Buying from Swappa?
December 31, 2015 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I've seen Swappa recommended here and am just sort of asking if people have had good results. Anecdata, I know, but the local buy/fix/sell iPhone store's prices are about double what I see on the site. On the other hand, a relative bought a phone from Swappa and had bad results and filled my ear with it, so I'm having a moment of hesitation. Still, I am strongly leaning towards buying from Swappa (frankly couldn't afford to buy at the store's prices) but if people routinely get bum phones from them, I'll look into other options.
posted by PussKillian to Technology (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I bought my previous phone (a Galaxy Note 2) from a Swappa seller and had no issues. I resold it on Swappa after I upgraded a few years later and the buyer was really happy with it, so there. :) I've sold a few other devices there too. The normal caveats apply--review the description and pictures carefully and look at the seller's history and feedback.
posted by mama casserole at 1:22 PM on December 31, 2015

I have only bought phones from Swappa in like new or very good condition, but they've been as described. I look for experienced sellers, sharp pictures, and the premium for excellent condition is small.
posted by wnissen at 1:36 PM on December 31, 2015

I bought a rooted galaxy s3 that I'm still using, came with extra batteries and cases, and I'll probably use swappa to upgrade at some point.
posted by gryftir at 1:56 PM on December 31, 2015

I've bought 4 phones from Swappa and all 4 transactions have been completely smooth and the phones were exactly as advertised.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:09 PM on December 31, 2015

Best answer: I'm the deals-with-phones person for my household, and have bought probably eight phones off Swappa, now. They've all been great--exactly as described, in condition that was as good or better than described, and much cheaper than I would've gotten the phones for new. I can't imagine buying a phone new, at this point--Swappa's my default.
posted by MeghanC at 2:16 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've purchased 3 phones from Swappa now, and each seller I worked with was excellent. No complaints.
posted by Verdandi at 3:20 PM on December 31, 2015

Another data point--have bought a phone off swappa, totally happy with the purchase.
posted by geegollygosh at 3:23 PM on December 31, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks guys - I'm feeling more confident about it all. If anyone has more stories I'd love to hear them if you think they're pertinent but I think my fundamental question has been answered.
posted by PussKillian at 4:39 PM on December 31, 2015

Best answer: I've sold on Swappa and they're really picky about things like listing photos and descriptions. For example, everything you say is included with the sale has to be pictured somewhere and they will call you out on it if something isn't in a photo. I haven't bought through them, just sold, but I know the selling process is more rigorous than "throw up a couple of pics and hope." I'm sure there are ways to scam someone through Swappa—it can happen anywhere, just a question of risk—but I've completely stopped dealing through sites like Craigslist and eBay.
posted by fireoyster at 6:31 PM on December 31, 2015

A friend of mine has purchased 3 iPhones (two teens + one for herself) from Swappa in the past year and has been very happy with the results.

While I normally advise shunning sellers with no ratings on eBay, I feel like Swappa might be slightly different as the site is relatively new so it's likely that someone with a lot of Swappa ratings is flipping phones rather than selling a personally owned phone. I base this speculation on my own experience as one-time Swappa seller: I got a flurry of low-ball bids from buyers who all turned out to be resellers.
posted by jamaro at 6:53 PM on December 31, 2015

I have not used Swappa but I have used Glyde, which is similar, and have been very happy.
posted by desjardins at 7:45 PM on December 31, 2015

Best answer: I bought a phone on Swappa that initially didn't seem to work--but the seller was extremely communicative and helpful about trying to fix the situation. (Turns out there'd been some miscommunication with Apple about unlocking the phone.) The Swappa people were also communicative and helpful, so I'm confident I'd have gotten my money back if the phone had actually turned out to be faulty.
posted by the_blizz at 8:47 AM on January 1, 2016

If you are looking at a Sprint device, make sure to get the IMEI first and ensure it passes their Financial Eligibility Check.
posted by Sleddog_Afterburn at 4:59 PM on January 1, 2016

Response by poster: We're looking at Verizon iphone 5S phones. I don't know if I need to worry about getting them unlocked or not, because I don't really know all the ramifications of that (maybe European travel might happen in the future so it would be helpful?) but otherwise we just need to upgrade our valiant little 4s before they completely fall to dust.
posted by PussKillian at 5:03 PM on January 1, 2016

FYI, all verizon LTE phones are factory unlocked. A verizon iphone is the same as an unlocked-from-the-apple-store iphone.
posted by emptythought at 9:27 PM on January 1, 2016

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