Cell Phones

Buying unlocked phones from small shops and not big box retailers

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 19th, 2018 7:47 pm
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audit13 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 10:34 am
Beware of spending that much money on a used phone: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/buying-p ... d-2130169/

Having a receipt is not going to prevent the phone from possibly being blacklisted.
Thanks for that link. I'm still reading through it all and I'm close to halfway through the thread, but thought I'd reply here before continuing the reading.
I was thinking of matching the last 4 digits of the credit card on the receipt with their own credit card to ensure it's the same to eliminate the possibility of purchase via identity theft. Now I'm not sure if I should even take the risk and buy used even if they are able to provide the original receipt only because they may report it stolen after a month and then have it blacklisted.
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Some private sellers may have purchased the phone using false information, a stolen credit card, etc. which may result in a blacklisted imei. Most of the phones being sold on forums and Kijiji were obtained with new accounts or hardware upgrades.

If I were selling the phone, I would not be want to show a buyer my credit card. What could be done if the seller says I no longer have the original credit card because I lost it and it was replaced with a new card with a new number?

Even a deal from a seller with excellent feedback can turn bad very quickly.
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Tom0822 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 11:10 am
Thanks for that link. I'm still reading through it all and I'm close to halfway through the thread, but thought I'd reply here before continuing the reading.
I was thinking of matching the last 4 digits of the credit card on the receipt with their own credit card to ensure it's the same to eliminate the possibility of purchase via identity theft. Now I'm not sure if I should even take the risk and buy used even if they are able to provide the original receipt only because they may report it stolen after a month and then have it blacklisted.
+1 this.

We on RFD don't buy used phones, knowing the risks.
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[OP]
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titaniumtux wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 11:41 am
+1 this.

We on RFD don't buy used phones, knowing the risks.
audit13 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 11:28 am
Some private sellers may have purchased the phone using false information, a stolen credit card, etc. which may result in a blacklisted imei. Most of the phones being sold on forums and Kijiji were obtained with new accounts or hardware upgrades.

If I were selling the phone, I would not be want to show a buyer my credit card. What could be done if the seller says I no longer have the original credit card because I lost it and it was replaced with a new card with a new number?

Even a deal from a seller with excellent feedback can turn bad very quickly.

So I just finished reading that whole thread. So here are the steps I've taken and will take for a used phone I'm interested in buying.

1. The seller is from FB Marketplace and their profile shows they joined FB in 2008, so it most likely is a legit person/profile
2. The seller did take pics of the box with the IMEI and I looked it up on a couple of IMEI check sites and is not blacklisted. Of course if I do meet up with the person I will check the IMEI on the actual device to match it up with the box to ensure it's the correct one.
3. The seller has the original receipt bought from Best Buy not through a carrier contract. As I mentioned, I would like to match up the digits on the receipt with their own credit card. If they are iffy about that, I will ask them to cover all other info on the card and just show the same digits that are showing on the receipt.

With this info I provided, would you feel it's safe to purchase? I'm guessing with this info, the only thing I would have to worry about is if the seller decides to report it stolen. The seller did mention that they did not register the phone on Samsung website, so if I registered it, would that somewhat protect me from it being blacklisted if they decide to report it as stolen
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Tom0822 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 11:53 am
So I just finished reading that whole thread. So here are the steps I've taken and will take for a used phone I'm interested in buying.

1. The seller is from FB Marketplace and their profile shows they joined FB in 2008, so it most likely is a legit person/profile
2. The seller did take pics of the box with the IMEI and I looked it up on a couple of IMEI check sites and is not blacklisted. Of course if I do meet up with the person I will check the IMEI on the actual device to match it up with the box to ensure it's the correct one.
3. The seller has the original receipt bought from Best Buy not through a carrier contract. As I mentioned, I would like to match up the digits on the receipt with their own credit card. If they are iffy about that, I will ask them to cover all other info on the card and just show the same digits that are showing on the receipt.

With this info I provided, would you feel it's safe to purchase? I'm guessing with this info, the only thing I would have to worry about is if the seller decides to report it stolen. The seller did mention that they did not register the phone on Samsung website, so if I registered it, would that somewhat protect me from it being blacklisted if they decide to report it as stolen
Note that if they've got a stolen credit card (or opened a credit card fraudulently under a stolen identity) - which is the most common scam for fraudulent phone purchases, btw - they will actually have the card on them still. So you still don't have a guarantee that it won't be blacklisted.

Basically? No matter WHAT you try to do to protect yourself, there's no 100% guarantee that you won't get a blacklisted phone. ESPECIALLY with the latest and greatest flagships. It's less likely with older phones, but even then - if I was a Russian mobster looking to make a quick buck flipping phones purchased with stolen identities? Those Walmart/Wow mobile gift card promos on older flagships would be a *great* way to do it.
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Registering the phone on the Samsung website is not going to prevent blacklisting as one doesn't impact the other.

Important questions:

1) how much are you saving?
2) will the phone have Canadian warranty? Although the phone came from Best Buy, it may have come from a third party via the Best But online store.
3) how will you verify the Samsung warranty?

Make sure that the phone has been completely reset, FRP has not been enabled, and the Knox counter has not been tripped.
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audit13 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:25 pm
Registering the phone on the Samsung website is not going to prevent blacklisting as one doesn't impact the other.

Important questions:

1) how much are you saving?
2) will the phone have Canadian warranty? Although the phone came from Best Buy, it may have come from a third party via the Best But online store.
3) how will you verify the Samsung warranty?

Make sure that the phone has been completely reset, FRP has not been enabled, and the Knox counter has not been tripped.
wearysky wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:24 pm
Note that if they've got a stolen credit card (or opened a credit card fraudulently under a stolen identity) - which is the most common scam for fraudulent phone purchases, btw - they will actually have the card on them still. So you still don't have a guarantee that it won't be blacklisted.

Basically? No matter WHAT you try to do to protect yourself, there's no 100% guarantee that you won't get a blacklisted phone. ESPECIALLY with the latest and greatest flagships. It's less likely with older phones, but even then - if I was a Russian mobster looking to make a quick buck flipping phones purchased with stolen identities? Those Walmart/Wow mobile gift card promos on older flagships would be a *great* way to do it.

Thanks again all. I assumed that the unit was purchased with credit card, but just confirmed with the seller that it was actually purchased with a debit card.
The seller is willing to sell to me for $850, so that is quite a savings considering brand new is $1099 plus tax. Since it was purchased via debit card, I"m assuming it would have been bought directly at a Best Buy location.

By the way, the new one that is being sold in one of those mom and pop shops is actually a store in a mall and not just a rundown place inside a shady strip mall. This store has 2 locations, though one of their locations is within a strip plaza. This place is selling for $950 tax in if paid in cash.

With that being said, between the 2 (used for $850 and $950 new at a store within a mall), which would you go for?
Last edited by Tom0822 on Jul 12th, 2018 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Yes, 850 is quite a discount but it makes me wonder why they are selling it at such a discount.
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Tom0822 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:32 pm
Thanks again all. I assumed that the unit was purchased with credit card, but just confirmed with the seller that it was actually purchased with a debit card.

The seller is willing to sell to me for $850, so that is quite a savings considering brand new is $1099 plus tax. Since it was purchased via debit card, I"m assuming it would have been bought directly at a Best Buy location.
Why are they willing to sell it so cheap, is the question that I would be asking?
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Despite all this, the phone could still be blacklisted.
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wearysky wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:37 pm
Why are they willing to sell it so cheap, is the question that I would be asking?
audit13 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:37 pm
Yes, 850 is quite a discount but it makes me wonder why they are selling it at such a discount.
Originally asking $950, but talked it down to $850.

So aside from an authorized Samsung seller, here are the 2 options I'm looking at:
1. buy the used one for $850
2. buy the new one from the store for $950 tax in. This store is actually inside a mall (and not Pacific Mall) and not just a rundown place inside a shady strip plaza. This store has 2 locations, though one of their locations is within a strip plaza. I also confirmed with the store that these are new units and not refurbished.
Between these 2, who would you buy from?
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The used phone is in mint condition? Since the screen is curved, it's difficult to protect the screen from scratching and screen protectors don't work all that well on curved screens.

I would contact Samsung to make sure the store is an authorized reseller and then decide.
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In all honesty? I still would choose neither. If it ends up blacklisted down the road, that's a really expensive brick. MSRP, taxes in, comes to $1241.87. The used seller is knocking nearly $400 off retail to sell it? And the store nearly $300? That seems insane, to me, and makes me SUPER suspicious regardless of any assurances they're willing to offer. I can't imagine any legit supply method that could get that phone to a store where they could afford to sell it and still make a profit at $950.
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audit13 wrote:
Jul 12th, 2018 12:48 pm
The used phone is in mint condition? Since the screen is curved, it's difficult to protect the screen from scratching and screen protectors don't work all that well on curved screens.

I would contact Samsung to make sure the store is an authorized reseller and then decide.
The used one is in mint condition according to the seller who also sent me pics. Of course, I would check the phone out first when I meet up with the person. Also, it sounds like this person is willing to meet at their residence. They also have 3 cases included with the unit.
By the way, I did ask why they're selling. They had an iPad for tattooing service and found it easier to pass images along to an iPhone instead of an Android, so they bought an iPhone afterwards

As for the store with the new unit, I don't think they're an authorized reseller. This is the store in case you're wondering: http://www.futuretechcanada.com/
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A friend of mine bought his S9+ for $870 off kijiji couple months ago. Phone pretty much brand new at the time since it was just released. He went through all the steps as precaution, and it works out fine for him. I'm sure you will be fine Thumbs Up Sign

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