How to properly hand in an iPhone (avoid Apple ID lock)?

yungplayz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 8, 2013
6
2
Hello everyone!

I'm about to purchase a second-hand iPhone 4S (get it from a trusted seller on eBay, for instance).

Now here is the message I am extremely unwilling to ever read off my new iPhone's display:
"This iPhone is currently linked to an Apple ID (******@****.***). Sign in with the Apple ID that was used to set up this iPhone".

Please tell me, exactly which actions shall I ask the seller to take before sending me the iPhone, so that I don't run into the Apple ID link issue once I update or factory reset it.

Thanks in advance, folks!
 

gordon1234

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
571
162
I must say, it's quite shocking just how many activation-locked phones are sold openly on eBay. Just informally searching, it seems like easily a third of phones being sold actually note in their description that they are locked and can't be activated.

Now, some of these are no doubt devices that were sold at stores and such and the previous owner simply forgot to remove the lock, however, I'm going to say the majority are likely stolen devices being resold. It's scary just how many stolen phones are out there.

What's also scary is how many people are buying phones that clearly state they are activation locked. They seem to consistently sell for only slightly less than regular, working phones. Either there is some easy way to bypass the lock that buyers are taking advantage of (and a Google search would indicate this is not the case,) or a whole lot of people are getting suckered into buying phones they won't be able to use. I'm thinking eBay should prohibit the sale of activation-locked devices.
 

gordon1234

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
571
162
It's mainly disabling the Find My iPhone service (associated with iCloud) on the device that does it.
This is the one, specific setting that removes the lock. A seller should always do a full erase before selling a phone, but as long as Find my iPhone is disabled, the buyer can easily do this themselves.