Buying the iPhone off of eBay

kleinishere

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 13, 2006
57
0
Hi all,

I'm considering buying one of the "New in Box" iPhones off of eBay but I have a couple of concerns. According to the sales rep at AT&T buying one off of eBay is a really bad idea because when you buy an iPhone you have to sign up for a contract or something at the store. I realize you activate the phone at home on the computer, so this really confused me. I was wondering if anyone could write a quick note about what happened when they bought the iPhone at an AT&T store or an Apple retail store: Did you simply buy the phone w/out giving any information, take it home and sign up for a service contract? OR Did you give them a lot of information, take it home, then activate it? Is the SIM card included in the sealed box when you buy it?

Any help would be nice as the phones are going for less than $600 w/ shipping included rather often on eBay. I'm just worried about buying an iPhone that I can't activate. Of course, I would be buying a "new in box" and "factory sealed" and definitely not a used one that already has a contract.

Thanks for any help!
 

The General

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2006
4,826
1
Why would you risk it and buy one on eBay to save $40 when you can walk down the road to the Apple or AT&T store and buy one that you know for sure will work?
 

Antaios

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2007
115
3
New York City
Hi all,

I'm considering buying one of the "New in Box" iPhones off of eBay but I have a couple of concerns. According to the sales rep at AT&T buying one off of eBay is a really bad idea because when you buy an iPhone you have to sign up for a contract or something at the store. I realize you activate the phone at home on the computer, so this really confused me. I was wondering if anyone could write a quick note about what happened when they bought the iPhone at an AT&T store or an Apple retail store: Did you simply buy the phone w/out giving any information, take it home and sign up for a service contract? OR Did you give them a lot of information, take it home, then activate it? Is the SIM card included in the sealed box when you buy it?

Any help would be nice as the phones are going for less than $600 w/ shipping included rather often on eBay. I'm just worried about buying an iPhone that I can't activate. Of course, I would be buying a "new in box" and "factory sealed" and definitely not a used one that already has a contract.

Thanks for any help!
i work in an at&t store... as long as the iphone is in the box and sealed u can activate it. you ran into a rep who wanted commision. nothing more. nothing else. One of my co-workers the other day wouldn't sell a guy an iphone because in order to sign up for a rate plan he required a deposit, she never told him he could activate the iphone without paying the deposit and without a two yr contract. she only wanted the commision of him signing up a 2 yr contract. 90% of at&t reps are either liars or they are completely uneducated about most at&t products.....mainly because they don't care about anything aside from their commission...
 

Telp

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2007
3,059
15
Personally, i would never buy an iPhone over ebay...but you do what your comfortable with.
 

Kamera RAWr

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2007
1,022
0
Sitting on a rig somewhere
Why buy one off ebay to save a few bucks... as much as the iPhone costs, its not much saving... better to not have any concerns and buy from a local Apple or AT&T store. Its true that you need not give any information to AT&T when you buy your iPhone. You just buy it and then take it home and activate it... although you do have to give your info to iTunes when activating ;) I suppose you could do the instore pre approval credit thing, but why? :p
 

Joshua8o8

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
372
0
Honolulu, Hawai'i
yea i agree, if i were you i woul buy it from an apple store or an at&t. Also when i was in line at at&t to buy my phone on june 29 the manager at at&t said that iphones can only be activated in the region you bought them in. For example if i purchased my iphone in hawaii, and i sold it to you in ohio, you would not be able to activate it. The specific topic of selling the phone on ebay came up while the manager was talking to everyone in line. So i dont know if you want to take such a big chanse...
 

diamond.g

macrumors 603
Mar 20, 2007
6,361
311
Virginia
yea i agree, if i were you i woul buy it from an apple store or an at&t. Also when i was in line at at&t to buy my phone on june 29 the manager at at&t said that iphones can only be activated in the region you bought them in. For example if i purchased my iphone in hawaii, and i sold it to you in ohio, you would not be able to activate it. The specific topic of selling the phone on ebay came up while the manager was talking to everyone in line. So i dont know if you want to take such a big chanse...
Hmm, well that is the first time I have heard of a phone being locked to certain region of the US. I do know that sometimes they can't do anything with different area codes though. Maybe that is what they meant. Besides, you are activating it on iTunes, why would Apple lock the iPhone to certain regions of the US that just seems silly.
 

Amblinman

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2007
208
0
yea i agree, if i were you i woul buy it from an apple store or an at&t. Also when i was in line at at&t to buy my phone on june 29 the manager at at&t said that iphones can only be activated in the region you bought them in. For example if i purchased my iphone in hawaii, and i sold it to you in ohio, you would not be able to activate it. The specific topic of selling the phone on ebay came up while the manager was talking to everyone in line. So i dont know if you want to take such a big chanse...
This is absolutely untrue. An unactivated iPhone can be activated in any part of the United States. Why in the world would Apple care about region-specific activations? And if they did, why would they offer the first cell phone you can activate by yourself at home?

As for the OP's question, I agree with everyone else - don't do it. You're not saving that much money and quite frankly, not to put too fine a point on it, if you're concerned about money you probably shouldn't be purchasing a $600 device. Either you see the value in the product or you don't.
 

61132

Guest
Oct 31, 2005
327
0
I bought mine off of ebay new in box and still sealed, works great. Still covered by Apple's warranty. Just watch the feedback ratings of the people you are buying from.
 

Joshua8o8

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
372
0
Honolulu, Hawai'i
This is absolutely untrue. An unactivated iPhone can be activated in any part of the United States. Why in the world would Apple care about region-specific activations? And if they did, why would they offer the first cell phone you can activate by yourself at home?

As for the OP's question, I agree with everyone else - don't do it. You're not saving that much money and quite frankly, not to put too fine a point on it, if you're concerned about money you probably shouldn't be purchasing a $600 device. Either you see the value in the product or you don't.
Why would i make that up? Thats what the manager of my local at&t told eveyone in line. I was about 6th in line and a guy a little more down the line asked the specific question about ebay. Maybe apple did it so that people would not clog the lines of apple and at&t stores so that they can make a profit on ebay, it makes perfect sense.
 

Antaios

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2007
115
3
New York City
Why would i make that up? Thats what the manager of my local at&t told eveyone in line. I was about 6th in line and a guy a little more down the line asked the specific question about ebay. Maybe apple did it so that people would not clog the lines of apple and at&t stores so that they can make a profit on ebay, it makes perfect sense.
hello all... this is your trusty at&t rep... Antaios. the reason the manager told u this is because originally the reps only would make commission if the iphone they sold was activated in the market it was sold in... att didn't want to track commission sales across markets as different areas(markets) use different billing systems due to cingular/att buying up different companies over the years. So reps starting bitching saying they weren't going to sell iphones to people who weren't activating the phones immediately, thus reps wanting to run your credit in the store even though they DO NOT have to... After the first week or so... they got it fixed so we get paid no matter where or when an iphone we sold gets activated but some reps still don't believe it....
 

kleinishere

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 13, 2006
57
0
Thanks for the responses! It was all very helpful.

I thought the AT&T reps seemed confused about the whole activation thing - I knew it was all done at home.

Despite the many warnings I have been given I think I will go ahead and try to grab one off of eBay for about $120 less from a highly reputable seller. We'll see how it goes!
 

Amblinman

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2007
208
0
Why would i make that up? Thats what the manager of my local at&t told eveyone in line. I was about 6th in line and a guy a little more down the line asked the specific question about ebay. Maybe apple did it so that people would not clog the lines of apple and at&t stores so that they can make a profit on ebay, it makes perfect sense.
I wasn't accusing you of making anything up. I'm simply telling you it's untrue. So if this guy actually said it, he's either lying or misinformed. Knowing cellphone sales people, probably a little of both.
 

robvia

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2007
42
0
I would never buy an iPhone on E-bay seeing how the people could drop the box. In some of the pictures, the people showed their baby holding the phone, like that's gonna make me want to buy it. Yeah, sure. Just buy a phone that a baby has been slobbering all over and tossing around like a rag doll. Yep, that's the one I want.