REVIEW: Hands on with second-hand phone service Swappie 2 months ago

REVIEW: Hands on with second-hand phone service Swappie

You might want to know if there are any downsides to buying your new phone second-hand.

You might have seen some of the Swappie adverts, offering a first-class experience with second-hand phones and associated tech. So we here at JOE have decided to review the service, from initial interactions with their website, right through to the delivered phone.



The official Irish website for Swappie is incredibly easy to use and interact with. While there are offerings on the homepage to also sell a phone if that is why you're there, we exclusively used the "Buy Your Next Phone" menu.

One thing we were unaware of previous to using the service is that Swappie doesn't feature all phones, just iPhones. So if you're in the market for any kind of second hand Android device, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Once you've inputted your desired price range, storage, camera, screen size, etc., then the site will filter down to the iPhones they have available for you to purchase in stock. (For this review, Swappie provided access to an iPhone 14 Plus.)


Then once you've narrowed it down to the type of iPhone you want, you'll be offered different versions of that phone - based on memory size, phone condition, new/old battery, phone colour - which can all impact the final price.


Next, you'll land on the accessories page, which varies from a Swappie insurance (€3.90 per month) to phone cases to wireless chargers and new headphones. You don't have to get any of these things, but they're useful additions to have at this point in the purchasing process.

You can also trade in against the cost of your own older iPhone. And then its just a matter of putting in your payment and delivery details and you're away.



You can choose between regular DHL home delivery (which can take up to 10 working days), or DHL express delivery (which can take up to six). We chose the regular delivery, and placed the order on Monday 26 June, and the device arrived on Monday 3 July, so just five working days.

First thing you'll notice is that your iPhone doesn't arrive in iPhone packaging, but in specifically branded Swappie packaging (image above). Inside you've got your new device, and a small booklet reminding you that buying a second-hand phone is much better for the environment, and a reminder that if you're not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can send your device back within 14 days of when you first filled out your order.



The device we used for this review was absolutely perfect. Not a blemish or a scratch, it seemed indistinguishable from a brand new iPhone 14 Plus. Having said that, the price difference in the phone wasn't that much from actually buying a phone new phone. The device we selected cost €959 on the Swappie site, but costs from €1,179 on the Apple site.

That being said, over €200 isn't exactly to be sniffed at, especially considering the potential environmental impact on a near-identical quality device.


From ordering to the final device, the entire process of ordering from Swappie is pretty much the exact same as if you were ordering directly from Apple, except you might be dealing with some preconceived notions that your second-hand device might not be up to scratch. Or scratched too much.

Swappie state that they have a 52-step testing and refurbishing process, and they have their free returns policy, so any concerns you might have should be dealt with immediately. That, matched with the device we tested being pretty much perfect, should put to rest any worries you might have for choosing second-hand over brand new.


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