Quick advice before buying used 5S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacRazySwe, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I need some quick help, like really quick help!

    I'm about to purchase an iPhone 5S used. The owner says he got it new from a local retailer. He has the box, receipt, and all included accessories. Apparently he has a 5 and would rather sell the 5S for cash. According to him, it's never been used. The box has been opened, but it's still in plastic (as well as the accessories).

    Apparently the phone was locked, so he only opened the box to unlock it before he sells it. Apparently he used an online company to do an "IMEI"-unlock. I have no idea what this means, but he claims that it's now fully unlocked and works with all networks.

    Question 1: Is the phone fully unlocked from the operator as well as Apples activation servers? There is no risk of me buying a "brick"? There is no risk of the carrier once again "locking" the device now after its been IMEI unlocked?

    Question 2: Other than asking for the receipt, and checking the serial number, how do I make sure it's not stolen? Also, should I ask to keep the original receipt when I buy the phone, so that I can take it to Apple and use the 1 year limited warranty in case something goes wrong?

    Reaaallly quick replies are greatly appreciated! :)
     
  2. J5TS0, Feb 7, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. 869639 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #3

    Find out how he purchased it = Upgrade / On Contract = IF SO steer clear because if the seller is fraudulent in any way, he can very well claim a insurance fraud on the device, report it stolen/lost and/or the carrier can blacklist it due to unpaid bills.

    Receipt will tell you first part as price = answer $650+Tax = Paid full, anything lower = Contract/payment plan/upgrade on a line

    with apple products you don't need receipt to get warranty as its linked to the serial # and not the receipt.

    IF you want to check IMEI unlock status, this site offers free checks: http://iunlocker.net/check_imei.php <--pump in the imei before you hand over the cash
     
  4. easy-peasy macrumors regular

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    Jan 31, 2014
    #4
    Before I would buy any used phone I would meet the person at the Apple store or carrier (ATT, Verizon, etc) store and have a rep there look up if it's stolen or reported missing as well as having them put notes in their system to indicate I am the new owner of the device.
     
  5. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 16, 2011
    #5
    Offer to meet him at said local retailer to perform the transaction.
     
  6. 869639 macrumors 6502

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    #6
    and how does that protect you? The device is still being paid for by the original owner, should the original owner decide not to pay it off, you are still out of luck.....because your handing over the cash to the original buyer....not the carrier/network so they will do what they have to, in order to get their money regardless of you putting notes on the account(s) or not.

    ----------

    Meeting a persona at a retail location does not once again protect the buyer in anyway, at the end of the day the transaction is the same as if it were done at a mcdonalds or starbucks. What really matters is how the device was purchased [Full price vs Upgrade/EIP/NewLine etc]

    There is honestly no way to protect one self in the future from device being blocked/blacklisted etc

    some of the recommendations you guys made are jus mental satisfaction
     
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    That's why it's better to buy used on eBay using your credit card. If anything goes wrong and it gets blacklisted later you can still return it and get your money back.
     
  8. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #9
    Get the imei number and call the carrier to make sore it's not stolen, not on a payment plan and can be activated.

    ----------


    You are quite right. Maybe if you have the original receipt from a retailer like AT&T, tmobile etc, you can use it to claim rightful ownership.
     
  9. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #10
    A simple name and electronic name on the receipt with matching IMEI is fine.

    If phone is not paid off, you can always go after that person in small claims court.

    ----------

    Only 45 day buyer protection. Someone can have phone black listed months afterwards when the bills finally catch up and account is fly on the seller.
     
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #11
    If you purchase a phone and activate it on your line, thus it's no longer associated with the previous owner's account, if the previous owner stops paying their bill or does whatever, that shouldn't affect you anymore as the phone is no longer part of their account and the carrier shouldn't be able to do anything to it in relation to the previous owner.
     
  11. ugcop macrumors 6502a

    ugcop

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    #12
    This does not pass the smell test.

    The guy buys a new 5s opens it and pays $100 + to have it unlocked?

    In the days when it only cost a dollar or two for an unlock I would buy the story but not today.
     
  12. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

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    #13
    Yeah
     
  13. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    Aug 25, 2012
    #14
    We'll at least if it's a verizon 5s it's already gsm unlocked.
     
  14. 869639 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It is associated with the owner, you completely missed the point:

    if you buy a phone from someone who bought it on a EIP/Upgrade/New Line, and the owner ends up not paying the bill, as the device IMEI is still in the carrier's system and they will take action against the IMEI # regardless of who is using it right now.

    You missed the entire part where I said along the lines: You are paying the owner money, not the carrier, therefore the carrier will take action that it needs to do in order to protect it self against fraud --- Unless the money you are about to pay the owner, you hand it over to the carrier to pay off the device on the original owners account...your suggestion doesn't help anyone
     
  15. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #16
    The part I don't quite follow is that part, if the phone is being used by another account the carrier shouldn't be able to do that. They can take action against the owner of the account or perhaps phones that are associated with that account at the time, but they shouldn't be able to take action against a phone that is no longer associated with that account (just because it was originally purchased on the account doesn't mean it's associated with it anymore). That's part of the reason why ETF fees exist or carriers being able to charge the account the difference between the discounted/contract price and the full price.
     
  16. 869639 macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Its just the way carriers counter fraud, too many people pull fast ones on them and then don't Pay ETF, so why should carrier's let the original owner get away with making money regardless of innocent the buyer may/is.

    Before blacklist existed, Carriers were doing what you are thinking [Now I'm starting to think you are still living in the past as its becoming clear], however it was not effective as people continued to do it. So now carriers are preventing buyers from basically promoting the sellers from doing such things by making the leash longer.....once again, before Blacklisting, it only used to extend to the original owner, but now its also punishing the secondary owner if the first owner is committing fraud of any kind, it will come to their attention and you will also learn a lesson by having your account/SIM disabled [Have seen it happen and read about SIM cards becoming disabled upon inserting into a Bad IMEI/Blacklisted device.]
     
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #18
    Doesn't seem right that the other party that has nothing to do with this gets negatively affected by it. I can certainly see why carriers might want to do all that and perhaps are even doing it, but something does't seem right about it, at the very least ethically, but perhaps even legally on some level (perhaps depending even on locally/state laws, etc.).
     
  18. Prise macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2008
    #19
    If the carriers didn't do this, what's to stop a person from financing a new phone, default, and immediately use the phone under a different name? It could be a friend, sibling, or spouse.

    I agree that it's unfair to the buyer, but this is a case where caveat emptor should apply when buying phones from the secondary market.
     
  19. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #20
    I haven't really looked into it, but what happens if someone finances a computer or a TV and then sells it to someone else and decides to stop making their payments? It would seem that whoever provided financing would go after that person via whatever legal means available to them (collection agencies, civil court, etc.). Is there really such a thing as repo laws for electronic devices or electrical appliances?
     
  20. Prise macrumors regular

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    Dec 14, 2008
    #21
    You're right, good example.

    In this case, they'd go after the original purchaser. On principle, a phone shouldn't be any different than a television. Perhaps, someone would have some legal insights on why a phone carrier can do this, but not Best Buy with a similar situation with a newly financed TV.
     
  21. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #22
    Phones are not tvs. If you purchase via credit and default, you lose your credit lines but your stuff is not repossessed. There is the possibility of jail time for all sorts of charges including g fraud and I suppose a court order could be issued for repo of said merchandise.

    When one enters into an arrangement with a wireless provider one signs a contract and is governed by the TOS that gives the provider wide powers to protect their business. I would think the provider could and should blacklist a phone where a customer purchased service, cancelled service, and defaulted on the ETFs. Aside from potential criminal(intent to defraud) And civil charges that phone should be blacklisted. Caveat emptor,
     
  22. 869639 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    You got to understand that smartphone fraud/theft is the highest ever compared to any other type of electronics, its soo high [were talking multi millions of units] that carrier's have no choice.


    Here's an example...when they say at 10% cost...well thats your Upgrade Fee/New line activation/EIP plan, this is just the small portion of it, but its happening across the globe and from what I can see, more in USA than anywhere else:

    If you read the news every now and then you will hear about it --- http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/201...selling-more-than-800-stolen-cellphones.html/
     
  23. Prise macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #24
    Ok, it has to be in the TOS then.

    Admittedly, I'm one of those who, because of expediency, never bothered to read my TOS. In principle, I do agree there has to be measures to curtail the intentional fraud of taking devices on installments with nary an intention of every paying them, and then selling them to be used on other lines.

    This is most assuredly fraud, even under the bankruptcy protection laws.
     
  24. MacRazySwe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #25
    Thanks for all your advice - greatly appreciated. I refrained from purchasing the said iPhone 5S. After reading your posts, I couldn't help thinking it all seemed a bit "fishy".

    I got a new 5S Gold instead. :) Super-happy so far! :D
     

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