Buying an open box phone on eBay

Discussion in 'Geek Cave: Computers, Tablets, HT, Phones, Games' started by rhythmdevils, May 23, 2020.

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Thought I’d see if you have any thoughts. They could be a great deal if they’re new just open box. Or a pretty bad deal if they’re a demo or show unit that got manhandled everyday all day by people who didn’t care about damaging them. Most eBay sellers sell these open box phones in bulk and can’t tell you their history.

    I’m thinking the only safe way to go is to either find one with 100% battery health meaning it’s never been used (they advertise this if it’s the case). Or find one that is “new open box” Possibly by avoiding big sellers.

    the retail value on actual new previously owned phones is just way too high.

    The iPhone 8 Plus sells for 500 or more new on eBay and it’s what...3 years old?
     
  2. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    From my limited research the problem (with Androids) is sometimes you cannot get a carrier to provide service on certain specific phones. If it one has been shut off for non-payment that phone is dead to the carrier no matter what. I do not know about Apple.

    I did buy my second VG40 (used on ebay from a liquidator) for a dedicated source on my junior system. It was used and had a few scratches on the screen. I did not need to put service on it so the risk was slim.

    I spent a weekend reading reviews of sellers and reading between the lines and finding patterns. Good Luck!
     
  3. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    I'd be wary of it being reported as stolen/lost as well. It's probably worthwhile to see if you can get the IMEI info from the seller as well and check if it's on a blacklist for your region.
     
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  4. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    I buy all my phones on ebay. Not iphones though. You just have to do some research and read feedback and pay attention to adjusted feedback, that little number that indicates how many folks left bad feedback that eventually changed it. That is a red flag!

    Last few phones, LG G7, LG v30, LG v20, LG v10, all bought on ebay used from companies or individuals that rated the condition. No issues at all with unclear EISN that cannot be activated. If in doubt get the numbers from the seller and look them up, lots of tools on the net.

    And even if you do get a bad one like I did wheee the screen was way worse than described, take lots pf pics. Getting a refund is not a problem on ebay.

    I am sure there are some big resellers of apples refurbed iphones since they do not sell them on the apple refurb site.

    As for iphone pricing being high, why buy an iphone in the first place, crappy batteries, mediocre sound, oh but they have cameras that are good and you can put little ears on pics and stuff. Just kidding, I know lots of folks have good reasons for buying Apple stuff. :p
     
  5. RedFuneral

    RedFuneral Almost "Made"

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    Agree with the above. Make sure to try & activate it before the return window closes as a lot of these eBay phones are marked as lost/stolen.

    Happened with me a few years back where my old phone died just before I needed to go on a trip. I rush shipped an eBay phone from a high-feedback company and headed over to Verizon. It was marked stolen and they refused to activate it. In an interesting twist of fate they had the next model up which had looked over twice the price on the website, I ended up with that and it ended up costing the same as the eBay phone(broken down over 24 months) due to various discounts. It pays to check in with your carrier for active deals which may equalize the price between them & random internet phones.
     
  6. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    This one happpens to be for another purpose and I won’t likely use it as a phone. But this is all great advice regardless.

    For phones I use I usually just inherit from a family member who gets a new iPhone every time they make a new model because his work pays for it. I don’t mind being one generation behind. Especially these days WTF else do we really need. It’s all about improving iOS now.

    anyways.
     
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  7. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    I even buy open box laptops and MacBooks on eBay. They are a gamble, but eBay always sides with the buyer if you can take photos of the issue, so... there's that. It's mostly just the hassle of having to box everything up and send back that's preventing me from using eBay more these days.

    But that goes for pretty much any online retailers.

    I've started to buy things new that I know I won't regret purchasing even 2-3 years later. For instance, I still use my iPhone XS now after 2 years. Still a phenomenal phone. I didn't give a damn about the iPhone 11 at all.

    I did get suckered into buying a 16" MacBook, though, but... that's just a fanboi speaking. Strictly serious: I'd say buy it and leave about 50% of your mind open to potential issues and a bit of back-and-forth with the seller before an eventual return.
     
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  8. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Give Swappa a try. They have various verifications and protections and many times a great deal. I got a mint Note 4 a few years ago for several hundred off retail.
     
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  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I wound up buying an “open box” iPhone which I asked the seller about. Turns out it was used for 3 months until he could get a new one. So it’s not new but it’s also not a floor model and I feel pretty happy about that. 3 months is nothing even if it’s not technically open box. Fingers crossed.
     
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