13 Things You Can Do with a Blacklisted or Stolen iPhone

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Bought a really cheap iPhone recently but later found out that it’s stolen or blacklisted? Don’t worry, one of these 13 tips may be able to help you.

The first thing you found out when you got your iPhone is that it’s not getting any signal from your carrier, or that probably happened a few days after your purchase.

You’re pretty sure that there’s no hardware issue but after spending hours online looking for a solution or explanation, you finally found out that it’s been blacklisted by your network provider.

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

A few years back, I wrote a blog post about ‘What Ever Happens to IMEI Blacklisted iPhones or Other Popular Smartphones?

This will help you understand more on why your iPhone got blacklisted in the first place.

It may feel that it’s the end of the world. Don’t worry because someone out there had gone through what you’re feeling right now.

Let’s get things straight and check out these helpful tips. Do note that some of the advice below are only valid if the iPhone is not stuck on the iCloud activation screen.

1. Ask for a refund from your seller

This may be a long shot, but if you bought it used on eBay, you can ask for a refund from the seller by following the refund procedures set by eBay. You will have to arrange to have it shipped back to the seller, once he or she confirms that the iPhone is in order, eBay will release the funds back to your account.

The case may be different if you got your blacklisted iPhone over on Craigslist or on the street.

It may be difficult to get your money back because these types of sellers probably won’t entertain your calls at all. They may use a temporary email address and will no longer respond to your email.

2. Use it as a glorified iPod or games console

Since you can’t make calls with your iPhone, just use it as an iPod or install as many games as you can to keep you entertained for hours.

You can also download movies and TV series on it which you can watch while on the subway or hanging out in the park.

3. Get the ESN or IMEI Cleaned

There’s a bit of a good news if you have a blacklisted iPhone that’s locked to Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile (UK), Orange (UK) and EE (UK).

It’s possible to remove them from blacklist (fix for blacklisted iPhone).

Unfortunately, many other network are still not supported.

The services we provided are highly reliable and have helped many people to use their iPhone again. You might also want to know that these services are not limited for iPhone only, any device such as iPad or Android smartphone can only also be removed from network blacklist.

Click on the link below to learn more:

If the device – iPhone, iPad WiFi, Apple Watch (iWatch), iPod has iCloud lock on it, you can also remove it by one of the method below:

4. Swap the Logic Board

Since IMEI blacklist is usually localized to a country’s particular service provider, that means your iPhone’s IMEI is not blacklisted in other countries.

For instance, if you have a factory unlocked AT&T iPhone that’s blacklisted in the USA, if you travel to Australia it will work perfectly on any network there.

There isn’t a way to change the IMEI of an iPhone except by physically replacing the baseband and CPU chips; and this is only possible on iPhone 4 and earlier models.

Attempting to change the chips on the latest models of iPhones will only cause damage to your iPhone. This is the reason why swapping the logic board is quite a practical solution.

5. Get it officially unlocked and sell it

There’s still a market for your blacklisted iPhone.

If you live in the USA, you know that there are millions of foreigners coming to your country especially students. When they finish their studies, mostly would return to their home countries.

This is where your iPhone becomes valuable. If you have an AT&T iPhone that’s already officially unlocked but blacklisted, you can sell it off to them.

They always want to find good deals while they’re there and even though it’s blacklisted in the USA, it can still be used in other countries.

A lot of people get good deals when buying AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus online, but they ended up buying blacklisted iPhones.

However, AT&TT-Mobile or Sprint iPhone 6/6+ and later models that are blacklisted can still be unlocked. Please be sure to tell them the whole truth about the history of the phone to avoid any complication later.

Remember that honesty is the best policy. So do explain to your potential buyer that the iPhone is blacklisted in your current location but will work fine in his or her country. Don’t forget to checkout other network that we can officially unlock.

RelatedWhich iPhone carrier can be unlocked even if blacklisted?

6. Sell it as spare parts

If all fails, your last resort would be taking it apart and cannibalize it for parts.

The screen, logic board, back casing, dock connector can all be sold separately. It may help someone with a broken iPhone and one of the parts may help revive his or her iPhone again.

It’s not the most ideal but you might doing other people a big favor while getting back some of your hard earned cash.

Consider yourself lucky if you bumped into this post while trying to find a used iPhone. The blog post I wrote about 5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone Online on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam will help you prevent all these from happening.

7. Donate it to Charity

Some charities recycle old electronics and may offer cash.

Consider Googling for it and do something nice for someone out there.

8. Sell it on eBay internationally

eBay is a huge global marketplace and someone out there will want to buy your iPhone despite the condition it’s in now.

Please do mention in the eBay ad of the real situation to avoid the buyer from creating a dispute which may cost you even more.

9. Start your own iPhone repair business

Wait, what?

Yup! This is how most mobile phone stores started. They take it apart, learn how to put them together and offer the services to people.

Get an eBook here on how to start your own iPhone repair business.

10. Contact the Owner, Carrier or Authority

Some stolen or missing iPhone will have the original owner’s number shown on the activation screen. It may be worthwhile to contact the owner and have it returned. You never know how thankful he or she might be.

Calling a carrier is also possible to track down the original owner. They may need the 15-digit IMEI of the device.

Reporting to authority may help too.

11. Get the iCloud Email

If the phone is stuck on activation, it will hint the email address on the screen. Although it’s not always possible to guess the correct email, you can use this service to get the full email address.

Once you get the full email address, then refer to point #10.

12. Make a YouTube video of smashing it to pieces

Shooting a YouTube video of smashing the phone can make someone really famous.

Checkout on YouTube to get some inspiration.

13. Keep It

If none of the above fancies you, just keep the phone as a remembrance.

Somehow it can be an expensive lesson. Perhaps one day you may want to revisit one of the solutions above and may even work for you!

I hope this article is useful for you. Do you have anything else to add? Otherwise, please do help share this with your friends!

Recommended Services:

Unlock Blacklisted USA AT&T iPhone

Unlock Blacklisted USA T-Mobile iPhone

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