Apple has always maintained its premium quality, and the cost of its products is always on the higher end. Likewise, the AirPods come at a premium price too. But one might often get these from a local shop or purchase them online in used or refurbished condition. The prices for these might fluctuate depending on the item’s condition. Buying second-hand AirPods offers numerous benefits. For example, they can serve as an upgrade for your earbuds and get them at a lesser price than the price of new ones.
You do not get the original box sometimes but can always ask for the warranty and return policies, as used equipment does not include such warranties in the package. However, you can also easily get scammed while buying used AirPods, resulting in purchasing a replica. These scams are common if you get them from someone selling them on the streets or an unknown online source.
What To Do Before Buying Second Hand / Used AirPods?
Before you buy used AirPods, you should get a few things prepared that may be missing from the box. For example, you’ll require a user manual or need to bookmark the AirPods support page on Apple’s website. You’ll also need to purchase new ear tips due to sanitary reasons and a charger and seller’s guarantee.
Buying refurbished equipment takes work. We can get easily scammed these days, and hunting for a product in mint condition takes time. The device can cause issues in a little while as a second-handed product. So, the first thing to do is to ensure the seller guarantees it will work without causing any problems.
Be prepared to buy the remaining accessories, as the used or refurbished AirPods might only include some of the accessories that come with the box when we buy a brand-new pair. Try to buy from a retailer instead of purchasing it online to ensure you get a good quality product. We have mentioned some more details for buying used AirPods below.
Refer to the AirPods Support Page
Used equipment usually causes some issues as another user has previously used it. It is also impossible to get the original manual for it, so there is no guide for you, which you might need if you’re using the AirPods for the first time. Due to this, you cannot know about the features and cannot use them at their maximum potential.
If you’re buying AirPods for the first time, you might not understand the product, which can create confusion. For example, you might not know what to do if the AirPods are not charging or not pairing with your phone. You can always check the Apple support website for AirPods, seeking more help regarding these cases. Alternatively, you can ask the seller or someone you know for the user manual.
Buy Your Own Ear Tips & Charging Cable
You might only get some of the ear tips available with the AirPods. Buying your own ear tips is always a good option, as you can get your desired size. It is also considered hygienic, and the new tips will make you feel like you just bought a new pair of AirPods. If you are getting AirPods Pro, you can buy the ear tips directly from the apple store online. You will need to search elsewhere for other versions of Airpods.
The charging case comes with the used AirPods in the box. However, the charging cable, which is used too frequently, might need to be fixed or might be unavailable. So it is also suggested to get a new charging cable if you’re going to buy used AirPods.
Try to Get a Guarantee from the Seller
Buyers of used AirPods don’t usually get the original box or the manufacturer’s warranty. They can get a guarantee from the seller that the AirPods will work till a certain date, and if it causes hardware problems or some other issue, you can always return and ask for an exchange. Some sellers don’t guarantee it, while some give a warranty of their own starting from 15 days up to 2 years.
It is not necessary that your AirPods will cause issues. In some scenarios, you might not even receive the AirPods you ordered, or they might seem as good as new in pictures, but in reality, you are getting them in a more used condition. You can always return it if it is guaranteed by the seller that you will receive the exact product. Kindly keep in mind to get some type of guarantee from the supplier, especially if you’re purchasing online from e-commerce stores on individual vendors.
Look for Authorized Dealers
It is always good to look for authorized dealers around you. An authorized dealer will be more careful and sell an original product to avoid being questioned over their quality or getting any negative reviews back from their customers. Purchasing from them does relieve the tension of users being scammed as they are officially registered to sell that product.
They use a better process of keeping the AirPods in mint condition, even though they have been in the store for a relatively long time, and these units generally cause fewer issues as well. These are termed as seller refurbished or dealer refurbished as the seller takes care of it using a more precise method in refining their product.
Make Sure The Used AirPods Are Not Fake
Another thing to ensure is that the AirPods you’re buying are not fake. It is easier to make replicas that look exactly like the original and sell them in used condition at a very low price to target the customers. These might look like the originals but will not provide the premium sound effect. Also, some features will be different or might not even be available, and hardware and software will also differ from the original.
How to Spot Fake AirPods?
You can spot fake AirPods by comparing them to the original ones shared on Apple’s original website. Moreover, you can verify the serial number, evaluate the packaging, and carefully inspect the AirPods. If you own an iOS device, you can also use that to pair and confirm the authenticity of your AirPods.
Apple has always been a target of replica manufacturers. After different copies of iPhones, replicas of AirPods are now available in the market. But you can spot these replicas in a lot of ways. If you are new to this, you might end up purchasing fake AirPods. We have provided you with some techniques to spot the fakes.
Check the Alert on Your iPhone
Apple has always been a genius in terms of the connection between its equipment. It has introduced a new feature in iOS 16 to verify whether the AirPods are fake or original. As soon as you connect your AirPods to your iPhone, you can see the alert on your phone as “Cannot Verify AirPods.” Below this alert, you can see a clear message stating that the headphones are not verified as genuine AirPods and may not work as expected. While you can still use fake AirPods if you wish or pick a different brand, they will not prove to be as good as the original AirPods.
Evaluate the Packaging
Another good way is to evaluate the packaging that comes with it. If the packaging is not of good quality, you should take that as a sign that they are fake because Apple always uses good-quality packaging for its users. Also, you can verify by simple grammar mistakes commonly present on the box. Missing a letter or the animations on the box can prove it is not genuine. Apple also handles its packaging in-house, so it’s obvious that they won’t use cheaper materials to box the product.
Verify the Serial Number
Apple uses serial numbers for the products to identify them easily. If you have the original box with you, the serial number is alongside the barcodes. If you have purchased a refurbished or used AirPods without the original box, the easiest way to check for serial numbers is when you pair your AirPods with your phone. Go to Settings > AirPods, find your AirPods, and press the more info button next to your AirPods. You can find all the related info regarding your AirPods there, including the serial number and model name. You can find more info regarding the AirPods serial number on Apple support.
Inspect the AirPods and Case
The AirPods case can also tell you if they are fake or original. You can check for the case design online and match it with the one you want to buy. Many cases show extra vents, or there will be some change in the case appearance, setting it apart from the original one. You can check if there is something extra printed on the case. AirPods Max comes in 5 colors, which is why it’s easier to copy them and fool others. However, the AirPods Pro 2 comes only in white, so if you see any color other than white, you should know it’s a replica.
Similarly, AirPods are designed to connect to your iPhone as soon as you open the case. Whereas fake ones usually require permission from your iPhone to connect. Some counterfeiters get extremely close to perfecting their product and making it look more similar to the original product. They can get everything down to a T, including the most commonly used original features. You can check for the AirPods icon when connected to an Apple device next to the device name in the Bluetooth settings. If you cannot see an icon, your AirPods are fake.
Spot a Fake When Purchasing Online
Purchasing online is a feasible and reliable option nowadays. An increase in e-commerce websites has enabled customers to get more exciting deals now and then. So if you’re considering purchasing used or refurbished AirPods online, keep in mind to check for authentic sellers. You can always check the reviews of the seller.
Avoid the eye-catching cheaper deals that you might think are the best-discounted price for a used AirPods, as you can easily get scammed and receive a fake pair of AirPods. It is always better to visit Apple’s website or purchase from an e-commerce store that has been selling Apple equipment for at least a little while now that’s well-known in the industry.
Should I Buy Used or Refurbished AirPods?
It is better to purchase refurbished AirPods instead of used ones. You can get a refurbished pair from a trusted seller decreasing the risks of being handed fake AirPods. They will also offer a guarantee because refurbished units are repaired and cleaned under expert supervision and are checked for defects.
Buying used AirPods can be beneficial if you ignore the thoughts of the ear tips being in someone else’s ears. Once you get the item, you can see that it is perfectly fine to use used AirPods. Plus, you can get new ear tips for them. You can always deny purchase if they have more scratches than usual, as the previous owner might not have used them carelessly. In this case, you might even notice some damage to the AirPods. Other than that, if you can find it in good condition, you can always try and crack a good deal.
However, there are a few reasons to avoid purchasing used AirPods apart from the fact that there might be a better alternative of some other brand available in new condition with a manufacturer warranty. Also, many refuse to purchase used or refurbished AirPods as their battery life might be questionable. There is no way to check for your AirPods battery health right now, but if it has been used for two years, you might need to charge your AirPods every hour. You will also have to sanitize them as soon as you purchase used AirPods.
After going through this article, you might know what to do before buying used AirPods. Don’t forget the pointers we shared for spotting fake AirPods and all the accessories you’ll need to buy before purchasing used AirPods. You can check for serial numbers and ask for a warranty from the seller if there is none.
We recommend you buy refurbished AirPods instead of used ones, as they are cleaned with precision and contain fewer defects than the used ones. We hope the information provided helps you and that you are ready to purchase a used or refurbished pair of AirPods.
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I quit my full-time job and started my journey as a freelance copywriter and content writer, and I believe it was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far because I absolutely love it. I’ve been writing tech-related guides, how-to’s, articles, and informational pieces for a long time, and I especially love testing and reporting on various types of headphones.