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How to Buy Mobile Phone Cases and Covers on eBay

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How to Buy Mobile Phone Cases and Covers on eBay

Buying a case or cover is the best way to keep a new mobile phone both looking and feeling new. It's also a great way to spruce up an older one. Mobile phone retailers will try to sell cases and covers to everyone who buys a phone from them, but that's not usually the best way of getting a good deal. There are lots of less expensive places to buy a case or cover, and for sheer range of options, eBay is one of the best. This is a brief guide to what should be considered, and how to get the best deal on mobile phone cases and covers on eBay.

Different Types of Case and Cover

The first thing to think about when buying a mobile phone case or cover is the basic type. These can differ widely, from a handknitted sock to a sophisticated leather flip case.

Fitted Cases or Skin

These the most common sort of case. They are very versatile, coming in a vast array of different colours and designs. Every interest is catered for, from fine art to children's cartoons, to popular bands. They come in a variety of materials and are generally quite hard-wearing, although they only cover the back of the mobile phone, so it is a good idea to get clear plastic screen protectors too.

Pouch or Sleeve

These are a great way to keep a phone safe when it's not being used, but it's necessary to take it out to use it, and so at that point the phone will be unprotected. Some can be used in combination with a fitted case or skin, however. Again, pouches and sleeves come in lots of different designs.

Socks

Socks are very much like pouches and sleeves, only they are usually knitted. Some are even hand-knitted.

Wallet or Flip Case

These give the phone a lot of protection, both front and back, and stay on while the phone is in use. Most of them are in plain colours, though some have designs. Choose from leather or plastic alternatives.

New or Used?

Another important question anyone who wants to buy a mobile phone case or cover on eBay should ask themselves is whether they definitely want a new one, or whether used would do. There are often other options as well, for example a secondhand but unused model, a factory second (in other words, one that was sold cheaply by the manufacturer because of some imperfection, usually minor) or a refurbished case or cover. In most cases, it's worth buying new. The exception is with premium models of case or cover: for example, those handmade in leather. Secondhand can be a good deal on these, particularly for people using a slightly older model of phone, as there will be people selling theirs not because of any flaw but because they've just upgraded to the latest model. eBay makes it easy to search according to condition, by which is meant new used or one of the other categories.

Material

What the case or cover is made out of makes a huge difference not only to appearance, but also to how long it lasts and most importantly how well it protects the phone. For many mobile phone users, the way the case feels to the touch is an important factor: after all, many people nowadays spend time each day, perhaps hours each day, with their phone in their hand, and making that a pleasurable experience can have a positive effect on well-being. eBay lists numerous types of material, from canvas to wool, although neither of these are particularly common. The main types of material to consider are:

Leather

A classic choice: waterproof, hard-wearing, attractive, traditional, natural, practical. Not all leather cases are expensive, though the majority of expensive cases are leather.

Synthetic leather

A cheaper, vegetarian alternative to leather. Not generally so hard-wearing, but just as attractive.

Metal

Great for a sophisticated, modern, minimalist look fitted case. Quite a different 'feel' from the alternatives.

Neoprene

This is the material used to make divers wetsuits. Often used for phone pouches. Practical and comfortable in the hand.

Plastic

Cheap and cheerful. A fitted plastic skin is often a good choice for those on a budget.

Silicone / Gel / Rubber

These look a little like plastic, but have a different, softer feel to them, and are less bulky. One disadvantage is that they offer less protection than most of the alternatives above, so they are less good for clumsy users.

Extra Features

Some mobile phone cases and covers come with extra features for extra security or convenience, for example a belt loop, a strap, or a clip. Check descriptions carefully to make sure any case being considered has all of the necessary extra features.

Some Advantages of Buying Mobile Phone Cases or Covers on eBay

There are several reasons why eBay is a good place to buy mobile phone cases and covers. One is the fact that there is so much choice. Here are a few of the others.

Ask a question

One useful feature on eBay is the ability to ask sellers questions about a particular case. If the description isn't clear about something, for example whether a case has a particular feature, then simply use the Ask a question facility towards the bottom of the case's page.

Buyer Protection

If a case or cover isn't delivered, or turns out to be significantly different from its description, then buying through eBay offers Buyer Protection, which enables buyers to get a full refund, including postage, as long as they paid through Paypal.

Finding Mobile Phone Cases and Covers on eBay

There are two main ways to go about looking for mobile phone cases or covers on eBay. The simplest, particularly for shoppers with a good idea of what they want, is simply to type a description of it into the search box at the top of any eBay page. For example, if someone wanted a blue leather flipcase, they could simply type "blue leather flipcase" into the search box, along with the model of phone it is for. Shoppers who know they want a particular brand of case can type that brand in as well. To get more accurate results, go to the dropdown list to the right of the search box and select Mobile Phones and Communications. Another way is to go directly to the section of eBay that sells only mobile phone cases and covers. To do this, begin at the eBay homepage, then from the menu on the left, select Electronics & Technology. From there go to Mobile & Home Phones then Cases & Covers. That should reveal a list of most of the cases and covers available on eBay. If there are others, they have been miscategorised. It's sometimes worth using the search option as items that have been miscategorised tend to get fewer bids, so canny shoppers can pick up bargains that way. It is possible to narrow the search to ensure a suitable, fitting model is found for the mobile in question. To do this, look at the menu on the left hand side of the page and select the correct model of phone, for example iPhone 5. eBay also allows users to search by Colour, Brand, Price, Design/Finish, for example things like Jewelled or Pictorial, and by a number of other factors. It is also possible to combine the various factors, for example to search for a 'turquoise leather pouch'. If speed of delivery is important, then search for items located in the UK, with express delivery available. If price is important, search under Free P&P, and name a maximum price to avoid getting tempted by unaffordable models.

Conclusion

Most mobile phone users will want at least one case to keep their phone safe and clean. Some go for a collection, using different types in different circumstances or to express different moods. eBay is a great place to shop, even if just for the available selection alone.

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