Buying a used smartphone to bring to Ting

By Jesse Simms

Looking to buy a used phone to bring to Ting? You’re in the right place.

If you’re planning to buy a refurbished device from Ting, rest assured it’ll be compatible with at least one of our two nationwide LTE networks. If you’re planning on buying elsewhere, there’s a couple things you need to know before jumping the gun.

If you have a used phone in hand, hit the Ting compatibility checker to find out if your phone can come to Ting right now.

Compatible devices

Before you choose a phone, you need to find out which Ting network is right for you. If you know there’s good T-Mobile coverage in your area, go with Ting’s GSM network. If there’s quality Sprint coverage where you are, go with Ting’s CDMA network.

If you’re not sure, take a look through our coverage map or use a crowdsourcing site like OpenSignal.

Unlocking your phone

Keep in mind that your phone must be unlocked in order to activate on Ting. If a phone has been purchased as part of a contract or plan, the carrier won’t unlock the phone until the balanced owed to the carrier has been paid off. As long as the phone has been fully paid for, your carrier is legally obligated to unlock your phone for free. Contact your carrier for more information.

If you’re looking to bring a used Sprint device to Ting, that device must be in good financial standing with Sprint or else it will be blocked by Sprint’s Financial Eligibility Check. 

If you’re looking to bring a phone from a prepaid carrier, the carrier won’t unlock the phone until one year after it was purchased and activated.

If a phone has been purchased outright (not as part of a contract or plan) or directly from an original manufacturer (Apple Store, Google Store, Motorola Store, etc), it’s likely already unlocked.

Used marketplaces

If you’re buying a used phone online, make sure you get the IMEI/MEID number from the seller before you purchase the device. Enter this number in the Ting compatibility checker to instantly find out whether this phone will work on Ting. Confused by the word “IMEI?” Read this.

If you’re not able to get the IMEI number but still want to know whether the device will work with Ting, we can help:

If you’re looking to activate on Ting’s GSM network, here’s everything you need to know about GSM Ting-compatible phones.

If you’re looking to activate on Ting’s CDMA network, your only safe option outside of the Ting Shop is to purchase through Swappa’s Ting-ready section. These phones have already had their IMEIs verified to ensure these phones will work with Ting.

Swappa

Getting your hands on a Ting compatible phone from Swappa is easy. We’ve removed the hard work by partnering with Swappa to create the Ting-ready section, which guarantees your device will activate on Ting.

Ting Shop

The Ting Shop lists some refurbished devices alongside the latest offerings. While it doesn’t have the variety you’ll find from other marketplaces, it’s the easiest way to get connected with Ting while saving some cash in the process. Ting refurbished phones come with a Ting SIM inside and are ready to activate the second they arrive.


There are many other online retailers and marketplaces that sell used devices. We’ve listed some of the most popular below.

Gazelle

Glyde

eBay

Amazon

Craigslist


How did you find your used Ting device? Let us know in the comments below.

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