You’re reading this post because you’re planning to buy a used iPhone on eBay or Craigslist. Here are a few pointers before spending your hard earned cash.
Let’s admit it, iPhones are not cheap. The last thing you want to happen when buying it online is being cheated or scammed by the seller. Were you on eBay or Craigslist today trying to find that perfect deal? Well, before you proceed and completing any online transaction, please read these important tips below.
Read the Description Carefully
When buying anything online, always read the description carefully and thoroughly. If you’re new to iPhone, be sure to ask a friend or someone who’s experienced with this device. Be very careful not to purchase iPhone which is stuck on recovery mode or with a missing IMEI, Bluetooth and WiFi. Find out about its condition, history and what the seller offers such as additional accessories etc.
Locked or Unlocked?
Typically, locked iPhones are cheaper than unlocked iPhones because you’re limited to using the mobile service which is locked to the phone. Unlocked iPhone allows you to use it on almost any GSM network worldwide. Most iPhones can be unlocked either by using software or hardware such as Gevey SIM, so get clarification from the seller. In addition, iPhones sold by Verizon in the US may not work in many countries because of difference in standard. AT&T iPhone can be unlocked for free to those who are eligible or using a paid service. You can use our free service to check any iPhone’s locked/unlocked status.
Ask for Photos
If the seller is genuine, he or she will be more than happy to provide you additional photos of the iPhone. Look for dents, cracks, condition of the screen etc. A picture paints a thousand words.
Verify the IMEI and Serial Number
This is probably one of the most important tips- verify the iPhone’s IMEI. Every mobile phone has a unique 15 digit IMEI number. Based on this number, you can check some information about the device such as the brand or model.
Even if the iPhone is in excellent condition, you may end up with an expensive toy if the IMEI is blacklisted, usually if it was reported stolen or missing. Once the IMEI is blacklisted, you won’t be able to use it on any mobile service provider in your country, it’s that simple.While most sellers won’t publish this information online, you may want to request for the IMEI. We provide a service to check if an iPhone is reported missing/stolen/barred/blacklisted.
You can use various websites to verify the iPhone’s information. I use this website a lot because it tells me the model, color, capacity, purchase country, warranty information and even if it’s SIM locked or otherwise. We’ve received many emails from customers to ask if it’s possible to change the IMEI or swap the logic board, after finding out their iPhone’s IMEI was blacklisted.
Don’t be afraid or feel guilty to ask questions. The seller might have forgotten to put additional details of the iPhone. Here are some example questions you should consider asking:
- Have you disabled iOS 7 Find My iPhone? This is a new feature in iOS 7. Read more here.
- How long have you been using this iPhone?
- Reason for selling?
- Any warranty?
- Any hardware issue?
- Any water damage?
Use your common sense when purchasing anything online; deal locally or meet the seller face-to-face if possible. The tips above may help you getting the best for your money, and above all, they may help you from getting scammed. Good luck in finding your future iPhone!
Related Article: Is it Genuine or Fake? iPhone 4S Side-by-Side Comparison Photos
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