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Buying a used iPhone

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There seems to be a dearth of used iPhones 6s' available around the £300 mark and I was considering buying one, however just trying to work out whether that's wise. A fair few seem to be upgraded cont… Read More
TopBear Avatar
3m, 1w agoPosted 3 months, 1 week ago
There seems to be a dearth of used iPhones 6s' available around the £300 mark and I was considering buying one, however just trying to work out whether that's wise. A fair few seem to be upgraded contract phones although a few are supposed to be PAYG, some are locked to networks others not.

If I was to consider buying one, what are the key things to consider, so far I have.

1. Get one which has a receipt showing proof of purchase from the person I'm buying the handset from - to show they are the original owner of the handset.
2. Ask for ID from the seller, and have them sign a document\receipt noting the phone IMEI number of the handset, in case they later decide to report it lost or stolen, as they could make an insurance claim, and then the phone (mine) would be blocked with no recourse?

Any other words of wisdom?
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TopBear Avatar
3m, 1w agoPosted 3 months, 1 week ago
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#1
Anything you do, pay by credit card via PayPal. You'll be very thankful to the state financial laws in case the deal goes wrong. You're covered both by your credit card issuer and PayPal if the seller flops before, during or after sale.
#2
If you're too worried go to music magpie or cex and get a warranty with it.
#3
check the battery is not faulty if possible as they are costly to replace..
#4
agentfourty7
Anything you do, pay by credit card via PayPal. You'll be very thankful to the state financial laws in case the deal goes wrong. You're covered both by your credit card issuer and PayPal if the seller flops before, during or after sale.


While using credit card by Paypal you are no longer covered by the card issuer.
#5
Sounds like your looking to buy one advertised on Gumtree or the like..?

Check the handset for scratches around the screws on either side of the lightning port, scratches could indicate its been opened by someone unfamiliar with replacing screens,betteries etc

Check around the screen to ensure its flush all the way around, ill-fitting screen will cause problems later.

Place handset on a flat surface, table etc, and ensure its flat with no rocking present, rocking would suggest the casing is bent - potentially leading to problems later.

Aside from the above the condition is down to you, happy with scratches to casing etc..?

Reset the handset to factory settings, irrespective if the seller has done this, insist you would like to see it done.

Once its reset, ask seller if you could connect to there wifi, this ensures the wifi transmitter is working, and sign into itunes, this will ensure the previous user has logged out of iCloud.

Insert a SIM and send a text to the same number, and make a call to someone, whilst on the phone to them switch on the loudspeaker, ensuring you can hear them and vice versa.
Above will also confirm it'll work on your intended network.

Take a picture, switch on the flash and take another (good opportunity to take a sneaky pic of the seller..!) view the picture in photos to ensure it has indeed taken.

Do you have access to another iPhone the same model? if so take it with you and check the screen brightness when placing the 2 next to each other when on max, cheap inferior screens aren't as bright as the official ones.

Ask to plug it in briefly to ensure it charges.

Following the above the only thing missing really is the bluetooth, unless you take a wireless speaker etc...

A genuine seller won't mind you checking all of the above, someone refuses to let you check anything - walk away.

Ensure you go the there address, again, a genuine seller will have no problem with that, and mostly invite you in to view the handset.

I've bought quite a few iPhones from local sellers on GT and had only one issue, the wifi antennae was goosed on one, which is why I ask to connect to the sellers.


If you don't feel you could ask the seller to allow you to do the above, then buy from a phone shop, small independent repair shop, CEX, Game etc. as they will provide some form of guarantee.









Edited By: andynicol on Feb 15, 2017 18:00: typo
#6
Might be worth looking at the o2 refresh deals or the sim free option

https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/like-new/sim-free-phones
#7
you could try Argos eBay outlet
#8
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
#9
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)

So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.
#10
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
Yep, I've been doing that as well and the free checks are quite good at indicating the status.
#12
agentfourty7
Anything you do, pay by credit card via PayPal. You'll be very thankful to the state financial laws in case the deal goes wrong. You're covered both by your credit card issuer and PayPal if the seller flops before, during or after sale.

As far as I'm aware, you are not covered by your credit card if you pay via Paypal. Has to be merchant direct.
#13
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.

Won't matter a jot if it's reported stolen or is part of an insurance scam after you handed over your money.
#14
TopBear
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)
So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.


£432 at the link I provided earlier and probably comes with Apple warranty left which you won't get at the other places except Apple obviously. They do keep coming in and out of stock

You do realise that the Apple one is the 32gb one.
#15
cossy3
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
Won't matter a jot if it's reported stolen or is part of an insurance scam after you handed over your money.

This is why I felt a signed receipt from the seller showing the sale to me was appropriate, as that way you have some recourse with the police, etc to have it unblocked. I'd only have done that if they have a receipt to prove they bought it from a legitimate traceable source as well, else they could just be moving their risk onto the next person and recouping their money.
#16
eslick
TopBear
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)
So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.
£432 at the link I provided earlier and probably comes with Apple warranty left which you won't get at the other places except Apple obviously. They do keep coming in and out of stock
You do realise that the Apple one is the 32gb one.

So can you just purchase from O2 without being a customer? Any idea how beaten up 'perfectly fine' will be? Would the handset be locked to O2?
#17
eslick
TopBear
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)
So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.

£432 at the link I provided earlier and probably comes with Apple warranty left which you won't get at the other places except Apple obviously. They do keep coming in and out of stock

You do realise that the Apple one is the 32gb one.

I know that, but they don't sell 64GB IP6's online anymore :-(
#18
TopBear
cossy3
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
Won't matter a jot if it's reported stolen or is part of an insurance scam after you handed over your money.
This is why I felt a signed receipt from the seller showing the sale to me was appropriate, as that way you have some recourse with the police, etc to have it unblocked. I'd only have done that if they have a receipt to prove they bought it from a legitimate traceable source as well, else they could just be moving their risk onto the next person and recouping their money.

It's a nice idea and I'm not sure if this has worked for you but in my experience, the police have much better things to get on with and the networks don't give a sh*t, even if you gave a receipt to both places.
#19
TopBear
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)
So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.
Buying new or refurbed from apple is your best option. Too many horror stories of people getting their phones blacklisted after a couple of months.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/buying-refurbished-phones
Link reckons your can buy a refurbished 128GB iPhone 6s for £466 using o2 refresh trick. Not sure if it's still valid or even if you want a 128GB model but worth a look.
#20
I wouldn't buy a phone from anywhere except a bricks and mortar store or from somewhere that has bricks and mortar that I can complain to if it all goes tits up
#21
kester76
TopBear
Cheers all, I've had a look at the suggested sites and there's not much difference in price between a used device and a new one from Apple, e.g. Unlocked iPhone 6s 64GB,
£450 from Argos, (used)
£465 from CEX (used in Mint or Good condition)
£450 from Game.com (in Good condition)
£499 from Apple store (Brand new)
So for the extra £50ish, it's probably better to just goto Apple and get one I know hasnt been dropped or otherwise slightly damaged, and the warranty is better directly with them.
Buying new or refurbed from apple is your best option. Too many horror stories of people getting their phones blacklisted after a couple of months.http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/buying-refurbished-phones
Link reckons your can buy a refurbished 128GB iPhone 6s for £466 using o2 refresh trick. Not sure if it's still valid or even if you want a 128GB model but worth a look.

I would have gone for that, but it looks like it's not available any longer. Thanks though
#22
The way I see it, if you're buying from Gumtree or eBay (which I never would) then be strict and go with your instinct. If the person seems dodgy or something doesn't seem right then just bail as in the long run you're better off paying £100 or so more for a warranty and peace of mind from a shop if you can afford it. To me Gumtree and eBay (particularly Gumtree) are for those who like to gamble. PayPal will only cover you for six months - so if they stop paying their bill and the phone gets blocked then you're stumped...and this *does* happen.

In the case of Gumtree purchases you could check the wifi, the screws and even hold the the phone against a ruler to check for bends but this won't prevent you having your trousers taken down: you could have their address, passport, a signed receipt, a picture of them with their nan holding their passport in the one hand and the Bible in another...but even with all these bits of proof, if the phone gets blocked you won't get it unblocked by the network because (1) data protection, and (2) they don't give a sh**; in the case of the police, they'll offer you some sympathy if you're lucky but ultimately won't do anything because (1) they've got more important things to do and (2) ultimately it's not really their issue as a case like this on its own is classed as a civil dispute.

Edited By: misterleoni on Feb 15, 2017 21:51: Error
#23
varaha
agentfourty7
Anything you do, pay by credit card via PayPal. You'll be very thankful to the state financial laws in case the deal goes wrong. You're covered both by your credit card issuer and PayPal if the seller flops before, during or after sale.


While using credit card by Paypal you are no longer covered by the card issuer.


Is that right? I must have gotten lucky with M&S then. Made a claim and got £250 refunded. It was via PayPal too.
#24
agentfourty7
varaha
agentfourty7
Anything you do, pay by credit card via PayPal. You'll be very thankful to the state financial laws in case the deal goes wrong. You're covered both by your credit card issuer and PayPal if the seller flops before, during or after sale.
While using credit card by Paypal you are no longer covered by the card issuer.
Is that right? I must have gotten lucky with M&S then. Made a claim and got £250 refunded. It was via PayPal too.

From Financial Ombudsman:
"Although PayPal appears as the merchant on the cardholder's statement, it cannot be seen as the supplier in a debtor-creditor-supplier agreement under Section 75 because it merely acts as the payment intermediary by transferring the money from the buyer's account to the seller's account. Therefore it breaks that chain to be considered under Section 75."
#25
Get a check mend report for a couple of quid and also make sure the iCloud lock is off
#26
INDUSTRYHATER
Get a check mend report for a couple of quid and also make sure the iCloud lock is off


Checkmend won't do anything or prove anything other than that the phone isn't blocked *at that particular point in time*. You could save a few quid by just putting a SIM in and dialling before buying as Checkmend reports don't actually tell you if a phone is tied to a contract (much as people think they do) and won't help you in the event that the phone gets blocked two days later. Shops only use them to test when customers bring blocked phones back and to cover their ar** in demonstrating that they're doing as much as they can to avoid buying stolen goods.
#27
TopBear
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
Yep, I've been doing that as well and the free checks are quite good at indicating the status.

You can also verify it via the Apple site, you dont even really need to go to a third party site. As someone mentioned if someone does an insurance scam you can prove it as 1. you will have the listing as proof, 2. when the insurance firm investigates they will se the phone wa sold on ebay, 3. providing they use a legit ebay etc account they'll get caught.

I am sure they're are ways to get round this as it's like with any phone you buy on ebay. You have pretty much covered all the questions necessary.
#28
punji
TopBear
punji
You can ask them for the IMEI, or serial. This will allow you to check to see if the phone is icloud locked.
Yep, I've been doing that as well and the free checks are quite good at indicating the status.

You can also verify it via the Apple site, you dont even really need to go to a third party site. As someone mentioned if someone does an insurance scam you can prove it as 1. you will have the listing as proof, 2. when the insurance firm investigates they will se the phone wa sold on ebay, 3. providing they use a legit ebay etc account they'll get caught.

I am sure they're are ways to get round this as it's like with any phone you buy on ebay. You have pretty much covered all the questions necessary.



The Apple activation lock checker is gone now. A listing containing no IMEI or serial number is useless. But most importantly, the police don't care about such small things. I'm not referring to Ebay, there's a good chance of recourse in that event.
#29
So is the general wisdom to buy from eBay as there is some protection (for 6 months) from Paypal\eBay seller guarantee. Buying from Facebook ads or Gumtree is very much loaded with risk for the buyer and leaves any buyer potentially exposed to having their device blocked (at least in the UK), and there is no easy if any straight forward process to get it unblocked where the seller has been duped by the original (still registered) owner.

I'm surprised there isn't any method to safely complete the transfer of ownership of a handset from one person to another, perhaps via some trusted intermediary organisation\company, which ensures both parties safety. The second hand market must be huge, ...gap in the market?
#30
TopBear
So is the general wisdom to buy from eBay as there is some protection (for 6 months) from Paypal\eBay seller guarantee. Buying from Facebook ads or Gumtree is very much loaded with risk for the buyer and leaves any buyer potentially exposed to having their device blocked (at least in the UK), and there is no easy if any straight forward process to get it unblocked where the seller has been duped by the original (still registered) owner.

I'm surprised there isn't any method to safely complete the transfer of ownership of a handset from one person to another, perhaps via some trusted intermediary organisation\company, which ensures both parties safety. The second hand market must be huge, ...gap in the market?


The best way is to use a shop. Even with eBay's 6m cover with PayPal you'll still have more of a headache than just going back to the shop and saying 'my phone got blocked!' and getting a replacement or refund.

Insurance companies, the police etc don't go to the sort of effort people on here seem to think they do, unless they think there's some grand scamming ring going on. It's simply not worth the network's time, the police's time or the insurance company's time - though if people want to dream that they're going to break the little scroat's door down and send them down for ten years then...well I guess you gotta dream a dream

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