Buying a used phone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tl01, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. tl01 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Is there any safe way to buy a used phone? Specifically I am wondering... Is there any way to make sure the home is legit... Not black listed etc? If one does the transaction at an AT&T store and activate it... Is that safe or can there still be issues?
     
  2. Applejuiced, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

    Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #2
    Its still a risk.
    It could be tied up to next payments and then they stop paying on it or just disconnect the line without paying ETF or they can just report it lost/stolen etc...
     
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

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    #3
    True, but at a carrier store they can at least verify that the phone is free and clear of any remaining contract.
     
  4. tl01 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I wish there was a way to avoid the stolen part! So frustrating! I would really like to get a 6plus to use half the time and keep my 6. Paying full price is a lot! Ugh!
     
  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #5
    Avoid Craigslist for sure. Although there's still a risk, Swappa is supposed to verify the listing for clean ESN and eBay has a 6-month window to file a dispute.
     
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #6
    True but many don't report the device lost/stolen till days later while trying to call it and find it.
    And during that time the phone will work fine and carrier store will tell you its clean.
     
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

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    #7
    Oh, I agree completely. They could report it stolen after the sale. But at a carrier store, the employees could (and I stress could, but not necessarily will) verify the selling party's identity, verify they are the rightful owner of the phone (or at least the main account holder), that there's no remaining contract on the phone, and that the phone has been removed from the sellers account.

    Now, I don't necessarily know that they WILL do all this, since a private sale between two third parties does not in any way benefit them (thus no incentive to perform those tasks), but at least it's a place to start.
     
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #8
    Buy it at AT&T. Make sure the person selling is the person who's account it is. have them confirm with the rep it is not on Next. Exactly what I did when I sold a 5S last year. The guy requested that of me and I was more than happy to oblige. Generally gets people to pay your higher asking prices too.
     
  9. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

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    #9
    i bought the dreaded amazon fire phone used

    mostly to laugh at it

    the imei was clean according to swappa

    but AT&T refuses to activate it because the phone was for testing only and it was not designed to operate on their network

    i asked at&t if they want it back. they didn't give me an answer

    i asked amazon for an unlock, they wouldn't unlock the sim card because they said the phone was "still under contract"
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #10
    This is baffling. is it some specific model of it or soemthing? I know AT&T sells (or sold) the fire phone.
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #11
    I don't know but that sounds like private information that the carrier does not have to give out on a private 3rd party used phone sale.
    They don't have to deal with any of that or get involved at all telling a stranger the account details and getting in the middle of it.
     
  12. tl01 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    This is good to know. As much as I hate eBay... Maybe that is the way to go?
     
  13. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #13
    eBay is actually pretty good when it comes to buying because they'll protect you like crazy. It's the seller who's at a disadvantage, especially given the 6-month window for disputes.
     
  14. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #14
    If the seller tells the rep "hey I am selling my phone and I want to verify in the system I am the rightful owner of this phone, it has no payments left, etc." I don't see why the rep wouldn't oblige. They aren't divulging any information the account holder isn't telling them to.
     
  15. tl01 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    The last thing I bought on e bay they didn't protect me at all. They package was sent and usps said it was delivered but it wasn't. I opened the case on the 2nd day after additional two days of delivery had come and gone. I guess the seller provide the tracking number which showed delivered and eBay closed it and refused to re open it. Luckily the package came on the third day. The case was only open for like 3 hours. I was furious until the package arrived... So I really have little faith:(. How usps showed it delivered... I have no idea. Neighbors didn't have it either.
     
  16. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #16
    I don't think you can say they didn't protect you at all as you didn't really ride out the process. You eventually got the package but if you didn't, ebay would have sided with you later in the process.

    With iPhones (or transactions over $250), signature confirmation is also required so there's that.
     
  17. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #17
    The rightful owner is kinda vague. Any phone can be sold, upgrade swapped and so on multiple times.
    Even though I don't doubt it was done a wireless carrier rep doesn't have to do any of this. It's more of a favor towards the customer but it could also come back to bite them if there's a dispute or any issues down the road.
     
  18. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #18
    That's sort of a unique scenario. USPS messed up (not the seller). eBay is always going to assume that USPS isn't lying when stating a package has arrived. It's certainly not the seller lying about it.

    FWIW USPS has been hands down the worst delivery service I have ever used. I;ve had multiple packages lost, some delayed severely, some never arrived.
     
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #19
    In a case like that if anyone claims they didn't get it and the item was just left in front of the door and possibly stolen the seller eats the loss.
    If there's no signature or other confirmation that the buyer took possesion of the package them the seller should have insurance on the pack to cover it.
     
  20. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #20
    They can check and see if it was purchased on that account. One cannot simply just report a phone stolen if it's been on multiple accounts already. If it was purchased and activated on that account, ATT has record of it. If it has hopped a handful of accounts, ATT won't ban it "a few months later" as some people have claimed; the device is paid off and there is no longer any real proof of ownership.

    Basically, once a phone is paid off completely and is tranfered by ATT to another account in store, the previous owner can no longer report it stolen. And it ames sense to do it that way. Otherwise I could report a phone I bugth through ATT two years ago stolen so long as I had the IMEI info. That would just be silly.

    As far as what they "have" to do... they don;t even "have" to help you with your own account. I have had some terrible reps. Luckily, you can always talk to another rep, and go to another store. I highly doubt that a rep is going to just blow you off... I certainly wouldn't come back to that guy later and allow him to make commission off me, would you?
     
  21. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #21
    So just the original 1st owner only. Cause we know how easy and fast iPhones are sold and swapped.
    But a phone is not really transferred officially by att into anyone's account.
    They just give you a sim and maybe ask for the imei to put the correct plans and settings on the account but again there's nothing legit to transfer ownership of a used device to another users account.
     
  22. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #22
    Correct. An AT&T can confirm if the person was or wasn;t the original first owner (with that person's permission). They can also notate the account that their was transferred to the new owner or buyer. It's also a good way to make sure the insurance (if there is any) is canceled on that device, removing any real incetnive to report the device at all.
     
  23. tl01 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Agreed... It is unusual... For the three days, I was right that it hadn't been delivered. How was I susposed to know it was still coming.

    I know the seller didn't lie, but eBay wasn't even willing to entertain the possibility that something wasn't right. If that had been something expensive, I would have been livid.
     
  24. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #24
    The issue is that there literally is no way for you to to prove anything. A government run and funded entity (literally) is claiming that you've received your parcel.

    As I said, USPS makes a ton of mistakes. I've been on the wrong end of more than in happy to admit, especially when I lived far from my mom and she would send care packages nearly weekly. But I'm not sure what the "proper" resolution from a company that must deal with hundreds to thousands of cases would be (referring to ebay).

    A better question, if you were a seller, and someone stated they never received your item despite the tracking in it, what would you say? I mean, that's the exact point of tracking; to prove to both parties that an ten was delivered. My response would be to contact USPS. Certainly looks fishy too, from Ebay and the sellers perspective to have you opening a case immediately after you have, by all accounts and records, already received your items.

    TLDR: this is ebay working as they should. USPS is what failed you here. They are the only entity that can completely lose a package and laugh in your face because you didn't insure it. They won't even refund the initial shipping fees. You're basicslly handing them your money (for the fees) and a valuable item and hoping that it makes it. Even if you do oay the insurance rates have a fun time getting that money... Frankly they're a joke.
     
  25. SeilerBird macrumors regular

    SeilerBird

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    #25
    I bought my first iPhone 4s from Amazon used for $129. Worked perfect. Amazon will refund your money pronto if you get ripped off. I would never buy from eBay, too many crooks.
     

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