iPhone 8(+) Tried to sell my iPhone on Swappa. Got banned.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CE3, May 16, 2019.

  1. CE3, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019

    CE3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #1
    Today I tried to list my unlocked iPhone 8 Plus in excellent condition with AppleCare+ and all packaging and accessories on Swappa. I've been registered there for a while, but this would have been my first sale.

    I linked my PayPal account, I listed the item, I uploaded the photos, and an hour later my account was disabled with no notice and no explanation. Just gone as if I'd never set one up with the email.

    When I emailed support to figure out what was going on, this was their first response:


    So I responded:


    They replied:

    I sent them a one-line email back asking for them to specify what terms or policies I'd violated and received no response.

    So I created another account with the VPN off just to see if that was the trigger, and the same thing happened again. wtf. This makes me feel like I'm trying to do something criminal when this sale was perfectly legit.

    Feeling a little spooked, I even checked the IMEI twice and called my carrier to see if something odd was coming up.

    IMEIPRO.INFO:

    Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 6.39.29 PM.png

    SWAPPA.COM:

    Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 7.01.06 PM.png


    This is the first and last time I'll ever use Swappa. Not only did they lose a potentially good seller, they lost a potential buyer too.
     
  2. Renho macrumors 68000

    Renho

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
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    SR, CA
    #2
    That sucks, i wonder what rule you didn't follow. Im sure it had to do with your VPN and them not knowing where you're listing it...
     
  3. CE3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #3
    I registered and listed again with no VPN on and the same thing happened. You'd think linking a PayPal account with a verified email would provide enough security.

    I guess I'll never know what the issue was because they've not given me any details at all. They didn't even send an email when the account was disabled. Twice.

    Terrible support.
     
  4. I7guy macrumors Core

    I7guy

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Gotta be in it to win it
    #4
    I'm guessing the VPN access may be what caused the ban. R4 and S2 seem like likely culprits.

     
  5. CE3, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    @I7guy It seems odd that I can register for an account and go through the verification process like I did weeks ago, and then link my PayPal and list the item today with a VPN on. The only questions they asked me in their email were about the iPhone being factory unlocked, or purchased through a carrier.

    Regardless, their support sucks. Swappa could have provided me some clarity as to why this happened and chose not to because they can. I've been an eBay member for nearly half my life at this point and have 100% positive feedback.
     
  6. Renho macrumors 68000

    Renho

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    #6
    That’s stupid, they think it’s stolen but I wonder why. Keep pressing them. Maybe call?
     
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #7
    Swappa is very strict. Sometimes honest mistakes are made, but Swappa doesn’t treat or make ‘selective exceptions’, they treat everyone the same with the rules applied. To be honest, I’m not saying that the OP did anything wrong intentionally or not, (that’s not for me to make that judgment), but I can appreciate Swappa being strict, because they need to make sure that the buyer doesn’t encounter specific issues with the device, as things are so complicated today with selling a smart phone, even though it seems so easy.
     
  8. Ebok Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #8
    Swappa is trying to protect themselves. They probably have many people trying to post fake ads that are untraceable to law enforcement in the event that someone gets scammed.

    I don’t see why you need a VPN for swappa anyways.
     
  9. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    #9
    Unfortunately using a VPN while trying to sell a phone goes against their Terms & Policies. You broke the rules and now have been banned. It's as simple as that. Your online identity has now been flagged either through your IP or another method, and setting up another account won't remedy the situation.

    Swappa is enforcing their rules and you unwittingly broke them. Hard knocks. Sorry it worked out that way. But that's why Swapps has a reputation as being a safe place to buy used phones.
     
  10. TheLocNar macrumors member

    TheLocNar

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    #10
    Yup. It was the VPN. And it was tied to your phone itself.
     
  11. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #11
    According to what? I couldn’t find anything in this regard while searching through their FAQs nor through Google.

    It IS against their terms to sell outside of the U.S., so maybe the VPN was “putting” him there?

    Regardless, pretty terrible service.
     
  12. nburwell macrumors 601

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    DE
    #12
    Swappa does run a pretty tight ship. With that said, they could have at least responded to the OP's follow up message about what caused them to ban him. We can speculate that it was the VPN that did the OP in, but it's common courtesy to at least provide a response to what specifically caused the ban.

    I really like Swappa. But their support certainly can use improvement.
     
  13. TroyBoy30 macrumors 68020

    TroyBoy30

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    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    #13
    dont use a vpn. problem solved. it looks like you are hiding something.
     
  14. Ebok Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    #14
    Sorry, terrible service how?

    I’ve never used swappa in my life but from everything I’ve read it’s the safest way to purchase a phone.

    The OP, unknowingly, violated terms. Swappa doesn’t have to explain themselves to anyone because it opens themselves up to scammers trying to bypass whatever system they have in place.

    The OP, and no one, is owed nothing from swappa.

    It sucks that he got banned but upsetting 1 person is better than dealing with the headache of multiple scammers.
    --- Post Merged, May 17, 2019 ---
    Exactly. Whether your intentions are good or not, a VPN will set up multiple flags for anyone.

    We all know the real reason VPN’s were made.
     
  15. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #15
    1. Terminated account without explanation.
    2. Citing terms violations without explanation
    3. Not having alleged violated terms easily found.

    Seriously, can you find where on their terms/FAQs pages it mentions VPNs (because I couldn’t).

    I’ll wait.

    P.S. How/Why the OP uses VPN isn’t relevant and is a completely moot point.
     
  16. Renho macrumors 68000

    Renho

    Joined:
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    SR, CA
    #16
    Swappa doesn’t have to explain them selfs?! Yes they kinda do. Everybody who gets fired gets an explanation. Every girl who breaks up with you gives an explanation. It’s the right thing to do.
     
  17. superleakTx macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2018
  18. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #18
    B/c that’s not pertinent to the OP’s question and therefore not this conversation.
     
  19. laptech macrumors 6502

    laptech

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2013
    Location:
    Earth
    #19
    If the IP of the VPN you are using shows that you are outside the US, the site's robot will flag it as being someone outside the US is trying to make a sales ad. This breaches their T&C's, so naturally, the bot banned you.
     
  20. superleakTx macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2018
    #20
    don't be too smart!
     
  21. VertPin macrumors 6502a

    VertPin

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    #21
    It was the VPN. Also, your email response about using it in several countries without providing where you bought it from looks suspicious. I’m not personally saying it is but from their perspective it may.
     
  22. CE3, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #22
    Update: Swappa has just contacted me


    This is more in line with the response I should have received after perhaps a quick “were looking into it” email. Not “I'm afraid that your account has been disabled due to violations of our terms, policies, or guidelines. Due to this, we are unable to allow you to continue using Swappa.”

    So it sounds like the VPN was the culprit, but they’re still being vague, and I’m not sure why their only response yesterday to my inquiry was with questions related to the device itself.

    To be clear, I rarely ever select locations outside of the US unless I’m actually outside of the US.

    I stated my reasons for using VPNs in my email to them and agree that this is beside the point of this discussion. I’m not concerned with “what it looks like” to some corporation (or anyone on this forum). I’m fully acquainted with—and understanding of—the security flags VPNs sometimes raise, and I’m always willing to take the extra steps required to confirm my identity.

    Before I picked up my new XR from the Apple store earlier this week I had my eye on a new 128GB model on Swappa for $775. I almost bought it 3 times. Now I’m glad I didn’t.

    When they disabled my account it completely disappeared. When I tried to reset my password, I got a message that said no account was associated with this email like there had never been one in the first place. They had no system in place that sends an automated email informing of me their actions, no steps to appeal or resolve the matter, and no intentions of contacting me. I was left completely in the dark.

    I’m glad they’re willing to reinstate my account, and I’m fully supportive of Swappa having strict policies in place to prevent activity that harms buyers, sellers, and their brand. But after the way everything was handled yesterday (watching my account go POOF in the blink of an eye) I wouldn't feel secure buying and selling on their website and won't be using their service.
     
  23. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #23

    I use a VPN on my MBP at home and a separate VPN on all my VMs
    I also use a VPN on my MBA on the network where I work
    In addition I use a VPN on my iPhone

    I think it is a best practice for privacy and for safe computing
    Your mileage may vary

    FWIW I use nordvpn
     
  24. CE3, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019

    CE3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    #24
    After more communication with support, my conclusion is the main issue that caused the ban had more to do with the device itself, and less to do with the VPN.

    I purchased the iPhone last August on eBay brand new and unlocked with a full Applecare+ warranty. The serial & imei number were clearly visible in the listing, and I was able to check the device and call Apple with some questions as well before purchasing. The AppleCare+ didn't even begin until I activated the phone.

    After providing Swappa with more details about when and where I purchased the device, they told me this explained a lot of the concerns they had with the listing, and as long as I don't create any listings in the future with a VPN on, everything should go smoothly. While they didn't specifically say what their concerns were, my guess is the seller had this iPhone listed on both eBay and Swappa.

    Although I will likely not be creating any listings on their website, the support I received today was friendly, professional, and they apologized for the hassle. I consider this matter resolved and hope that some of the feedback I provided might prevent this from happening to another innocent buyer or seller in the future.
     
  25. maxjohnson2, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019

    maxjohnson2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2017
    #25
    I can't agree with this, as a Swappa user since 2012 who successfully sold 25 phones there so far. (This was back when they were partnered with xda-developers and I used my xda account to log into Swappa.) Swappa for a while now have been really gearing toward mass resellers. Seems to me these resellers get preferential treatments over individual sellers, who are the ones who made them and spread the word for them in the first place.

    They were strict with how individual take pictures of their phones. One of the moderator required me on top of my already abundant detailed photos, to take an extra photo with the phone with the screen on + all accessories + code in one shot. Now what I'm seeing is these mass resellers been selling poor quality phones with all kind of dings and scratches and listing them as 'Good'. Half of the time they don't even have to post actual photos of the phone, just stock photos without code. And I've gotten a bad phone from one of them myself with a battery that last and hour and half. I've had good experience with them too, but it's coming to the point where it's not much better than eBay unless you specifically look for the individual sellers who are the original owner of the phone they're selling.
     

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