Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of counterfeit smart phone offers - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware of counterfeit smart phone offers

Posted: Updated:
When Marco Renk compared his smart phone he bought off eBay with an original Samsung smart phone, he noticed some irregularities. When Marco Renk compared his smart phone he bought off eBay with an original Samsung smart phone, he noticed some irregularities.
(Toledo News Now) -

If you need a replacement smart phone but can't afford the $500 replacement cost, there's a cheaper alternative: turning to online sellers. Many are offering iPhones and popular Android phones for half price, but there are important cautions to consider.

Smart phones are getting more expensive, as carriers start offering them without contract. You may have to pay $500 for one in the future. So more and more people are turning to eBay to find cheaper phones, but as one man learned, it's easy to get burned by them.

Discount Phone On eBay

Marco Renk thinks of himself as tech savvy. So when he spotted a Samsung Note on eBay at $150 off list price, he couldn't pass it up. He bought the unlocked phone from a seller with great eBay feedback, but when he started checking out his new purchase, Renk noticed it was smaller than it should be.

Some Things Not Right

"I started measuring the screeen. It's 5.2 inches, not 5.5," said Renk.

Another issue was the bottom button seemed to be in the wrong spot.

"The space from the screen down to the bottom button - there is much less on the right than on the left one," Renk said.

Additionally, the pen for tapping the keyboard didn't fit properly.

A quick Google search alerted Renk to an epidemic of cheap knockoff Samsung phones from China being sold on Craigslist and eBay. Reports say they may work, but have less storage, slower speeds, and washed-out displays.

Seller Refuses Refund

Renk contacted the seller, who denied the phone was a fake.

So we got involved and contacted eBay, which finally agreed to refund Renk's purchase price.

Renk now wants to warn others: A discount smart phone from an unknown source could turn out to be an expensive paperweight.

Make sure you know who you are buying from, so you don't waste your money.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.