Tips on buying used 5s needed

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vim147, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. vim147 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Am on the lookout for a used iphone 5s on eBay to use as a second phone.

    Ive been looking on eBay and there are a lot of power sellers with 5000+ feedback and selling a lot of used iphones.

    What are the things i should be checking ?
    Ive heard of activation locks and find iphone. If its locked does it mean i can't totally use it or is it that just some functions are disabled ?

    These sellers are advertising as refurbished, Fully tested and in Good to Excellent condition. 1 year parts and labour warranty”
  2. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    First off, I just bought 2 5s for my teenagers for Xmas. I would not even consider Ebay. Just to risky. I purchased one through Kijiji which is Canada's Craigslist, that way I could physically see it before paying the seller. Met at my cellular carrier to make sure I could use the phone. The other from a reputable member of MacRumors.

    This is what you need to make sure the seller does before you purchase the phone.
  3. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    And this is where you can check that they've indeed done the above.

    Buying second-hand phones online makes it a lot harder to verify that the device won't give you problems (as odds are the seller isn't going to give you the IMEI/serial over the 'net). Instead, you should make sure that you understand what your recourse options are in preparation for things going wrong.

    In particular, remember that a phone can be reported as stolen by its original owner well after you've started using it.
  4. tenderous macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2014
    Southern California Suburbs
    Swappa is a much better website. Great staff, free shipping, and the prices are usually much lower. Each seller also has to verify their phone to the Swappa staff before selling them.
  5. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Half the sellers on swappa are power sellers on eBay
  6. iosuser, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015

    iosuser macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    Another thing to lookout for is to make sure the phone is not on one of those carrier finance plans still with an outstanding balance. You can check that from Swappa's IMEI checker.

    I bought a used but like new phone on Ebay from a highly reputable seller, only to find that the phone is on a carrier financed plan still with an outstanding balance, yes using Swappa's check (I didn't know about it before). I contacted the seller about it and he said he will continue to make payments on it until it's paid off. Not particularly comforting that I'm at the mercy of the seller to continue making payments, but it's been 3 months and he's kept his promise, and I can't sell this phone until it's been fully paid off. I will not do this kind of stuff to my buyers.

    It's risky for sure. There are good sellers out there (such as myself ;)) but there's no way to know for sure. Knowing what I know now, I would *insist* that the seller give you the IMEI to check the status. If the seller is unwilling, move on.

    Edit: look for the seller "factory_outlet" on Ebay. It's the unofficial Apple refurb store, or at least secretly authorized by Apple to refurb their phones. I bought two iPhone for the kids, both arrived very quickly. One looked like brand new (have a strange feeling that it probably was brand new), another had minor scratches.
  7. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    But half aren't.

    Kind of makes you wonder about ebay's policies regarding who they allow to sell on their Web site.

    Either way you will have risk. Phones on Swappa are usually more expensive. Swappa has more safeguards in place to reduce the risk of getting a bad phone.

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