Is it legal to buy a used cell booster?

I love talking about cellular signal boosters. This is one of those products that everyone should have and most people don’t. Truthfully I don’t know why. The cost is  only about 1/3 of the cost of a premium cell phone. A cell booster works with practically every phone in practically every situation and it gives you better service. Who doesn’t want faster data speeds and clearer calls?

But I get it, the cost is higher than maybe you want to spend today. So you look on eBay or whatever and you find someone who wants to sell their booster. But is it legal?

Yes, it’s legal, but…

It’s legal to buy a used cell booster. It’s not something like a car where you have to transfer the title or anything. Technically it’s a self-licensed device like a cell phone or microwave, meaning the FCC registration for its broadcast parts is in place no matter who owns it.

But, and there’s always a but… you do have to register it. This article from last year lays out the arguments and explains it all. Until the FCC rules change, you have to register that booster to you. This is true even if the person before you didn’t do it. The rules are the rules in this case.

When you register the booster, you are providing some personal information to the government but it’s nothing they didn’t get before. It’s the same sort of thing that you gave to your cell phone provider when you signed up.

Is a used booster a good idea?

A cell booster is likely to last for years. The outdoor antennas may yellow in the sun, but the operation isn’t likely to be affected. But is it really the best choice?

Personally I don’t like re-using cables. Once a cable has been in place, it could begin to get sun damaged or worse. If you’re buying a booster and it looks like the cables are salvaged, you should count on paying to replace them.

Or, just get a refurbished one.

Take a look at the great selection of factory reconditioned cell boosters at Solid Signal. These boosters have been completely tested at the factory. They come with a warranty and generally with all new cables. This is the right way to save a little money. If you’re not worried about data, for example if you have Wi-Fi, you can save a lot of money by getting a 3G-only cell booster. It will handle voice calls and not really give you a boost for data.

Refurbished products at Solid Signal give you the confidence to get the parts you need and save money at the same time. Solid Signal is vendor-approved to sell refurbished units and the manufacturers will honor their warranties. It’s a much better bet than talking to someone on eBay who may or may not even know what they have. If you have questions or if you’d like a recommendation on what booster to buy, give us a call at 888-233-7563 during business hours or fill out this form!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.