Buying iPhone on eBay

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by groupersandwich, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. groupersandwich macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #1
    How can the ESN be verified to make sure you don't get taken for a ride? I'm considering picking up a used one while waiting for the next iPhone to be released later this year but don't want donate a couple hundred bucks to some kids pot fund by purchasing a bad phone.
     
  2. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #2
    There is really no way to do this. Sure, they can tell you an ESN to have you check it out, but it could just be another iPhone they have that has a good ESN.

    I would really go through Craigslist because you can actually meet the person at a physical Verizon or Sprint store to have the ESN checked out before you give them the money.

    I would go that route.
     
  3. groupersandwich thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #3
    Thanks, I pretty much what I figured. They seem a little high locally on craigslist, but I guess that just leaves negotiating room. Thanks for the response.
     
  4. drkryn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    #4
    Even if the ESN is clean, the person can still report the phone as lost or stolen and render it useless after you've paid for it.
     
  5. ap3604, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  6. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    #6
    Both my iPhones came off eBay. 3GS and 4. The 4 was still in it's cellophane wrapper around the box.
     
  7. groupersandwich thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #7
    The nearest apple store to me is 250 miles away. It's not likely I'm trekking that far for a cellphone. However, I would think that the same exact thing could accomplished at a Verizon store by an in store tech. No?
     
  8. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #8
    It's a really small chance that this is going to happen. I have bought and sold iPhones on Craigslist for a few years now and this has never happened.

    Most(98 percent) of the people you meet on Craigslist selling or buying iPhones are nice honest people. Don't really worry about anything else.

    Just meet them at the Verizon or Sprint store and have the rep change over the phone to your account before you give them the money.
     
  9. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #9
    With a little common sense and patience buying an iPhone on eBay is not the dicey deal that most are implying.

    • Read the auction description carefully. It is human nature to "read into" what is written, to draw inferences and make connections to dots that haven't actually been stated. When reading the description, assume nothing.
    • Only bid on auctions from sellers with excellent feedback and long history. Avoid auctions where the seller has been with eBay for less than a year. Longevity on eBay is more important than high feedback number. Feedback is important, but a lengthy involvement in eBay demonstrates reliability.
    • Do not be emotionally involved in an auction. Set in your mind the max you are willing to bid and stick to it.
    • Be very patient. As time goes by you may be tempted to lower your standards and end up bidding on an auction that seems shady.

    I've been dealing with eBay auctions for 15 years and have used these guidelines with great success. Have I missed out on killer deals because I didn't bid on less-than-solid auctions? Sure. Have I been burned by shady sellers? No.

    In the last 8 months or so, from ebay, I picked up few-month-old Verizon 32GB iPhone 4 in mint condition, with a bad ESN (due to non-payment) for $210, and a 1-month-old (brand new, still with the plastic covering) AT&T 32GB iPhone 4 for $310.

    Be warned though, there is a LOT of bidding competition for iPhones on eBay. It may take a while to get the right device at the right price. It took me 2 weeks to score the Verizon phone, but 2 months to win the AT&T auction.
     
  10. groupersandwich thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #10
    I noticed all the phones on there with bad ESN's. What would a person do with one of those? Can the ESN, say for non-payment of a bill, be cleared through the carrier by paying the unpaid balance? Just curious but it makes no sense to me, based on my limited understanding of these things, to purchase a phone that can't be activated.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    If they are cheap enough and in good condition they can be used for parts.
     
  12. k3roro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    #12
    From a seller's point of view, I sold my iPhone 4 online and everything went smoothly.
     
  13. Shanekarpi251 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    MN
    #13
    I could easily be in your situation in the next couple days! I bought a iPhone 4 on ebay just the other day because I am getting sick of my Android and want to try something new. I couldn't resist the urge to wait for the next iPhone to come out or "waste" a new upgrade on the 4 or 4S. We'll see if I'll regret it or not...
     
  14. groupersandwich thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    #14
    sracer, that's great advice! That should be applied to ALL ebay purchases.

    As it turns out, I found one locally today for $200 on craigslist and am meeting them shortly at the verizon store to complete the transaction. Only a few short hours left of my battle with the Droid X. Time to put that hunk of junk out to pasture. And best of all, I still have all of my upgrades (3) between now and Dec 12) for the next iphone and next iphone S. :p
     
  15. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #15
    I purchased my 64GB 4S off eBay, but not before I investigated the seller carefully before placing my bid. If the seller has one ounce of negative feedback, I immediately move on to the next one. When I find a legit auction, I usually contact the seller and ask them a few general questions which aren't on their description. If they don't respond, that's a red flag to me, and I will move on. Fortunately, I bought my 4S from a legit seller, and had no issues removing my 4 from my VZW account and adding the 4S.
     
  16. jeans94621 macrumors regular

    jeans94621

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    #16
    I brought a iPhone 4 32gb on eBay but I went for the new ones I paid five hundred dollars for it but I had peace of mind that it was brand new. I checked the buyers feedbacks and was satisfied. I went with a dealer who had over 4000 feedbacks. He did have a couple of bad ones but the rest were positive. It was a brand new phone when I activated and went to check it out with Apple for the warranty my warranty is good until April 2013. I brought it in January. I know I paid a lot but it was worth it.
     
  17. 28Gauge macrumors 6502

    28Gauge

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    #17
    I might have to try the Ebay route. Today, someone stole my daughter's iPhone 4 that I bought her about 6 months ago. Needless to say, she is not eligible for an upgrade/replacement and the phone was not insured.
     
  18. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #18
    iPhone 4's with a bad ESN make TERRIFIC "iPod Touch Pro" devices. Faster processor, better display, greater variety of cases, better ergonomics, and higher quality camera are all reasons to use such an iPhone over an iPod Touch.

    An iPhone 4 w/bad ESN can do everything that an iPod Touch can do, only better. And with a little patience, you can pick up a next-to-new one for the same price as a new iPod Touch.
     
  19. jsf721 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Location:
    Li, NY
    #19
    I upgraded from a 4 to a 4S. I have been afraid to sell it for fear of having the iMessage ghost haunt me. If I can figure it out I would sell it to you. Are U in NY by chance? If this is against the rules please delete moderators.
     
  20. labman macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #20
    buying from a reputable seller with a proven track record would be your best chance. Or you can go through Craigs meet them in the cellular store and have them verify if the ESN is valid. However if you do that don't walk up to the counter and say you are buying it tell them your friend or Relative wants to give it to you. That you want to have it activated to your account. The carrier wants to sell you a new phone.
     

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