RE: Buying an iphone from craigslist

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by unitethenations, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. unitethenations macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I'm trying to buy an iphone from craigslist for a couple of reasons:
    1. My original iphone broke
    2. I don't want to have to pay the large deposit that AT&T is requiring (or at least not until the new iphone comes out).

    I've been trying to weed out the obvious scams by asking various questions to make sure that the sale is legitimate (what's the FW, SN, etc.). I understand that some people are wary of giving out their SN (serial numbers) so I asked one person to send me the screen shot of their apple warranty page so that I could check the warranty since they described the phone as being "relatively new".

    I need some help with two things:
    1. My iphone SN is alphanumerical (i.e. 5Y4B123G12X3123) whereas the beginning of the number I see in the screenshot of the warranty page the seller sent me is completely numerical. Is this normal for the iphone 3gs?
    2. Does the layout of the apple warranty site in the screenshot look legitimate (sorry for the low quality, I had to blur some things out)? When I check my warranty for my old iphone it looks completely different (buttons not withstanding since he may have used a pc).

    1. Do iphone 3gs have SNs that begin as all numerical, i.e. "12345*****"
    2. Does the screenshot of the warranty I've attached look legitimate?

    Picture of Warranty Page
  2. MistaBungle macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2005

    That is what my 3Gs serial number looks like. # for number, A for character.

    Also, #1 rule of Craigslist is DEAL LOCALLY.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Mine as well. The warranty appears to be ok too.
  4. Ab10la macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2010
    I just wouldn't spend that kind of money on craigslist. There may be something wrong with the phone that you may discover later.
  5. unitethenations thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The sample serial numbers I gave you were not real. I was just showing you what mine is like, because I am wary of the seller since his was completely numerical, and his SN was asterisked out of the screenshot which made me think a) privacy reasons or b) the entire warranty page is photoshopped.

    I'm trying to deal locally because buying from ebay would be riskier. Do you have any advice on a safer alternative?

    To be honest, I would have bought from AT&T if I did not have to pay a deposit, and if buying now did not disqualify me from a June/July/August upgrade.
  6. sevimli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 26, 2007
    I bet that seller gave you IMEI number, not a serial number... :cool:
  7. Shenaniganz08 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
    yup, buying non-local = that's your own fault for getting scammed
  8. DEE9299 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2009
    Boston Mass.
    do the things your doing serial number, fw and if you meet go somewhere that has free wifi and test the wifi signal also look inside the headphone jack and look at the connector for water damage. run thru the whole phone touch all edges of the screen....thats what i usually do.......power it off ten power it back on....if the person wants to sell then they will have no problem letting you go thru the phone and one other trick pull out the sim card tray and make sure the serial number on that matches the one inside the phone. but you should really get the serial number first so you can check it your self or meet at mcdonalds with your laptop and run the serial number yourself before you buy
  9. lokster macrumors 6502


    Feb 7, 2010
    i bought an iphone off craigslist and it was a good deal

    200$ with 5 months use and still under warranty 3g unfortunately updated to 3.1.3 its jailbroken only, so i have to wait for an unlock in a few weeks.

    what i suggest

    buy the iphone WITH the box and make sure Box imei and iphone imei match. see settings>general>about

    then test the following

    the iphone screen, make sure you can type on notepad, and press all the buttons,

    press the home button
    press the power button, power on and off
    use the volume control
    use the slient button on top of the volume control
    check the headphone jack, should be white or grey, NOT red or pink
    turn off and on
    test the camera take pics

    bring your laptop

    test the sync with itunes
    play some music tests speakers
    connect with wifi
    play some videos
    view photos
    rotate the iphone from vertical to horizontal

    test call
    test message
    test headphone jack
    test bluetooth

    that should cover all of it
    :D goood luck hunting
  10. unitethenations thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    How do I check for water damage through the head phone jack? Do I just look at the jack and there would be a color I'm supposed to see/not see?
    Even though I'm meeting locally I don't want to bring other expensive items with me, so I won't be taking a laptop. Running my hands over the edges of the screen - to look for cracks?

    Also (To anyone who can answer): If I buy from craigslist and the phone is still under a 1 year warranty, but I unlock it and use it on a non-AT&T network, what happens when I need to get it serviced (i.e. cracks that are covered by apple, other troubleshooting issues)?
  11. taskmanager macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    You should use ebay and a credit card.. that way you can use the built in insurance if something goes sour..
  12. DEE9299 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2009
    Boston Mass.
    lok inside the head phone jack with a flashlight if you see red it has water damage also lock around where you plug the usb cord in if it has red its damaged far as warranty to work you would have to restore your phone back to original but make sure you back it up first
  13. MistaBungle macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2005
    Ideally, you could do this sale at a location that has an Apple Store. This does not apply to all but in Toronto, I have 2 Apple Stores at my fingertips and another just a jaunt away. Anywhere with computers with internet. Best Buy, Future Shop or whatever store America has.

    Water damage means that the white strip has turned red/pink. This is located straight down in the bottom of the headphone jack. Take a flashlight, aim it straight down and you'll see a colour. The other one is in the dock connector area at the bottom of the phone, beneath the dock connection. If you have any issues, look online, I'm sure pictures of water-damaged iPhones are on there.

    Just do normal checks. If you do find a problem, it's most likely covered under warranty.

    So then I guess the most important part is to ensure the warranty is intact. If the guy/girl has applecare, make sure you get all that documentation. You can read on here about the eBay/Applecare scam.

    To re-lock the phone, you simply need to resort back to an official firmware. However, this will most likely result in two things; a new phone being given in exchange therefore no unlock afterwards. The other is that they tell you to upgrade to the latest firmware/baseband prior to coming.

    Now I haven't frequented these forums enough to see if Apple Genius' have been refusing devices if they are not fully updated to the most recent firmware.

    So now I leave with two things. Deal locally and never bring an unlocked phone up to the genius bar.
  14. rmead001 macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2009
    I bought my phone on craigslist and have had 0 issues. I chatted with the seller before meeting, confirming how old it was, how it was used, current condition, why they were getting rid of it, and various other things. When we met I checked the phone for everything all ready mentioned. Compared the serial numbers on the box, over condition of phone, no water dmg, all the normal things to look for.

    When all was said and done this phone is perfect, I have no issues at all and 2 satisfied e-exchangers. I also took tone, body language, and the way they positioned the sale into consideration. If someone is trying to push and get rid of it, maybe you should be wary. If they are calm and relaxed, fairly easy going chances are they aren't trying to hide anything. If it appears as though they are trying to hide something PROBE. Doesn't matter if that's bothering them, if they want the sale they will work with you to sell it. If they are getting nervous, changing subjects, not answering questions, there most likely is a reason for that behavior.
  15. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    1. 5Y is a refurbished SN, which is on all refurbished iPhone. Yours is in fact a refurb, and the seller's phone appears to be the same as the day it was purchased.

    2. Asking for a screenshot of the warranty page is useless, which they can simply input another SN. Why don't you bookmark the warranty page and check the SN when the money exchanges hand.
  16. iamth3g macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2007
    make sure u deal, that u deal in a local place (cafe, restaurant, etc.) and take what the guys say on this thread into consideration when you see the phone in public and in person. do not hand your cash over until you inspected the phone. I sold my original 3G to someone on CL for $400 at the time last year, because I had gotten a factory unlocked iphone as a gift from a client.

    PM me if u have more concerns, i'll walk you through the buying process on CL.

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