1. Start with The Wholesalers.

You’ll find a lot of places to buy unlocked cell phones, especially when shopping online. These sources range from auction sites to small retailers. It will be well worth your time, however, to start by checking out the websites of gadget wholesalers. Many unlocked phones come from the same sources of white-label wholesalers, so it may be more practical for you to go straight to the source for cheaper deals.

2. Carefully Review the Warranty and Return Policies.

This applies whether you choose to stick with a local retailer or source your unlocked phones straight from the wholesaler. Knowing beforehand the terms of the warranty as well as the policies for returns will help you understand just how much support you can get. If you have any questions you’d like cleared up, get in touch with customer care as well. This will not only answer your questions, but will help you gauge the professionalism of the vendor by gauging how responsive its customer support is.

3. Check and Compare Phone Specs Within Price Ranges.

A little research on phone specs can go a long way. You could find two unlocked smart phones with exactly the same specifications but priced differently. You could also find significantly more capable unlocked mobile phones within the budget you’ve set. Research is the key here.

4. Stick with PayPal When Making Online Purchases.

PayPal offers an additional layer of protection in case your supplier isn’t keeping their end of the bargain. It is much easier to dispute a claim with PayPal than it is with your bank. If you make direct transfers, then there is absolutely no way for you to recover the cash you spent for fake or defective unlocked phones.

5. Pick a “World Phone” That Works with Any Band.

It will be worth your time and money to pick an unlocked cellphone that will support at least four of the major cellular frequencies used around the world. This means picking unlocked phones that work with GSM 850, GSM 1900, GSM 900, and GSM 1800 bands. Not only will this guarantee that your phone is compatible with the band used by your carrier, but will also allow you to use the phone in virtually all of the countries around the world.

6. Make Sure You Phone Can Work with Your Carrier.

Speaking of carriers, you need to make sure that you know which technology your carrier uses. Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Code Division Mobile Access (CDMA), and Long Term Evolution (LTE) are the three major technologies used by phone carriers. Each requires very specific hardware, so get in touch with your carrier to see which technology it uses before buying an unlocked phone.

7. Stay Up-To-Date with The Latest Models.

And last but not the least, it may be worth your time checking out the latest phones even when you already bought one. Unlocked phones from wholesalers tend to have a very short development cycle, meaning that you can get a significantly improved phone with new features in as little as six months. This makes it much more viable to upgrade phones in a short span of time while selling your current phone.