Amazon Trade-in

laurarh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2015
137
52
This may be a dumb question but I typically hand my phones down to family members so this is the first time I've actually traded in. Verizon is offering me $200 but I would prefer not to get a Verizon gift card. Aside from actively selling to another consumer (through Swappa or eBay), Amazon seems to be giving the best offer. Since I'm a grad student, I can use the gift card for textbooks.

From my understanding, Verizon phones have been unlocked for the past few years (I have the 5s). But if you type in the models on Amazon, there is a separate page for unlocked phones and these receive a much higher offer than the Verizon models. So is my phone able to be traded in as an unlocked phone or do I have to trade it in as a Verizon model?

Thanks!
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,136
You have the verizon model. The unlocked phone they are talking about specifically is the SIM free iPhone that includes different bands for overseas. If you turn it in as "unlocked" you will get a different final value from Amazon.
 

warrior2000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2015
916
463
My experience with Amazon has been horrible.

I had an unlocked phone that was in perfect condition. I sent it to them. I heard nothing from them for over a week. Finally after 10 days they contacted me and said they are returning my phone because it was not unlocked. Total and utter BS. It was unlocked and they wasted my time.
 

warrior2000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2015
916
463
You have the verizon model. The unlocked phone they are talking about specifically is the SIM free iPhone that includes different bands for overseas. If you turn it in as "unlocked" you will get a different final value from Amazon.
What phone is this? Does T-mobile/AT&T sell this phone in the US?
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,136
What phone is this? Does T-mobile/AT&T sell this phone in the US?
You can only get the SIM free phone from apple directly. They usually go on sale a few months into the new phones being released. For example, the official SIM free 6s will probably go on sale around November.

While your verizon iPhone is GSM unlocked, that is not actually the phone amazon is referring to.
 

warrior2000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2015
916
463
You can only get the SIM free phone from apple directly. They usually go on sale a few months into the new phones being released. For example, the official SIM free 6s will probably go on sale around November.

While your verizon iPhone is GSM unlocked, that is not actually the phone amazon is referring to.
I thought the unlocked phone is the same as buying an unlocked T-mobile phone from Apple directly?

When I bought the 6+ last year I paid the full $850 and bought from Apple directly. Is that the unlocked phone? Or is there another phone? I thought that phone would work with any SIM carrier.
 

Havok83

macrumors regular
May 12, 2012
139
40
Try Craigslist if you dont mind dealing with that. I just sold a Sprint 32gb 5S through that for $260. Its more than Amazon and any other avenue and best of all its cash, not credit, so I can directly apply it to my new 64gb phone bringing my total to about $60 after taxes
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
229
I thought the unlocked phone is the same as buying an unlocked T-mobile phone from Apple directly?

When I bought the 6+ last year I paid the full $850 and bought from Apple directly. Is that the unlocked phone? Or is there another phone? I thought that phone would work with any SIM carrier.
(iPhone 6/6+ section)
i tried to write apple blogs , including mac rumors, bgr, apple insider, to write stories about how verizon vs t-mobile vs sim free was ripping people off. i even have a rambling post in the for sale advice section, this is what you get. for a year now i have been telling people that every single iPhone 6 is exactly the same as any other iPhone 6. they all have the same radios, the only difference is the one that sprint likes has 4 extra sprint Spark channels thrown in.

when i complain about a unlocked phone being somehow worth $125 less then a Verizon one, people are actually happy about it, and they say that is just the free market. they don't see a problem with a company like gazelle stealing $125 off their already low trade in values. they don't seem to have a problem with a company offering $125 less for the exact same model



there are two iPhones 6 series phones

one is a verizon , t-mobile and AT&T model , they are exactly all the same phone , that one is called the t-mobile unlocked phone, originally, verizon was not activating this phone, but 3 weeks ago verizon changed their mind. they flipped the switch and this model works on verizon, without having to use a pulled sim from another handset

the other is a verizon , t-mobile, AT&T and sprint phone ( with 4 extra Spark channels) , that one is called the sim free one

if a company , even amazon, tells you there is any kind of price difference between any of those unlocked phones and an AT&T or verizon model, then don't do business with them. if you have a t-mobile or sprint phone, get the maximum value for your iPhone 6 by trying to get it a carrier unlock first.

even walmart is cheating people out of unlocked phones and paying $80 less for the unlocked model then the verizon one.

the only company that is playing by the rules and is giving you the exact same price for any model is bright star (apple recycling)

iphone 5s section
AT&T phones cant be used on verizon because they lack the CDMA frequencies, and Verizon phones can be used on AT&T, but sprint is still being a butts and they only want the sprint handset they sell directly. so price differences between models is fair. an AT&T phone should be worth less then a verizon one. a verizon phone works on AT&T with no technical issues. the verizon phone has a cdma radio, the AT&T iPhone 5s ships with its cdma disabled

iphone 5/5c section
same thing with the 5s as far as AT&T vs verizon, but it only had 3 or 4 channels. they were optimized for a particular network. meaning if you took a verizon iPhone 5 to AT&T it would work fine at slower 4G speeds (HSPA+). a verizon iPhone comes with verizon LTE channels, and an AT&T iPhone comes with AT&T LTE channels.
 
Last edited:

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,136
(iPhone 6/6+ section)
i tried to write apple blogs , including mac rumors, bgr, apple insider, to write stories about how verizon vs t-mobile vs sim free was ripping people off. i even have a rambling post in the for sale advice section, this is what you get. for a year now i have been telling people that every single iPhone 6 is exactly the same as any other iPhone 6. they all have the same radios, the only difference is the one that sprint likes has 4 extra sprint Spark channels thrown in.

when i complain about a unlocked phone being somehow worth $125 less then a Verizon one, people are actually happy about it, and they say that is just the free market. they don't see a problem with a company like gazelle stealing $125 off their already low trade in values.


there are two iPhones 6 series phones

one is a verizon , t-mobile and AT&T model , they are exactly all the same phone , that one is called the t-mobile unlocked phone, originally, verizon was not activating this phone, but 3 weeks ago verizon changed their mind. they flipped the switch and this model works on verizon, without having to use a pulled sim from another handset

the other is a verizon , t-mobile, AT&T and sprint phone ( with 4 extra Spark channels) , that one is called the sim free one

if a company , even amazon, tells you there is any kind of price difference between any of those unlocked phones and an AT&T or verizon model, then don't do business with them. if you have a t-mobile or sprint phone, get the maximum value for your iPhone 6 by trying to get it a carrier unlock first.

even walmart is cheating people out of unlocked phones and paying $80 less for the unlocked model then the verizon one.

the only company that is playing by the rules and is giving you the exact same price for any model is bright star (apple recycling)

iphone 5s section
AT&T phones cant be used on verizon because they lack the CDMA frequencies, and Verizon phones can be used on AT&T, but sprint is still being a butts and they only want the sprint handset they sell directly. so price differences between models is fair. an AT&T phone should be worth less then a verizon one. a verizon phone works on AT&T with no technical issues. the verizon phone has a cdma radio, the AT&T iPhone 5s ships with its cdma disabled

iphone 5/5c section
same thing with the 5s as far as AT&T vs verizon, but it only had 3 or 4 channels. they were optimized for a particular network. meaning if you took a verizon iPhone 5 to AT&T it would work fine at slower 4G speeds (HSPA+). a verizon iPhone comes with verizon LTE channels, and an AT&T iPhone comes with AT&T LTE channels.
Everything you just said is true, and it is unfortunate that places treat the phones differently. Even the 6S, all of the phones are identical except the ATT version has band 30.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
229
Everything you just said is true, and it is unfortunate that places treat the phones differently. Even the 6S, all of the phones are identical except the ATT version has band 30.
this should be a news story. but I'm beginning to think that Gazelle , next worth, walmart, etc are big advertisers and no one wants to lose money


back on 9/1 there was a $125 price difference between verizon and unlocked, with verizon being more $

it seemed to have stabilized and now theres a $20 difference between AT&T and Verizon., walmart is still paying $80 less last time i heard.

now it is only people who can't get a carrier lock from Sprint and T-mobile that are being ripped off

i even wrote cnet.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,136
this should be a news story. but I'm beginning to think that Gazelle , next worth, walmart, etc are big advertisers and no one wants to lose money


back on 9/1 there was a $125 price difference between verizon and unlocked, with verizon being more $

it seemed to have stabilized and now theres a $20 difference between AT&T and Verizon., walmart is still paying $80 less last time i heard.

now it is only people who can't get a carrier lock from Sprint and T-mobile that are being ripped off

i even wrote cnet.
I have a quote for $410 through icracked.com, and that is much higher than anyone else for the 6. (verizon model of course).
 

lsh

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2012
607
131
Cincinnati, OH
I've mixed results. In one case, they upgraded my condition. In another, they said the phone buttons didn't work and sent it back. The buttons seemed to work for me.
 

Staindsoul

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
382
31
Texas
So I unlocked my AT&T iPhone 6 using one of the unlocking services online that takes your IMEI number and unlocks it. Now using on T-Mobile.

I have a $460 trade in credit with Amazon for a iPhone 6 64GB unlocked. Are you saying not to send it in because it's not the "unlocked" that Amazon wants?
 

Staindsoul

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
382
31
Texas
My experience with Amazon has been horrible.

I had an unlocked phone that was in perfect condition. I sent it to them. I heard nothing from them for over a week. Finally after 10 days they contacted me and said they are returning my phone because it was not unlocked. Total and utter BS. It was unlocked and they wasted my time.
Meant to quote you in my last reply. Can you answer my previous reply? Thanks.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,706
4,136
So I unlocked my AT&T iPhone 6 using one of the unlocking services online that takes your IMEI number and unlocks it. Now using on T-Mobile.

I have a $460 trade in credit with Amazon for a iPhone 6 64GB unlocked. Are you saying not to send it in because it's not the "unlocked" that Amazon wants?
I would email their customer service to confirm. I think they want SIM free, but list it as unlocked. If you do email them, let us know what they say.

Otherwise, every phone is technically unlocked if you are trading it in since you need to own it.
 

laurarh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2015
137
52
It looks like Apple and iCracked are both offering slightly less than Amazon right now, which is giving about $185 for a 5s. Gazelle was offering more last week and I didn't place the order. I assumed it wouldn't change since the iPhones had already been announced. But lesson learned there.

I checked Craigslist for my area and I don't see a lot of listings for other phones but I might as well post an ad since I have 30 days to send to Amazon. That's good to know (and slightly irritating) that there's different types of "unlocked" phones.
 

Staindsoul

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2010
382
31
Texas
Talked to Amazon. Rep confirmed that my GSM unlocked phone is the correct phone for trade in. Not bad and don't have to deal with Craigslist
 

ricktat

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2013
1,598
1,273
Amazon just told me that if it works with any GSM SIM that it can be considered unlocked. That adds about $75 to my 6 plus
 

laurarh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 11, 2015
137
52
I just spoke with someone at Amazon and they said that they wouldn't consider my Verizon iPhone unlocked. So now I'm confused. I don't know if they don't want to publicize that it's the same thing or if that associate just didn't know.
 

ricktat

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2013
1,598
1,273
I just spoke with someone at Amazon and they said that they wouldn't consider my Verizon iPhone unlocked. So now I'm confused. I don't know if they don't want to publicize that it's the same thing or if that associate just didn't know.
The issue I would see is that the unlocked is considered a GSM phone that wont work with Verizon. Even though it does work with GSM and Verizon... mass confusion
 

inboxer

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2013
114
3
Verizon iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus are all GSM unlocked, so the value you are offered should be the same as the unlocked GSM version of the phone. Be careful of the bait and switch. I have heard that Amazon is very strict with grading and will typically revise your offer to the "acceptable" price even for very light wear. I would try getting a quote to sell your iphone to gazelle or buybackworld. Both are running promos now with a code. I think an extra 10% or $10. I can find the code if you need it. I locked in my quote a few weeks ago but the prices have come down since and I haven't checked what they are currently are offering.
 

zaquinho17

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2015
229
53
Sydney | to | New Jersey
You have the verizon model. The unlocked phone they are talking about specifically is the SIM free iPhone that includes different bands for overseas. If you turn it in as "unlocked" you will get a different final value from Amazon.
verizon iPhones are unlocked due to a law imposed by the FCC.. spoke with a verizon agent about it as I am an australian in the USA, who regularly visits home. I am able to put foreign sims in my verizon phones. (i think its upward of the 5 model) will be unlocked. they don't commonly talk about this because they want to keep you on verizon.
 

zaquinho17

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2015
229
53
Sydney | to | New Jersey
I just spoke with someone at Amazon and they said that they wouldn't consider my Verizon iPhone unlocked. So now I'm confused. I don't know if they don't want to publicize that it's the same thing or if that associate just didn't know.

Send it in as unlocked, its unlocked.. take the verizon sim out and completely delete the device. You will get the right value (unlocked price)
 
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