What To Check: Pre-Owned iPhone 5S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fpjones3, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. fpjones3 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
    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.
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    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.
  3. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    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.
  4. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    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.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    It can take a few months for a phone to show up on the blacklist.
  6. oldhifi macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2013
  7. fpjones3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
    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.
  8. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    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.
  9. fpjones3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
  10. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    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.
  11. lordofthereef, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014

    lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    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...
  12. Sure, Not macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2014
  13. fpjones3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2014
    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.
  14. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

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

    Jan 14, 2014
    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.


    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.
  16. IpadSC400 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2013
    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...

Share This Page