Sold an iPhone, Lost in the mail?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CPD23, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    I'm obviously new to the site but I come here for all my info regarding Apple news and tips from fellow Apple users.

    I recently sold my old iPhone 4 on eBay to a country oversees (I am located in the US). I made the classic mistake of not sending the package global express with tracking. So essentially, I have no way of knowing if the buyer has actually received the phone. I realize this is my fault and I simply shipped first class to save some money on shipping (stupid I know). The buyer is claiming he has not received the phone yet it has been close to 5 weeks.

    Is there any way to find out if the phone has been activated? I'm basically out close to $300 if I can't some way prove that the buyer received the phone.:mad:

    Any other help or suggestions are welcome...

    Please do not flame, I understand this is my own fault and I obviously won't make this mistake again.

    Thanks for your time!
  2. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    Sorry, but you lose. No way to ever figure out if the phone made it there or whether it has been activated. The new owner, whether the buyer or someone else, probably when into DFU mode and wiped the phone and is happily using it. :( Always ship insured. You can file a complaint through ebay, and you might get reimbursed. by the way, where did you ship it to? Going through customs can take a few months in some countries.
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2012
    Verrado, Buckeye, Arizona
    I am not sure if this is a CLASSIC mistake nowadays. At least you gained some experience.
  4. macrumors Nehalem


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Lesson learned I hope.
    Next time ship to us address only with insurance and sig confirmation.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Sep 22, 2009
    You didn't insure it?
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Darster- I shipped to Hungary. The buyer says if he ends up receiving the phone he will pay me back...(yeah right)

    USPS does not offer insurance for first class mail. I typed in the buyers name on google and some website for credit card fraud came up in his name.

    I'm hoping at least eBay will credit me the final value fee..Can anyone weigh in on that?


    Maybe not a "classic" mistake, but I've always shipped with tracking and signature confirmation. Not sure what the heck I was thinking the day I shipped it...
  7. macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2011
  8. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    Hungary and some of the other eastern European countries have a very questionable postal system. When they see packages from US that are not insured or have tracking, they mysteriously go missing. I would bet your buyer never got the phone.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2012
    Theres a good chance it is still in customs, and it could be there for a month. I just ordered car parts from Hungary and they sat in customs for almost 2 months, so maybe thats the case but sadly the chances of you receiving money is very slim
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Shoot, thats great to's been technically 26 business days. I am hoping it shows up any day. He guarantees me he will pay if it shows up. It's sketch either way.

    Does anybody know if eBay will at least credit me the final value fee?


    How did you find out they sat in customs that long? Is there a way for me to contact customs? The buyer said he checked with customs and it did not arrive to them.
  11. macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2011
    according to this link from ebay, if you give full refund you will get the fee back ,but you will have to request a credit.
    link about fees
  12. macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2012
    Between heaven and hell
    I never sell internationally. Too many things can go wrong. All items should be sent with tracking, and all items over $250 should have signature confirmation.

    Hope at least you get your fees back!
  13. macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2011
    Bel Air, CA
    I'm not sure about this, but if you haven't deleted the device from your findmyiphone list, it may show up there once its turned on. If not, you're probably out of luck.

    Next time, remember to get signature confirmation and a tracking number.
  14. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    Even if you do find out who has the phone, no authority in Hungary is going to help you.
  15. macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2012
    not to sound harsh or anything... but you really counldn't find someone within the country to buy a high-demand phone which is sold out everywhere? :confused:
  16. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2011
    He sold an iphone 4. Not in high demand in US.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Always use tracking when selling expensive items. It's useful to know where your shipments are.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    Honolulu, HI
    For future selling.

    1. Do not sell internationally

    2. Do not ship to unconfirmed paypal address

    3. DO send with tracking and delivery confirmation

    4. DO take a picture or video of the phone functioning and then being sealed and handed to the post office. It may get weird looks, but that is evidence in itself!
  19. macrumors demi-god


    Jul 8, 2011
    I have been selling internationally on ebay since 2000 and always send with insurance & tracking number. I am charging the buyer for the total cost of shipping anyway. So if they are not happy with shipping cost they can go somewhere else to buy. This has always protected me from scams. In the 12 years I have been selling, I have never had a lost item and have never worried if I did as my butt was always covered with the insurance I put on the package. Tracking number really helps as well for those rare instances when item gets held up by customs in the country I am shipping too. Have had packages held up for several weeks at a time for no apparent reason. Great majority of what I sell goes overseas so I am well aware of scams or lost package issues that can arise. I am not going to say lesson learned but hope my response will help you in the future.
  20. macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2010
    East Sussex, UK
    If they did receive the phone then assuming they paid with PayPal, rules state buyer has to wait 45 days before submitting non-received goods claim. For high value items such as iPhones if not insured you will likely loose out wether buy received it or if 'lost' in postal system.

    If you have a proof of postage though you may be covered by seller protection policy.
  21. macrumors member


    Nov 12, 2008
    Seattle, WA, USA
    as He mentioned, item over $250 must be sent with signature confirmation. if you don't do that, even though it has been delivered and buyer disputes it. You got higher chance of losing.

    but if buyer opened dispute through PayPal
    Provide every information you have. (proof of shipping, etc..)
    good luck :/ let me know if you have any question regarding it
  22. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    That's a bummer that such a mistake was made. Never skimp on shipping.
    The thread title should read "gave away an iPhone 4."
  23. macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2012
    Next time ship to us address only with insurance and sig confirmation.[​IMG]
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    What is sad is people will now blame ebay for this and it was the fault of the seller and greed.
  25. macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2011
    Don't pay the guy back, just stall him aslong as possible and eventually he will file a complaint with PayPal.. it's still too early to tell if the phone is lost and i have a feeling you wont see the money again if you refund him, once he has $300 back in his account it would be damn hard to hand it back over when the phone arrives.

    You need to protect yourself in these situations and that is stating clearly that you will be shipping tracked and signed for, if they don't like it then they can go elsewhere, if you stated this and decided not to bother to save a few quid then i'm sorry but it's your own fault.

    Did you send it to his verified address? another common scam is getting the seller to send the item to a 'familys address' or some other unverified address, it's sounds harmless because people do work and do need items shipping elsewhere, but then they can switch it back on you and say it never arrived at the address, the address on the account.. they would usually ask you to ship it elsewhere outside of ebay so there is less chance of the conversation being logged.

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