Sold iPhone on eBay, buyer wants me to unlock it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by xTRIGGER092x, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. xTRIGGER092x macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #1
    I sold my iPhone about a month ago and the guy who bought it is now wanting me to unlock it for him by filling out a form on AT&T's website. I'm a little leery to do it, considering I sold the phone for use on AT&T and not unlocked (so the guy is definitely wanting to save a few bucks), and then there's the fact that he's based in Russia (but has a location to ship to in the US), and despite the phone being a "gift", everything he's ever bought are phones, so I can't help but think he's a little shady.

    If I do it, the form is asking me for a wireless # and name - obviously the phone isn't on my account anymore, so what am I supposed to put? the # and name of the line the phone was used on? Are there any security risks associated with this (will he somehow be able to see the info I submit?)?

    What would you all do?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #2
    I wouldn't, just say that falls outside the sales agreement and your not comfortable doing that.
     
  3. TheBigKing macrumors 65816

    TheBigKing

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Location:
    PR
    #3
    u put in description that the phone it's att locked ?? it's u put that u have no problem with it
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    You will get scammed if you ship it to Russia, even using a US drop location. The buyer seems shady according to you. This is an opportunity to get out of the sale, use it.
     
  5. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #5
    I didn't ship it to Russia; I shipped it to the US, but the guy is based in Russia. He's paid, the money's already in my wallet, the sale's done, and has been for quite a while now. Just hesitant to go beyond the terms of sale.
     
  6. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #6
    Since you got the money and the sale was completed as advertised, just tell the buyer no dice. Were you paid using PayPal?
     
  7. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #7
    Yeah, and promptly transferred it to my bank account and into cash shortly thereafter. Everything's done. Guess I'll just say no, sounds like the better option in every way. He can't return the phone though, right?
     
  8. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #8
    It's extremely common in Russia to buy cellphones on eBay - the supply of them there is just not as good. While he may very well be buying them for resale purposes, it hardly constitutes a scam. Kind of stupid of him to buy a locked phone without negotiating with you to unlock it beforehand, but again, that does not mean he's out to scam you.

    Do you have to pay a fee to AT&T to unlock it? If you don't, I'd do it, not like you have anything to lose. I suggest you call them though, to confirm what you need to enter into that form.

    I guess strictly speaking, you don't have to do it, you have fulfilled your end of the bargain, but no doing it is a bit of a dicky move if it doesn't take much effort on your part.

    I have shipped various bits of electronics to lots of different countries and never encountered scammers. Italy, Ukraine, Slovakia, Australia (that one took 2 months to arrive by sea, took a lot of patience on buyer's behalf) and quite a few others. It's very ignorant to assume that somebody is a scammer just because they are from a particular country.

    P.S. yikes, blueroom, you're from Toronto? I thought only stupid Americans are capable of such arrogance. :eek:
     
  9. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #9
    I'm not expecting a scam, but filling out a form with personal information to unlock a phone still makes me hesitant. It doesn't cost to do so, but the guy is obviously trying to get out of paying for an unlock from a third party, and I don't appreciate that he was most likely lying when calling it a "gift" to get me to ship it out faster (and continuing to refer to it as such in this latest email as if to make me feel a little obligated to unlock it) when chances are he's reselling everything.
     
  10. Ramio macrumors 6502a

    Ramio

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, TeXas
    #10
    You can't even unlock it using a 3rd party vendor anymore. Only through att and even then it's not easy.
     
  11. ScottW1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #11
    If you sold as "locked to AT&T", then obviously you are under no obligation to unlock the phone now. You could likely have gotten a higher price by unlocking before the sale and advertising it as unlocked. But as long as you have your money and are beyond the point where he could dispute the sale with Paypal/ebay... There is really no harm or risk in performing the unlock through AT&T's web site.

    Up until a few weeks ago, it was easy to get a third-party unlock for $2. That may be what he was counting on. That all changed recently, and now those third-party unlocks are like $30 and up. Given that you sold it as "locked", it would be a big FAVOR to unlock it for him at no additional charge.

    AT&T will only perform unlocks on IMEI's associated to customers (and past customers) whose accounts are in good standing. And they limit you to (5) unlocks per year. They will simply check to see that the IMEI is (or was) associated with your account, that it is no longer under contract, and then they will send a transaction to Apple to unlock the phone. Enter YOUR email on the form, and AT&T will send YOU an email when that is completed.

    He won't receive anything. You will need to let him know the unlock is complete after you receive the email from AT&T. The next time the phone pings Apple for activation (typically after an iTunes restore), it will be unlocked and iTunes will display the "Congratulations - Your iPhone is now unlocked!" message after each Restore.

    The only other precaution would be to make sure you go to AT&T's unlock web site, and not some other site to enter your account into. The site you should be going to is here:
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
     
  12. xTRIGGER092x thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    #12
    Okay, that clears a lot up. So should I enter the # that was previously associated with the phone?
     
  13. ScottW1, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013

    ScottW1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #13
    Correct -- The phone number is just identifying your account on that AT&T form. Nothing will be changed with your phone number or current phone associated with that number. Same with the name & last 4 of ssn. Just verifying that it is YOU who is filling out the form, and requesting the unlock via YOUR account.

    The unlock is applied to the IMEI. Again, that IMEI has to be one which was previously associated with your account, and has to be a device that is out of contract (there are exceptions, but those don't apply here).

    The carrier lock status for iPhones is maintained by Apple on their servers. Once AT&T agrees you qualify for the unlock, they will send a transaction to Apple to unlock that IMEI. After that, anytime the iPhone activates (like after an iTunes Restore), the activation process will set that iPhone as carrier-unlocked and any compatible carrier's SIM will work.
     
  14. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

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    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #14
    DO NOT do it. You sold it as an AT&T phone. The rest is his problem
     
  15. vonWachtstain macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    #15
    Do not do it. You fulfilled your end of the bargain. If he wants to unlock it he can do it himself. I bought couple iPhones of CL and I asked ATT to unlock them. Also you have limited number of unlocks per year so save them for family or friends.
     
  16. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #16
    Russia is one of the countries that are on my excluded list. You should've unlocked it and ebayed it as such as that could've gotten you a bit more. He's saving quite a bit of money by having you unlock it after the fact.
     
  17. mainevent3405 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    #17
    Wow....

    This is eerie. I just sold my iPhone 5 on ebay to someone in Russia. I shipped it to him directly although he said if I couldn't I could ship it to Florida. Gave me his address in Russia. I charged him $85 for shipping. Like you it was paid into my paypal account thru ebay. Label was created on ebay and I shipped it.

    About 3 weeks later when he received the phone, he had the nerve to email me and said he had received a box of soap! I emailed him back and told him he should check with his local police because I shipped a phone. I also contacted ebay to let them know of his accusation. He then emailed me back and said he had contacted his local police and said they had tracked it but he needed the IMEI# or any paperwork on the phone. I sent him the IMEI # and told him there's nothing else I can do for him. He said he is not saying I didn't send a phone and believes someone there stole it and asked if I could send him any paperwork on the phone at all. I told him no. Sorry. Can't help you anymore and wished him luck. I haven't heard from him in 3 days now.

    If I ever sell any other phones on Ebay, this taught me that I will never ship anything again outside of the U.S.
     
  18. doxielover macrumors 6502a

    doxielover

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    Apr 12, 2011
    Location:
    CA
    #18
    They scam in the US too. That's why I quit selling expensive items on EBay. I hope it is past the dispute time period.
     
  19. themumu macrumors 6502a

    themumu

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Sunnyvale
    #19
    This. Scammers are everywhere. Shipping only to USA will not protect you.
     
  20. g4manimac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #20
    This is an issue I have been havin a lot here lately.I sell around 10 phones a month just a little fix n sell hobby I have and I too have had MANY of these messages asking me to unlock the phone and what makes me mad is the messages are somewhat threatening acting as if I am obligated to unlock it.To be honest I have found out over have of the phones I sell actually end up overseas regardless of the original address they were shipped to (I don't ship out of USA) .

    Here is one of the usual ones I've been getting


    Ebay Listing #: 161119850161
    IMEI: 01254100xxxxx

    Dear xxxxxx g4manimac

    We recently purchased an iPhone 4 from you on eBay.

    Unfortunately, the phone is locked to AT&T and I am unable to use it. There is a very quick unlock tool on AT&T’s website which is free. It only takes a minute, all you need to do is go to www.att.com/deviceunlock and fill out the required boxes.

    Here is the IMEI number from your phone that you'll need: (IMEI: 01254100xxxxxx7)

    If you have questions or concerns feel free to contact us anytime as we are more than willing to help you out with this process. Please reply back to this email with the unlock confirmation number you receive after you hit submit.

    Thank you for your time, and we'll be sure to leave great feedback for you on eBay.

    Sincerely,
    Phone4ALL


    These people have purchased a lot of phones from me so with the traffic this page will get I'm sure there will be people who got the exact same message.Note:just be sure if you list to state if it is locked and you are not responsible for a unlock
     
  21. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #21
    the way i see it, it probably woluldnt hurt you to do it for the guy since it wont cost you anything. and as far as i know, you dont need to give him any personal info. you send the info to att, they will email you back with the code, which you then send to him. ive never unlocked an iphone, so i could be wrong, but i think its that simple.

    now, you dont have to as its no technically your problem and your sale was done as a locked phone so it is his issue. you could basically help the guy out, but it wont have any negative effect on your sale.

    if its as simple as you emailing att and them returning the lock code to you, then you can forward it to the guy without him having any personal info, then whats the harm.
     
  22. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    long island NY
    #22
    You can simply call an att rep and ask him to unlock it for you. He will ask you for your account info and IMEI to make sure it was your phone not any longer in contract and then simply put the IMEI into apple for unlocking. Then the guy waits a few days for the request to go through and then restores the phone. As long as you don't give him your account info or sim card you're fine.
     
  23. Globug macrumors 6502

    Globug

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    #23
    While what you all wrote is true, why should the seller go though the hassle of filling out forms and all that jazz for free when the buyer will turn around once unlocked and sell for a hefty profit. If this was all arranged before the sale, i would be the first person to say unlock it. Since its been sorted out and this is after the fact, not your issues.
     
  24. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #24
    Not necessarily. Smart sellers who ebay internationally exclude the following countries/regions: Russia, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
     
  25. nox5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    #25
    charge the buyer extra for unlock or better: refund the him and list it within USA unlocked for same price.
     

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