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Purchase Iphone 5 on craigslist. What don't I know?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Bigfoot, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    First off I don't know much. What I want is a AT&T I5 (or 4S) that I can put a Straight Talk micro sim card into and have unlimited everything for $45 a month.

    I see them new/almost new and unlocked for $350 ish.

    How can I check if they work if they aren't currently activated?

    Is it true that if it's already an AT&T phone that unlocking isn't necessary if the contract is over? But the owner has to call and unlock it?

    If I buy a phone with a current contract can I have it unlocked?

    I guess I need someone trustworthy to deal with. Anybody know someone?
     
  2. 44mag2ndamend

    44mag2ndamend Round the ole tree stump, Down by the crick Well-Known Member

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    Those I phones were a hot ticket item for the thieves, probably still are. The new Galaxy phones from Samsung are the thing now. A buddy of mine bought some supposed new phone from craigslist, It was a pain in the u know what to get it activated and have warranty issues covered.

    There is a huge amount of Grey and Black Market on these items. I would go with new.
     
  3. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    I looked into the Samsungs, too big for front pocket carry. What I'm after is easy access to google maps, gps, and Siri or other voice operated functions. Typing messages suk. So I really don't need the bigger Samsung screen, I'll watch videos at home.

    Yeah I don't want a hot phone. I wish I knew more about Straight Talks activation procedure.
     
  4. Benny503

    Benny503 Grants Pass Well-Known Member

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    Not all Iphone are able to use straight talk. Tmobile and AT&T both using the sAme frequencies band so they both can unlock and use among each other. Some of ATT cellphone can not run 4g network because the bandwidth a little off and it does not run full function it was make for.
    I saw that you are in claskamas next to pdx, I recommend you buy use tmobile iphone 5 or 5s and bring it to tmobile retailer tell them to set you up an account pay as you go for 50 bucks no tax or anything, you will have unlimited talk text and data. If you do t go outside PDX area then you will have the LTE network in big city. It normally running Around 28MPS. Yes it is faster then my home charter network. I am currently on vacation here in PDX and I am very with the LTE network.
    StrAight talk have it own Iphone and I dont think they use the same bandwidth with any other.
     
  5. FA9

    FA9 Hillsburrito, ORgun Well-Known Member

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    Ip5 are pos. I'm on my 3rd phone... If my phone brakes after the 1yr warranty I'm bubblegum outta luck.
     
  6. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently doing IT work in the mobile sector.

    First, is it stolen? The industry is working to implement a cross-carrier database of stolen handsets. Each handset has a unique serial number known as the IMEI. If you buy a stolen handset it's possible that a carrier won't agree to activate it. There might be a website to check the IMEI but I really don't have any guidance here. Also, note that it might take up to two weeks for a stolen handset to appear in the database. Thieves tend to flip them quickly.

    Second, does an iPhone 5 that works on AT&T work OK on StraightTalk? I don't know. I'm assuming you've done your homework here but I'll ask the compatibility question as a precaution.

    Third, condition of the phone when you buy it. Does it power up? Condition of the screen? You might get the guy to meet you in a place with free WiFi such that you can see if you can browse the web with it (ie., check that the phone is at least reasonably OK).

    The family has four iPhone 5's with Verizon and we've had no problems.

    Peter
     
  7. t.huynh

    t.huynh vancouver, wa Active Member

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    Straight talk sells both T-Mobile and AT&T compatible SIM cards. You can choose which one depending on which network or iPhone model you go with.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
     
  8. BsB

    BsB Fall City Member

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    If you're buying off craigslist, have the seller meet you at the carriers store and they will verify the phone is free of contract and is able to be used without problems. Not all GSM iphones are fully compatible between ATT/TMO. The ATT iphones don't support TMO's new 4G/LTE and vice versa. Different frequencies there. You'll be stuck in a 2G world with an ATT phone on TMO.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 4
     
    ATCclears and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Mattofsmatt

    Mattofsmatt Portland Member

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    A little background: I run 2 iPhone repair shops (apple products only) in the greater pdx area.

    A couple pointers:
    1) the phone does have to be unlocked if you want to use straight talk. If you buy an at&t phone from someone else and thier contract is up, they can go on AT&T website and request it to be unlocked. The process takes up to 72 hours and is pretty hassle free. It's also risk free because there is no way to "lose" the unlock, as there is with other methods.

    2) you can call customer service and ask if the imei # is "clean" and not currently tied to a contract. If they say yes, then have the cus-serv-rep put a note on the account saying that they sold the phone. Just a way to cover your butt.

    3) meet the prospective seller at one of our stores (Wired iRepair). Seriously. We are happy to put the phone through our normal check-in diagnostics, which will ensure that everything is functioning as it should. We also check internally for water damage. We offer this free of charge. Just asking a seller to meet you at an iPhone repair shop will weed out all but the most resilient riff-raff. And being in this business for 4 years I can tell you: there is plenty of riff-raff. That being said, there are also plenty of really great people who regularly upgrade to the newest device and sell thier older ones.

    Good luck, PM sent with contact info if you have other questions!
     
  10. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    Hey Matt. Is FA9s bad luck with I5s common? Are they less reliable?

    I'll stick w AT&Ts network because of the coverage around here.
     
  11. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have an iPhone 4S. Siri is overrated, ask her to take a note, enunciate as clearly as possible, go to notes and manually correct her! She's a little better at making calls.
     
  12. Mattofsmatt

    Mattofsmatt Portland Member

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    I haven't personally heard too many bad things about the i5 specifically; that being said, we don't get alot of them in for the first year as they are still under warranty. We are just starting to see the floodgates open on the i5s, but mostly just the usual glass and water-damage. At&t or Verizon are both great options... We use tMobile for both of our shop phones... I don't take the phones outside of the shops very often, but I have never had any issues with them when I have. AT&T on the other hand... 10 dropped/missed calls per day (Wife's phone and mine combined), and we are in downtown PDX.
     
  13. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Most important is to make sure it is 'company (Apple) unlocked' and not just unlocked by the owner. It might be painful/difficult to figure this one out but it might require a shutdown/restore to factory software and try your sim card to make sure it's completely unlocked.