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While the Orchard app does a lot to automate the process of evaluating a device’s condition, we first rely on sellers to describe the outside of their phones. Scratches, dents, and chips are virtually impossible for us to track, yet are a crucial aspect of your device’s value and, ultimately, how happy your buyer will be when they receive their phone.
To alleviate any confusion about how to assess the wear and tear on your phone, we have put together this convenient guide.
Step 1: Clean it up
Without a clean up, you won’t be able to tell what is serious damage to your phone’s casing and what is just gunk left over from sticky-fingers. To properly get a sense of the condition of your phone, we recommend giving it a thorough clean first.
Before you begin, unplug your device from all cables and turn it off. Remove any screen protectors or other protective cases from your iPhone.
Using a slightly damp, lint-free cloth, wipe down the exterior of your iPhone while being careful that you don’t get moisture in any of the device’s openings. A cloth moistened with water should be perfectly fine for the job.
Avoid using any abrasives (e.g. household cleaners, alcohol, ammonia) to clean your phone. An iPhone’s glass surface has an oleophobic coating, which is Apple’s fancy way of saying that it is resistant to fingerprints. Harsh cleaners will strip your screen of its ability to repel oil and it may scratch your glass.
Step 2: Inspect your gadget
When your buyer receives their iPhone, they will probably take a few minutes to look over the condition of its body. If they bought a phone listed as in “Like New” condition, they will expect to see virtually no wear and tear on its exterior. Taking a close look at your device is a crucial step to making sure that your sale will go as smoothly as possible.
Hold your device by a source of light, which should help illuminate any scratches or dents in the iPhone casing. Run your finger along the front edge of your phone to feel for any bumps or chips that could indicate damage.
Make sure you don’t neglect any of the four sides of the phone aside from the front and back. Areas around the headphone jack, volume buttons, and sleep button commonly display damage. Even the most high-quality protective cases might not keep your phone safe from damage in these areas. Protective cases are even known to cause damage. Dirt can get lodged underneath the casing and, overtime, it can grind into your phone’s exterior.
Step 3: Determine your iPhone condition category
We have three categories to cover the range of conditions that your phone could be in. After inspecting your phone, choose the condition category that you find appropriate.
Like New – In “Like New” condition, your phone will look as if it just came out of the box: no blemishes. This condition usually applies to a phone that has seldom left its original box.
Very Good – In “Very Good” condition, your phone will show minimal wear and have a few light scratches or very minor scuffing. If you have a well-cared for phone that you used for an extended period of time, it is likely that your phone falls into this category.
Good – In “Good” condition, your phone will have scratches and/or scuffs, but nothing too severe. Most phones in this condition are heavily-used, older generation phones.