Buying a second-hand Apple device is a great way to get access to many of the latest features without laying out vast amounts of money. Beware – you may think you’re saving money, but there are a lot of fakes out there and there is always someone waiting to take your money and run. So, how can you be sure that the Apple Watch, iPhone or iPod is the genuine article and not a fake worth less than one tenth of the asking price? There are a number of things you can do to avoid being caught by a fake or a fraudster.
Buy from a reputable source
The first and best way to avoid a rip-off on a second hand Apple device is to be sure to buy it from someone you can trust – not as easy as it sounds. If you’re buying online from an auction site, check the seller’s feedback very carefully, especially any negative comments, to see if anyone else feels they have had a bad deal from that seller. If you plan to meet up with someone to buy a used iPhone or iPad, take someone along with you who knows something about Apple devices to give you a second opinion. Or, how about buying your used Apple device from an iTechnician? Many of the iTechnician members buy and sell second-hand Apple items, and you have the weight of the network behind you to give you the confidence of knowing you can trust them to do an honest (and good value) deal.
Check the device carefully
There are many ways to identify a fake Apple device, but some of the fakes are really convincing, so you need to be on your guard. Take the Apple Watch – this is a highly desirable and rather pricey piece of technology, so naturally the fakers have been busy.
Compare your prospective purchase with a good photo – visit the Apple Support site, and see if there is a photo of the main features of the item you are thinking of buying. If the main Apple site doesn’t have anything to help you, how about trying one of the main independent sites for help? macworld.co.uk is a good one to try, or you could go to one of the mainstream electronics retailers such as Currys or PC World for a comparison.
Look for obvious signs of fakery
Signs such as poorly defined logos, wrong spellings, badly fitting cases and poor quality materials. On the Apple Watch, check that the Digital Crown dial and the Side Button are both present, and sit on the same side of the watch. Check the size and weight of the item if you can – the details are generally available on the Apple website. For example, a genuine Apple Watch should be 10.5 mm thick, but fakers generally struggle to achieve such a thin profile, and a fake watch may be thicker.
Switch it on
It sounds simple, but a real Apple device will ‘wake up’ quickly, respond to swipes and taps, and display appropriate images. Some fakes are simply dummies, and don’t actually work at all.
It really is ‘buyer beware’ when it comes down to used Apple devices, so your best bet is to cut through all the problems and deal with an expert iTechnician who will help you to buy with confidence.