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If you are looking for a replacement or used iPhone for sale you’ve come to the right place. There are so many things to consider when buying a Used iPhone. Our Used iPhone Buying tips section covers technical and practical tips that will help insure you get the best Used iPhone at the lowest price!
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iPhone Buying TipsiPhone Buying Tips
Take 3 minutes to confirm you found the RIGHT iPhone. We promise, it's worth your time!!

iPhone Buying Tips...


Confirm the iPhone you're interested in, is in proper working order. Check the following information before purchasing to avoid any headaches. New, used, activated, or unlocked... it doesn't matter. JUST CHECK.

Standard specification, rates, and coverage maps:

Check for moisture damage

Why are they selling it / How's the condition?

Purchase from a known seller or reputable ebayer

Confirm there's "NO Contract Required"

Confirm the color if a 8gb or 16gb iPhone

Confirm the ESN is clear

What is an ESN?

Confirm the ESN can be activated with your carrier

What does UNLOCKED mean?

GSM or CDMA carriers / service providers

Things to consider if you choose to purchase a Hacked / Unlocked / Jailbroke iPhone


Standard specification, rates, and coverage maps:
These links below take you off our site. Be sure to bookmark us or use your browser's back button to continue reading our helpful tips.

Apple iPhone technical specifications

Review AT&T Monthly Rate Plans here

AT&T Coverage Map

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CHECK for moisture damage:

Did the iPod take a spin in the washer, a dunk in the toilet, or has excessive moisture from a sweaty pocket caused hidden problems in your iPod (and void the manufacture's warranty). Here's how to check for potential moisture damage:

Check the jack (hole) for the earphones > Do you see pink? >

If not... COOL!! This is great!!

If you see pink or it's tampered with, we recommend you DO NOT purchase this iPod. If you decide to buy it, hopefully the price is low enough!! Purchase at your own risk.

Question to ask the seller: Is there any water damage? The moisture indicator in the ear phone jack... what color is it? (explain if necessary)

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Why are they selling it / How's the condition?:
This could reveal hidden problems. How have they treated it?

Question(s) to ask the seller: Why are you selling it? Has it ever been mishandled or dropped? Does the screen or housing have any cracks? Is there anything that I should know about it's cosmetic or working condition?

Buy asking these questions, you will be able to determine if you want to purchase this particular iPhone or not... and how much you will be willing to pay.

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Purchase from a known seller or reputable eBayer
Purchasing a used iPhone could be a easy and simple process, especially if it's from a local retailer, family member, or friend. It's much easier to ask questions, and see the phone's condition prior to purchasing.

You can make your online purchase pleasant as well... and probably at a much better price. However, you will want to purchase from a reputable eBay seller with plenty of positive feedback.

Things to keep in mind: Only purchase from a seller with 97% positive feedback or higher.
Only purchase your iPhone from a seller with 10 feedbacks or more.
ONLY pay with PayPal (there are some great payment protections in place).


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Confirm there's "NO Contract Required"
(Especially if the iPhone is new) If it's not clearly stated...take a second and confirm it with the seller.

Question to ask seller: Is there an equipment or service contract required with the purchase of this iPhone?

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Confirm Accessories
There might be something missing that's important to you.

Standard iPhone Accessories: Apple iPhone (of course), screen cleaner, earbuds, iPhone Dock, iPhone USB Charger, iPhone Wall Charger Adapter, Originial iPhone manual, Original iPhone box,

Stereo Headset with mic, Dock, Dock connector to USB 2.0 Cable, USB Power Adapter, Manual book, and in original box

charger, earbuds, cleaning cloth, dock, case, screen protector.......

Battery, home charger, owner's manual / CD, USB cord, earbuds, earbud adapter, screen cleaner, factory box

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Confirm the color if you're purchasing an 8gb, 16gb, 32gb  iPhone:
The 4gb iPhone is only available in black. However, the 8gb, 16gb, or 2gb iPhone comes in either black or white. You will want to confirm the color (just in case the seller is using a stock photo).

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Confirm the ESN is CLEAR:
The most IMPORTANT thing to confirm, is that your iPhone has a clear Electronic Serial Number (ESN). If a phone has been reported stolen or has a remaining balance owed on a previous account... the phone will be placed on a blacklist. This is BAD. You will NOT be able to activate this phone. You WANT a CLEAR ESN.

Question to ask the seller: Can you please send over the ESN so I can confirm it's clear with my carrier?

What is a ESN? The Electronic Serial Number (ESN) is a unique 11 digit number assigned to every cell phone. To locate this number, remove the battery, and it will be located on the back of the phone (it is not located on the battery itself).

Confirm the ESN can be activated with your service provider: The second most IMPORTANT thing to confirm, is that your iPhone can be activated with your carrier. Once you have the ESN, call your provider, and confirm it can be activate with their service.

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What does UNLOCKED mean?
Unlocked is a term used (with GSM phones) when they have been programmed to make them cross compatible with other GSM carriers only. Although it will make telephone calls, the data service compatibility may or may not work. Always check with your carrier to confirm you can use an unlocked iPhone on their network BEFORE purchasing (see above)

There is NO WAY to get an Apple iPhone to work with CDMA carrier / service provider (see below).

Read some important information regarding unlocked / hacked iPhones below.

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Major carriers / service providers, and whether they are GSM or CDMA technology:
The iPhone's technology is GSM, so if you're using a different service provider other than AT&T, you will want to confirm your carrier is GSM technology as well.


Providers Technology Non-Compatible Providers
GSM Cingular CDMA Cricket
GSM T-Mobile CDMA Helio
CDMA Sprint
CDMA Verizon
CDMA Virgin Mobile

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Things to consider if you choose to purchase a hacked / unlocked / Jailbroke iPhone (or do it yourself):

Voiding your warranty: The 1 year manufacture's warranty is VOIDED on Hacked / Unlocked / Jailbroken iPhones **See iPhone disclaimer below

Bricking: Many users have tried to install the free software update from Apple (which includes many updates and fixes) after unlocking their phone. Unfortunately, with unlocked phones, the update will most likely make the phone useless. So, IF YOU HAVE UNLOCKED YOUR PHONE, DO NOT INSTALL THE SOFTWARE UPDATE!!!!

Visual voice was a feature co-developed by AT&T and Apple. This feature requires back end systems (at AT&T) in order to function properly. You will most likely still be able to call in and retrieve voice mail messages the old fashion way. But, it may be cumbersome or inefficient.

YouTube, GoogleMaps, Stocks, Weather, and Web Browsing  -  These features rely upon the user having a WiFi signal or access to an EDGE network. Whether we like AT&T or not, they have the largest data network in the USA which is EDGE. That being said, switching to T-Mobile will make EDGE access less reliable. So this should definitely be taken into consideration. Wifi connection speeds should not suffer (most public libraries, Starbucks, hotels, and college campuses for example). One thing to note here; is that the iPhone hardware is not capable of utilizing 3G networks. So make sure you can use data services in your country (or area) if you are planning on using the phone outside the USA.

Side Note: Apple is will be releasing the 3G version of the phone on July 11th 2008. Which means broadband speed, and saying goodbye to the EDGE dependency

Aside from the aforementioned "Bricking."  Receiving FREE software updates from Apple is another BIG benefit of buying an iPhone. As new features are released, they are packaged in a firmware update which can be installed on the phone via iTunes. Unlocked or Hacked iPhones (so far) cannot receive these new features.

 An example of this is the iTunes mobile music store. Using this application you can buy music whenever you have a Wifi signal. This is part of the iPhone software v1.1.1. If you have an older hacked version... guess what? You won't have this app. Many people will say they don't want it. But, I have actually used it. You can search, preview, buy, and download songs right on the iPhone. It's instant gratification at it's best. No, I don't use it a lot, but it is there if I want to browse listen to music in the store.

The Law: Some of the Unlocking programs have been shown to alter the IMEI numbers on the phone. This is more than voiding your warranty, hacking your device, or breaking your contract. This is actually against the law. Most software which change IMEI numbers is done so in order to clone another account. Cellular systems which recognize a modified IMEI device sometimes label the device as illegal and lock it out of their network. As a result, there is a risk (albeit slim) that your phone will not be able to make or receive calls.

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**Quote/Disclaimer from Apple:
"Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed. ... Apple strongly discourages users from installing unauthorized unlocking programs on their iPhones. Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty. The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing unlocking software is not covered under the iPhone's warranty."

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This page was last updated: December 10, 2013 12:27 PM