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Police Scanner Buyer's Guide - Police-Scanner.info


Looking for great deals on new & used police scanners and accessories? When it comes to buying scanners, purchases can be mage through a variety of places, both locally and online. I have gathered all the places where I have found police scanners for sale and go over each here. 

The information is divided into the following categories: 

  • Buying New, Used, or Refurbished

  • Online Scanner Dealers

  • Local Radio Communications Dealers

  • eBay Auctions

  • Local Places Near You

  • Print Classified Ads

  • Tips for Buying Used Scanners

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New Police Scanners

Price ranges for new in-box radio scanners run anywhere from just under $100 for a basic low-end model up to $1000 or more for high-end models. 

If you require a scanner with trunking capabilities, expect to pay between $200-$400 and up. 

If you require a scanner with digital capability expect to pay anywhere from $350-$600.

Used Police Scanners

Great deals can be found on used and "after-market" scanner models. After-market models are models that have been discontinued or replaced by newer models and must be sold at discounted prices. 

Often scanner enthusiasts buy new scanners and will sell their old one to recoup some of the money. Then there are those get a police scanner as a gift and donít know how to use them or buy one and find it's too complicated to use and they end up selling them real cheap, these types are even better because the scanner is actually still in "new condition", but at a used price. 

If you donít need trunk or digital capabilities, you can find older conventional scanner models really cheap - $10-20. You can also get excellent deals on newer model scanners. Also see "Tips for Buying A Used Scanner" at the bottom of this page.

Refurbished Police Scanners

Great deals can also be found through refurbished models. Refurbished means that the scanner has been inspected, repaired or reconditioned, and certified to work " like new." 

These models usually come with some kind of warranty. Often, refurbished models are store display models or product returns. It could also be a previously damaged or non-functioning scanner that has been repaired scanner. 

The best place to find refurbished models is with local and online radio dealers. If you don't see them advertised, ask them if they have them - you may get lucky. 



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Local radio communications dealers also offer the latest police scanners on the market and may even sell brand new "discontinued" and refurbished models. 

  • Authorized HAM Radio Dealers

    Ham Radio Supply Shops are primarily geared toward amateur radio equipment, but also sell radio scanners. They usually carry the higher-end models. You can look in the yellow pages under ĎRadio Communications Equipment" for dealers.

  • Chain and Department Stores  

    Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, and even K-mart, may carry a few models. If they do, they can be found in the sporting goods department next to weather radios. 



Online auctions are a great place to find some of the best prices on new and used scanners of all makes and models. I have made several purchases on eBay for scanners for myself and for relatives. 

As with any auction, be sure you check the sellerís feedback for negative comments and contact them beforehand to ask any questions you may have. 



Print and online classified ads are a great place to find great deals on used police scanners. 

The Recycler Publication

The Recycler Classified Publication is one of the best places to look for near-new and used police scanners. One of the largest print classified ad publications, the Recycler has been around for awhile in the Southern California region and has recently expanded to cover twelve more major metropolitan regions. 

They have a specific section on radio communications. Its published weekly and can be found at convenience stores and mini-marts for under $2. You can check their website for availability in your area or just browse ads online

I buy one every couple of weeks or so specifically to see if I find any good deals on police scanners. One time I found a nice Radio Shack Pro-34 10-channel scanner ($109 retail price) that was in excellent "like new" condition for only $8. I called the guy and went down to see it. It was in excellent condition and I bought it. In fact, I still have it!

You can look for other classified ads sites in your favorite search engine, you might find a good site. You can also try looking in your local newspaper's classified ad section. I've never found one listed, but then I don't normally read the classifieds except for the Recycler!



The following places are a great place to find bargain deals on used police scanners and may be located near you. 

  • Estate & Yard Sales 
    You may find a model or two at estate and yard sales at bargain prices. Usually the sellers have no idea what the value of scanners is and sell them for a $5-$10. I have previously found and bought a couple of scanners in great condition and paid under $10 for each.

  • Swap Meets & Flea Markets
    You can often find a couple of scanners at bargain prices at local swat meets and flea market in your area. Swap meets are usually held on very weekend and flea markets every month or two.   

  • Pawn Shops
    You can often find scanners for sale here, but they can be a bit overpriced. 



BUYER BEWARE! If you are buying a used scanner, don't get scammed and end up with a damaged or malfunctioning scanner if you are not careful! 

If it's a local pick-up, do the following:

  • Visual Inspection - take a good look at the condition of the external casing for dents and ding other than normal wear and tear that may indicate it may have been dropped and possibly damaged. 

    Casing dents and dings do not automatically mean that a scanner may be damaged, especially handheld models. They are made to handle a few accidental drops. I've accidentally dropped mine a bunch of times and it still works fine. It's just something to consider. 
  • Test the Unit - take a set of "AA" batteries (5 at most) to test the scanner. Once you put fresh batteries, program the NOAA weather frequency for your local area and if you can hear NOAA nice and clear, the scanner works. If it has a lot of static, it might be a sign that something may be loose inside. 
  • Shake Test - give the unit a shake and listen for possible internal parts bouncing around inside that may indicate it may have possible damage.
  • Get a Guarantee - try and get some kind of guarantee it if you can, otherwise, you take your chance. 

If it's being shipped to you, do the following:

  • GET DETAILS & ASK QUESTIONS! Get as much information as possible on what you are buying before your buy it. 
  • Get a Guarantee - try and get some kind of guarantee it if you can, otherwise, you take your chance. 

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