or eBay.

Things to Watch Out for When Buying a Cheap iPhone on a Marketplace

Whether you shop for iPhones on Facebook, eBay, or elsewhere, here are the questions to ask beforehand:

  • Verify that the seller posted photos of the actual iPhone.
  • Ask for the IMEI (ESN) and Serial numbers to cross-reference in the online blacklist databases. With this information, you can also purchase a comprehensive background report telling you the history of the smartphone and whether there are any red flags. 
  • Using the Serial number, check if the iPhone is still under warranty.
  • Ask if it was repaired or serviced. 
  • Inquire about the battery status and current max capacity. 

As you can see, even though buying a pre-owned or reconditioned iPhone is an environmentally friendly option, it poses certain risks. There is always the price vs. quality compromise, and as a frugal buyer, you should adjust your expectations accordingly. 

In Conclusion

iPhones have shifted the technological landscape and changed how we communicate. Access to modern technology can significantly enhance our daily routines, but not everyone can afford to buy a flagship phone as soon as it comes out. The good news is that affordable iPhone options do exist and can meet your needs without breaking the bank.

Lastly, we want to remind our readers that Gadget Salvation also has an online store where you can buy cheap iPhones for a fraction of the retail price. If you wish to upgrade on a budget or buy a cellphone for spare parts, we always have options worth checking out. At Gadget Salvation, you can buy and sell used iPhones and other electronics safely, quickly, and cost-effectively!

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