Risks of buying new but unsealed iphone on eBay?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Iphone4sinwhite, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2011
    Many of the iPhones on ebay are brand new but are not sealed - the box plastic is removed. If the phone is brand new and never activated, what is the risk of buying it unsealed?

    Also, what is the advantage to the buyer to open a brand new iphone and them turn around and sell it right away? Why not just sell it sealed?
  2. macrumors 68040


    Jun 21, 2010
    Most places make you activate the device before you leave. Smaller 3rd party sellers HAVE to activate the device or they don't get their commissions.

    AT&T and Apple stores don't care. At least, I've never been hassled about it. They just scan it, I pay, and they hand me the sealed box.
  3. macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2013
    Just buy from seller with a ton of feedback. No danger whatsoever.
  4. macrumors 68040

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Most carrier stores open the box and activate the phone before letting the buyer take it. From what I've seen only Apple seems to let people take the phone sealed.

    No risk because you have 45 days on eBay to file a complaint and get your money back if anything goes wrong.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    One would be hard pressed to prove the claim that's been made above.

    A word that comes to mind is naive
  6. macrumors G5


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I wouldn't try to buy a phone off of ebay.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2011
    Are there other problems that can arise?
  8. macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    It can be stolen, blacklisted, etc...
  9. macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2011
    If it were me I would just save up the extra couple hundred dollars and buy it off contract.

    I don't think it's worth the hassle to buy an iPhone from eBay. You buy it from your carrier store off contract or Apple and you know you won't have issues with it being blacklisted etc.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Oct 23, 2008
    Buy a used phone face to face so you can see that it operates as it should.
  11. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    What's the logic here?

    Unless those positive feedbacks was obtained in the last 7 days... nobody have the time spending years building up their reputation just to get it trashed.
  12. JayLenochiniMac, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    macrumors G4

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    It's quite safe to buy from ebay as you can return it for any reason within the return period, unlike CL where you're screwed if you discover a problem after the fact. Nevertheless, sixrom is correct in that buying only from high feedback sellers doesn't necessarily present no danger whatsoever (unless you interpret this as being able to return it for any reason other than described).
  13. macrumors 68030

    Jul 18, 2013
    There was someone on the Apple forums who did just that. Got a 5S that was activation locked. He contacted the seller who had huge amounts of positive feedback and the seller claims he doesn't know how to disable it. The buyer ended up filing a dispute.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 13, 2013
    Logic? It's just pure common sense.

    If you love taking risks , eBay is for you.

    Nothing against eBay, I both buy & sell certain lower priced goods monthly on their site. Perhaps it's my years of experience and knowledge of what can go wrong, no matter the sellers rating.

    When a deal goes wrong, and it all goes sideways, one can burn up countless hours of valuable time attempting to resolve the issue.

    Some you win and some you lose, it's an adrenaline junkies paradise.
  15. macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2013
    There are always exceptions to this. I'm sure eBay took care of it if the seller didn't. There are always bad apples, even when buying at retail.



    There's hardly any risk with two levels of disputes available at paypal and ebay. I've never had a problem that wasn't solved.


    You can't live life scared of everything. Never had a problem from a power seller.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2007
    Sealed vs. Unsealed

    The "risk" is that it will come JAILBROKEN but their "Brand New" Ad didn't say that!

    Since I am in the midst of such a situation right now, the Seller wrote in his Ad words to the effect that they "Open the Box to Ensure All Accessories are Included & That the Phone Runs"! (Seemed logical at the time! :( )
  18. macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    just read the countless threads about people getting scammed on ebay in regards to an iPhone.

    pony up the extra bucks and buy it new from either Apple directly or your carrier.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2014
    Buying a new iPhone on eBay?

    My iPhone 5 was recently stolen, so I am using my old 4 which is half the GB and offers only 3G. I am not eligible for upgrade with AT&T until 2015. I am considering using the next upgrade plan for a device to that serve my personal use of standards. eBay popped up googling for purchase of a 5 or 5S, I haven't considered this as an option assuming fraud. It seems not the case, as it a normal auction of sale on eBay. Spare further detail- what is the download on how this works if I go this route. I want to use same coverage plan with AT&T and keep my same mobile number. What are the refined guidelines with AT&T in coverage same number? Do I refine a AT&T as carrier or unlocked phone? Lastly, after purchase - if made, how do inactivate just insert SIM? What happens with serial number? Is this legal? I can totally see if for example someone were to receive an iPhone as a gift and would rather have the cash.
  20. macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2012
    I've bought and sold phones on eBay a lot. My last phone was a Samsung Galaxy S3. Had it 6 months and then all of a sudden it quits working. Turns out it was reported stolen 6 months after I bought it. I went and just paid full retail and bought a new iPhone.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Nor any highly sought-after or high-ticket item, for that matter. This place is rife with scammers.

    From what I could see, it seems surprisingly easy to cheat on eBay. Either motivated hackers take over a valuable account and start selling crap-ware, or they act in networks, each of them leaving a positive feedback after a false transaction for an item that was never actually sold nor shipped. They're patient, and can show a seemingly-good profile to buyers.

    While power sellers are usually fine, I actually have problems sometimes with them. Last item I bought was a small true sinewave inverter. For some reason it is not compatible with my iPad charger as it bemakes it behaving erratically when plugged in. I now use a found Blackberry charger while in the truck. In the meantime, the seller never ever answered to my inquiry about possible incompatibility.

    And actually both eBay and PayPal belong to the same entity. Although I didn't have any issue with PayPal itself, I would never fully trust a company that abruptly ceased to transfer donation payments to another entity without a court order. The fact there's no real competition in the online payment industry only worries me more.

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