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Tech Check: Buying Used Apple Products

Written by iHospital. Posted in iHospital iV

If you have your eye on an iPad but just can’t scrape together the money to buy it we’ve got some tips tonight in Tech Check that could help you save hundreds on a tablet or a cell phone.

But as Fox 5’s Doug Evans reports now you have to be willing to buy it used.

If you buy anything used you got a lot of risk right? You’re worried you’ll get ripped off or pay too much, or come home with someone else’s junk.

Rick Dunn is an airline pilot in Atlanta.  He saved $100 buying a used iPad 2 on Ebay a few months ago, and saved over $300 on an iPhone  4 for his twelve year old son Dalen.  But he admits buying used can be nerve wracking.

Rick Dunn – “Absolutely.  You’re nervous until it comes. You’re nervous till it shows up at your door and then you get it to work.”

Alright the first tip to buying used is to buy in person.  And the guys who fix broken Apple products say they hate seeing people ripped off.

iHospital D.i.D. Doctor of iDevice Michael Bautsch – “If you’re getting it from an individual, make sure you meet them face-to-face. That way you can make sure what you’re getting is in the box, and that it’s functioning correctly.”

When Rick Dunn bought his son’s iPhone he met the seller at a Sprint store so an employee could make sure that the phone was legit and would work on that company’s network. A lesson learned after buying a not-so-good Android phone first.

Rick Dunn – “And I got smart.  I bought the other one at McDonalds. And that didn’t work out as well as the actual device in the store.  And it was broken. When I took it to the Sprint store they told me you got a bunk phone.”

So if you meet the seller at a cell phone store you might avoid buying junk.  Also, if buying an iPhone, know this, a Sprint phone will not work on AT&T, and an AT&T will not work on Verizon.  So make sure you buy a phone that is manufactured for your cell phone carrier.

So how do you make sure you’re not buying someone else’s junk no matter what the device is?

iHospital D.i.D. Doctor of iDevice Michael Bautsch – “Obviously, pull it out of the box.  Boot it up and make sure all of the touch functionality works on the screen.  Go in and make sure the WiFi is working, the bluetooth is working, and most important of all, plug it in and make sure the dock connector is working and that it is charging and connecting to your computer.”

So if you meet at a coffee shop with free WiFi you can manage all of that stuff easy enough.

Here’s a tip most people don’t know about the iPhone. If you shine a flashlight into the headphone jack or the sync connector there’s a little white dot in there.  If that dot is red, that means that the phone might have water damage.

iHospital D.i.D. Doctor of iDevice Michael Bautsch – “But as corrosion sets in over time, then you’ll start to see malfunctions.”

So make sure it powers up, the touchscreen works, surf the web to prove that the WiFi connected, test the bluetooth with some sort of device and make sure that it connects and charges when plugged into a computer or an outlet.

Here’s some good news. With the new iPad out just last week, the used market is overflowing with all kinds of tablets. That means the prices are low, and the inventory is not so old, and in pretty good shape.

For Tech Check I’m Doug Evans.

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