A Buying Guide for Telephone and Answering Systems on eBay

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A Buying Guide for Telephone and Answering Systems on eBay

In the age of the mobile phone, few people have need for home phones and landlines. Most people these days opt to take their phones with them rather than leave them at home. This does not mean that landline phones are obsolete. There are those who still have use for landline telephones and answering systems to keep up with personal and business calls. Technology for such devices has advanced over the years. Several types of telephones and answering systems are available. Contemporary telephone and answering systems offer a wide range of features to meet the needs of a variety of users. When shopping for these devices, shoppers must first determine the type of phone and answering system they need, as well as evaluate the various features that each device has to offer. No matter what kind of telephone or answering system shoppers are looking for, they are sure to find what they need on eBay.

Searching for Telephones and Answering Systems on eBay

eBay is an online marketplace that offers thousands of listings for both new and used phones and answering systems. Because the devices are all listed by private sellers from across the UK, the selection is more diverse and the prices are better. The key to finding the best deals on telephones and answering systems is knowing how to search the site and use all of its features.

One starts a search for telephones and answering systems by performing a basic or an advanced search. With these search features, the user inputs keywords to search the listings and find a match. The shopper should choose keywords that describe the device he or she is looking for. After the initial search results are returned, the shopper then narrows down the search by selecting different phone features. One can sort listings based on the brand, device features, type, colour, seller, and more.

However, to begin the search, the buyer should have some idea of what he or she wants out of a telephone and answering service.

Types of Telephones

When shopping for a telephone, shoppers must consider the various types of phones available. While the basic functions of the phones are the same across all makes and models of phones, the styles and operational interfaces can vary greatly. A shopper must decide if he wants a phone that he can carry around the house or a phone that is connected to the wall at all times. Additionally, shoppers need to choose between digital or analogue phone technology.

Corded vs. Cordless Phones

The two main types of telephones that people find in today's market are phones with cords and those without cords. The corded phone is the original telephonic format. This type of phone must be connected to the wall, and users have to sit or stand at the connection point to make a call. A corded phone does not need to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Cordless phones have a handset that operates with a rechargeable battery. The phone sits in a base that is connected to the phone line and the outlet. Users are able to walk freely around the home while using the telephone. This gives users more freedom when using the phone.

While cordless phones are more convenient, one thing that shoppers need to keep in mind is that such a phone must remain charged in order to work. Once the battery dies, the battery must be recharged before the phone can be used again. Likewise, the base must be plugged into the outlet or it cannot transmit the wireless signal to the handset. In the event of a power outage, the phone does not work. Where corded phones have the advantage is that they continue to work even if the electricity is not working in the home.

Analogue vs. Digital Phones

Shoppers must also decide if they want analogue phones or digital phones. These are the two types cordless phones. Analogue phones are the cheaper of the two. This is because the analogue cordless phone has a limited range and this affects the sound quality. As the user moves farther away from the base, the sound quality is diminished. With digital phones, the signal is stronger and the sound is clearer. Likewise, the conversations on digital phones are more secure. With analogue phones, conversations can often be picked up by baby monitors and other radios that are located nearby.

Telephone Features to Look For

In addition to the type of phone, a shopper must evaluate the various features the phones has to offer. The features affect the functionality of the phone, its ease of use, and its price. The more features the phone has, the higher the price tag. One of the most popular features that people look for in a phone is caller ID. Multiple handsets are also beneficial and worth considering.

Caller ID

Caller ID allows the recipient to see who is on the other end of the phone call before answering the phone. This feature makes it easy for people to screen their calls without having to answer each call. The name of the caller as well as the phone number is displayed on a small screen. This feature also allows people to scroll through and see calls that were missed while they were out as well as the times that the calls came in.

Multiple Handsets

Several cordless phone systems come with multiple handsets. Many sets have two handsets, but some have four or more. These multiple handset phones are more cost-efficient because rather than having to buy several separate phones to place around the house, only a single set needs to be purchased. The base is plugged into one electrical outlet and one phone outlet with all the handsets operating from a single point. This is also ideal because if the battery on one handset dies, there is another charged and ready for use.

Types of Answering Systems

When shopping for a phone, shoppers should also take the time to look at answering systems. As with phones, there are a few different types to consider when making a decision. The two main types of answering systems that shoppers are likely to come across include standalone answering systems and in-phone answering systems. Shoppers must take the time to analyse which one is best suited to their needs before committing to a purchase.

Standalone Answering System

A standalone answering system is a device that is separate from the telephone. It connects to the phone line and answers the call after a certain number of rings. With a standalone answering system, users have the ability to listen to, replay, organise, and erase messages without having to use the handset on the phone. A digital display shows how many messages are recorded on the machine. Additionally, there is a built-in speaker with adjustable volume for listening to the messages.

In-Phone Answering System

When shopping for telephones, shoppers may come across phones that have answering systems built into the phone. These are convenient because the shopper only has to buy one, all-inclusive device. The user must listen to the messages using the earpiece on the phone's handset, but some have loudspeakers as well. The downside to this type of system is that it has limited recording space. People who get several phone calls and messages per day may run out of room for their messages using this type of system.

Answering System Features to Consider

As with any other electronic device, shoppers have a multitude of features that need to be evaluated when shopping for an answering system. Different brands offer different features, and more features mean a higher price tag. Shoppers must take the time to determine which features they actually need so that they avoid spending more than they need to on an answering system.

Multiple Mailboxes

If there are multiple people in the home or office, then multiple mailboxes are a great way to organise and sort incoming calls. When a caller reaches the answering system, he or she is prompted to enter a mailbox number. The message is stored to that mailbox so that the intended recipient receives it. This ensures that people have access to their own messages and do not accidentally delete other people's messages.


A timestamp announces the time and date that the call or message was received. This is not always necessary, especially if the phone has caller ID. If a person receives multiple calls, then it can be hard to determine when a certain message was received. In these instances, a timestamp is helpful for organising the calls.

Remote Access

Not everyone can be at home or at the office at all times. This means that there is a chance that important calls and messages get missed. With remote access, people can call their phones to retrieve their messages without having to be at the phone.

Message Storage Space

Shoppers must consider storage space when shopping for an answering system. People who receive a lot of calls or who cannot clear their messages on a daily basis may run out of room to receive new messages. The average answering system stores up to 15 minutes of recorded messages; however, shoppers can find answering systems that store up to 45 minutes worth of messages.

Battery Backup

As stated earlier, if the power goes out, many phones are unable to function. Answering systems that rely on electricity to store messages may lose them if the power were to go out. Additionally, they can still record messages even if the power is out. Users must take the time to ensure that the batteries are functional and fully-charged.

Assessing the Seller

Once the buyer has compared the listings on eBay, he or she needs to choose a seller. The easiest way to assess the sellers is to look at the sellers' individual profile pages. On the profile page, the buyer finds a feedback score. At the conclusion of every transaction, the buyer has the opportunity to rate the seller. The feedback score represents how the seller was rated in the past by previous buyers. Those sellers with the highest scores are referred to as 'Top-rated Sellers'. If the buyer has any questions for the seller, the buyer can contact the seller by clicking on the contact link in the seller's profile.


Many people still use landline telephones and answering systems even though cell phones make it more convenient to receive calls and messages while on the go. Having a corded or cordless phone allows people to receive calls in the office or at home where mobile phones are not always the most convenient method of communication. The technology for these types of phones has advanced and now offers a number of features to make receiving calls and messages more convenient.

Shoppers must take the time to choose the type of phone and answering system they need as well as determine the features they require in advance. With so many options to choose from, shoppers are sure to find the phones they need without having to pay for unnecessary features that they may not ever use. No matter what type of phone or answering system shoppers need or how much they wish to spend, there is a huge selection of devices with a wide range of features on eBay.

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