Buying a Used iPhone for Teen & Advice on Controls to Install


We're about to purchase a used iPhone for our eldest kid, a rising 8th grader. We know to check with reputable places like AT&T (our cell carrier) and Apple, but are there other places to check out...or avoid?

What restrictions or controls do you recommend we install? Our child is not yet in to social media (hooray!) save for Discord.

Are there other things we should think about or know (things you wish you'd known or thought about) prior to gifting the phone?

Thank you!

An overwhelmed, non-techie parent

Parent Replies

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I've had good luck buying them used from a couple of different ebay vendors. Here is a link to the one we used last: 

Our whole family is happy with the iphone 6s model, which you can buy for a little over $100 at this point. Then if it drops, gets lost, etc., not a problem!

Hi. I am the parent of a successful college senior. I have never used phone or screen restrictions, controls, or limits with her (or for that matter, with halloween candy or other popular items on which that parents frequently impose limits). We are, however, still on the same icloud account; when she was younger I could get an idea of what she was up to based on her photos and google searches. Now, I feel that because we are on the same "find my," that either of us could be located in the event of an emergency, and when she was younger and needed a ride, that I would know where to find her or if I am late to pick her up, that she knows how far away I am. I do suggest you put your child on your iCloud account. Why do you feel controls are needed anyway? Most kids are truly able to self-regulate and the ability to self-regulate serves them better in the long run.

The problem in buying a used iPhone is battery life.  The cost to replace the battery is more than the phone is worth.  Makes no sense to buy a used phone if the battery is only going to last a few hours and need to be charged. If you are an AT&T customer aren't they offering a "new" iPhone for free?  I know Verizon is right now.
Get Apple care, a screen protector and a case and expect your child to break the screen many times.
If you are fixed on used phones try eBay and buy from a private party, rather than someone who just sells phones. That way you can get some history about the phone. I would not buy one off of CraigsList, too many scammers and people have been robbed and shot over phone deals.  (Even if you meet in a public place).

Hope this helps.