What To Check: Pre-Owned iPhone 5S

fpjones3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2014
4
0
Hello! Total iPhone n00b here. I'm an Android user currently considering purchasing an iPhone.

I am eying a pre-owned 5S; as far as I'm concerned, it's being sold at a pretty fair price ($150) albeit at a pawnshop. What I don't know though is, how can I make sure the phone's legit and no one would suddenly show up my front door saying the phone is theirs.

I've checked with our local carriers and it's not on their (IMEI) blacklist. Is there something else I need to do or check before I buy the phone?

And no, I don't want to subscribe to a carrier nor would I want to purchase a brand new one (simply because I'm trying to limit my expenses right now). In short, I'd like to try out the iPhone without breaking my bank.
 

old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,323
225
West Suburban Boston Ma
An 5S at a pawnshop for $ 150 is almost guaranteed to be stolen. You have no way to find out for sure if the pawnshop is really honest for one thing. Lots of pawnshops are known for a good place to fence stolen goods.

A pawnshop is about the last place I would even consider purchasing an iPhone or any expensive electronics.

Just because the local carriers can't find the IMEI as stolen proves nothing.
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,133
16,778
Unless there's something fairly wrong with it, $150 isn't exactly a pretty fair price, more like a "steal".

So, either something wrong with it, or probably just (activation) locked.
 
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blarivee

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2009
370
1
US
Very tempting. I don't know if Apple would let you check but you can check with Apple if it is stolen. Also make sure there is no activation lock (iOS 7) on the phone. Otherwise you just bought an expensive brick. As to whether you should buy it it's really a gamble.
 
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fpjones3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2014
4
0
Thanks all! I think I'll follow everyone's advise and not buy it.

I am curious though, while looking for the IMEI, I realized the IMEI at the back of the phone and when I go to Settings are not the same. How or why is it like this?

The IMEI at the back checks out when I looked it up at Apple.com but the one in Settings does not, it does not exist.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,515
St. Louis, MO
Thanks all! I think I'll follow everyone's advise and not buy it.

I am curious though, while looking for the IMEI, I realized the IMEI at the back of the phone and when I go to Settings are not the same. How or why is it like this?

The IMEI at the back checks out when I looked it up at Apple.com but the one in Settings does not, it does not exist.
Somebody replaced the case.

So not only is the iPhone probably stolen, someone who's probably unqualified repaired it. Good choice steering clear of it.
 
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617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
I cant believe the price. Pawn shops are not known for being cheap. Also, a stolen, broken, activation locked 5s would sell for more than $550 anyways. This sounds like BS to me. Pawn shops no how much stuffs are worth and dont sell at junkie prices.
 
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lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,902
3,475
Boston, MA
$150. I say it's worth the risk. So long as you are able to activate it (if it's icloud locked you know you can't). If it ends up being blacklisted it will still sell on eBay for more...
 
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fpjones3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2014
4
0
I cant believe the price. Pawn shops are not known for being cheap. Also, a stolen, broken, activation locked 5s would sell for more than $550 anyways. This sounds like BS to me. Pawn shops no how much stuffs are worth and dont sell at junkie prices.
$150. I say it's worth the risk. So long as you are able to activate it (if it's icloud locked you know you can't). If it ends up being blacklisted it will still sell on eBay for more...
Two Words: ICLOUD LOCK
And this is something that cannot be noticed up front correct?

But wow. $550!? It goes as much as a brand new unit huh?

I'm now thinking if I can make a quick buck out of this. :p Like lordofthereef said, there's ebay.
 
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SHirsch999

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2011
652
179
Even if it can't be used as a phone for whatever reason, that would still be a nice iPod touch.
 
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Sure, Not

macrumors newbie
Jan 14, 2014
26
0
And this is something that cannot be noticed up front correct?
The only way to find out is to try to to activate it after a full restore. If it was restored properly by the original user, when they pressed "Erase and Reset all settings" they should have been asked for the password and also asked to turn off Find my iPhone. If it was stolen, they connected it to iTunes, put it in DFU mode, and restored it that way. With the first method, you won't be asked for an iCloud password again when activating because the phone is now free from that iCloud account. With the second method, you will be asked for the password when trying to activate.

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Even if it can't be used as a phone for whatever reason, that would still be a nice iPod touch.
No it won't, you can't get past the activation screen. It doesn't let you into the home screen if it's iCloud locked. And even if it does, the original user can remotely wipe it and find you with find my iPhone. For these reasons, Activation Lock is a VERY innovative security feature. It literally bricks your phone if you're not the original owner, which makes a thieve's life more difficult.
 
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IpadSC400

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2013
640
6
A mile high
:eek::eek::eek:I would have bought that IN A FLASH. Whether it was dropped in the pool and left there for weeks. The cheapest 5S soaked goes for more than 300. All I have to say to that price is HOLY CRAP and stolen stuff is always worse...
 
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