Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am considering buying a used iPod touch. I really don't know too much about buying used iPod touches. What should I watch out for when I am looking at used iPod touches? (If it makes any difference, I am going with Craigslist rather than Ebay)

share|improve this question
Return period and ability to know the seller / get in contact if you take it in to the store for a checkup once it arrives. Also see what the repair costs are if it does need a repair after you buy it. Not all sellers are bad, but do your homework on the social end / worst case so you'll know if you want to buy locally or can risk another sale. – bmike Sep 18 '11 at 3:20
@bmike Thanks for that info! – daviesgeek Sep 18 '11 at 3:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted
  • First thing to look for is whether the unit has suffered water damage. All Apple devices have two moisture sensors. One in the headphone jack and the other in the cable connector port. They will colour pink or red on water contact:

enter image description here

  • The next thing is the physical condition of the unit. Scratches, scuffs, or other physical signs of trauma. This one is rather intuitive, but what people don't often look for is 3rd party repair using shoddy parts. Look for bulges in the seal around the screen or scratches on the screws (which are signs the unit as been opened). A keen eye can find these discrepancies, and if you do, steer clear. Knock off, aftermarket displays (or so-called OEM replacements) don't have the same capacitative capabilities that the original units do.
  • Check the battery next, make sure it charges and shows the correct charge/not charging icon. If the unit responds when a cable is connected and disconnected, then there likely won't be any damage to either the internals, the battery, or the connector.

At the end of the day, trust your gut. If it even smells like too good of a deal, walk away. Ideally, it would be great to find a unit that is still under warranty and then extend that warranty with Apple Care. Another avenue would be to look to Apple's website for refurbished products. They all come with the same warranty as all new Apple products. Honestly, this would be the way I would go about it. You will get a "like" new product at anywhere up to a 30% discount. Like this 64 GB iPod Touch.

share|improve this answer
Thanks so much! I've thought about getting a refurbished one, but I can get a used one for much cheaper. :-) – daviesgeek Sep 17 '11 at 21:38
No problem. Apple devices really hold their value and for the most part, people will likely be selling them because they've upgraded. I'm sure most of the units you will look at will be mechanically sound. And good call to avoid eBay. I've received far more knock-offs than genuine products through that service, even despite the ads assuring me they were "100% genuine." – user10355 Sep 18 '11 at 0:43
Well, I definitely won't be buying anything from a parking lot, let alone Ebay. Here's what I'm talking about. – daviesgeek Sep 18 '11 at 3:35
Yes, I heard of that scam. A few people got hit. What's the say? "A fool and their money..." ;) – user10355 Sep 18 '11 at 5:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.