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How to Buy a Used BlackBerry Phone

written by: LauraMS•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/5/2011

Many opt for buying a used BlackBerry phone over a brand new one. Although this is a great way to obtain a great device, the following are some of the things you need to know before making such a purchase.

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    Buying a new BlackBerry isn’t cheap. It’s an investment, for sure. A lot of people balk at the price of a new BlackBerry and wonder why others pay so much to buy a mobile phone. What these individuals may not realize is that a BlackBerry is a high functioning tool far beyond that of a normal mobile phone. Still, to buy such a device brand new isn’t always easy for people to do, but many find it easier to buy a used BlackBerry in good condition instead.

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    Making Sure The BlackBerry Is Clear For Activation

    If you’re in the market to buy a used BlackBerry, there are a few things that you should know. If you are a veteran BlackBerry user, you probably know what to ask of the seller and what to look for before you buy. However, if you are a new to the BlackBerry world, especially if you are purchasing your device online, the following information is imperative for you to obtain before deciding to buy.

    One of the first questions you’ll want to ask before you buy is for the IMEI number if the used phone is a GSM model. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity, which is a lengthy way of saying it’s the phone’s unique identifying number. If it is a used CDMA phone, the number that you’ll want to inquire about is the ESN or Electronic Serial Number. If you don’t know whether the used phone is a GSM or a CDMA phone and that information isn’t listed in the phone’s ad, you can either ask the seller directly and/or research the model on the BlackBerry website for more information before you buy it.

    If the seller refuses to or cannot supply this number, do not buy the used BlackBerry. This number enables you to check with the phone’s original carrier (which you should also ask about) to make sure that the phone isn’t lost or stolen before you buy it and that a used phone is clear for activation.

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    A Word About IT Policies

    It’s important to also ask if a used BlackBerry has an IT Policy on it. This isn’t a deal-breaker if the answer is yes as an IT policy on a BlackBerry can be removed after you buy it. In fact, there’s a very good article here on Bright Hub on how to remove an IT Policy if authorized to do so. It’s important to know this information, however, as it is up to you whether or not you want to work on removing the IT Policy or this information may even help in negotiating a better price on a used BlackBerry.

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    Is The Used BlackBerry Unlocked?

    Before you buy, you’ll also want to ask if the used phone is unlocked. Carriers, in an attempt to retain customers, prefer to have phones locked so that only their company can activate them and so that they will only work for customers under their contracts. However, a BlackBerry can be unlocked in order to be usable on other networks. Still, it’s important to know this up front so that, similar to buying a phone with an IT Policy, you can make the informed decision to proceed or not with buying a locked phone.

    Aside from these very crucial questions, you may also request additional photos or whatever other questions concern you personally before you buy. Be sure to not only speak to the seller when purchasing a used Blackberry, but to also speak to the phone’s previous carrier and the carrier(s) that you are considering activating the used BlackBerry with.