Purchasing 4S on eBay

nburwell

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 6, 2008
4,832
1,755
DE
I'm looking to purchase a 64GB 4S on eBay since I'm running out of space on my 32GB 4. I know with AT&T, you simply just swap out the SIM card and you're good to go. But with VZW, wouldn't the 4S be tied to the ptp's phone number? Or is it as simple as going online or calling their CS and activating the phone on my account?

The reason I ask this is because I purchased a 4S a couple weeks ago via Apple's web site and they shipped me a phone that was programmed with someone's else's number. Because of the hassle, I returned the phone and went back to my 4.

Thanks in advance.
 

Diseal3

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
1,064
46
I'm looking to purchase a 64GB 4S on eBay since I'm running out of space on my 32GB 4. I know with AT&T, you simply just swap out the SIM card and you're good to go. But with VZW, wouldn't the 4S be tied to the ptp's phone number? Or is it as simple as going online or calling their CS and activating the phone on my account?

The reason I ask this is because I purchased a 4S a couple weeks ago via Apple's web site and they shipped me a phone that was programmed with someone's else's number. Because of the hassle, I returned the phone and went back to my 4.

Thanks in advance.
Make sure the phone has a clean ESN number. You should just be able to activate the phone and it will program to your account settings. Normally its *228 option 1 but itunes does that process for you.
 

Lugnutz

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2012
62
6
I'm with Verizon and I just switched from a Droid to an iPhone. Just go into your Verizon account online and go to switch device and follow the instructions. Took me about 3 minutes to swap service. It'll ask for the ESN/MEID of the new phone and ask you to power off your old phone. You confirm you want to switch and it'll ask to dial *228 with the new phone and select option 1. You'll then hear your new phone is activated and you're done.
 

AlvinNguyen

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
820
3
If it's a USED 4S you need to make sure

1. The ESN is clean
2. The previous owner called in and have their line removed from it

Without those two things they will not activate that phone on your account - this is the same for Sprint and Verizon.
 

riotgeek

macrumors newbie
Dec 28, 2011
10
0
Chicago
If it's a USED 4S you need to make sure

1. The ESN is clean
2. The previous owner called in and have their line removed from it

Without those two things they will not activate that phone on your account - this is the same for Sprint and Verizon.
So if you're purchasing off eBay, there is really no foolproof way to ensure that the ESN is clean and the previous owner has had their old line removed?

Seems like a big risk to take for a little bit of savings. Can't imagine the crap storm involved if you're sold a phone without those two options checked off.
 

kalex

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2007
1,330
56
it should be listed in the auction. You can also buy it on craigslist and meet up at verizon store to have them activate it.

Thats what i did when i bought 4s for sprint. 0 issues
 

charlieroberts

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2007
593
108
So if someone steals an iPhone (sprint or verizon) The thief won't ever be able to activate it?
There was a thread earlier today complaining about the lack of such feature... what am I missing?
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
Original poster
May 6, 2008
4,832
1,755
DE
If it's a USED 4S you need to make sure

1. The ESN is clean
2. The previous owner called in and have their line removed from it

Without those two things they will not activate that phone on your account - this is the same for Sprint and Verizon.
I have verified with a VZW CS rep that the ESN is clean. Hopefully the seller already removed the line tied to their account since the phone is on it's way to me.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,669
1,457
Bay Area
So if you're purchasing off eBay, there is really no foolproof way to ensure that the ESN is clean and the previous owner has had their old line removed?

Seems like a big risk to take for a little bit of savings. Can't imagine the crap storm involved if you're sold a phone without those two options checked off.
You are correct. If someone is selling a stolen iPhone you might be buying a phone that can't be activated if it is reported stolen.
 
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