Sometimes deals are too good to be true. Some platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay and other private selling platforms don’t have the ability to check a device before you go ahead and hand over cash for it.
Sadly, there’s been a massive spike in blacklisted, stolen and/or iCloud locked iPhones flooding online selling sites. It’s hard to know what you’re getting without seeing it in person first. Here are a number of things to check, preferably before paying money for the device or immediatly after recieving it.
- Check all speakers. Go to settings>sounds & haptics and drag the slider to full. The ringtone should play very loud. If it is muffled or no sound plays at all, the speakers may require replacement.
- Make sure it is signed out of iCloud. Failure to check this and having the previous account signed in will render your phone useless. Steps on how to switch off “Find my iPhone” can be found here. If the previous owner cannot sign out for any reason then DO NOT BUY THE DEVICE. Apple cannot and will not help you in this situation. No one can remove the account apart from the person who owns the account.
- Test both selfie and rear facing camera. Try to take a video as well to test the rear facing microphone next to the camera. This is also a good time to test the camera flash.
- Does it charge? Bring a portable battery charger with you or try to charge it as soon as you can to make sure it powers on and charges properly.
- Does it hold its charge? Check the battery health of the device at settings>battery>battery health. If the maximum capacity is below 85% you may need to replace the battery to properly use the device. Without changing the battery you may notice it shutting down unexpectedly or dying very quickly.
- Does it get service and/or is it locked to the network described? If you are wary of this device, do not use your personal sim card to test this. Buy a couple of Pay as you go sim card from your local store (or us for only 99p) and make sure the phone gets signal and can make a call. To test making a call you can call the network topup line. (O2/Tesco/Giffgaff – 4444, Vodafone/Voxi – 2345, Three – 333, EE/Virgin/Asda – 150). If the phone shows no service or gets stuck at searching, restart the phone. If it still fails to get signal then the device may be blacklisted. This cannot be repaired by anyone else other than the original owner as it may have pending balances that are unpaid from a contract or it may have been an insurance replacement device.
- Make sure youre happy with the condition of it. Grade A – Very minor scratches, very good battery health. Grade B – Couple small scratches on corners of device, battery health around 90%. Grade C – Heavy scratching, poor battery health, all features still function properly on the device.
- Reciept of sale. Make sure you have something in writing that notes the devices serial number, imei, sellers name and address + how much you paid and how you paid it. This keeps you in the right incase things go south for any reason.