The used radio scanner market is more active than ever driven by the constant release of new technology scanners, but can you still snag a bargain by buying a used piece of radio gear?.

In the article we are going to look at the pros and cons of buying used scanner equipment and some of the major pitfalls to watch out for.

Buying Used Radio Scanners Online


A huge selection of radios scanner ranging from up to date models to vintage collectors items should let you buy whatever you need. Auction sites have driven down the price of used electronic equipment over the years and if you know what you are buying you can sometimes save a lot money. To look at the amount of scanners on the high street that you can view online in a day will involve a great amount of time and travel.


Radio scanners are complicated pieces of equipment and just seeing the lights on is never an indication of a properly working set. Not having the chance to play with the radio is a major drawback made even worse if you are unfamiliar with the model or make and you may end up with something that is very difficult to use.

If something is wrong you have to deal with the seller through impersonal channels of communications with very little possibility of sorting any issues out face to face.

People will modifier scanners to extend their frequency range or functionality and if this is done by the inexperienced will cause a lot of problems with the scanner that it may take you a while to figure out.

Buying Used Radio Scanners from a Dealer


Buying from a quality dealer will take away some of the worries about getting a fully functioning piece of equipment. Having face time with the seller is always good to iron out any doubts or questions you have about the scanner before purchase and you have the try before you buy option that you cant get online.

Any good dealer will be more than willing to setup the scanner so you can give it a test run especially if they want to make a sale and as the seller has a real world presence you can immediate take the scanner back if your have any problems.


A lack of equipment choice and generally higher pieces than online buying.

Know Your Radio Scanner Tech

One of the main things to watch out for when buying used scanners is to make sure that the technology is exactly what you need. Trunking is the main way to receive many emergency service transmissions in most countries now and if these are the type of signals you want to listen to then make sure you buy the right scanner to achieve this.

Scanners without the trunking feature are becoming cheaper because they are considered older technology now and this happens in nearly all secondhand markets as newer models are released. Knowing what you are going to use the scanner for before purchase can be a real benefit when it comes to how much you end up paying, conventional scanners can still be used to listen to a huge range of radio transmissions outside of the many trunking radio networks.

If you are new to radio scanners and are not sure what you are buying then try and find a friend who has already taken up the hobby to help you out, failing this sometimes a friendly request to one of the many local amateur radio clubs will yield some very helpful and knowledgeable people more than willing to assist you.

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