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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    tlo07's Avatar
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    Default Used iPhone-- safe?

    Hi,

    Sorry if this isn't the most appropriate place to post this. I found an ad on Craigslist for an iPhone 5, 32 gb, for $500 that I'm interested in. Isn't it true though that if you buy a used phone that the original owner can take your money and then turn around and report the phone as lost/stolen thereby rendering your new iPhone a brick because it gets blacklisted by the carrier? Then they get a new phone AND your money! Does anyone have any experience with this or have any tips to keep this from happening? I don't want to throw $500 away. I just got my iPhone 4s replaced at the Apple Store so I'm not desperate for a phone but I wouldn't mind picking up a 5, giving my 4s to my daughter and saving my upgrade for the 5s. I had someone tell me GSM carriers can't lock down phones but I don't believe that.

    Thanks!
  2. #2  
    swarlos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by tlo07 View Post
    Hi,

    Sorry if this isn't the most appropriate place to post this. I found an ad on Craigslist for an iPhone 5, 32 gb, for $500 that I'm interested in. Isn't it true though that if you buy a used phone that the original owner can take your money and then turn around and report the phone as lost/stolen thereby rendering your new iPhone a brick because it gets blacklisted by the carrier? Then they get a new phone AND your money! Does anyone have any experience with this or have any tips to keep this from happening? I don't want to throw $500 away. I just got my iPhone 4s replaced at the Apple Store so I'm not desperate for a phone but I wouldn't mind picking up a 5, giving my 4s to my daughter and saving my upgrade for the 5s. I had someone tell me GSM carriers can't lock down phones but I don't believe that.

    Thanks!
    I would say not to worry about it too much just be careful and I believe there is a way to register or transfer the iPhone to your name especially if it has AppleCare.


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  3. #3  
    SmartFah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    I don't have any experience buying stuff on Craigslist, but I would recommend activating the phone to your account on the spot. Just tell the person you want to confirm the phone doesn't have a bad ESN by activating it, then pay him right after. I doubt he can call and report it stolen if it's not activated on his account.

    If you want to be safer, I would suggest going the eBay route and pay with PayPal. When you pay with PayPal you'll automatically get covered with their buyer protection program, and if the phone isn't as listed you'll be able to get a refund. I got a deal on a new 64gb iPhone 5 on eBay a couple months ago and couldn't be happier.

    Hope that helps.
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  4. #4  
    swarlos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartFah View Post
    I don't have any experience buying stuff on Craigslist, but I would recommend activating the phone to your account on the spot. Just tell the person you want to confirm the phone doesn't have a bad ESN by activating it, then pay him right after. I doubt he can call and report it stolen if it's not activated on his account.

    If you want to be safer, I would suggest going the eBay route and pay with PayPal. When you pay with PayPal you'll automatically get covered with their buyer protection program, and if the phone isn't as listed you'll be able to get a refund. I got a deal on a new 64gb iPhone 5 on eBay a couple months ago and couldn't be happier.

    Hope that helps.
    +1 LOL better than my response actually when I traded phones last year I had the guy meet me at a Verizon and we put both phones on our accounts right there. I would suggest that then pay him after your sim is activated and the phone shows up on your account if the seller isn't willing to do this then I would back out.


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  5. #5  
    noaim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    I don't purchase phones off Craig's list however I sell one every year I'm proof that there are good people out there


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  6. #6  
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Meet at a carrier store and have it activated on the spot.

    That way, you are covered and there are witnesses.

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  7. #7  
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    I've bought so many things on craigslist (including buying and selling cell phones) and I've never had this happen...that's not to say that you don't have some really shady individuals on CL, but if you want an extra layer of protection, like mentioned above, have them meet you at a carrier store, and if they seem apprehensive to do so, it probably speaks towards their honesty.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  8. #8  
    phreddyl's Avatar

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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    I've bought so many things on craigslist (including buying and selling cell phones) and I've never had this happen...that's not to say that you don't have some really shady individuals on CL, but if you want an extra layer of protection, like mentioned above, have them meet you at a carrier store, and if they seem apprehensive to do so, it probably speaks towards their honesty.
    Agreed. I have sold several and I tell them right off the bat that I will only meet them at the Verizon store. That way everyone is happy.
  9. #9  
    Xm_jdm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    I won't buy a used iPhone anymore. I went to my local T-Mobile store last week and a guy was trying to activate an iPhone he bought on CL and T-Mobile refused since it was flagged as stolen. Last year I saw the same thing happen twice at AT&T (my GF uses them). Both customers were FUMING MAD.

    Quote Originally Posted by tlo07 View Post
    Hi,

    Sorry if this isn't the most appropriate place to post this. I found an ad on Craigslist for an iPhone 5, 32 gb, for $500 that I'm interested in. Isn't it true though that if you buy a used phone that the original owner can take your money and then turn around and report the phone as lost/stolen thereby rendering your new iPhone a brick because it gets blacklisted by the carrier? Then they get a new phone AND your money! Does anyone have any experience with this or have any tips to keep this from happening? I don't want to throw $500 away. I just got my iPhone 4s replaced at the Apple Store so I'm not desperate for a phone but I wouldn't mind picking up a 5, giving my 4s to my daughter and saving my upgrade for the 5s. I had someone tell me GSM carriers can't lock down phones but I don't believe that.

    Thanks!
  10. #10  
    GulfCoastToad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    If you're worried (and you have good reason to be--just read the news), buy one from eBay instead. Make sure the seller has legitimate ratings and good feedback.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xm_jdm View Post
    I won't buy a used iPhone anymore. I went to my local T-Mobile store last week and a guy was trying to activate an iPhone he bought on CL and T-Mobile refused since it was flagged as stolen. Last year I saw the same thing happen twice at AT&T (my GF uses them). Both customers were FUMING MAD.
    Tmobile and AT&T don't "flag" phones as stolen (unless it's just something they've started doing very recently)...in fact, as far as i know, any carrier that uses a SIM refrains from doing this because of the obvious issue of there being no real checks or balances system in place to prevent people from just putting a SIM card in and going along their merry way. It is possible to list the IMEI number as a stolen phone, you can report it to Apple (which really just reflects future warranty work with the serial number being marked), and there are many websites that kind of pointlessly keep track of these.
    "Speed has never killed anyone; suddenly becoming stationary...that's what gets you." - Jeremy Clarkson
  12. #12  
    Xm_jdm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHRCC View Post
    Tmobile and AT&T don't "flag" phones as stolen (unless it's just something they've started doing very recently)...in fact, as far as i know, any carrier that uses a SIM refrains from doing this because of the obvious issue of there being no real checks or balances system in place to prevent people from just putting a SIM card in and going along their merry way. It is possible to list the IMEI number as a stolen phone, you can report it to Apple (which really just reflects future warranty work with the serial number being marked), and there are many websites that kind of pointlessly keep track of these.
    It is in fact something that T-Mobile has done as of late (I don't know about AT&T). I asked. It was told that a process has always been in place to prevent and block a phone that was flagged as stolen (via IMEI I believe) but up until recently T-Mobile has now been checking against phones being brought in to be used on their network. Watched it happen and they wouldnt do anything for the guy.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    One of the biggest scams out now, especially with Tmo is that they get the phone on the installment plan only paying the deposit, $159 or whatever it is, and then sell the phone for full price $5-600 while of course no longer caring about the monthly payments. It's not like it affects their credit. Tmo will shut it down the first month it is not paid and there is zero that can be done about it. I was an avid android user until I purchased my iPhone 5 a few months ago. I have 3 pages of craigslist ads as I would buy and sell phones almost monthly. I had every major android phone Tmo has had beside the latest of course. I never burnt anyone and got burnt on my last CL purchase with a Galaxy S3 that I purchased for my wife. That's what the guy did. Buy it on installment and stopped paying. Tmo locked it and I ended up selling it for less than half of what I paid for it. After that I sold my Nexus 4 and took the few hundred I got for that locked S3 and went to the apple store and purchased 2 brand new iPhone 5's. Done with Craigslist. If I ever upgrade to a new iphone, I will sell this one that I have on ebay and purchase new model again only from the Apple store. Lesson learned. VERY happy with my iPhone and even happier that I don't have to wheel and deal on CL any longer!
  14. #14  
    li2327's Avatar
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    Default Re: Used iPhone-- safe?

    I get all of my phones from Craigslist. As a previous member stated just call the carrier while your there or meet the seller at your carriers store. That would avoid all problems.


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