Know what to keep in mind when purchasing a pre-owned phone

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2015

  1. Will you need to change your plan? Some devices may require you to upgrade your plan to fully enjoy their functionality. Log on to and Click on Manage this device ->Upgrade this phone. Then click on the desired phone. A pop-up message will inform you whether you will need to change your plan. If the pre-owned device you’re considering is no longer shown, click on Chat for assistance.
  2. Does it work on the Sprint network?  Ensure the phone is compatible with Sprint’s network. If you want to purchase a Sprint 4G phone, you may want to confirm you have Sprint 4G network coverage. The phone will still work on Sprint 3G network, and may still offer enhanced functionality, but it will not operate at 4G speeds. Check your coverage.
  3. Is the device serial number clean for activation? Before purchasing a device, ask the seller to provide you the serial numbers (This may be called a DEC, IMEI, ESN, etc.) Call customer service, give them the number and ask if the device is clear for activation. Ask customer service to check to make sure the device is not tied to an account or listed as lost/stolen.
  4. Will you be charged an Upgrade Fee for activating a pre-owned device on your line? If the device was ever previously activated on the Sprint network, you will not be charged the $36 upgrade fee.
  5. How to Inspect Your Phone
    (You may want to ensure the seller will allow you to return the device if you are not satisfied with it. If not, then you may want to request close-up photos of the front, back and under the battery.)

  • Will the device power on & charge?
  • Does the power button work?
  • Does the charging port work?
  • Charging is consistent, not loose, intermittent, etc.
  • Is the battery factory original (Shows either Sprint or OEM Logo)
  • Is the charger factory original (Shows either Sprint or OEM Logo)
  • Does the device/battery exhibit any signs of liquid damage?
    • Check the liquid indicator on the battery and device (If present)
    • Check the battery and ensure it does not appear swollen or enlarged
    • Inspect the charging port for any signs of corrosion
    • Check for other signs of liquid damage in and around the battery compartment
    • Typical battery liquid indictors below. Usually white or cross hatched if NOT activated.
    • Smudging of cross-hatch or discoloration of white indicator = Possible exposure to moisture/liquid/etc.
  • Does the screen and keypad function properly?
    • Any cracks, chips, problems with the screen?
    • Does the screen power on?
    • Does the touch screen function properly?
    • Does the keypad (if applicable) function properly?
  • Any excess cosmetic damage?
    • Any large drop, ding, dent marks, etc.
  1. Can you purchase equipment coverage for your newly acquired pre-owned phone? As long as the phone has been inspected by an agent in a Sprint Retail store and is in good working order, TEP can be purchased for the device within 30 days of activation. If you already have TEP on your line and activate a pre-owned phone on that same line, that phone will be covered.


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