Buying used iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sunsetblow, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. sunsetblow macrumors regular

    sunsetblow

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #1
    I'm buying a factory unlocked iPhone 5 tomorrow from craigslist.

    I've asked for the ESN and run it through two sites that have said it is clean.

    I will be bringing my T-Mobile SIM with me tomorrow to pop it in and take the phone for a spin.

    Any tips? What should I be looking for? What should I test? What sections should I check?

    I plan on activating while I am there before handing him the money. That means I'll associate my Apple ID with the phone. If I do this can this person still "report it lost or stolen" a week later and have it locked?

    THANKS IN ADVANCE! :D
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    Make sure Find my iphone is off, that's what the activation lock is tied to.
     
  3. sunsetblow thread starter macrumors regular

    sunsetblow

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #3
    But if their iCloud account is gone and I'm able to activate with mine, can they still report it as stolen later?

    Or would the fact that my iCloud account is then locked to the phone show Apple or whoever that I didn't steal it since I "bypassed" the activation?

    So confusing :/
     
  4. Money4iPhone macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    #4
    Yes make sure they remove the "Find My iPhone"

    No once you have your iCloud account on the iPhone then it won't get shut down.
     
  5. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #5
    Nothing can stop a phone from being reported stolen by the original owner. Find my iphone has nothing to do with the phone being blocked by the carrier.
     
  6. sunsetblow thread starter macrumors regular

    sunsetblow

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #6

    So basically a buyer of a used iPhone is at the mercy of the seller for the entire lifespan of the device?

    How preposterous.
     
  7. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #7
    The thing is though that very few people are gonna do this. Most people who buy and sell iPhones on Craigslist are honest people. I've bought and sold about 20 of them and haven't had a bad experience yet.
     
  8. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    yea, there is something wrong with that. i dont think the original owner would be able to do something in this case. that would be silly, people could lock their old phones up on a whim even after legitimate sales just for laughs. there has to be something on the carrier backend we dont know about to prevent this from happening.
     
  9. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #9
    You are right. I used to run a buy on CL and sell on ebay weekend business. Out of 100 phones, only one was bad.

    ----------

    If the seller wants to engage in insurance fraud he can do it, or if the seller skips out on his contract the carrier can do it.
     
  10. sunsetblow thread starter macrumors regular

    sunsetblow

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #10
    I'm glad to hear you all have had very good experiences selling on craigslist.

    Similarly, the fellow I met yesterday was very knowledgeable and, I could tell, very honest and just wanted to get rid of a used phone. So I feel okay.

    But the point is that type of power, to report stolen on a whim, should not be in play. We've all been lucky but why should a less informed consumer possibly be so victimized?
     
  11. neilmacd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Depending on age, make sure the sleep/wake/power button is 100% responsive.
     
  12. darricksailo macrumors 601

    darricksailo

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #12
    If the phone is unlocked, you don't have to worry about it being locked up if it gets reported lost. At least, that's what I've heard from some people
     
  13. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    #13
    Locked or unlocked has nothing to do with it. If a carrier blacklists the MEID/IMEI then it won't work.

    If it's unlocked, then you might be able to bring it to a different country, but providers within a country share the same blacklist.

    ----------

    Yeah, it sucks. Not sure if this is in place or not already, but the carriers need a way to remove an IMEI from an account so that no claims for lost/stolen phones can be made in the future by the old owner.

    Perhaps the best way would be to do the sale at the carrier's store to verify there isn't a balance owed on the phone and that it is removed from the previous account and added to yours.
     
  14. darricksailo macrumors 601

    darricksailo

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #14
    If the phone is unlocked, the IMEI is no longer in AT&T's database though

    I don't think they share the same blacklist yet. Ive heard about the carriers talking to do this but haven't heard anything since then

    Blacklisted phones on AT&T will still work on T-Mobile and vice versa, as far as I'm aware of
     
  15. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #15
    Unlocked or locked, if the carrier blocks it, it will not work with their sim card. I had a 5 that was blacklisted by ATT, it was unlocked but would not work with a sim from ATT or Tmobile. It did work with my vodfone UK sim though.
     
  16. ipaclansite, Nov 30, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

    ipaclansite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    #16
    This has happened to me before, I met the seller and saw the phone was in good condition, checked everything I could, right there, from warranty to IMEI. All clean and valid, a couple of weeks later, the phone stopped working, turns out they reported the phone as lost/stolen. I'm now out of the money I paid for it with a phone less iPhone. After that incident, I concluded I'm never buying an iPhone on craigslist again.
     
  17. sunsetblow thread starter macrumors regular

    sunsetblow

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    #17
    Couple WEEKS? Now what's the point in them doing that? Just a cruel "prank"? Now I'm going to be living in fear for the next month or so, hoping the dude doesn't choose to screw me over.

    There really should be forms like for sales of cars and motorcycles where you and the seller fill out a form together and mail it in to show a transfer of title. This is ridiculous.
     
  18. ipaclansite, Nov 30, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

    ipaclansite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    #18
    Well when I met the guy (who came along with his friend) the two seemed really friendly and allowed me to throughly inspect his phone. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving. I was rather pissed when I found out those few weeks later, that the phone was reported lost/stolen. Their ad didn't have any photos, other than "good" condition, seeing it in person wasn't what I expected so he had his friend show his (who apparently was also selling it). That one was in mint condition and was the one I purchased from them.

    They can always claim it as lost/stolen if they had insurance on it. This would in essence give them a free or heavily discounted iPhone. I don't think I'd ever buy from Craigslist again because of this, because as a buyer, you simply don't know, and they can always lie to cover it up, and/or use a temporary Google Voice number to prevent you from calling them later on. I think paying an extra $100-200 buying new is worth the security knowing that you are the first person with that phone, and you won't have to worry about these IMEI blocking issues.

    As a suggestion (no guarantees of course), I would always look for the box, the box usually has some phone info that they could use to report their phone (unless they really went through the hassle to copy it down...). Check their phone number if they let you inspect their phone (and they should), and call it if you want (you probably had to call them anyway so you can verify this). Ensure its unlocked, don't just bring 1 carrier's sim card, always bring 2 to ensure its unlocked (at least if they do decide to report it you can still sell it overseas). Make sure its not on contract, some people here suggested doing it in a carrier store, I've never known of anyone doing it but it might be an option, but this may be hard to find out. Ask them if they have any other phones to sell, if they do, thats a yellow flag. If the ad doesn't have pictures of the phone, don't bother.

    In the end I had to sell the iPhone on eBay with a bad IMEI number. So not every iPhone on eBay you hear about in these forums comes from someone who stole it, rather it could very well be someone who was ripped off and had no other options. I would suggest buying used from eBay, Amazon, or any known retailer, as they usually have buyer protections and more detailed descriptions to prevent or discourage these things. I usually sell my old iPhones that I bought myself on eBay so I can fund my new ones, but I would never do such a thing. So check feedbacks too.

    I wish you luck, as I'm sure there are still honest people out there. :cool:

    On other note, I've read that people who stole iPhones with blocked IMEI's but still had their phones under warranty were able to trade it for a new one from an Apple Store, this may be an option if this happened, and I had considered doing this because it was still under warranty, but I believed it was incredibly risky in that they could believe that I stole it, and quite dishonest to do so.
     
  19. Horse9118 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #19
    I got burned by dishonest seller once and then I found out that there is actually a simple way to fix this. All you have to do is make sure that there's warranty left on the phone when you buy it off them. And if they report the phone as lost or stolen, just go to the Apple Store and claim that the phone stopped working, the genius guys would usually swap it out for you. If at the end of the warranty period your phone is still working fine and you are still worried, then you can use a app that flickers your flash on and off. Leave that app running for 48 hours and your flash will break. Then go to the apple store and claim the flash stopped working and the apple will swap it out and extend your warranty for 90 days. The whole point of this is getting a new phone with a new imei that's not blocked by the carrier.
     
  20. braddick macrumors 68040

    braddick

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Encinitas, CA
    #20
    Do you feel this is victimizing Apple?
     

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