how to buy the best used cb radios

How to Buy the Best Used CB Radios

Saving up for a new CB radio can take a while, but that doesn’t mean you can’t own yours sooner. Used CB radios are surprisingly underrated. Apart from the fact that you can get them for up to $50 less, some often come with amazing perks.

However, selecting the best used CB radio is not entirely similar to selecting a brand new one. Assessing a CB radio’s condition as well as its features at the same time can be tasking. We’ve thus compiled a few tips that will guide you on how to buy the best used CB radio. In addition, we’ll also reveal some of the places you can find some affordable ones.

Why Should You Buy a Used CB Radio?

For most people, the first obvious reason is usually the cost savings, but there are usually plenty more. Some of them include:

Increased Chances of Getting Quality CB Radios

If you believe in “old is gold”, then you know that the chances of getting quality used CB radios are high. They hardly have the plasticky feel that is common with some of the newer CB radios we see today.

Outrageous Money Savings

You could be saving over $50 by when you buy a used CB radio. With this kind of saving, you will be free to buy other accessories that will complement your used CB radio. These accessories could include things like magnetic mount antennas for convenience and better range.

Ideal for Casual Use

If you simply wanted a CB radio for a one-time road trip, a used one can equally suffice. Many of the used CB radios are often simple to install and easy to use. They are thus great for first time users since some of the new and sophisticated CB radios can at times be overwhelming.

For Collection

Hobbyists who know the true value of retro CB radios are likely to buy and collect them. Used CB radios that are in good condition can be sold off later as antiques and earn you some extra cash. Some of these used CB radios can at times go for as much as $400 on sites like eBay.

Tips for Buying Used CB Radios

Seek expert help from friends

Buying a used CB radio is slightly different from buying a new one. You should thus engage a friend or family member who has more knowledge about CB radios than you. 

You can ask them for features to look for in a used CB radio or which types are ideal for your use case. In case you don’t fancy shopping for one online, you can have your friend tag along with you to your local dealer and help you select the best used CB radio.

If you lack a friend to guide you, a great alternative option would be to read forums or reviews of a product you liked. You’ll be surprised with the vast amount of information you can gather by reading comments and reviews about a CB radio that you liked.

Get it from a trusted dealer

Your safest bet when buying used CB radios locally is to get them from trusted dealers only. They usually have genuine products that are in great condition. In addition, they also inform you of any defects that a radio has before you make the purchase.

Knowing who a trusted dealer is not all that difficult. Trusted dealers stock a variety of products in their stores. Other than that, they almost never list fake products or accessories.

In addition, these dealers usually have return policies and after-sale services in case you encounter a problem with the CB radio. Not all trusted dealers accept returns and have after-sale services for all their products though.

Remember to test it

You should strive to test your used CB radio as early as possible. This way, you can check whether the radio has any defects that had not been indicated by the seller or dealer. You could also return the used CB radio if the seller accepts returns.

Remember to focus your tests on features that are important to you first. For instance, if you travel constantly, then it would be a good idea to test the radio’s weather channels. The same applies for the emergency channels (9 or 19).

You can also test the range before deciding whether you’ll be needing a more powerful antenna or not. This will also give you a clue about the ideal antenna to get for the radio as well.

NB: Remember to take photos and videos of the used CB radio. They may come in handy in case you come across an issue later on.

Places to Get Good Used CB Radios

Brand new CB radios are super easy to find. However, we cannot say the same about used CB radios. Once a radio manufacturer discontinues a particular model, you are left with limited places where you can get good used CB radios of the same model. Some of them include:

Reputable online stores

Amazon and eBay are great places to start when searching for good quality used CB radios. Other than Amazon and eBay, online stores like CB World and Walcott also sell used CB radios as well as their accessories.

Local expert dealers

If you prefer getting the CB radios sooner, local expert dealers are your next option. Depending on the region you live in, there could be a few or many CB radio stores near you.

Things to Remember

While in search for a used CB radio, it is often easy to focus more on the condition of the radio rather than its features. This can end up making you pick a radio that won’t serve you as you intended it to. As such, here are some considerations you need to make:

Type of CB Radio

There are up to four different types of CB radios, and you will need to know which type you will be buying. If you are getting a used hand-held CB radio, for example, then you should also know that you’ll need to buy fresh batteries for them as well. You can forego this extra cost by choosing a different type such as a handset CB radio.


Most used CB radios are often old models. Some are thus a lot bulkier than the newer models. This can end up affecting where you’ll place the CB radio and the ease of installation as well. Hence, you need to be comfortable with the size of the used CB radio you intend to purchase.


Newer CB radios have more features that make them ideal for long range communication. When getting a used CB radio, you should still go for those with innovative features such as automatic noise cancellation.

In conclusion, buying a used CB radio ideally requires you to have an idea of the radio you want first. You can do that by asking for advice from friends who are more knowledgeable about CB radios than you. Secondly, where you get the radio is also important. You should consider getting used CB radios from trusted dealers or reputable online stores only. Finally, you should test the radio to ensure it is functional and works as you expected.

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