would you buy the iphone off of ebay or craigslist?

HawaiiMacAddict

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Aloha electricdigits,

That's a great question, and one not easily answered. I have bought a few things on eBay and, knock on wood, have had outstanding results. In fact, the only problem I experienced was with a video card I purchased for my PowerMac G4. The video card apparently did not work, but it was actually due to a faulty power supply (which subsequently died) and not the video card. I received the card, from Hong Kong, extremely quickly, and was able to return it for not only the purchase price, but the original shipping charges. Your money, assuming you use Pay Pal, is also insured up to a certain amount, providing some buyer's protection.

On the Craig's list side of the equation, I would say take a lot more caution. At least with eBay, you can check the seller's bonafides - with Craig's list, you don't know anything about the potential seller. I attempted to sell my last PC on Craig's list, but only attracted the attention of a scammer. Maybe my price point was too high, or maybe noone wanted to buy my PC.

I, personally, would only buy on eBay, and from a power seller with at least 96% positive ratings. Insist on seeing pictures of the actual iPhone to determine the physical quality of the iPhone before your purchase. That being said, I use an Incase case for my iPhone, but have never used any type of screen protector and mine is still pristine. As of now, the price point may be a bit more than you are willing to pay, but wait until the launch of the 3G iPhone - the price of the 1st gen iPhones may begin to drop on eBay. I hope this helps you in your decision.

HawaiiMacAddict
 

IrishJK09

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I buy/sell on Craigslist all the time. The trick to Craigslist is to only deal with local people because there is no safe-guard in place to protect you from being scammed. The good side of Craigslist is that you can see the device before dropping down the cash.

When it comes to Craigslist though, always be sure to meet in a very public place. If you are going to be meeting up with someone you don't know to buy a device you have never seen for a couple of hundred dollars in cash, you want to make sure you are surrounded by witnesses. Never let anyone come to your house, never go to theirs, never meet in a parking lot unless it is of a busy establishment, etc.
 

xintelinsanex

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I don't trust eBay. Too many people misrepresent items on the site. The buyers are always the ones who get screwed. Craigslist is a bit better, considering you can meet the seller / buyer before the actual transaction, but there is a certain element of danger to meeting a stranger.

So all in all, don't use either. Find another mean of buying a used iPhone.
 

iLoveiPhones

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Recently I purchased an iPhone through eBay and got screwed. The seller listed the item as almost new with one scratch. As soon as I get home and open it up theres tons of scratches on it and the SIM card tray won't go in, so basically I can't put my SIM card in it. But one thing to keep in mind though, if you buy an iPhone with within warranty on eBay your most likely to get it fixed for free in the Apple store.

Also I just thought of a greater alternative than buying the iPhone off of eBay. Since people are going to buy the iPhone 3G, how about talking to the people in line and buying their old iPhone. That way you get to see the phone and test it out before you buy it. Seems like a good idea :)
 

HawaiiMacAddict

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Aloha everyone,

I agree with that last suggestion - buy an iPhone from a current owner once they upgrade. One of the main questions 1st gen iPhone owners have is what to do with their current iPhone. Some will end up giving them to their spouses and others have discussed selling them to their coworkers(or on eBay or Craig's List).

If you know someone who is planning on purchasing the 3G iPhone, it wouldn't do any harm to ask them what they plan to do with their 1st gen iPhone. I myself have two coworkers waiting in the wings to purchase my 1st gen, assuming that I go ahead and get the 3G version. I'm still torn on what to do - the 2.0 firmware on the 1st gen may be great, although I'm visiting my Grandmother in North Carolina (no 3G in her area) and the GPS would come in handy (IIRC, most rental cars don't have a nav system, or at least one not for pay).

One thing you may want to try is to talk to people in line waiting to purchase the new iPhone. More than likely you'll run into someone with a 1st gen, and though you'd appear to be like Snoopy playing the vulture (just waiting for the absolute right time to pounce), you could wait for them and purchase their old one when they leave the Apple Store. I think I'd trust the people in line more than the potential sellers you'll find on either eBay or Craig's List.

HawaiiMacAddict
 

joshboldman

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I've bought and sold other phones on ebay, but recently, I've noticed that there's a TON of fake bidders out there waiting to scam you. I had a cingular 8525 once and tried to sell it. Well, long story short, I went on to check how it was doing, and the bidding was up to $16,753. That would be awesome, but then again, it was only a $400 phone. Definitely a scam. Whatever you do, definitely be careful.
 

jaimex99

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Look at the user rating

I would not buy the iPhone off of ebay. You normally end up paying just as much as it costs in the store or even more, especially for hot items like the iPhone. You also have to trust in the person selling. If you look at their seller profile, you should be able to see the feedback that he/she has received.

Perhaps, craigslist is a better option, but that site has a bit more risk of offering scams.
 

chkMINUS

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I also recommend buying from someone who has downgraded. Friend at school or classmate, etc... That's my plan if i can find one for cheap enough.
 

sterling

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I know it's already been said, but if you're going with Craigslist ONLY deal locally. There are too many scammers out there. But If you deal locally and actually see the phone before you fork over your cash, you should be just fine.
 

torontorepair

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One of my customers A bought a iphone 3gs from craigslist, the guy mailed the iphone with an spare after-market backcover to him. After few days, A found that there was a little problem with the touch screen, and he brought the phone to the store to let me fix it. After I opened the phone, I found that the touch screen is 3g, which means the seller opened the phone and changed parts. For me, a repair specialist, his job was so crappy-he used the tape !!! My customer A is a very nice guy, and he learnt his lesson . (He paid $400+ for that 3gs iphone with a 3g lcd)
 

damule6666

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Hmmm

I have bought and sold on both...And never had a prob (knock on simulated wood grain) but i see the advantages to the face to face of CL... Albeit a slightly riskier one..

But thats the price you pay to *press the flesh* as they say..
 

audit

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I've sold on both and bought on both. I have a CCW and craigslist is always in public and has always been at the local police station parking lot. I also inform then that I will be carrying so they don't freak out when we meet face to face. No problems over a number of yrs.
 

msm0511

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I sold my iPhone 3G on craigslist with no problems. I do agree with all the suggestions of meeting in a public place even taking a friend along with you. And local only. I made sure the buyer put his sim card in to make sure it would work and he was satisfied before leaving. So I would suggest that as well. As far as ebay goes, I have personally gotten screwed on ebay. On ebay I only buy electronics from "stores" and make sure I check out their rating. Be careful of sellers that want to make the transaction from their own site instead of ebay. That's how I got screwed. Learned my lesson though!
 

ghostface147

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I have sold several products, including iPhones, on craigslist locally and haven't had an issue. However I always meet in a public place and fully utilize my CHL just in case. You never with all those weirdos around.
 

Wiltron

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I bought my iphone off of CL and have had no issues what so ever!

Just make sure the phone is locked to your carrier, I didn't unfortunately and now rely on unlocks and jailbreaks to make it work :(

Make sure your seller has good communication, get a cell phone number, and always pickup in a public area. Don't trust people only wanting to ship even though they're down the street, and pay via cash or some sort of traceable form like a certified check.
 

damule6666

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That how i got one of my 3Gs's traded a Bold 9700 straight up for it.... Local trade as well..Just a gal that needed a BB and didnt want to pay full price for it.
 

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