Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

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misterno
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Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:51 pm

So I am in the market for a new cellphone and my carrier is TMobile

As a boglehead or frugal whatever you call, I am looking for the best bang for the buck. After comparing several Android cellphones, Samsung Galaxy S5 looked like the best bang for the buck last month. LG5 was very good also but there were too many complaints online regarding bootlap so I skipped that

I found the cheapest brand new Tmobile branded (not refurbished) and shipped from USA not Asia to be on ebay. Ordered one for $154, It took 2 weeks to arrive in a package which was in another package. (which tells me it comes from Asia and then repackaged in US) It came in original samsung Box but not branded Tmobile package which is fine. I took it to Tmobile store and they said the phone is not made for USA but Asia and that it can not update software. Emailed the seller, he provided return label, I shipped back and got my money back.

Got back to research and this time HTC M9 had a huge discount for some reason much better than Samsung Galaxy S5 and now selling for $173 on ebay shipped from US and brand new not refurbished

Phone arrived in 10 days again package in another package. Right after I opened the package which was original HTC but not TMobile branded package, I called HTC Customer service to make sure if it is under warranty.

CSR told me neither IMEI nor the serial number does not belong to US. Then I googled and found that last 4 digits of SN is the month and year of manufacturing date which was March 2016.

So emailed the seller not heard from him yet but I will send this back to seller and get my money back

So this time, I am emailing sellers before I am buying and asking them IMEI and SN and they are not telling me since it is in a package. The oiginal Tmobile branded packages have the IMEI and SN on them. But I have never seen original Brand new tmobile branded package on sale. So how do I make sure phone is brand new? I need brand new because only brand new phones have warranty.

Why does ebay allow sellers to sell 2 year old phones as brand new? and how would you proceed?

I also looked at aliexpress.com which is alibaba, and all phones are refurbished not new. I think these ebay sellers are buying these refurbished ones from alibaba and selling them in USA as new. When you look at the phone, it is shiny and clean and pristine condition but IMEI reveals it is 2 years old, interesting...

iamlucky13
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by iamlucky13 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:20 pm

Leave a bad rating on ebay to help other prospective buyers and file a complaint with Ebay's customer service if you have any trouble at all getting your money back.

Then buy from an authorized retailer if the warranty is important to you.

Anybody can sell on Ebay. There is risk to that. Ebay is supposedly usually pretty responsive to customer complaints, because their reputation depends on them maintaining some level of protection for the customer, but it's the place to go deal hunting or for hard-to-find items, not the place for the lowest risk.

I suspect a lot of Alibaba sellers list both on Aliexpress and Ebay.

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F150HD
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by F150HD » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:46 pm

for ALL that work hassle and wasted time. Sometimes just easier to pay the piper up front.

runner3081
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by runner3081 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:47 pm

You essentially get a 6-month warranty when paying by PayPal. File a claim within 6-months if it breaks and you will get your money back.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a phone on eBay, new or used. Such a buyer-friendly environment, it is hard to get screwed out of any money. Time, yes, but not money.

runner3081
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by runner3081 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:48 pm

F150HD wrote:for ALL that work hassle and wasted time. Sometimes just easier to pay the piper up front.

Yes, that too. Buying the cheapest isn't always a wise choice!

squirm
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by squirm » Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:55 pm

Just buy it at BestBuy, they'll match low prices from places like Amazon.

pindevil
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by pindevil » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:17 am

I've been using swappa lately. No issues yet.

https://swappa.com

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celia
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by celia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:32 am

To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.

Look for a listing that says it is guaranteed to work in the USA (but then it might not work in another country when you travel).

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Kevin13 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:50 am

celia wrote:To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.


+1. New does not mean the product was manufactured last week. You are shopping for phones which are a few model years old. Those phones are not manufactured any longer.

It's just like how you could walk into a car dealership today and purchase a brand new 2016 vehicle, despite the 2017 models sitting on the lot as well.

deskjockey
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by deskjockey » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:23 am

OP--what you need to do is find the manufacturer product number for the phone you want (do this on the manufacturer web site) and then search for that specific product number on eBay or Amazon. For example, the T-Mobile LG G5 is product # H830. To double-check, you should also then look at the 4G LTE bands for the phone you want to buy and compare them to the specs listed on the manufacturer's site. Don't buy the phone unless the product # and the LTE bands match. Other specifications should also match (memory, storage, number of SIM cards, etc.). You don't need to fiddle with the IMEI and SN.

On the new vs refurbished topic, as others have said, phones can be "new" even though they were manufactured a while ago. Remember that, once new models come out, old phones are usually discontinued (especially in the US) shortly thereafter. Generally, if you can't buy it straight from the manufacturer, chances are it is discontinued, so even new phones will have been manufactured a while ago. That should not be problem when it comes to the warranty, however.

denovo
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by denovo » Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:37 am

celia wrote:To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.
.


+1. That's how I understood it too. I had to double-check the timestamp on the opening post because I was really confused when I heard "S5" and "HTC M9". Neither phone has been manufactured by either company in ages. The Galaxy S5 was released in April 2014, and they've already released the Galaxy S8! Likewise the HTC One M9 was release in April 2015 and they have already released the 11 generation. No idea why you would expect these phones to be manufactured recently.
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AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:04 am

Here is my short eBay guide:

eBay is great for some things and terrible for other things. I've been an eBay buyer/seller since 2000 and I've never bought a new piece of electronic equipment there. I have bought and sold plenty of used electronics, bike parts, collectibles, etc. eBay is indispensable for buying/selling used in demand items. Used stuff in original boxes with paperwork fetches top dollar. You can use this fact to your advantage as a seller or buyer. When buying, use a snipe tool to get your bid in at the last second.

An example of a recent purchase. I had to upgrade one of our work computers (self-employed). I waited for the new model to come out first. I found a barely used just previous model, top level MacBook Pro on eBay. Low battery cycles, upgraded with a 1T hard drive, plus a 3rd party case thrown in. It was flawless and almost $1k less than a similarly festooned new one.

If I was in the market for a new cellphone, I'd look instead for deals at from the carrier, Best Buy, Amazon, etc. Just my 2 cents.
Last edited by AntsOnTheMarch on Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

student
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by student » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:14 am

For $130, you can buy a Motorola E4, which just came out.

palaheel
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by palaheel » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:05 am

What about the Amazon Prime Moto G5 plus or Nokia 6? Both are less than $200, I think. If you can take an iPhone SE, MetroPCS has one for $200, as I remember. I don't know if it would work with a T-Mobile SIM, though. These are all new phones.
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midareff
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by midareff » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:15 am

I have purchased at least 7 or 8 Motorola and lately Samsung phones on eBay. All new and all unlocked AT&T. The last three were a Galaxy S5 and two Galaxy S7 Edge and all worked perfectly on AT&T and when switched to Consumer Cellular. We keep them two years and then replace and sell on eBay. Don't necessarily look for the cheapest price, look for the seller with the best reputation.

michaeljc70
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:48 am

Make sure you are buying the US version of the phone. Otherwise the warranty will be useless. T-mobile is not just a US company so T-mobile branded doesn't guarantee the phone works in the US or is a US version. I would forget about that and make sure it support T-mobile USA bands and has a US warranty. Almost all phones are made in Asia, so I am not sure why it is surprising they are coming from there.

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:35 pm

Just because a phone is manufactured in Asia does not mean it is for Asia or USA or Japan. You can never tell

So I called HTC customer support and gave them IMEI and serial no, they can not even find the numbers on their system

So went to Tmobile store and the guy over there turns on the phone and says to me this is a Vietnamese phone. Every country's frequencies are different and it can effect the speed of internet and etc.

I wish there was a website where I can plug in the serial number and it tells me if phone will work properly.

All I could find is willmyphonework.com but that is no help

I already emailed all sellers on Amazon and asked them if the phone they are selling is for USA or not. None responded yet

In the meantime I will call ebay and complain about the seller. You can not sell an international based phone in US. Who knows maybe they are using a used board inside and just changed the screen make it look like brand new?

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:39 pm

denovo wrote:
celia wrote:To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.
.


+1. That's how I understood it too. I had to double-check the timestamp on the opening post because I was really confused when I heard "S5" and "HTC M9". Neither phone has been manufactured by either company in ages. The Galaxy S5 was released in April 2014, and they've already released the Galaxy S8! Likewise the HTC One M9 was release in April 2015 and they have already released the 11 generation. No idea why you would expect these phones to be manufactured recently.


You are wrong

I just got off the phone with HTC csr and they said HTC M9 is still manufactured.

So this ebay seller is selling refurbished phones as new. If it was Amazon I can get him suspended but ebay is a street bazaar.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:51 pm

misterno wrote:Just because a phone is manufactured in Asia does not mean it is for Asia or USA or Japan. You can never tell

So I called HTC customer support and gave them IMEI and serial no, they can not even find the numbers on their system

So went to Tmobile store and the guy over there turns on the phone and says to me this is a Vietnamese phone. Every country's frequencies are different and it can effect the speed of internet and etc.

I wish there was a website where I can plug in the serial number and it tells me if phone will work properly.

All I could find is willmyphonework.com but that is no help

I already emailed all sellers on Amazon and asked them if the phone they are selling is for USA or not. None responded yet

In the meantime I will call ebay and complain about the seller. You can not sell an international based phone in US. Who knows maybe they are using a used board inside and just changed the screen make it look like brand new?


A while back I bought a (new in box) last-generation Samsung from Amazon. The product listing said "US model" and it was the US model. No need for emails back and forth.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by dopamineagonist » Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:20 pm

Don't buy it at Walmart.com or Walmart stores either. Made the mistake of ordering an iPhone 5c from there that stated it was brand new. One worked for about 6 months and the speaker went dead. Took it to the Apple Store for warranty repair and was told my phone was register as sold in 2014. Apple thinks I might of gotten a refurbish phone, Called Walmart and they said they believe that I might gotten a used phone instead of a new phone, but there's nothing they can do. Worse part is im in upper management for this company. So buy day to day things from Walmart, avoid buying electronics. Too many untrained associates handling returns so new and used are all mixed in.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by denovo » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:01 pm

misterno wrote:
denovo wrote:
celia wrote:To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.
.


+1. That's how I understood it too. I had to double-check the timestamp on the opening post because I was really confused when I heard "S5" and "HTC M9". Neither phone has been manufactured by either company in ages. The Galaxy S5 was released in April 2014, and they've already released the Galaxy S8! Likewise the HTC One M9 was release in April 2015 and they have already released the 11 generation. No idea why you would expect these phones to be manufactured recently.


You are wrong

I just got off the phone with HTC csr and they said HTC M9 is still manufactured.

So this ebay seller is selling refurbished phones as new. If it was Amazon I can get him suspended but ebay is a street bazaar.


When I checked Target and Best Buy, I didn't see them selling any M9's. If mainstream retailers aren't selling them anymore, I doubt they're still being made. I'll amend my comment to say I don't think they're selling any M9's for the US market. Please update the post if you find any phone that any S5's or M9's that were recently made for the US market, I am willing to be proven wrong.
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celia
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by celia » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:15 pm

misterno wrote:You can not sell an international based phone in US.

Why not? When we were getting ready for international travel, we bought a phone and international sim cards on eBay before we left. Everything worked like it was supposed to once we left. We didn't want to spend our vacation time on phone shopping (and looking for places that sell phones and trying to communicate in a foreign language).

misterno wrote:
celia wrote:To me, "new" means it has not been owned/used by any user yet. Something can sit on the shelf for 2 years and still be "new". But when a later model comes out, those older "new" phones drop in price, just like cars do when the next year's models come out.

You are wrong

I just got off the phone with HTC csr and they said HTC M9 is still manufactured.

So this ebay seller is selling refurbished phones as new. If it was Amazon I can get him suspended but ebay is a street bazaar.

Sure, it could be refurbished, or it could be new. There is nothing to prevent a company from continuing to make an older phone while also making newer model(s). And the price can drop due to several reasons: less demand and they want to clear their shelves, a third-party re-seller getting a good price when buying many in bulk, or even just a "sale" by the manufacturer and/or re-seller. Since part of the price covers marketing or selling the phone, the manufacturer can let re-sellers do that part, so the re-sellers can get them at a steep discount.

Why don't you just return the items you don't want and move on? If still looking to purchase on eBay, look for a phone that is advertised as working in the USA and is new. That seems to be your main criteria. If someone doesn't respond to your message, either they don't know or it is likely not a favorable answer so they will ignore you. So just move on.

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:10 pm

All sellers on ebay and amazon claim their phones work in the US

That is the problem. I am shocked that these accounts are not suspended.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:00 pm

misterno wrote:All sellers on ebay and amazon claim their phones work in the US

That is the problem. I am shocked that these accounts are not suspended.


+1

It's actually worse than that. Amazon and eBay (among other online sellers) all have a huge counterfeit product problem. Google it and you'll find many stories from major news sources.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by tfb » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:58 pm

I bought two phones on eBay (still using them). They were previous model year products at less than 1/2 of the price when they were first released. You get the best value this way. The phones came from China. I have no problems with them. As a previous poster pointed out, you have to buy the specific sub-model/variant for carrier compatibility.
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by mega317 » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:17 pm

dopamineagonist wrote: Worse part is im in upper management for this company.


I don't mean to laugh at your expensive lesson but this is funny. If it was Walmart's mistake mishandling a return, could there be any recourse?

Good example of how being careful isn't always enough.

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:22 pm

tfb wrote:I bought two phones on eBay (still using them). They were previous model year products at less than 1/2 of the price when they were first released. You get the best value this way. The phones came from China. I have no problems with them. As a previous poster pointed out, you have to buy the specific sub-model/variant for carrier compatibility.


I dont know how many times I have to repeat

Sellers description indicates TMobile but I took both phones Samsung S5 and HTC M9 and they are both not working on TMobile per the Tmobile store

Then I called ebay csr and complained big time and they said they will take some action whatever that is

The product page is misleading, they have to change that. I understand your experience was pleasant well mine was not.

As for the new or refurbished tag, that is where I am not sure. I am suspecting that they are putting pieces together like used board which you can not see with brand new screen and cover which you can see and you would think that these phones are new.

Why would any retailer let phones sit more than a year and then try to sell? Because they are not new they are just assembled.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by jjface » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:01 pm

You must really know how to pick them!! I tend to steer clear from big sellers like mobilepros1 and bidallies which seem to source a lot of foreign phones. They have generic descriptions and don't give you enough details but post an attractive price. If they do not have a picture of the actual item I steer clear. There are plenty of reputable US sellers that post actual photos.

For new phones around the $100-200 mark you are better off with the moto E4, G4, G4 plus or G5 plus. Depending on your budget. You can get them from B&H Photo, amazon, walmart anywhere really.

B&H photo are particularly good for new phones. They have a decent selection of unlocked phones, don't charge tax other than NY/NJ. And are good to work with. Bestbuy are usually over priced and walmart.com has a lot of 3rd party sellers on there. If you go to a walmart store you can sometimes find a deal.

Swappa is decent for used phones but having said that I have had 3 bad ones in a row and so I am totally put off by used phones now. I've had less trouble from ebay actually.

What seller was it?

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by scooterdog » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:07 am

pindevil wrote:I've been using swappa lately. No issues yet.
https://swappa.com


This is what I came here to say.

Waste all the time you want with dodgy sellers on eBay - buyer beware on cellphones and laptops, lots of $ value and risk there buying used. Totally not worth even trying. Great for other things though.

And as said here and in other threads, Amazon has been terrible with some third-party sellers ("Fulfilled by Amazon") - total and utter scams, got my money back but a big waste of time. Again buyer beware, read carefully who is selling the item, they may claim it is US-based and just lie about it.

Swaps sells used, or new in box, or even just parts; in order to sell it the seller must provide the phone serial EIN and they check it for country compatibility, also IIRC to make sure it isn't stolen.

Another great feature is a historical pricing tool, giving you average price history by amount of memory for that exact model.

Higher volume and activity for iOS over Android but do check it out. I've bought and sold perhaps 4 or 5 phones this way, never any problem at all. Flat $10/phone cost to the seller is how the website makes money.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:48 am

I've had 100% success rate buying phones and computers from ebay and I would buy again. There are a TON on scammers on ebay so it takes some practice.

Good sellers:
- Good ratings!
- Pictures of actual product
- Low volume
- Fair prices
- Realistic descriptions (I just go with a gut feeling)
- Avoid boilerplate ebay product specs

Bad sellers:
- Mixed reviews. Don't ignore the bad ones!
- Unbelievable prices
- High volume
- Generic pictures
- Typos in description
- Often use only the ebay boilerplate

If in doubt, just buy a refurb directly from the manufacturer eg Apple. You'll save a few bucks over the BNIB product and it's still the genuine item.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:51 am

The Galaxy S5 was released on February 24, 2014.

Since then, the S6, S7 and S8 all were released.

If you do not want to spend much, go with new Moto G4, Moto G5, or the "Play" versions. Always check the release date and compare the Android version on the device with the current version. Being on Android 4 or 5 when 7 is the current version is not great.

Phones do require some research. I've had good luck on eBay, but prefer a face to face purchase on Craigslist or buy new from Amazon.
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Angelus359 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:59 am

Buying an S5 is a terrible idea because it no longer gets security updates.

Never buy a cellphone that is older than a year old from it's initial release date.

If you need a cheaper phone, buy a cheaper new phone.
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misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:14 am

Angelus359 wrote:Buying an S5 is a terrible idea because it no longer gets security updates.

Never buy a cellphone that is older than a year old from it's initial release date.

If you need a cheaper phone, buy a cheaper new phone.


Can you give me examples of cheap new phone?

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:19 am

bloom2708 wrote:The Galaxy S5 was released on February 24, 2014.

Since then, the S6, S7 and S8 all were released.

If you do not want to spend much, go with new Moto G4, Moto G5, or the "Play" versions. Always check the release date and compare the Android version on the device with the current version. Being on Android 4 or 5 when 7 is the current version is not great.

Phones do require some research. I've had good luck on eBay, but prefer a face to face purchase on Craigslist or buy new from Amazon.


just checked ebay for Motorola G4 and they are really cheap like 50 bucks. How is this possible?

I was not able to find Tmobile compatible though, all verizon for some reason. But then specs indicate it has dual sim capability

I thought Verizon has no SIM and all CDMA

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:33 pm

misterno wrote:
just checked ebay for Motorola G4 and they are really cheap like 50 bucks. How is this possible?

I was not able to find Tmobile compatible though, all verizon for some reason. But then specs indicate it has dual sim capability

I thought Verizon has no SIM and all CDMA


The G4 (not the Play version) is a very good phone. The Play (a bit lower specs) or Plus (bigger version of the Moto G4) versions are also good.

You want a GSM Unlocked phone for AT&T or T-Mobile. Newer Verizon phones and Sprint (CDMA technology compared to GSM) all use SIM cards now. The older versions and maybe flip/feature phones might not require a SIM.

Versus allows you to compare two of many things:

https://versus.com/en/lenovo-moto-g4-vs ... to-g4-play
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miles monroe
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by miles monroe » Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:26 pm

clark howard has a rule about ebay -- he does not spend more than he is willing to lose if the deal falls apart for whatever reason.

Gronnie
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Gronnie » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:10 pm

Buy one of these if you want a good, cheap, brand new phone:

https://www.motorola.com/us/products/moto-e-gen-4

$129.99 and straight from the manufacturer (unlocked for use on any carrier)

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celia
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by celia » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:06 pm

misterno wrote:Can you give me examples of cheap new phone?

Have you looked at Tracfone (pre-paid carrier)? In my zip code there are 6 smartphones under $100, of which 3 are refurbished and 3 don't say.

Saving$
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Saving$ » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:12 pm

OP - I went through the exact same exercise a few months ago. I too had settled on the S5, due to the combo of price/features/size. Ordered one from a seller on Walmart.com that was supposed to be new. It also came in an original box, and looked new. The MNVO I was going to use it on confirmed the IMEI would work on their network. But when I called Samsung, they advised the phone was out of warranty - obviously it had previously been sold. And the power button intermittently did not work - I decided I did not want to deal with that and other potential issues so I returned it.

I followed the advice of some posters here and bought a Moto G5. It is without a doubt the best phone I have ever owned. It is fast, has nice features, and just WORKS. I paid about $220. I would be pleased if the screen was a bit smaller, but it's not really a problem.

misterno
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by misterno » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:13 am

I just wanted to update you all. The phone in discussion is HTC One M9 and my wife's Samsung Galaxy S6

After trying 2-3 ebay phones and returning them I understood that these are not brand new phones as stated. They claim brand new in ebay product page but what it is is that somewhere in Asia they gather all these old used phones from all over the world refurbish them and then flash the software (it is called ROM) and change the front glass screen and the back cover to make it look new. Some company in NJ or NY buys them in bulk and advertises them in ebay as NEW and claim it works in all carriers in USA

Here is what you need to know. I tried the above mentioned phones versus the Tmobile carrier branded phone which has the original Tmobile software and specifically manufactured for Tmobile. Thye both work on Tmobile but the one with the original Tmobile software is light years faster and has more features then ebay phones. HTC M9 was 185 dollars in ebay and the original Tmobile branded phone was $250 from Amazon (ebay does not have original)

Conclusion: Buy the Tmobile or ATT or whichever carrier you have branded phone. These phones have all the features you have with original software. Incase you need to repair or fix something customer support will help you for free.

Also, I am on Simple One Plan which has free internet phone and text messages in 120 countries. Ebay phones do not have the WIFI Call which Tmobile branded phone has so you can not make phone calls to US cellphones located anywhere in the world. Also, they may not pick internet signals in the country you are in. Right now, my wife's phone is not picking up any internet signals in Turkey because it is an ebay phone.

I also called Tmobile customer service and they checked IMEI and told me this phone is specifically manufactured for Tmobile and never been registered on any carrier in the USA. Always buy carrier branded phone not Asian imported with a different software in it. The way to understand is email the seller and ask if the phone is imported from Asia or purchased originally in the US. Simple as that

I also went to the local Tmobile store and the manager said this phone came to market 4 years ago and he is surprised that the phone looks brand new in and out. The package of the phone was not original tmobile box but nevertheless tmobile csr claims it is original so as the store manager

Lesson learned. I spent so much time on this but I finally figured it out.

Here is the link to the seller on Amazon in case you are interested

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WV ... UTF8&psc=1

bloom2708
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:00 am

Saving$ wrote:OP - I went through the exact same exercise a few months ago. I too had settled on the S5, due to the combo of price/features/size. Ordered one from a seller on Walmart.com that was supposed to be new. It also came in an original box, and looked new. The MNVO I was going to use it on confirmed the IMEI would work on their network. But when I called Samsung, they advised the phone was out of warranty - obviously it had previously been sold. And the power button intermittently did not work - I decided I did not want to deal with that and other potential issues so I returned it.

I followed the advice of some posters here and bought a Moto G5. It is without a doubt the best phone I have ever owned. It is fast, has nice features, and just WORKS. I paid about $220. I would be pleased if the screen was a bit smaller, but it's not really a problem.
Happy you like the G5. My G4 has been rock solid.

The problem with the S5 is that the S6, S7, S8 and soon S9 will all be out. That phone is back on version 4 of Android. So even if "new", it is 5 years and 4 generations old. Samsung likely dumped any "new" stock to a discount reseller.

I'm ok with phones on eBay, but try to stay within one or two generations. Buying a new Moto G5 or a new Galaxy S6 would always tip to the newer phone. Even an S7 Edge is still north of $300. Although you can update to the newest Android version, they don't often make it too easy to get there.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

remomnyc
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by remomnyc » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:23 pm

Another vote for Moto G5 Plus.

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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by roymeo » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:41 pm

Sorry, I bought plenty of phones on eBay and Amazon from secondary sellers when I was responsible for a stable of 500+ mobile devices for software testing. You do have to know a bit about what you're buying--some of the makers made it very hard to figure out whether the version someone was selling was really for US, etc. Sometimes it was "hey seller, can you take a picture of the left-hand side of the box, cause that's the only place I can see the code i need to see".
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ponyboy
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by ponyboy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Like the great joey diaz says..."you're going to pay now or you're going to pay later...either way you're going to pay."

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Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:53 pm

Let me summarize: I didn't know what I didn't know, but now that I do, you shouldn't use eBay because I didn't know things.
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Jags4186
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:07 pm

I still don't know why anyone buys anything on eBay. You can usually, if not always, find what you're looking for cheaper at a real store and stacking coupons, rebates, etc. etc. Perhaps its okay for out of print items that you know are just regular people reselling their old junk...

bluebolt
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by bluebolt » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:16 pm

I just bought an excellent condition used unlocked Moto G4 Play on eBay for half the price of new. It arrived exactly as described and was unlocked.

The buyer had a high rating, there were actual photos and at least part of the description did not seem cookie-cutter.

Pigeon
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Pigeon » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:46 pm

pindevil wrote:I've been using swappa lately. No issues yet.

https://swappa.com
I've had good luck with swappa, too. I've bought four phones for the family. I use a seller with a comparatively longer warranty. I had problems with one phone having a defective video display, but getting a replacement was seamless with no questions asked. The prices were very good.

Helo80
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Helo80 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:55 pm

I've purchased 3 phones on ebay. All were new, but were last year's model and sold at a steep discount by a reputable mobile seller (thousands of positive reviews) and likely picked up for a decent price from some warehouse or phone company looking to move out old inventory. No problems with any of them.

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Iliketoridemybike
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Re: Do not buy new cellphones on ebay

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:40 am

Jags4186 wrote:I still don't know why anyone buys anything on eBay. You can usually, if not always, find what you're looking for cheaper at a real store and stacking coupons, rebates, etc. etc. Perhaps its okay for out of print items that you know are just regular people reselling their old junk...
You misunderstand eBay just like the OP. There are buyer guarantees and feedback loops so that you don't get "junk". Know how to use them and you can save yourself lots of money.
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