I was thinking about buying a used smartphone on ebay. Anybody, has any tips or do you guys seriously think it's a bad idea ?
I was thinking about buying some kind of smartphone since my deal is off with my last phone and I don't like having cell phone and Ipod in my pants or pockets. I don't really need all those internet data plans though since I have free connection everywhere I go in my daily routine. I was therefore thinking about buying an unlocked smartphone and getting a contract with only a voice plan. Been looking at used Iphone since there are a lot of those on sale, but I wouldn't mind an htc or samsung either.
Buy it refurbished or from a seller that has something like 10,000+ sales with 95% positive feedback. I've done it a few times, but only from the ones that are like mass ebay sellers with strong feedback. There's a lot of them out there and you can get a good phone in great condition (bearing some expected aesthetic wear) for a decent price.
I wouldn't just buy one of a guy with like 27 sales unless his photos were extensive and his feedback was flawless.
I'd recommend getting it off craigslist so that you can use it in person to make sure everything works. That's how I sold my iPhone 3G...the guy stuck his simcard in, played around with it, was able to inspect for damages, and walked away happy. I would get a microsim from your provider first for $10 to put in the iPhone (if iphone 4 or 4S), or bring along a friend who has one for the carrier you want
How to tell if it's unlocked (all 3 should be true):
1. your own microsim works in it
2. there is no gevey sim interposer under the sim card when you remove the sim card (a thin bronze-colored membrane)
3. there is no cydia or furiousmod icon in the phone's home screen apps, and also not in any of the folders
another way (if just this is true, it's unlocked):
if under modem firmware when you go to settings>general> about it says 04.11.08 for iphone 4 and 4S
No matter where you get it from, first thing when you put your sim card in any iPhone is go to settings, general, network, and disable data roaming, 3G, and cellular data, or else the iPhone will start charging you for data within seconds.
Last edited by Henrik Maneuver: 10-16-2011 at 08:46 PM.
That's funny, since I sold a used and unlocked HTC smartphone on eBay just yesterday. I originally bought it and another of the same phone through eBay (won two). One was great, but the other had slightly blurry pictures from the camera. The seller didn't report the problem. In hindsight, I should've made an issue out of it, but I thought that I might be able to solve it and, by the time that I conceded that it wasn't fixable, it was rather late to complain. So, I just turned around and re-sold it, noting the problem in the auction, since I'm more honest than the one who sold it to me. So, the point is that you do take a risk that there's a problem that the seller isn't being honest about, but there are also good sellers out there.
The recommendation from others of going with businesses or sellers with 100+ feedbacks is a good one if you want to be safe. Another thing that you can do is bid on only items for which returns are allowed, but even if returns aren't allowed, being dishonest with buyers isn't allowed, either, so you'll have recourse to get your money back, regardless. eBay has its own buyer protection that's free and PayPal has its own free, dispute-settling service.
Yes, it's a great idea IMO. If you don't have an upgrade or don't want to get in a contract, you can get say..an iPhone 4 off eBay for $300 as opposed to paying double that for retail price.
eBay is also a great place for selling used phones, because people don't want to use their upgrades and get locked into a 2 year contract, so people will actually pay pretty good $$ for many phones.
My friend just recently bought an iPhone 4 32GB for Verizon off eBay, only paid $300 with shipping and the phone literally looks brand new, not a scratch on it. I'd say that's better than paying $200 and getting locked into a contract. Just make sure the eBayer has good feedback. I typically won't buy anything off eBay if it's a new seller, even though you can usually get better deals because everyone is thinking the same thing.
Also make sure the phone can be activated, I don't know how it is for other companies..but if a phone has been reported lost or stolen, Verizon disables the phone and the ESN goes bad, making it unusable on the verizon network. So, if I ever buy a phone off eBay, I make sure the ESN is clean and can be activated.
Main thing I would be worried about is the battery as you will never really know how much it was used etc. I am not sure I would buy a used one but it is the more environmental way to go.
That might be an issue with buying an iPhone, but for nearly every other phone, it's not, since you can just buy a new one for very cheap. For example, I just looked up Galaxy S II batteries on eBay and they're going for about $5 apiece.