iPhone 6(S)(+) Safely buying an iPhone 6s Plus

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Texas_Toast, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Texas_Toast macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Hello. I am a very *non-traditional* iPhone user...

    While I own an iPhone, I have never used it as a "phone" - can't stand modern "cellphone culture"!

    I bought an iPhone 6S Plus to get into "responsive web design" but that sorta took a back-seat to other projects I am working on.

    Having dropped like $800 on that phone, and not knowing what to do with it, I decided to turn it into a camera! And while I hate cellsphones/smartphones, I must say they are pretty cool as a handy camera when you need to snap a picture.

    Since I never use my phone for calls, I always seem to leave it in my laptop bag, and yesterday I was at the store and wanted to take a picture of something, and was out of luck?! :(

    So I have been thinking of buying a second iPhone 6S Plus and leaving it in my car's glovebox so I always have a camera with me when I am out-and-about.

    In another thread, someone mentioned that they bought a used iPhone 6S for $145.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ordered-a-6s-with-no-regrets.2178541/#post-27299250


    Okay, so finally on to my questions...


    1.) How do you buy a used iPhone and know that it isn't stolen?

    2.) How do you buy a used iPhone and know that it isn't a knockoff/fake?

    3.) How do you buy a used iPhone and know that it isn't damaged (e.g. camera, battery, etc)?

    4.) What other "gotchas" should I worry about? (Not being iPhone savvy, I'm sure I could get "taken" without educating myself.)

    5.) How much would a used iPhone 6S Plus cost?

    6.) Is there any way to buy a "refurbished" iPhone 6S Plus from Apple directly?


    I guess an iPhone 6S Plus would cost more than the iPhone 6S in the link above, but for a similar price I would definitely buy at least one more so I always have a camera in my car and thus a camera!

    Strange, I know, but that is what I want to know... :)
     
  2. aakshey macrumors 68000

    aakshey

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #2
    1. You can never be 100% sure.

    2. If you need to ask this, don’t buy used.

    3. You can’t be sure. Chances are the ear piece / mic / battery / etc won’t be in 100% new condition. That’s 99% certain.

    4. Just 1 and 3.

    5. Don’t know. Maybe USD 200-300 or so.

    6. Maybe not 6s. I don’t know. 7 and up sure.
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    1. Buy it from a reputable power seller on eBay. They live and die by their customer ratings. Plus eBay provides plenty of protection.

    2. See one

    3. Read the description. Don't get parts only phones. If you prefer go with one that provides actual pictures not sample pictures. These sellers are slightly more. That's what I did when purchasing a Pixel XL. However, I have bought plenty from those with only sample pictures. Because they live and die by their reputation. They tend to be very liberal in marking down a phones condition. Light scratches get them marked way down.

    4. Refurbished on eBay means they wiped it down and tested it. The battery is likely to be worn out.

    5. About $170 to $250 depending on capacity and condition. (US)

    6. Not that I know of.

    I bought my Pixel XL 128GB from thegizmotrader on eBay. As they provide pictures. The phone was flawless however the battery was worn (73%). Still good enough for my uses. I've only used 50% of the charge in one day at the worst. Looking at my accu battery logs.

    I bought an iPhone SE 64GB from bidallies on eBay. It was listed as B+ stock. Its condition was nearly pristine. The battery was 96%. That is luck of the draw though. As sellers don't list battery condition unless it is really bad.

    Use sellers with free returns and seller pays for shipping. If you are unhappy with the phone. The returns are quite easy with power sellers in my experience.
     
  4. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    What would I have to do to get a new battery in a used iPhone I buy?

    How much would that cost?

    Could I buy a used iPhone 6S Plus off of eBay (or wherever), and then take it into an Apple store and have them instll a brand new battery?



    Do you think I need to worry about the camera, if the phone looks to be in good shape?



    I mainly want a "covert" camera on hand when I need it... Maybe I am photographing a dangerous condition at a store, or snapping a picture of a product in a store I want to research, or capturing label details for future purchases, or someone doing something suspicious, etc.

    Point is, as long as the battery keeps a charge for maybe a month (?) while off, and as long as I could snap 50-100 pictures between charges, that is probably all I need out of battery.

    Then again, if it is cheap and easy to swap in anew battery, all the better.


    Also...

    If I buy a used iPhone, how can I claim legitimate ownwership if I ever have to take it into an Apple store for service?

    I would hate to buy an iPhone, and then the Apple store refuses to service it because I don't have original Proof-of-Purchase or maybe they claim it is stolen... :eek:

    Any advice on that front?
     
  5. maxjohnson2, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019

    maxjohnson2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    #5
    1.)isn't stolen?
    You can try swappa.com for used phones, it's not fool proof either, but it's safer than eBay, I use it to buy and sell used phones for years. Swappa require to check the IMEI of the phone before allowing to sell it to make sure it's not blacklisted or have payment owe. They don't allow phones with cracked screen or water damage.

    2.)isn't a knockoff/fake?
    IMEI check, they don't allow selling knockoffs as real, unlike eBay.

    3.)isn't damaged (e.g. camera, battery, etc)?
    Taking the word of the seller and more reliable if they take lots of pictures. You can ask the seller questions or request extra pictures.

    4.) What other "gotchas"
    Main problem is if you have problem that need to return. Some sellers have longer and more lenient return period than others. Also the way Swappa work, they really don't do much when you do have issues, they relay it to PayPal, so you're really relying on PayPal to solve issues.

    6.) Is there any way to buy a "refurbished" iPhone 6S Plus from Apple directly?
    I don't think so. Closest bet is to buy one from a carrier website or store, but beware the difference between new and pre-owned.

    Or you can try craigslist and check the phone in person.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 20, 2019 ---
    The battery you buy from eBay is most definitely not an original battery. I buy original battery from a supplier website, but the best bet is to have Apple replace the battery for you, the battery is included in the price. It's $49. https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/battery-power

    For iPhones, you can check the Battery Health, the "Maximum Capacity" should be 90% or better. Usually below that doesn't last very long. You can ask a seller for the battery health percentage of the phone you're buying.

    You never know, but you should check the picture or ask to make sure if the camera lens is not scratched and that it take good photos.

    You really don't need to worry about replacing battery if all you're doing is taking a few photos, but I've never tested to see if a iPhone can hold a charge for a month at a time, maybe. But it's also bad for lithium battery health if it's constantly low on charge.

    I know about transfering AppleCare, but for the phone I think you need proof of original purchase, so I think no, probably out of luck.
     
  6. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    If I want a second "camera", does it make sense to try and pick up a used iPhone 6S Plus?

    While I hate cell/smart phones, I have to admit my iPhone is a beautiful device!

    I figure it makes sense to get a duplciate iPhone so I don't have to worry about learning another phone. (Yeah, I know it's not "rocket science", but I like consistency!)

    Yesterday I wasted an hour driving back home to get my iPhone so I could take a picture at the store?! :rolleyes:

    If I could pick up something that does what my pristine iPhone 6S Plus does for maybe $200 or less, I would buy one and keep it in my car and that should solve my problem of iPhone forgetfulness!

    Thanks.
     
  7. Krayzkat Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    #7
    why not just buy a camera instead? surely it would be cheaper!
     
  8. maxjohnson2, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019

    maxjohnson2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    #8
    I just edit my comment above and answered more of your questions.

    No, I don't think it's the best cost saving to get the 6S+. The iPhone SE, 6S and 6S+ all have the same camera sensor. Only the 6S+ have optical image stabilization. So unless you intend to take videos with good stabilization, like during a vacation, the SE or 6S should be just fine. Also it's cheaper to get a 32gb or 64gb SE than a 16GB 6S+.
     
  9. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Because the one saving grace of a smartphone is that you can take pictures (and videos) and people don't know it.

    I have spent the last decade taking pictures with my DSLR Nikon and had some pretty hairy situations where people were like "WTF, why are you taking pictures <of my car/in our store/etc>.

    A smartphone is "stealth" and that is what I want.

    For instance, let's say I see a hazardous situation at a business, or someone doing something questionable, and I need proof. Much easier to do with my iPhone.

    And even for things that aren't "covert", like I want to take snapshots of a box and the UPC at Target of a product I want to research - much easier to do that with my iPhoen than explaining to store security why I am doing a "photo shoot" in their store! ;)

    FWIW, my ancient Nikon DSLR just died last month, and I picked up a newer and better used body for $200, so yeah, from a financial standpoint, a camera would be beter. But that isn't what I need...
     
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    Off Amazon they are about $20 to $25. Get one with a high feedback rating. Don't go with the cheapest. You can find instructions online for replacement. Interior connectors are fragile. It's not for the faint of heart. Apple will replace it but it is a bit pricey.



    It's likely fine. They don't fail often. You can always return it.

    Be aware. As you are planning to store the phone in your car. The battery will not last long. Heat is a killer for lithium batteries. It will lose capacity (not charge) quickly. This will be worsened if you store it (turned off) with a full charge. 50% to 60% charge is the optimal storage charge to minimize capacity degradation when shelved.

    That being said. I'd think any battery over 80% capacity would hold a charge for a month when turned off. Even if stored with a 60% charge. I've left an iPad in sleep mode for a couple weeks and it only lost a small percentage of charge. If it's just a vanilla OS install without any services connected and radios turned off. Standby lasts a long time. Off should last a lot longer.

    Why would you take a $200 device in for service? Pretty much any service will cost more than it is worth. Even $49 for a battery replacement is more than I'd spend on a device that old.

    Anyways, once it is tied to your Apple ID (iCloud account). As far as Apple is concerned. It is yours.
     
  11. Techwriter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #11
    Buying used is always a risk. You can buy a Verizon prepaid 32GB iPhone 6s Plus at Best Buy for $340. Just go to the online Best Buy website and search for Verizon Prepaid iPhone 6s Plus. If you buy the phone new, you won’t have to worry about its condition or battery life. You’ll have a full year warranty. I know $340 isn’t cheap, but if you buy used and have to get it repaired, it could end up costing just as much.
     
  12. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Good advice. I didn't know that...

    Hmm... maybe leaving it in my car isn't a good idea. What about if I left it in the trunk?

    Or what about if I only left it in my car when it is cooler/cold (e.g. Winter)? Can you hurt the battery if it freezes?


    On my pristine iPhone 6S Plus that I have now, I can leave it in sleep mode for 2-3 weeks and it'll be fine. It will slowly crep down toward "low", but that is all I need.


    So what approach would you take?

    It would be nice to have an extra convert camera for around $200 to avoid what happened yesterday.

    I am trying to teach myself to take my phone with me whenever I leave home, but not being a slave to technology like everyone else, I often forget.

    Am going to start leaving it out by my wallet, since I would never leave home without that!


    How do I do that?

    I don't have a SIMM (sp?) card in my current phone...

    How do I link up a used iPhone I buy to my AppleID?
     
  13. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #13
    I was a cell phone hater too for most of my life (except the last 10 years or so) and a rabid iPhone hater bordering on neurotic despiser.

    The reason you refuse to carry an iPhone in your pocket isn't because it's taking up room in your pocket (the smaller phones are easily manageable) it's because you've developed a mental disorder about them. I was the same way too. Once you get over your irrational aversion towards them, you'll realize they are extremely handy. The fact that you want to keep one always in your car shows that you're fighting yourself. It's a step in the right direction. One day you'll accept carrying a smartphone in your pocket and you'll look back at your earlier revulsion and wonder what all the fuss was about.

    If I can now happily carry an iPhone in my pocket wherever I go, surely you can too, cuz I was a rabid hater of them.
     
  14. Techwriter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #14
    When you turn the phone on, you’ll need an Apple ID and password. You can get that on the Apple website. You can complete registration using the correct SIM card, Verizon phone, Verizon SIM.

    I bought one on eBay for about $5. It worked great.

    There’s a thread on the MacRumors iPod Touch forum now called Prepaid iPhone SE as iPod Touch. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/prepaid-iphone-se-as-ipod-touch.2058895/

    Check it out. It tells you how to use an iPhone as an iPod Touch which is what you want to do.
     
  15. internetrando macrumors 6502

    internetrando

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/clearance

    Given your concerns with purchasing a used phone, this might be a better option. At least consider it, anyway.

    You can purchase a refurbished SE directly from Apple. It has the 6S internals, but in a smaller package. Apple's refurbished products are impeccable. In some ways, I think that they're better than the factory products, since they receive hands-on attention.

    Outside of that avenue, I would recommend Swappa. I have yet to have a bad experience purchasing on that site. If you don't mind stretching your budget a little more you can also purchase a prepaid 6S (old stock but still brand new) from carrier stores. I believe that Verizon has some.

    For what its worth, if you purchase a used 6S and replace the battery, you need to factor that into your cost analysis as well. I would rather spend the extra money upfront on a BRAND NEW device that I don't have to worry about, that has a warranty, and won't show up as stolen one day.
     
  16. Techwriter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #16
  17. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    It sounds like a bigger concern is that iPhones aren't as "rugged" as I thought. Maybe it doesn't make sense to leave an iPhone in my car - even my trunk? (Obviously when it get up past 90 F that could be an issue, but I wonder if it it mild, cool, or cold if that matters to? When I work in a cooler climate I was hoping that would be doable. Obviously that wouldn't work in much of the year in Texas!)
     
  18. Krayzkat Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    #18
    If you really want an iPhone to use as a stealthy camera, you would be better getting the normal 6S instead of the Plus, or the SE, as they are smaller and therefore more discrete.
     
  19. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #19
    I don't follow you... When I power on my iPhone I get a "desktop" of sorts - there is no AppleID or password involved.

    When it goes to sleep, I press the black button and I get the Desktop and press it again (I think) and I get a bunch of icons.

    And as mentioned, I do not have a SIMM card in my phone.

    My iPhone is un-usable as a phone, but is growing on me as a nifty camera. *LOL*
     
  20. Krayzkat Suspended

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    #20
    Do you just keep your spy photos on the iPhone then? or do you transfer them over wifi to CIA HQ?
     
  21. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #21
    Ha ha. When I get enough photos of whatever I photograph, I download them onto my Mac for safe keeping.

    So far, the photos I take fall into a few categories...

    1.) "Normal" photos, like an out-of-state trip that I took back home. (This was before I got lucky and picked up a $200 Nikon N90 ?? body so I can get back to using my camera.)

    2.) "Packaging" photos - I have started going wild photgraphing the packaging on everything I buy so when I go to buy it again, I have everything I need. iPhones *rock* when it comes to doing macro photography of my favorite peanut butter labels!! :D:D:D

    3.) "Covert" photos, like the numerous HIPAA violations I captured at my doctor's office... Or the stupid security/privacy mistakes people make at work, and so on...

    4.) Fun "covert" photos, like the bumper sticker that I capture yesterday in the Walmart parking lot. It was priceless, but I didn't want to draw atention taking a photo with my 35mm or waiting for the owner to come out and ask permission. Just walk up to the car, at dumb like I'm checking my grocery list, 3 taps of my thumb, and wha-la, I have a memorable photos of *just* the bumper sticker that'll make me laugh 10 years from now - and we all need a little more laughter these days!!

    The CIA hasn't gotten back to me yet, so they're not on the list!
     
  22. Techwriter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    #22
    I lived in Texas for 5 years. You wouldn't want to leave the phone in the car in that kind of heat.
     
  23. NJHitmen macrumors 6502

    NJHitmen

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #23
    It's not specifically an iPhone issue. You'd experience the same problems with an Android device. Rather, it's a battery chemistry issue. As a general rule, batteries hate temperature extremes. Frigid weather is just as bad as blistering heat. If you poke around, you'll find plenty of stories in this forum about batteries simply crapping out at either end of the thermometer.

    So if you're going to store the phone in your car, do your best to avoid temperature extremes. Relatively temperate conditions (let's say 40 degrees F - 80 degrees F) will be fine.

    The very first time you set up your phone, you must have tied it to an Apple ID. It's part of the activation process (even if you have no sim card and don't use the device as a phone). Go into the settings app and tap the very first item at the top of the list. You should find your Apple ID there.
     
  24. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #24


    If the trunk is cooler. It would be better. I'd think both the cabin and trunk would get as hot. As far as cold is concerned. If the screens get too cold. They can be damaged. Screens are also less responsive or unresponsive to touch until they warm up.

    The minimum storage temperature I found is -20C and the maximum is 80C. Lower temperatures reduce battery capacity loss. Couldn't say if their are adverse affects to -20C storage. According to battery university. A battery stored with a 40% charge at 0C maintains 98% capacity after a year. At 60C at 40% charge its capacity drops to 75%. At 100% charge and 0C it maintains 94% capacity. While 60C kills it (60% after 3 months).

    While not harmful from a capacity loss perspective. Cold batteries are less efficient. One which is at -18C will only have about half the effective charge as one at room temperature. That's only temporary though. Once it warms up it will discharge as normal. Which is a problem facing electric cars in cold climates.

    If you were to store it in a hot car. You'd definately want to store it at a lower charge. Still you'd probably be looking at a replacement battery in a year or two. Perhaps sooner.
    https://batteryuniversity.com/index.php/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

    Also for devices which you frequently use on battery power. Only charging to 90% and not going under 20% greatly reduces capacity loss. Even tighter numbers are better say 80/30. At some point you have to realistically balance usability with maintenance. With something like a laptop which spends much of its time on a charger. Try to keep it above 30% when on battery power. As constantly using the battery would reduce life more than leaving it on the charger a couple of days/weeks.

    How about a cheap used digital camera with AA batteries? They can be quite small. As it is just for pictures. Just in case you forget your iPhone.


    You just need to connect to WiFi. It'll ask you for an Apple ID and password when you set it up. A sim is not necessary for linking to an Apple ID.
     
  25. Texas_Toast thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Texas_Toast

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    I'm working out of state at the moment, and most of the year the temperatures probably fall within that range. But yes, in Texas, forget about it! April to December is steamy!


    I had some brat at the Apple store help me set it up. yeah, maybe I did have to enter in my email/AppleID - I don't really remember. But I don't need anything to log on. My phone is just open, which is fine, as there is nothing on it.

    How do I navigate to find my AppleID? I clicked on System Preferences, and poked around, but didn't see anything from there?!
     

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33 April 20, 2019