5 Helpful Tips to Buying a Used iPhone or iPad May 02 2017

Mobile apps such as OfferUp and LetGo have made it extremely easy to buy, sell, and give away used personal belongings. Buying used iPhones is a great alternative to overpriced devices sold at stores. However do come with some risk. The purpose of this article to help people minimize that risk and provide a safe and secure way to purchase used iPhones and iPads. 

The issue with these apps is the accountability. Very Often sellers do not share and lie about the device's information. For example, you may purchase a device that has been reported lost/stolen or the device may have some sort of malfunction that the seller isn't disclosing. The following are focal points you should consider before you purchase a used cell phone or tablet.     

1. Make sure it's not Stolen: Check the IMEI 

Check the IMEI for lost and stolen

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is unique serial number given to each cell phone device. It is used to identify if the device is stolen, lost, or blacklisted. This is one of the first things you should check if you're considering purchasing a used cell phone or tablet. 

Find the IMEI on your device:

  • Dial *#06#
  • iPhone Apple devices: Settings > General > About
  • On the back Side of the iPhone
  • On the SIM card tray

Easy way to check the IMEI. For Free!

2. Remove iCloud and Erase content

iCloud or Google Locked
iCloud Lock is the second most common way people get ripped off when purchasing a phone on eBay, Craigslist, LetGo, Facebook and OfferUp. iCloud Lock is nearly impossible to remove unless you're the original owner. iCloud Lock is a form of Factory Reset Protection (similar to Google Lock in Androids) that was established by Apple. This lock is activated when a iPhone or iPad is reset to factory settings and iCloud wasn't removed. 

Best way to avoid iCloud lock:

  • Don't hand over the money until you verify the cell phone is working properly
  • iCloud: Check if any iCloud is attached to the device. If so, hand back the phone and ask them to log out. DON'T accept a phone with an iCloud because you will NOT be able to remove it later.
  • If the pass code lock screen or the Home screen appears, the device hasn't been erased. Ask the seller to completely erase the device by doing the following:
          1. Then erase all content (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings) on Apple devices 
          2. Don't take ownership of any used iPhone or iPad until it's been erased.  
  • Next, put in your sim card and put in all your iCloud information. 

Extra Information:

  • If the owner isn't present to remove the iCloud then ask them to remove it from this link icloud.com/find. They can also remove it iCloud from their current iPhone under iCloud
  • Don't take ownership of the device until you are able to surf the web, makes calls with all your information. 

3. Meet at a Public Area

Don't meet anyone that doesn't want to meet at public area. This is for the safety of both parties. Accessibility to WIFi is also a plus.  The following are suggestions for public locations:

  • Starbucks: has plenty of people around and they allow you access to the Starbucks WiFi. 
  • At a store owned by your cellphone provider: That way you can verify that it works for your provider and also if you need a new sim card
  •  A local mall may also offer you easy access to both a store owned by your cell phone provider and WiFi

4. Verify that the device will function with your cellphone provider

About two year ago I bought a brand new Blackberry Priv from a seller in Amazon. The Blackberry Priv came At&t factory unlocked (GSM) and I was super excited to bring into the Verizon network (CDMA). At that time my understanding of unlocked phones was that unlocked meant you can use it with any carrier without restrictions. To my disappointment it didn't work. All I can do is text and call. Not even changing the APN setting worked.

Do the following to tests to verify if the used cell phone is compatible for your cellphone provider:

  • Make a call to see if you can receive and make calls
  • Send a multimedia text (picture text message or group text)
  • Surf the web and watch a video
  • Change the APN settings if one or more of the top things don't work. Simple Google [[your cell phone provider]] APN

    5. Be patient and compare online prices & check parts

    If the price if too good to be true, then it probably is. More often than not, a cell phone selling at a good price will mostly be stolen or have something wrong with it.

    Make sure you get the best deal possible. Compare online prices and use that towards your price negotiations.

    Make sure that that the device is working properly. Try out:

    • Selfie camera
    • Back camera
    • Loud speaker
    • Earpiece 
    • Earphone jack
    • WiFi and GPS
    • Volume Buttons
    • Home Button
    • Power Button
    • Vibrator 

     Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment down bellow if you have other recommendations. 

    -Ricardo Gonzalez