What buyers are looking at

Attempting to resell your device can sometimes leave you in shock. Why is the resale value so low? Is this some sort of ripoff? As Asia’s biggest buyer of pre-owned devices, we’re here to shed light on the things we look out for when assessing the value of a pre-owned device. This list will also include additional points that may be taken into consideration by buyers even if we don’t.

Understanding what buyers look out for will give you a better idea of what you can expect when you trade-in your phone, and help you care for your devices more effectively.


  • This includes the edges, sides, front and back of the device. Buyers often look for scratches and dents. With every scratch or two, the value decreases. Dents are also going to take a hit on the value of the device so make sure you invest in a quality phone case. 

Screen and touch responsiveness

  • The screen and touch responsiveness is actually two parts. First, the overall condition of the screen is evaluated; are there scratches or cracks? Then, the responsiveness of the screen is checked, is the touch response of the screen functional from end-to-end? There’s also something called “ghost touch” where your phone reacts even when you don’t touch it at all.


  • Ports are susceptible to damage as cables are constantly being inserted and removed. On top of the possible scratches, the ports should also function well. This applies to the charging port as well as the earphone jack, if the phone has one.

Buttons and switches

  • The responsiveness of the button matters. Are the buttons working? Are they loose? Some iPhones have a silence switch which also matters in the assessment.

Fingerprint sensor 

  • Side-mounted or on-screen fingerprint sensors are also checked for functionality as biometrics have become somewhat of an essential in newer models.


  • Speakers are also tested to check if the sounds are clear and functioning or muffled and faulty. Really old devices may have accumulated dust at the speakers which is subject to cleaning. 


  • Similarly, the microphone should also be functioning well in receiving audio clearly. 

Front and rear cameras

  • Cameras are especially important as many of the latest models rely on the value of the phone’s image capturing capabilities. Aside from functioning well, the condition of the lenses are just as important. 


  • While the lifespan of your battery is a factor that is assessed, another thing buyers look out for is bloatedness. This is because a bloated battery can sometimes also affect the condition of the phone’s body.

SIM tray

  • Missing SIM trays are more common than you think, and yes it affects the value of your device. The delicate nature of SIM trays are also susceptible to breakage.

Call function

  • Proper functioning microphones and speakers do not automatically translate to flawless call function. This is a factor that is looked at separately.

WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS

  • The sensors of your phone are also subject to assessment. When assessing your device with the InstaCash app, you can expect a notification to turn on your WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Notable mentions

Liquid damage

  • Liquid damage can affect the value of your phone in different ways. The damage could be minimal, or it could damage your device severely. But don’t worry even liquid damaged devices can be traded-in. Just contact us to find out more.

Telco locked

  • Some devices are telco locked, which means that it was purchased through a telco affecting its usability to a certain degree. Telco locked devices will affect the value of your device, so it’s important to understand this before agreeing to purchase telco locked devices.

Packaging and accessories

  • While we don’t require packaging and original accessories, many pre-owned device buyers demand for these sometimes as a way to chip down the value of your device. The same applies to manuals, accessories and receipts. 


When you’re planning to trade-in your device and suddenly barraged with prices that vary greatly, it can be confusing and off-putting. Thankfully there is a smarter and more consistent way to get the value of your device. You can even get it assessed right now! All you have to do is get the InstaCash app on the Apple Store or Google Play Store. Furthermore, you don’t even have to step out from your house. Our couriers can come straight to your doorstep. Even if you’re not satisfied with the final value of your device, you could request for it back, without any charge. 


Still got questions? Find out more about InstaCash here: instacash.compasia.com 


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