'looking to buy a USED PHONE

Looking to purchase a 3rd generation Moto G, 4G LTE phone i can transfer my current RW plan to .
My 1st generation 3G is dying.

Hi @kevinm.apxax7 and welcome back to the Member Community. I do not have any experience buying used compatible RW phones. We’ve always upgraded to new phones when we replaced our older phones because our “older” phones were near the end of battery life anyway.

Here are a few articles you might want to review for buying used phones and one about changing plans just in case you might consider a new phone.

And this article is a wealth of information.

Other members can probably give you recommendations on the used phone market. A lot of reading but research can make a difference. Hope this helps.


To add to all the good information provided by fellow Ambassador @freddyp

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Hi @jben,

I’ve read and re-read the original question and I’m not sure what you’re answering with a no. It looks to me like the request is for help finding a Moto G3 as an upgrade from a Moto G1, keeping the same plan.

I would caution though, that buying and selling is not allowed in our Member Community. Advice and help finding a phone is okay, though.


So what your telling me is that I’m stuck. I have an original plan with RW of the unlimited data. I think it’s kinda crass that I’m in a way being extorted to have to change my phone to a fancy one that I really don’t need nor can afford, and in turn lose a plan I can afford for another I’ll be barely to afford.

Why is buying and or selling working and RW compatible used phones not allowed among the Community?

Community Manager

    January 13

alt jben:
The short answer is NO you can’t, you will have to reactivate on a Legacy Plan

Hi @jben,

I’ve read and re-read the original question and I’m not sure what you’re answering with a no. It looks to me like the request is for help finding a Moto G3 as an upgrade from a Moto G1, keeping the same plan.

I would caution though, that buying and selling is not allowed in our Member Community. Advice and help finding a phone is okay, though.

That model phone was made in 2013…7 years ago. That is ancient and woudl be a miracle to find one in usable condition. It would also be sold at a much higher cost than it was even new, by some one who knows that phones exclusiveness to work on the cheaper RW refund plan. One could have gotten the Moto G7 Play for $99 at Best Buy over the holidays. The last Moto G1 phone i saw that sold on Swappa was for $250 and needed a new battery.

Technology and the cellular industry has greatly evolved in 7 years. Things cost more. However, $20 a month for Unlimited Talk and Text, and 1GB of data is one of the absolute lowest cost plans out there among cell providers.

If you are unable to afford that, there are programs you may qualify for that have lower rates, even free service, Google Search “Lifeline Program” for your state.

I would surmise because this is a community to help and trouble shoot RW customers and their phones, not a eCommerce platfourm. There are already well known existing places for buying/selling/trading devices. Also, liability and the headache of supporting such things, should someone have a not so pleasant transaction and blame RW for it because they used this place as the contact point.

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You an I have very different definitions of extortion. Republic isn’t holding a gun to your head and making you buy anything in particular. The phones they sell start at $149 right now and were $99 over the holidays. The Moto E5 Play is routinely under $60 on Swappa, and the Moto E4 is routinely around $50. You’re welcome to buy a used legacy phone with the caution that the legacy phones are old, the technology is old and sooner rather than later, the network partner will shut down the technology that supports these older phones.

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Hi @kevinm.apxax7,

I’m sorry to see my reply caused you to feel stuck and extorted.

We’ve considered having a “swap shop” kind of space in Community and found there was really no need to re-invent the wheel, when such spaces already exist and are doing a great job of what they do.

Our Member Community is not set up as an E-Commerce site, and we can’t offer the type of buyers’ and sellers’ protection that exists on website that are set up for that purpose. The last person to post in Community that he had a phone to give away was a scammer collecting E-mail addresses from those eager to accept such a kind offer. We can’t police the Community and vet potential buyers and sellers to protect everyone from one another.

I’ve personally found Swappa to be a great place to look for used phones and I see a Republic Wireless Moto G3 available there now, as well as a Republic Wireless Moto X2. If you end up with either one of them, let me know what you get. It looks like I have some Otterbox cases for both those models in the Community Treasure chest, and I’ll be glad to send one your way at no charge. If you decide it’s time to upgrade to something new so you’ll have a nice 1-year warranty, a huge jump in Android firmware levels with more supported apps, and a phone that’s likely to last a lot longer, I’ll be glad to see if I have a case for that phone, just for you, as well.


i would like to apologize. i am very un-savvy technology-wise.

Thank you for your help so far and i will look into the Moto E5; E4 and I guess Swappa ( is that through RW? or separate?) i don’t have internet at my house. my ability to access computer and internet is limited. makes finding extra time to do all of this frustrating. as well as my general ignorance of how all these things work.

i don’t do social media. mostly use phone for calls texts, pictures. may be some news and radio (music) apps, maps. That’s about it for me.

do i lose my plan if i get any of those phones? lose my texts, pictures etc?

Please, i do hope you can forgive me, obviously I’m the one being crass here with such language. just have little extra time in my life; not one for change; no desire to keep up with technological rat race, etc etc…

Thank you again for your suggestions, your help and for tolerating me.

Hi @kevinm.apxax7,

There’s no need to apologize, but it’s very kind of you, and appreciated. We understand how important both money and time are to our members. The older phones and legacy plans are a great combination for saving money, and researching a replacement phone and all the changes that go with it, do require a great deal of time. I understand your stress!

The Moto E4 and E5 Play would both require the My Choice plan. The only phones that can be activated on your current plan are the Moto E (1st or 2nd Gen), Moto G (1st or 3rd Gen) and Moto X (1st or 2nd Gen). Of those, I would think the Moto E 1st Gen and Moto G 1st Gen have probably reached a stage where their very limited internal memory would make it difficult the keep the phone operating. Apps installed on the phone will need to be updated, those updates will fill up the phone’s internal memory, and little else would be able to be done with the phone.

Any phone you move to is going to require some setting up - no matter whether you keep your current plan or move to the My Choice plan. Of the things you named, texts are the hardest thing to move to the new phone.

When you have time, use a computer and log into photos.google.com with the same Google account that’s on your phone. If you see your photos there, then you’ll still have them even after you move to a new phone. They won’t be “on” on the new phone, but you’ll be able to get to them from another phone or computer. If you don’t see them there, we can help you back them up so they will be there.
How to Back up Photos with Google Photos – Republic Help

One of our Community Members wrote a very helpful explanation of how to move content from one phone to another:

You asked your question in our Member Community, and even though you are seeing replies in your E-mail, and responding to them by E-mail, the conversation is taking place publicly in the Topic you started in our Member Community at 'looking to buy a USED PHONE. Would you mind if I take a look at your account and see how much data you typically use in a month, and discuss that publicly as part of this conversation? I’m very curious to see if moving to the My Choice plan would actually cost you more, or less, than the plan you are on now. (Of those replying to you in Community, I’m the only staff member, and I wouldn’t tell anything from your account that would be private information.)

Swappa is not a part of Republic Wireless. It’s a website set up specifically for buying and selling used phones, and they take great care to make sure neither the buyers nor the sellers are scamming anyone.


I think that is the exact issue with my Moto G 1st generation, 3G phone. That any updates will be too much for my memory. I am currently having issues with receiving

texts that are cut off. some kind of SMS to MMS situation. i’m really ignorant of this stuff.

That information is very helpful. Essentially if I wish to keep my “Legacy” plan and number etc i would have to look into a Moto G 3rd gen, Moto E 2nd gen, or a

Moto X???

I would be interested in seeing the difference between keeping my plan, and the My Choice plan. If I had anything private in the information (my data usage) you’re looking up I wouldn’t know it. So go ahead.

Necessary or not, thank you for accepting my apology

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One issue users of such old devices are gonna face, sooner rather than later, is the shut down of the obsolete 3G network and towers those devices use. Verzion already has shut down most of their 3G network. Sprint, the network that Moto G1 and the other Legacy RW phones, has as well shut down many 3G towers. It is only a matter of time until those phones are complete un-usable and will get no cell signal.

Hi @kevinm.apxax7,

Thanks for being willing to let me share your data usage publicly. I think this may help others who, like you, are concerned that moving to the My Choice plan will cost them more. Sometimes it’s really useful to take a good look at the data to size the situation up.

The tool I have available allows me to see your data usage for the last 12 months.

Some of the data the phone uses does not count against your purchased data usage, because it gets used for things that are built into the RW app, and we don’t count that against you, so I’m only looking at the data that counts as your purchased data if you were on the My Choice plan.

Here’s how much you’ve used each month:
Feb 2019: 44 MB
Mar 2019: 35 MB
Apr 2019: 73 MB
May 2019: 29 MB
Jun 2019: 119 MB
Jul 2019: 50 MB
Aug 2019: 27 MB
Sept 2019: 44 MB
Oct 2019: 23 MB
Nov 2019: 206 MB
Dec 2019: 177 MB
Jan 2020: 15 MB so far

On the My Choice plan you’d get Talk, Text, and 1 GB of data each month for $20 plus taxes. You are using nowhere near 1 GB (1024 MB) of data each month. (Monthly data does not roll over, it expires on your billing cycle date). In your top month you barely used 1/5 that amount. So $20 (plus tax) would cover your needs. You’d have to use five times as much data as you used in your top month to even need another GB, and only if you purchased that second GB would you be paying the same amount that you’re paying now.

Sometimes you are using some roaming data, perhaps due to some coverage gaps in the area where you live. That roaming data is not available on the My Choice plan. If you’ve ever noticed a little triangle just above the cell bars :bars: at the top of your phone, that’s when you’re roaming. So you’ll want to consider whether that’s something you rely on, although use of roaming data on the plan you’re on now is very, very limited at 25 MB.

So when you think about the cost involved in replacing your phone, it looks like you’d actually be saving a little money each month on the My Choice plan. Your cost, then would be the phone itself. As you compare the possibility of saving money with a used phone, think about things like battery life and the one-year warranty that comes with a new phone. Sometimes a used phone can be a really great deal, but sometimes a new phone can, too. Our Community members keep this topic updated with deals they’ve found online for new phones: PSA: Republic-supported phones on sale elsewhere, though there haven’t been any deals posted since the holiday buying season wrapped up.

Be careful when looking at used phones to make sure you you get one that is compatible with our service and that we consider “CDMA Compatible.” (The E5 Play is not CDMA compatible.) We have two cellular network partners, and of the two, Sprint appears to have slightly better coverage in your area, and a phone has to be CDMA compatible for us to activate it on Sprint’s network. Our Community members are always glad to help you determine whether a phone you are considering would be compatible with our service.


Wow thank you. Some particulars though. If I had a better phone, I bet I’d be using more data. I got the phone in San Diego. i now live in podunk eastern Idaho

whereby i rely on the roaming data. Where i live is in a roaming area.

That My Choice plan seems bottom of the line. i assume there are better ones 35-50$/month. which is what i expect i have to start budgeting for…

i really want to thank you for sticking with me on this. i, again, have very limited internet/computer access so sometimes once a week.

“speeding cheetah’s” message is something i was afraid of and i hope i can get around to a working phone before 5G makes 4G obsolete…

I found a Moto G 3rd Gen (2015) republic wireless phone on Swappa. Would my Legacy plan be able to switch to it? How do i know if the phone is a 4G?

my contingency plan would be to put my service on that phone for a little while to better research a new phone and plan within specials through RW…

thanks again

A Moto G 3rd Gen that is listed as being compatible with Republic Wireless will keep you on your legacy plan. It is 4G capable, as our tech specs confirm:

I’m not sure what you mean. The way we have the plan set up, is that for $15 a month you get unlimited talk and text. Then you add data at $5 a GB. (4G LTE data, where available.) If you wanted to add enough data to pay $35-$50 a month, it wouldn’t make anything about the plan any “better”, you’d just be paying for more data than you typically use now.

If you are primarily roaming, that’s definitely a concern. Keep in mind that the Moto G3 you are considering can be used only with Republic Wireless, so you would not be able to take it to another carrier if you find someone with better coverage in your area.

To check your coverage in podunk Idaho, you might want to use this link => RootMetrics

  • They provide a map that allows you to select the carrier you want, and provide coverage based on data collected by driving the routes, and by users of their mobile app.

Hello to Southpaw…

In one of your replies, you mentioned possibly having an Otterbox for a Moto G 3rd generation. If you have an Otterbox Defender for just such, please let me know how to obtain one. Thank you…

Hi @kevinm.apxax7,

I’ll send you a personal message here in Community to get some details from you. A personal message is not publicly visible in our Community.

Since you’re reading and replying by E-mail, it’s going to look very much like the other messages you have received, and like this one, which are all a part of the public conversation you began at 'looking to buy a USED PHONE, so please be sure to reply only to the personal message with the details I’ll be requesting.

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