Checklist for Buying on Craigslist

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nkaufman, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. nkaufman, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    nkaufman macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Following is what I've gathered so far along with a couple of items where I need more information. Hope this helps.

    • First get seller to call you from his phone dial pad to your number, so both of you have each other’s number
    • Then go to Settings -> General -> About -> Network and check original Network the phone was for
    • Sellers do not like to give IMEI number over email/phone. So, get the IMEI number while meeting and go to following sites
    • IMEI number with 01 then GSM, MEID with 99 - CDMA
    • If seller has box then make sure, S/N of phone matches on box and phone
    • Go to and make sure phone is not locked. If yes then proceed ahead with other tests till you reach the step where seller disables Find My Phone. After that, check this step again
    • Now look for water damage. So ports – charging, speakers etc should NOT have any pink/red spots
    • Check screen, and other physical features
    • Now if you have a sim that you can use on this phone then put it on.
    • Make calls, check speaker, headset, on/off button, volume button, mute button,
    • Check home button
    • Check charging from power outlet
    • Voice recording
    • Go on internet and see if everything works
    • If pubic wifi available, go on a network to make sure wifi is working
    • Take pictures – front and back cameras
    • Ask seller to disable Find my phone if not already done so
    • Ask seller to reset to factory settings
    • Ask seller to remove phone from iCloud
    • Ask seller to send you email or text from his cell confirming that seller has sold phone with IMEI number to you
    • Call Apple Support 1-800-275-2273 and set up phone in your name

    Following are still some questions that I have
    How to ensure it is carrier unlocked?
    How to ensure that it is not under a contract with another carrier?

    Are there other steps/questions that you'd like to add to the above list?
  2. sillywabbit macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
  3. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009
    #3 can go 10x over the checklist but nothing can prevent this.
  4. themyst macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Take a video of the transaction. Works for fighting back against eBay scammers, works on craigslist scum. They are the worst of the worst here in NYC.

    I do this because one seller walked away from me even after I tried to hand him the money when I asked to confirm the transaction on video.
  5. runningtowin macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2011
    I would feel extremely violated if someone whom I had just met on Craigslist wanted to take a video of me, but that's just my opinion.
  6. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013
    After reading all the horror stories I'm not sure I'd want to buy a used iPhone from anyone except trusted friends and family members.
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Bring bulletproof vest. Check.
    Have 2-3 friends wondering around as lookouts. Check.
  8. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    Don't get shot or otherwise injured is probably #1.

    Don't deal with shady people...


    He gave you the item then wouldn't take the money? What's the point of that?
  9. erzhik macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2010
    Meet at a police station. That's the only golden rule of CL. Even cops recommend doing just that when you buy or sell on CL.
  10. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012

    I would walk away too. That's creepy.
  11. fiveainone macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2011
    The pink dot was removed since the 5 I believe, it's been internal.
  12. uchosen macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    I might add:
    Glock on the right. Check.
    Pistol-grip pump on the left. Check.
  13. nkaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    C'mon Seriously!!

    That happens to people who never looked at these forums before going to buy an iPhone that still is Locked.

    Other than seller reporting it lost, in which case you have the text message from his phone to your phone confirming the IMEI number of the transacted phone.

    But then if people do not choose to do their homework before buying phones from CL then they should not do it.
  14. sillywabbit macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012

    Burner number.
  15. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    How's the weather in Texas? :D
  16. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    What are you going to do with a text message from him confirming the imei?
    Once he reports it stolen or lost there's nothing you can do about it.
    You think you will show someone your text conversations and they will just unblock it?
  17. nkaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Just bought one today, and updated the phone information with Apple as well. Added this step as well in the OP.
  18. moldy lunchbox macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    That's why I will sell my phones on Craigslist but will probably never buy one from it.
  19. nkaufman thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2012
    A text message from seller confirming he sold the phone with IMEI number is much better than not having anything. At least with that information you can involve carrier etc.

    Further, when one updates Apple's information as well then there are just too many things that are against the seller.
  20. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2011
    In the past when I bought and sold quite a few iPhones on Craigslist, if I was skeptical of who I might be dealing with I would throw into the conversation somehow that I was a police officer(I'm not btw) just to gage their reaction. The times the conversation went dark after that I just figured the person was up to no good.
  21. Ann P macrumors 68020

    Jun 29, 2009

    It's there inside the sim slot.
  22. ROLLTIDE1 macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2012
    Show up in a police car and bring heat ;) works for me
  23. themyst macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    no he walked away from the deal.
  24. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    That will do nothing at all.
    The carrier does not care about what scam went down on CL and it's not up to them to investigate or do anything about it over he said she said.
    Showing them or Apple any text messages will do nothing on getting a blacklisted iPhone unblocked.
  25. Allthings-I macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2014
    This reason alone is why no one should buy a brand new iPhone from Craigslist, only devices that are 20+ months old are worth buying because you know the genuine owner has upgraded.


    I'm sorry but your checklist in todays market doesn't help anyone a whole lot if the person buying isn't wise.

    Once device sold, person can very well go ahead and report it lost / stolen.

    Lastly you think your safe? well there are enough fraudsters on craigslist selling devices purchase with fraudulent ID's and accounts, what do you suppose will protect buyers from that? Definitely no text messages or emails or even voice recordings. Don't even have to wonder when someone is selling a brand new / less than 1 month old phone for even a $1 off the retail price, that should be a #1 red flag.

    I personally recommend not buying any device that is less than 1 year to 20 months old. Thanks to Apple, you can determine the purchase date. How do you find out if that person actually owned the device? Well you be the judge and at least bother to find out when the device was purchased, most genuine buyers will not be selling their iPhones for cheap on CL that too well before the launch of the next generation.

    Few pointers for you:

    35xxxx = iPhone 5S/5C Verizon = GSM / CDMA Compatible and Factory Unlocked.

    35xxx = iPhone 6/6+ from all networks now

    99xxxxx = iPhone 4S/5 from Sprint / Verizon = CDMA/GSM (Only Verizon's 5 can be used on other carriers)

    013xxxx = iPhone 4/4S/5/5C/5S from AT&T / T-Mobile

    To verify carrier unlock:

    1) You can insert a different carrier SIM

    2) purchase whats called a GSX IMEI Report -- It provides you with lots of info such as activation date, original carrier, lock / unlock status, warranty expiry date

    To Verify contract status:

    1) Have the seller call the carrier in front of you and request them to ask the representative about the contract / finance status. If person not willing to verify, walk away cause otherwise you might be regretting it later.

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