What is the safe way to buy a cellphone on e-bay?

In a phrase: be careful.

Recently, I have tried to buy a Sprint phone for a friend. I had to buy three phones in total.

First phone, while being specified as "sprint" had a different network's name on it. Turns out Sprint resells (or allows others to resell) their phones and service. But it cannot be unlocked or moved to the "real" Sprint network. So make sure the logo on the phone says what it should

The second phone said "minor scratches or crack". Well, the phone was so broken I wouldn't even use it myself, never mind giving it to a friend.

Only a third was gift-ready.


1) Ignore cheap crap. You will regret it if you buy the cheapest offerings

2) Phone must be specified to be in a very good conditions. Scratches probably only minor. But you must have a description for the seller to be held accountable to which specified the phone in good condition.

3) It is safest to choose phones that the phone company currently sells itself. It is safer that way. Try not to buy old models.

4) Listing must have a picture or a complete written description of what you are buying.

5) The description MUST SAY that the phone is not under contract of any sort, and that it is ready to be transferred/activated.

6) Seller should have a return policy.

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Page last modified 19-Feb-17 19:24:31 EST
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