Last Updated as of January 2, 2020
With a brand new iPhone 11 Pro Max costing over $1,000, it isn't shocking to hear that people are beginning to revert to purchasing second hand iPhone's from third-party applications such as OfferUp, LetGo, Craigslist, 5Mile, Facebook Marketplace, or any other similar applications.
These third-party applications have made it extremely easy to buy, sell, trade, or even give away used belongings. As a result a large number of individuals in the United States have used these applications to earn some extra cash. But of course these applications come with some risk especially when purchasing a used second hand iPhone or any other electronic device.
For this article we want to focus in helping people minimize that risk and provide a safe and secure way to purchase a used iPhone.
Listed below are four common issues that people face when purchasing a second hand iPhone. Then we'll proceed in giving you five recommendations to help you minimize these risks.
Side note: These four potential risk are common issues people face when buying a second hand phone from some random Joe online. It may be the main reason why many customer continue to come to our store. I strongly believe you should consider purchasing a used phone from a local business that offers some sort of warranty, especially if it's a phone as expensive as the iPhone Xs or 11 series, reference issue #4 listed above.
The following are focal points you should consider before you purchase a used iPhone from OfferUp, LetGo, Craigslist, eBay, and the Facebook marketplace.
Our first suggestion is to meet individuals in the public area that hopefully gives you access to free Wi-Fi. Meeting in public area is for the safety of both parties and accessibility to Wi-Fi is important to testing the iPhone.
The following are suggestions for public locations:
A red flags should automatically be raised if they are not willing to meet in a public area so proceed with caution. Of course try to read the individual and body language.
This video shows you how to spot iCloud Activation Lock
DON'T! take ownership of any iPhone with a iCloud Activation Lock. iCloud lock is nearly impossible to remove unless you're the original owner. Not even an Apple Store employee can help you remove it without proper documentation.
iCloud Activation Lock is the second most common way people get scammed when purchasing a second hand iPhone on Craigslist, LetGo, Facebook Market Place, eBay, and OfferUp. iCloud Activation 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 Activation lock on an iPhone:
The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is unique serial number given to each phone device. It is used to identify if the device is stolen, lost, or blacklisted. This is one of the second thing you should check if you're considering purchasing a used cell phone or tablet.
Find the IMEI on your device:
Easy way to check the IMEI. For Free!
*It's against the law to knowingly sell and purchase any stolen/lost iPhone*
Back in 2016 I purchased a brand new Blackberry Priv from a seller on eBay. 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 phone provider:
If the price if too good to be true, then it probably is. More often than not, a phone selling at a good price probably has an issue. Therefore it is important to fully test the device. Failing to test the phone properly can potentially end up costing more since it may require you to take it to a phone repair store.
Test the following features:
Thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have recommendations.