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What type of SIM card will my phone use?
Nowadays, pretty much all modern smartphones use a Nano-SIM. Some older smartphones will use the Micro-SIM, and if you have a much older flip phone, that one more than likely uses a regular SIM card.
If you're still unsure, find out the exact phone model you're looking to buy and consult the official website of the phone's manufacturer to see if your SIM card will work.
What SIM card will I need?
Please note: Back Market phones are delivered without a SIM card. If you need one, you'll have to directly contact your carrier.
To make sure your SIM card/mobile plan is compatible with the phone you’re looking at, it's wise to check with your mobile network provider — before buying — to see if your current service and SIM card are compatible with that specific phone.
Knowing the model number of the phone you want can also aid in your search. For instance, if you’re a Verizon customer and want a refurbished iPhone 12, you’ll specifically need the A2172. It seems complex, but we promise it's not! When you're ready to purchase your new phone, check with your carrier to make sure the SIM card you have works for that phone. If not, they typically can provide a new SIM card at a low cost.
What to know about eSIM
Around 2019, manufacturers began adding an "embedded-SIM" — or “eSIM” to their phones and other devices. What this means is that new phones have a built-in SIM card that can connect to your carrier without the need to get a physical SIM card from them and insert it yourself.
Currently, not all US carriers support eSIM, so be sure to check and make sure your carrier supports it before attempting to set it up.
Setting up an eSIM is pretty easy, and your phone should walk you through the steps when first booting it up, but if you're having any trouble, here's a quick walkthrough:
Before attempting to connect, check to make sure your carrier supports eSIM
Once confirmed, you'll have a few ways to set it up:
- Scanning the QR code
- Your carrier should have a QR code if they support eSIM
- Find that QR code through your carrier account, then scan it with the camera app on your device
- Click Cellular Plan Detected > Continue > Add Cellular Plan
- For devices that have iOS 13 or newer, your carrier can assign your plan right to you!
- Just contact them directly to get this started
- Once it's assigned, you'll receive a notification that says "Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed" click that and then click “Continue”
- Next, you may be asked to transfer your cellular plan if you're switching from a SIM card to eSIM
- If you get that notification, just follow the steps on the screen and select the number you'd like to use on this device
- Once you complete these steps, make a call to double-check that your setup was successful
- If the call doesn't go through, you may need to contact your carrier directly for further assistance.
- If all else fails, enter your plan information manually
- Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data > Add Cellular Plan > Enter Details Manually
- Fill out the information, and your device should connect
While the Google Pixel 2 only supports eSIM for Google Fi, newer models, and some Samsung Galaxy devices support eSIM for other carriers. Before purchasing your device, make sure that your carrier supports eSIM.
- Scanning the QR code
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network > Add carrier
- Scan your carrier's QR code
- Depending on your carrier, you may also receive manual information instead of a QR code. If so, click the "Enter information manually" button and fill out those details
- Click "Start" and wait for your phone to update
- Once done, click "Complete"
Why would I need a dual-SIM phone?
If you have a business and personal number, travel out of the country often, or have a separate data and voice plan, a dual-SIM device may be the right choice. You'll see dual-SIM devices labeled on our listings, so if needed, just be sure to purchase one of those.
Once you receive the device, you'll need to insert both SIM cards and follow the on-screen steps to activate each plan. For some iPhone devices, one SIM card is the eSIM, so follow the above instructions for that setup.
If you’re anticipating using the 2nd plan for travel, be sure to disable your domestic plan in the settings menu of your phone before you leave to prevent roaming charges.