Need help...sold iPhone on eBay

WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
So, I sold my new AT&T Black iPhone 5 on eBay because I ended up getting a white one. However, the buyer is saying that he can't activate it. He received it last Friday (9/28), but I am only hearing about it today.

I removed the SIM card that came with the phone before selling since it was tied to my account. AT&T told me all the buyer has to do is get a new SIM, since it won't have one when he gets it.

Now, the seller is saying he needs the last 4 of my SSN (which there is no way he is getting) and my zip code or he is going to return it to me. I told him several times that he will need to get a SIM card tied to his own account in order to activate it.

I am afraid he will try to return it and I will be out money since I spent extra money shipping it 2-day to him in NY so he could have it by Friday (which I didn't even charge him for). I did put no returns on my auction, but eBay has their Buyer's Protection thing.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare in case he files a claim on eBay or something?

This has been a hassle from the start and I am not sure if he is trying to scam me or if he really just doesn't know that he needs his own SIM card to activate the iPhone.

Also, is there a way to see if he actually did activate it using the IMEI number or something?

Thanks.
 

jmxp69

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2008
324
0
Ugh. You might want to try and see if you can get a three-way call with the buyer, AT&T, and yourself to sort it out. Under no circumstances would I give him the last four of my social or any other personal information for that matter.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
Ugh. You might want to try and see if you can get a three-way call with the buyer, AT&T, and yourself to sort it out. Under no circumstances would I give him the last four of my social or any other personal information for that matter.
I definitely won't give him any personal info. I think he was trying to activate it without the SIM card...

See if he will take it to an AT&T store and walk them through it over the phone.
I told him to just go to an AT&T store and get it activated...that is what AT&T told me on the phone when I called them to ask what I should do.

I ended up selling it on eBay and just put that it was sold in my thread since I couldn't find a way to delete it.
 
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BlueKhufu

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2010
182
23
It sounds like you didn't even activate the phone yourself, correct? Phones ordered from Apple.com come locked and need your zip/last four of your ssn to activate.. I'm reading up on it right now to see if that is able to be bypassed, but it doesn't look like it, even with another sim. I'll keep looking, but maybe call apple and see if they know of a solution in the meantime.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
It sounds like you didn't even activate the phone yourself, correct? Phones ordered from Apple.com come locked and need your zip/last four of your ssn to activate.. I'm reading up on it right now to see if that is able to be bypassed, but it doesn't look like it, even with another sim. I'll keep looking, but maybe call apple and see if they know of a solution in the meantime.
Correct...I just opened the box, removed my SIM, and boxed it back up.

I ordered my 4S and 4 straight from Apple and don't recall having to enter in any of that information. I just plugged the 4 into iTunes and it activated and the 4S was done on the iPhone itself, if I remember correctly.
 
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TSX

macrumors 68030
Oct 1, 2008
2,611
22
Texas
eBay also has a seller protection too, don't accept it back as he might be trying to swap phones.
 
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kalexn

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2012
384
0
Texas
It sounds like you didn't even activate the phone yourself, correct? Phones ordered from Apple.com come locked and need your zip/last four of your ssn to activate.. I'm reading up on it right now to see if that is able to be bypassed, but it doesn't look like it, even with another sim. I'll keep looking, but maybe call apple and see if they know of a solution in the meantime.
I thought I heard this too. It has to be activated the first time through the person who purchased it but I wonder if there is a way around it if he goes to the store?
 
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BlueKhufu

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2010
182
23
Correct...I just opened the box, removed my SIM, and boxed it back up.

I ordered my 4S and 4 straight from Apple and don't recall having to enter in any of that information. I just plugged the 4 into iTunes and it activated and the 4S was done on the iPhone itself, if I remember correctly.
From everything I've read (in only the last ten minutes or so, so don't fully trust me here), you have two options, give him the info or have him send it back and unlock it yourself and ship it back.. I'm still reading though.. There are lots of reports of this same issue dating back several versions (at least 3GS).
 
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Hwa1201

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2009
29
0
This happened to me when I bought a sealed iphone5 from craigslist.
I tried going to AT&T store and they gave me new sim card but the phone would keep asking for the seller's 4digit SSN and zipcode even though I inserted the new sim card. I ended up meeting up with the seller again and he put in those info and I was able to activate the phone.
So I can confirm that if you preordered from apple.com,
the phone is locked and has to be activated by the person who ordered it with his/her 4digit SSN and zipcode. Once you activate the phone, then other people could activate it with new sim card.
So the iphone5 will be locked from activation until you activate the phone with your info first.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
This happened to me when I bought a sealed iphone5 from craigslist.
I tried going to AT&T store and they gave me new sim card but the phone would keep asking for the seller's 4digit SSN and zipcode even though I inserted the new sim card. I ended up meeting up with the seller again and he put in those info and I was able to activate the phone.
So I can confirm that if you preordered from apple.com,
the phone is locked and has to be activated by the person who ordered it with his/her 4digit SSN and zipcode. Once you activate the phone, then other people could activate it with new sim card.
So the iphone5 will be locked from activation until you activate the phone with your info first.
AT&T just told me that the buyer can restore from iTunes and set it up that way with his SIM card. It wouldn't be a big deal if I sold it locally, but I am not going to give out my personal information to someone halfway across the country.
 
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BlueKhufu

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2010
182
23
Other than options that aren't available yet (relating to jb) I see nothing you can do to help him. Don't forget, he is out the purchase price right now so he's probably thinking you've scammed him, and you're worried about him scamming you.. My advice would be to immediately offer to have him send it back to you so you can activate it.. Hopefully he will trust you enough to just do that without doing a refund (which means you'd have to trust him to send it back after getting his money back from you). You really did sell him a phone he can't use, so take quick action to fix the mistake as safely (for you financially) as possible and hope he goes for it.. Or give him your info and buy lifelock for a year. (Half kidding on that last one)

----------

AT&T just told me that the buyer can restore from iTunes and set it up that way with his SIM card. It wouldn't be a big deal if I sold it locally, but I am not going to give out my personal information to someone halfway across the country.
See this thread https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1391534/

I don't think a restore will help.. The phone is locked with your info.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
Other than options that aren't available yet (relating to jb) I see nothing you can do to help him. Don't forget, he is out the purchase price right now so he's probably thinking you've scammed him, and you're worried about him scamming you.. My advice would be to immediately offer to have him send it back to you so you can activate it.. Hopefully he will trust you enough to just do that without doing a refund (which means you'd have to trust him to send it back after getting his money back from you). You really did sell him a phone he can't use, so take quick action to fix the mistake as safely (for you financially) as possible and hope he goes for it.. Or give him your info and buy lifelock for a year. (Half kidding on that last one)
I feel bad if I actually sold him a phone he can't activate. I just thought it would be as easy as him popping in his SIM card and activating from the phone. If he can't get it activated today, I will offer him a refund and just try to sell it on Craigalist and meet the person at the AT&T store so I can make sure it gets activated.
 
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Hwa1201

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2009
29
0
AT&T just told me that the buyer can restore from iTunes and set it up that way with his SIM card. It wouldn't be a big deal if I sold it locally, but I am not going to give out my personal information to someone halfway across the country.
That's what AT&T rep told me to do over the phone but I still had the problem.
Even I wouldn't give out that info to someone, but I remember seeing from one of the post about using remote connection to enter your info to that person's itunes.
Basically, let that person connect the phone to the computer and open itunes.
The itunes would ask the 4digit SSN and zipcode. Then you connect to that person's computer using remote desktop (ex. teamviewer) and use any application to put it on the top of the input field so that person can't see it.
So you just input those info and activate it.
I hope that helps.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
That's what AT&T rep told me to do over the phone but I still had the problem.
Even I wouldn't give out that info to someone, but I remember seeing from one of the post about using remote connection to enter your info to that person's itunes.
Basically, let that person connect the phone to the computer and open itunes.
The itunes would ask the 4digit SSN and zipcode. Then you connect to that person's computer using remote desktop (ex. teamviewer) and use any application to put it on the top of the input field so that person can't see it.
So you just input those info and activate it.
I hope that helps.
Thanks for the info. Does activating it with my info tie it to my iCloud/iTunes/AT&T account in any way?
 
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BlueKhufu

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2010
182
23
I feel bad if I actually sold him a phone he can't activate. I just thought it would be as easy as him popping in his SIM card and activating from the phone. If he can't get it activated today, I will offer him a refund and just try to sell it on Craigalist and meet the person at the AT&T store so I can make sure it gets activated.
Just keep communicating with him as you work through this, that's the best way to somewhat ease any concerns he may have and keep him from escalating it further than it needs to be. Best of luck, I hope it sorts itself out.
 
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Hwa1201

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2009
29
0
Thanks for the info. Does activating it with my info tie it to my iCloud/iTunes/AT&T account in any way?
Not at all.
itunes ask for those two info (4digit SSN and zipcode), and once you
put those info, it just activates the phone. I don't remember seeing any messages regarding the account is tied to the account after I put those info. It just activated the phone and that's it.
what a bout putting the phone in DFU mode and trying to restore that way?
DFU mode won't work either.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
Not at all.
itunes ask for those two info (4digit SSN and zipcode), and once you
put those info, it just activates the phone. I don't remember seeing any messages regarding the account is tied to the account after I put those info. It just activated the phone and that's it.

DFU mode won't work either.
So, what is the easiest way to remote into another computer? I use logmein for my personal computers, but it doesn't let me setup one time sessions. Thanks.
 
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Hwa1201

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2009
29
0
So, what is the easiest way to remote into another computer? I use logmein for my personal computers, but it doesn't let me setup one time sessions. Thanks.
I find teamviewer to be good option.
Just schedule a remote desktop session with the seller and ask
the seller to just download teamviewer client.
 
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WesCole

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
756
12
Texas
I find teamviewer to be good option.
Just schedule a remote desktop session with the seller and ask
the seller to just download teamviewer client.
THANKS SO MUCH!

I ended up using TeamViewer to remote into his computer and used the task manager windows with "Always on Top" enabled to hide my SSN...It showed up as unlocked on his iTunes screen and he says it is working now.
 
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wknapp0924

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
406
14
Honolulu, HI
Same thing happened to me when I bought my Iphone 4s. The guy isnt trying to scam you he just wants to use his new iphone 5. Have him go into the ATT store and have them call you for your information if you dont want him to know it.

I ran in to the same problem and luckily the guy gave up the information easily, if he didnt I would just have gotten my payment back and sent him the bricked phone back....

This is a time where trusting someone is not a bad thing, and maybe you should have read about this issue and opened the box activated the phone, restored it and removed your sim card to save this guy a headache.

Once he enters your information and gets a new sim card, your sim card will not be valid and you will need to get a replacement so I suggest you both goto ATT stores when you make the information swap over the phone.
 
Last edited:
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IllIllIll

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2011
1,050
219
This is why I just use Craigslist than eBay when selling off my iPhone. If there is any problems we can meet up and solve the problem.
So...you're saying the OP should take the phone back, refund the buyer's money, and resell the phone on Craigslist? :confused:
 
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