Buying a Used Phone in South Africa

Have you been trying to find the best way to buy a good, used smartphone in South Africa?

We know there are many options:

  • Buy from one of the popular retailers, cash
    •  This is the option taken by the “1%” of our citizens. Consider the iPhone 11 Pro 64GB – the current cash price (April 2020) is R22,499! Just as a new car loses value as soon as you drive it off the showroom floor – your shiny iPhone loses a significant amount of value as soon as you rip that thin plastic cover off the box. We currently sell iPhone’s like these for R17,999, in a “like new” condition. That’s a 20% or R4,500 loss for just opening the box. And the iPhone 11 Pro is still a new release – it will probably sell for two-thirds of the current used price in six months’ time.
    • Another example is the iPhone 8. You can buy a new iPhone 8 128GB online now for R11,499. We sell the 256GB version, used, but in a fantastic condition for only R6,599. That’s an incredible 43% or R4,900 saving – and you get twice the storage space!
  • Buy from one of the popular retailers on credit
    • This is a popular way of buying a smartphone but it’s probably the most expensive way of all. The latest smartphones  depreciate quickly, while you have to keep paying installments, fees and interest. At the end of the day, you can easily spend double the retail price of the phone while actually owning a phone worth one-third of the original price – and that’s assuming your device is still in a great condition. If it has been damaged, you would have to pay to fix it, or sell it at a very low price.
  • Buy your new iPhone on a phone contract
    • This used to be the cheapest way to get a new phone but over the years, the networks have subsidised the handsets less and less, where it’s got to the point where it’s cheaper to just take out a sim-only contract and buy a phone cash. Now just imagine how much you could save if you had a sim-only contract and bought a quality used phone instead of a new one? You are then winning twice – buy not paying extra through a contract, and by saving on the horrific depreciation on a brand new phone. Most contracts renew every two years. If you could save R5,000 every two years, you’d have an extra R25,000 in your pocket after one short decade. Talk about a great way of saving money. And remember, a Rand saved is a Rand made – tax free!
  •  Buy via a classified site
    • This method is popular with extreme sports junkies and people who enjoy great discomfort. Do you enjoy sending out messages and never receiving a response? Or being offered a great price and all you need to do is eWallet money to the seller and they’ll DHL the phone to you? Or needing to meet in some shady spot at night to buy your next phone? No, we didn’t think so. We’ ve been there. It’s actually how we started this business. Brad (our founder) would buy and sell phones during his lunch break and after hours before he started Epic Deals. He had quite a few close calls with dodgy sellers. Some sellers never turned up at the agreed time and place, and others tried to pass off counterfeit iPhones as the real deal. Hence, the ideal of a safe market place was born. Brad started willing on and later founded Tech Revival (selling through and buying through, and The business was built to address the catastrophic deficiencies of the “classifieds” model.
    • The other risk to consider is that even if your buying experience goes smoothly, if the phone was on contract and the seller decides to stop paying his contract (or even worse, they sell you a stolen phone that gets blacklisted after you buy it) you are left with a very expensive paperweight.
  •  Buy online from Epic Deals
    • Now if you ask us, this is a good idea. 🙂 Epic Deals was built, from the group up, as a safe and fast way for South Africans to buy quality used iPhones, MacBooks and other tech gadgets. The products come with industry-leading warranties and most of the time our prices are in line with the prices on the classified site – but we offer safe and secure payment options, and courier free of charge around SA.

Device Grades

  • Not all functions working
  • Deep scratched on screen or casing
  • Cracks
  • Water damaged, but working 

The device is functional without additional repairs, but has notable damage to major components. It’s more like Eskom – it’s great if it works but you know you can’t trust it. It could fail at any time.

Issues that would put a device in this category would include a cracked or broken screen, a damaged casing, faulty battery, broken Touch or Face ID sensors and any other components required for the device to be in full working order. Deep scratches, cracks, or dents would qualify the device as poor condition.

  • Everything works. No major damage. Most “normal” devices fit into the “Good” classification.
  • Only used phones that are practically brand new fit under the “Mint” classification.


The device is fully working and does not require any repairs to be used further. Minor evidence of previous use in the form of small scratches and scuffs are acceptable. 

Battery maximum capacity (visible in Settings > Battery > Battery Health) must be at 90% or above. If it’s lower than that, we would have to replace the battery before the phone can be resold. A fee of R250 will be deducted from the payout, to go towards covering this cost.

  • Everything works. No signs of previous use. 
  • Only used phones that are practically brand new fit under the “Mint” classification.

The device is fully working and does not require any repairs to be used further. The device has absolutely no signs of previous use, not even minor scuffs or scratches are visible, the device is as good as new.

Battery maximum capacity (visible in Settings > Battery > Battery Health) must be at 95% or higher. 

  • New and sealed.
  • The plastic wrapping around the box hasn’t even been opened.


The device still has all original factory seals intact with no evidence of tampering. The box has been been unsealed or opened, and the device has never been used. Devices must be free from any contractual obligation.