Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
The CB or Citizen’s Band radio, originally a US concept, has spread to a number of other countries as well. The shared idea is one or more radio bands set aside for unlicensed private or business communications by citizens. Wherever one lives, there are some shared considerations to take into account when purchasing used CB radios.
In the 21st century, when buying and selling is often international, the first consideration when buying used CB radios — particularly from an online source — is to make sure that one is considering models that have the proper range for the country or countries in which you intend to operate. If you do a search on “used CB radios,” you are likely to find a number of websites, the country-origins of which are not immediately obvious. Therefore, before doing any online searching, find the contact information for the site to make sure all their products will be suitable for you.
Of course, if you are an old hand at CB radios, you may also recognize an appropriate site by the brands and models offered, and this brings up another point about buying used CB radios. The experienced user will know how to check used CB radios to make sure that they are working as advertised. A new user, on the other hand, may not have the knowledge to prevent being tricked by someone offering equipment that is not completely in working order, has been damaged, etc. Some experts recommend that new users may be better off with inexpensive, but new equipment, which can be returned in the event that something is wrong in a way that is not immediately obvious, rather than buying used CB radios.
Another consideration when buying used CB radios is their particular features. If you need to be able to hear emergency broadcasts or use a backlighting feature, those are important to check for. Also, consider whether the used CB radios are being sold alone or with accoutrements, such as a microphone, mounting bracket, antenna, manual, power cord, etc. This could make a big difference in how good a price you’re getting.
If you are buying from an individual, consider why the person is selling. It’s reasonable that people upgrade equipment from time to time, and a careful user may offer pristine to pretty good-looking equipment for sale. If the seller claims the used CB radio is fairly new, find out if the original warranty is still in force. If so, this provides some additional protection for the buyer. When considering a used CB radio that’s beyond the warranty period, consider the difference between the used price and the new price plus the value of the warranty when deciding whether a used product is worthwhile in this case.
@Soulfox -- Yes, they are still used by people. You will not find as many people using CB radios as you did once upon a time, but there are still dedicated CB radio fans out there. You have to look a little harder to find them these days, but if you get a radio and start transmitting the chances are good you will run across some people. Heck, some truckers even use those things still.
As for used CB radios, there are some very good reasons to look for those. For one thing, there might be some features that you want that aren't available on newer units for various reasons. For another, there are some who swear that manufacturers don't
"make 'em like they used to" and want some older equipment because they believe it is higher quality and will last longer.
I don't know about the "older is better" philosophy, but it seems to work well for typewriters. Might work for CB radios, too.
Why bother with used CB radios? Why not just buy a new one. Those things don't cost just a whole lot these days and you can get exactly what you want without having to dig through a bunch of used ones. You can get a warranty, too, and that ought to be worth something.
And, by the way, I even wonder about the wisdom of getting a new CB radio. Are CB radios still used by anyone? I know they were very popular once, but that was some time ago.