Is it safe to give away my IMEI?

AstroDrew

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 23, 2015
140
50
Bay Area
I'm selling my iPhone 6S on ebay and I have a potential buyer who is asking me to provide him/her my iPhone's IMEI. Should I do it? Is it safe? He also told me I can check it myself and just send him the result, he provided a link to a website but I don't trust the site. What can I do? Is there a website where I can check the IMEI of my iphone myself and take a screen shot, block the imei# and send it to the buyer?

Thanks for the help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mcvite

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,474
18,817
I'm selling my iPhone 6S on ebay and I have a potential buyer who is asking me to provide him/her my iPhone's IMEI. Should I do it? Is it safe? He also told me I can check it myself and just send him the result, he provided a link to a website but I don't trust the site. What can I do? Is there a website where I can check the IMEI of my iphone myself and take a screen shot, block the imei# and send it to the buyer?

Thanks for the help.
Some previous discussions about this kind of thing that might be of some help:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ential-buyers-when-selling-an-iphone.1729981/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/safe-to-provide-imei-number.1669028/
 
  • Like
Reactions: AstroDrew

alex.houston

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2016
81
42
Indiana
I'm selling my iPhone 6S on ebay and I have a potential buyer who is asking me to provide him/her my iPhone's IMEI. Should I do it? Is it safe? He also told me I can check it myself and just send him the result, he provided a link to a website but I don't trust the site. What can I do? Is there a website where I can check the IMEI of my iphone myself and take a screen shot, block the imei# and send it to the buyer?

Thanks for the help.
Here are links for IMEI check on Swappa and Swappa's explanation on why sharing IMEI is bad:
https://swappa.com/esn
https://swappa.com/faq/esn/share_esn_numbers
For eBay, it should be enough if you state in the listing that IMEI is clean. The buyer can open "item not as described" case if IMEI is not clean.
That said, I shared IMEI number in the past and never had a problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JM and AstroDrew

Hym tix

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2012
255
321
I personally would not buy a phone if the buyer refuses to share the IMEI.

I don't think this is good policy. ^

The buyer needs to put a small degree of trust in the seller. The seller really shouldn't give this info out. And eBay will 100% back up the buyer if the device does not arrive as the seller described it (ESN clean, etc).

Swappa might be a better option, they require and verify the IMEI for you.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,474
18,817
I don't think this is good policy. ^

The buyer needs to put a small degree of trust in the seller. The seller really shouldn't give this info out. And eBay will 100% back up the buyer if the device does not arrive as the seller described it (ESN clean, etc).

Swappa might be a better option, they require and verify the IMEI for you.
Given how many stories of all kinds go around all the time, seems like most of this comes down to the whole "trust but verify" type of thing.
 

macsrcool1234

Suspended
Oct 7, 2010
1,507
2,018
I don't think this is good policy. ^

The buyer needs to put a small degree of trust in the seller. The seller really shouldn't give this info out. And eBay will 100% back up the buyer if the device does not arrive as the seller described it (ESN clean, etc).

Swappa might be a better option, they require and verify the IMEI for you.

I would call it more than a 'small' degree of trust...and would have little to no faith in ebay understanding the complexities of IMEI.

I suppose it also comes down to seller feedback....if its really good I might be more inclined to take the risk.
 

bufffilm

Suspended
May 3, 2011
4,227
2,536
Giving out the IMEI merely allows the -possibility- of someone using that info for cloning (or other nefarious ends)...the probability is probably low, but I am not abreast of these things...

Like with anything, it's a judgement call.

Swappa doing the IMEI check beforehand is certainly better than the alternatives.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,876
1,804
DE
Personally I would never share any of my devices IMEI numbers with a potential buyer.

Like others mentioned, that is why I prefer buying/selling on Swappa.
 

Brandonjr36

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2016
1,621
556
Joplin
I don't think this is good policy. ^

The buyer needs to put a small degree of trust in the seller. The seller really shouldn't give this info out. And eBay will 100% back up the buyer if the device does not arrive as the seller described it (ESN clean, etc).

Swappa might be a better option, they require and verify the IMEI for you.
You clearly have never bought something that the imei was bad. I myself have as a lot of others have to. I will never buy another phone without checking the imei.
 

denisej

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2014
35
13
Illinois
I offer to provide the IMEI number to the winning bidder on Ebay prior to receiving the payment and pray that they don't back out of the transaction.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlliFlowers

Hym tix

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2012
255
321
You clearly have never bought something that the imei was bad. I myself have as a lot of others have to. I will never buy another phone without checking the imei.

Right you are. In fact I never bid on an eBay listing unless it states the IMEI is clean. If I get a device that doesn't work as stated I'll return it and eBay will have to take my side. Pretty simple, but yes it requires sellers to be specific on the listing.

And seriously, eBay processes a lot of iPhone sales. Of course they understand "the complexities of IMEI" as well as network locks, ESN, iCloud activation, etc.

My point is, the contract/sale is based on what the seller specifies in the listing. If they don't clearly say, then the buyer is taking a risk because eBay can't back them up on a dispute.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brandonjr36
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.