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Tips for Buying a Used iPhone on Craigslist
If you are looking for a used iPhone on Craigslist, you need to ensure that you are not cheated. In this Techspirited article, we share some tips that you need to keep in mind before making the deal.
DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON―follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
Today, online buying has taken over the traditional method of direct purchasing. However, Craigslist allows us to contact the owner before making the purchase. This way, you are saved of falling prey to sellers who are out to make a quick buck. A quick tip to remember is that do not shell out money before meeting the seller, else there is a possibility that you may never be able to see your desired, used iPhone ever! Likewise, we have listed a few more tips in this article.
Get the Cheapest Deal
Once you have decided on a particular offer of a used iPhone, take some time out to look for similar offers elsewhere on Craigslist. You can search by using the words ‘moving’ in the search description, to find out deals posted by people who are relocating to a different location. They generally are in a hurry to sell their stuff, and they do so at cheaper rates. You can also scroll through the other postings to find the trending price of the model that you are interested in.
Meet in Person
The best part of using this website is its ‘meet in person’ concept. If you are interested in a particular offer, you can either e-mail or call that person by using the contact details listed on the website. This way you can actually take a look at the product without relying on the images that are posted on the website. People who are truly interested in selling their iPhones will always provide genuine contact details. As you will be meeting a complete stranger, it is advisable to meet him at a public place. This way you will not land in any of trouble, if the other person is not genuine.
Verify IMEI and Serial Number
Every phone has a unique IMEI number that gives information about the model number, brand, etc. You can also find out if the said phone is blacklisted, stolen, or missing. If the iPhone that you are interested in falls in one of these categories, you will end up buying an expensive toy that will be of no use! Here are a few steps to find the IMEI.
- If you have the iPhone, tap on Settings – General – About, and scroll to the bottom of the page to get the number.
- If you are dealing with the iPhone 3G or higher versions, check the SIM card tray for the IMEI/MEID.
Once you have found the number, you can go to Apple’s Service and Repair page to check the iPhone’s remaining warranty period, along with the information regarding it been stolen or missing. If you find out that the device is stolen, you better register a complaint about the same.
Before you meet the seller in person, you must demand for more photos of the iPhone, other than the ones posted on the site. Look closely at the photos for dents, cracks, scratches on the screen, etc. This will give you a clear idea about the phone condition, and whether you should proceed to meet the seller in person or not.
Ask the owner to keep the micro SIM installed until you take a test run of the phone. This way, you can explore all the features of the device.
Most users often jailbreak their devices. Ask the owner to restore the device to its original form, to overcome any issues created due to jailbreaking. Remember, opt for a jailbroken device, instead of an unlocked version, because unlocking the iPhone is illegal, while jailbreaking isn’t.
Conduct your research properly regarding the prices. Check other online selling websites like eBay, Gazelle, etc. Negotiate with the owner on this point.
Clearly understand the reason behind the owner selling off his device. Not everyone is a gadget freak who will sell his iPhone, simply to try his hands on a new one. If you find his reasons suspicious, drop out of the deal right away.
Go to the media library and play any track. Check the sound output at different volume settings while listening through speakers and earphones.
The next thing to check is the iPhone’s capacity. The owner may not have erased all his data from the device, but you can check the overall capacity by following the path, Settings – General – About – Capacity.
If there’s an LED flash on the said version of the iPhone, check it by clicking a picture in low light conditions.
Contact the carrier to check if the iPhone can be activated or if it is already active on someone else’s account or is totally blocked from activation. If it is blocked, check its reason and get it activated before striking the deal. You will need the IMEI for doing all this.
Try to always sign an agreement of purchase before you shell out the cash. Also, it is advisable to pay via PayPal or similar websites, because you will have proof of your transaction, in case you face any problems with the device or the owner.
Carry out a thorough check of the aforementioned points and only then, strike the deal. Using your common sense while buying online, along with these tips, will surely help you make an informed decision and avoid major surprises or getting ripped off.