Theis dead. Long live the iPhone SE!
Needless to say, some folks are not happy that Apple effectively put its compact budget phone out to pasture last week. Granted, some other folks -- myself included -- might argue that there's a .
Don't agree? You want your iPhone SE and you want it now? Don't worry, you can find used and refurbished ones in a variety of places. Let's take a look at some SE sources and the pros and cons of each.
I'm a huge proponent of buying refurbished Apple gear -- especially when Apple does the refurbishing. That results in an iPhone that's like new in nearly every way, including the warranty.
Unfortunately, Apple's refurbished-iPhone store doesn't currently have any iPhone SE stock. Want to get alerted if that changes? Set up an alert at Refurb Tracker, a site designed expressly for the purpose of monitoring Apple's refurb inventory. Just choose the iPhone category, then put "iPhone SE" in the filter field so you get results for only that model. (You can even get your alerts delivered via RSS feed if you prefer that to email.)
Apple isn't the only iPhone SE refurb game in town. Other stores carry them as well, and RefurbMe can lead you to them. For example, at this writing, the iPhone SE (32GB) in Rose Gold for Straight Talk was available from five different stores, including Amazon, Back Market and even GameStop. Price range: $108 to $199.
Just make sure to pay close attention to things like the warranty (which can range from zero to six months), the carrier (is the phone locked to a particular one?) and the overall condition. The cheapest options are likely to be the ones with the most scuffs and scratches and the fewest included accessories. Thankfully, most of the stores listed by RefurbMe offer some kind of return/exchange policy in case you end up with a lemon.
Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace
More often than not, the best deal on a used iPhone SE will come from another individual, not a third-party seller. That means searching the Big Three private-sale services: Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
For example, I just ran a quick Marketplace search for "iPhone SE" and found an unlocked 16GB model for just $100. Another one, locked to Walmart's Family Mobile, was just $80. Your mileage may vary, of course.
And of course, buying from a local individual (via Craigslist or Marketplace) means a face-to-face meeting, which is not without risks. It also means you have very little recourse in case your iPhone refuses to power on the day after you bring it home. eBay has protections in place for both buyer and seller and eliminates the need to meet in person, but also means you don't get the chance to inspect the iPhone firsthand before buying.
Whenever you're buying a used phone this way, make absolutely sure it has a "clean" ESN/IMEI -- meaning it hasn't been flagged as lost or stolen, or isn't tied to someone's past-due account. Ask for that number in advance, then check it online using one of any number of checker tools (like this one from Swappa).
Looking to sell an old iPhone? You've probably heard of buy-back sites like Back Market, Decluttr, Gazelle and Glyde. These sites turn around and sell those phones as well -- usually after putting them through detailed inspections. That means you're much less likely to encounter a problem than if you bought a used SE from, say, a guy on Craigslist.
Back Market, for example, currently has an unlocked iPhone SE (32GB) in Space Gray for $143, a price that includes a six-month warranty. However, it's in "Bronze" condition, meaning it likely has "light but visible" scratches on the body.
At Decluttr I found an unlocked 16GB model in "very good" condition for $150, a price that includes a 12-month warranty. Over at Glyde, however, I struck out: The site had no used iPhone SE inventory. That's odd given how plentiful it was elsewhere, but it could point to an overall increase in demand and decrease in supply.
Are you still hoping to land an iPhone SE, or do you think it's time to move on to bigger and newer things?
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