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October 14, 2022

Guide to a Gift Phone for the Holidays!

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to start putting together your gift buying list. It’s not uncommon for someone on your list to request a technology gift, especially a gift of a mobile phone. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, you might be interested in purchasing a used cell phone as a gift phone. 

There are many advantages to buying a used mobile phone. The most obvious is cost, but another important aspect of purchasing a used gift phone is that it’s available. While it’s not as bad as it was, there is still a chip shortage that is slowing the production of all sorts of technology, including mobile phones. In fact, the chip shortage is expected to last until at least 2023. With the holiday season, there could be a shortage of new cell phones. With a used gift phone, you’ll be able to make the purchase and get it in time for your gift exchange.

When purchasing a used cell phone, there are a lot of dos and don’ts to ensure you’re getting the quality your gift recipient deserves. We’ve blogged before with Guides for Purchasing Used Mobile Devices. But the holiday season brings about its own circumstances that make purchasing a gift phone a little different than the rest of the year. Follow these tips and you’ll have happy recipients filled with holiday cheer.

Consider What Phone to Gift

Often when you’re looking for a used cell phone, you’re looking for one for yourself. The holiday season presents the opportunity to buy for someone else. But before you do so, make sure you think about what they want as opposed to what you want.

Most importantly, make sure you know if your gift recipient wants an Android or an iPhone. Some people are very particular about which mobile device they want. If they aren’t picky, check out our iPhone 13 vs. Android blog to help you decide which to purchase.

Consider the Carrier

If your recipient already has a phone plan, it’s a gift-giving must that you find out who their carrier is. Wireless providers use different technology that can keep phones from working across other carriers’ networks. Purchasing a phone that won’t work with your recipient’s carrier could end up making your season much less bright. It could take hours upon hours to even figure out the problem, and then once you do, your friend or relative is stuck with a phone they can’t use.

You can ask the gift recipient who their carrier is, ask someone close to them, or buy an unlocked phone. There is a small chance that not all the carriers’ features might work with an unlocked phone, like Wi-Fi calling, which is tuned to specific networks. It’s also a good idea to call the carrier with the IMEI number to double check that the phone will work with their service.

Consider the Age of the Phone

When determining how old or new a used phone should be for your gift recipient, think about three things: how long the device will be supported, how many years of security updates it will get from the manufacturer, and how old the hardware is. The best age of a used cell phone for purchasing is one to three years old, depending on the type of phone. You want to make sure you choose a used gift phone that works for your budget and will last for your recipient.

Shop Early

Think ahead when shopping for a gift phone for your friend or family member. Refurbished and used phones go fast during the holiday season. New iPhones launch in September, so that’s a great time to find good deals on last year’s models. Android phones aren’t as consistent, so do your research and find out if there have been any recent launches around the holiday season.

It’s the Thought that Counts

As with all gifts, it’s the thought that counts the most. But your gift recipients will really know you thought about their gifts if you do your homework and find the best used phone gift for them and their unique needs.

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