We have all been there. Everyone is always in need of a phone whether your phone broke and you need one for a few days or you would like to be a used phone from someone. Where is the first place you check to buy a used phone? Probably somewhere like Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, OfferUp and now even Facebook has this option. Wherever the case maybe, you need to follow these simple rules.
Check the IMEI of the Phone
Checking the IMEI/ESN of the phone is the most crucial step. This will determine if the phone is blacklisted (Reported Lost, Stolen, Unpaid Bills, or Fraud) or factory locked with a company. You may check your IMEI here with this link: Free IMEI Check. Or you can run a check on the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. To find the IMEI on the phone check under Setttings/About Device on Android, or punch in *#06#. The IMEI will instantly appear on the screen.
You can then check the phone’s status at sites such as IMEIPro or CheckMend, said to be the world’s largest data resource on smartphones. While there is a small charge to check on this site, it’s well worth the price. Equipped with the IMEI number you can quickly find out the phone’s full specifications and its history, whether or not the Seller wants you to know about it. It’s like a VIN check for vehicles.
As soon as dodgy sellers realize you know about the requirement of checking for the IMEI, they may well quickly back off and try their luck with a less savvy buyer.
Even if you are buying online, most sites will provide you the IMEI of the phone if requested. You are the customer rememeber!
Locked or unlocked
If the smartphone is locked to a certain network provider which you don’t want, you can quickly, easily and cost effectively unlock it with Day One Unlocks, the leading online remote unlock service. You can also bargain down the seller as it should be cheaper than an unlocked phone. An unlocked phone gives you complete freedom to choose your own network at a price you want to pay.
Depending whether the phone is locked or unlocked is a huge factor in determining the price of your phone. If they’re selling you the phone for only $100 but the unlock required is another $150, then do some quick math. You would like to buy a phone already unlocked if possible, if not do some research beforehand to determine whether it is worth it or not. You can use this to your advantage if you are selling phones for a profit. A future blog will get that discussion started up. Just do a little bit of research before you go out and buy.
Secret codes and apps
Smartphones usually have hidden codes that provide access to extra information and self-test routines. As an example of this, Android phones, *#*#4636#*#* will provide usage statistics and battery information, while *#*#0*#*#* will run an LCD display test. A useful site for checking out codes is Redmond Pie. You can also research the phone you’re after on a YouTube. You can alternatively run an app test such as Phone Tester for Android or Phone Doctor Plus for Android and Apple’s iOS. These apps will give you a quick gauge of the smartphone hardware and the state of the battery. There’s no excuse for not doing your homework, it takes just a few minutes to save yourself a lot of hassle down the line.
Armed with this information and plenty of due diligence, you should be able to find a good quality second-hand or refurbished phone at a good price. Don’t get scammed or screwed over, that is what I’m here for. You wouldn’t even imagine how many requests I get because someone bought a locked phone.
Are you ever wondering what type of mobile phone unlock you need for your cellphone? Not sure what all this unlock lingo really means? Let me break it down to you real quick.
Blacklist (Bad Imei) & Factory Unlock (Worldwide Unlock)
Different wireless companies have different ways to unlock their mobile phones. Not only different ways but to different extents, as well. When it gets complicated they simply divide into two categories: Blacklist unlock and factory unlock.
A phone that is blacklisted or a blacklist unlock on a mobile device and come to your eyes in many different forms. Blacklist can can also be under the term: bad imei, bad esn, unbarring, blacklist cleaning and/or removal. But they all typically mean the same thing… the wireless provider has placed a lock on it due to either being lost or stolen, blocked, EIP or nonpayment of bill, or fraud!
Now in unlock terms, a blacklist unlock will remove your phone from being “blocked” for one of these reasons. If the phone is taken off blacklist then you will be able to use it for that company again or any sister company (Sister Company: Wireless companies that share the same towers. Ex. T-mobile & Metropcs). However, this is not a factory unlock.
Now the only wireless companies allowed to do a blacklist unlock are Sprint, T-mobile, and Verizon. Sprint Blacklist Unlock, T-mobile Blacklist Unlock, and Verizon Blacklist Unlock prices and timing can vary due to different carriers.
A factory unlock means that it can now be used on any company worldwide. The IMEI or ESN of the iphone or android device has now been cleaned fresh and will never be bothered by the wireless provider again. Good news for you right.
Now a factory unlock has make sure the imei is clean (clean imei) before this action is performed. A factory unlock can also be under the term: Premium (100%) Unlock. This is the reason if the phone is blacklisted and you’d like to move to another company it is a little more expensive than the phone being clean. A phone clean is a phone paid off and completely yours.
Now for every company in the world can a factory unlocked be performed. I have some links below for the 4 main categories:
T-Mobile Factory Unlock
AT&T Factory Unlock
Sprint Factory Unlock
Verizon Factory Unlock
Hopefully this will help you understand the unlock concepts a little more. I’d like to hear any comments or additional information you guys might like to add!
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There are many reasons to unlock your cell phone and we’re going to discuss the most important in this post.
Travel – The first reason is it could save you hundreds of dollars, when you travel. Especially internationally, you’re probably going to incur roaming charges. And for international travel this can be a huge amount. So how do you avoid the roaming charges?
If you have an unlocked mobile phone you can purchase a local SIM card at the country you’re visiting. This can often be done at the airport. Put the SIM card in your unlocked phone and you’re good to go. Using a local SIM card will reduce your calling fees to any local numbers because you won’t be racking up roaming charges. If you make a lot of local calls while you’re in the country this will save you a lot of money.
Resale value (Look at this as an investment) – I have seen people flip their phones for an extra $300 for a simple $75 unlock. The price of your phone goes up as soon as this happens. Or if you’re like most people, after a year or so, you start tiring of your current cell phone and want something new with upgraded features. So what do you do with your old cell phone?
One option is to sell it on EBay or Craigslist. When you try to cell a locked phone you have a limited amount of potential customers. They only people who can buy your phone are people using the same network that you use. But if you’re phone is unlocked you’ve
just opened up your group of possible buyers considerably. Anyone on a plan that uses a GSM Network and SIM cards can buy your mobile phone and simply put their SIM card into the phone. With more possible buyers, you can charge a higher price for you phone. It’s all about the rule of “supply and demand.”
Connect your Mobile Phone again – A lot of the times someone will not pay their bill, lose their phone or have it stolen. When this happens your mobile company will put a lock on the IMEI A.K.A your mobile phone is blacklisted or has a bad imei. If you would like to connect your mobile phone with the same wireless provider or a sister company (Ex. T-mobile & Metro PCS use the same towers) then you would just need to clean the IMEI, which is why we offer these services exclusively. Other unlock companies and websites won’t tell you this due to the fact that they want you to purchase the full unlock and make more money.
Wireless companies will try to scam you here as well saying you need to pay your bill or owe a balance. Simply clean the IMEI which will clean from your account and you will be on your way!
Family & Friends – Once again, if your phone is locked only people on your network can use it. But if it’s unlocked anyone else can add their SIM card. Some of the people who you might want to consider giving your phone to include:
Friends or relatives who need a phone but can’t currently afford to buy a new one.
Charities such as women’s shelters. These cell phones are given to women who are trying to leave abusive situations and need cell phones to help protect themselves and their children.
These are the main reasons to consider unlocking your cell phone. We’ll be discussing more in future posts. If you’ve had a good experience with unlocking your phone we’d like to hear about it so drop us a line and let us know your unlocking story.
Is Cell Phone Unlocking Illegal? – Please… if it was illegal then how would all these local phone shops and websites still be operating. If you want lawful proof read my blow on “How Did Cell Phone Unlocking Become Legal.”
You’ve probably heard that unlocking your cell phone improves it’s resale value. But why is that true? Why is an unlocked mobile phone worth more than an locked cell phone?
By unlocking your cell phone you increase your list of buyers by a huge number. When your phone is locked, the only people you can sell it to are people who are using the same network service as you. In other words, if you use AT&T the only potential buyers are other AT&T users. However, if your phone is blacklisted you have an even bigger problem… NO ONE CAN USE THE PHONE ON ANY NETWORK! A phone being blacklisted or a bad IMEI, means the phones IMEI is physically locked with the company for no further use. This could be due to unpaid bills, lost/stolen, or fraudulent activity. First things first if your phone is blacklisted, take it off blacklist and try to reach a customer using your same company. If you do a Premium IMEI Unlock, meaning blacklist and factory unlock, now you may use for any company and the value of your phone goes up.
Once your phone is unlocked anyone on any GSM cell phone network with a SIM card can buy and use your phone. By increasing the number of your potential buyers you can sell your phone quicker and for more money. This can be especially true on EBay where the more bidders there are, the better chance there is of running the price up.
Another reason an unlocked phone can be such a big plus is this; you might have a really cool phone that is not available on certain networks. But by advertising that it’s unlocked, someone who loves your type of phone, but isn’t on your network, will still be able to buy and use your cell phone even though they can’t buy it from their provider.
The next reason the value of your cell phone increases is because the people who’ve bought it from you know it will be easier for them to resale it when the time comes. We all know when buyers are deciding on a car they always think of the resale value. They wonder, “What will this car be worth after I’ve driven it for five years?” With cell phones it’s more like, “What will this phone be worth after I’ve used it for six month?”
If your potential buyer travels internationally then having a phone that’s already unlocked will be a big plus. Using unlocked phones for travel can save hundreds of dollars of long-distance international roaming charges.
These are a few of the reasons that make your unlocked cell phone worth more than a locked phone. We’ll be discussing other reasons in upcoming posts. We’re always happy to hear about your experiences unlocking your phone and how it has improved your cell phone experience.
But what if you don’t know the first thing about unlocking a cell phone? That’s why we’re here. We’ve unlocked thousands of cell phones and we’re ready to help unlock yours too! If you need more reasons to unlock your phone, read my blog on “Reasons to Unlock Your Mobile Phone” that will get you off your seat.
In reference to Ezra Mechaber Article “Here’s How Cell Phone Unlocking Became Legal” on August 5, 2014, President Obama signed a bill into law that again made it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones. It marked the very first time a We the People petition led to a legislative fix and has generated more than 15 million users and 22 million signatures on over 350,000 petitions since it started in 2011.
In January of 2013, internet activist Sina Khanifar started a We the People petition that asked the government to make cell phone unlocking legal.
The petition came in the wake of a decision by the Library of Congress that ended an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and made it illegal for consumers to unlock their cell phones — a process that allows a phone to be used on any compatible network.
Over the next 30 days, 114,000 people from across the country signed the petition — crossing the signature threshold needed for an official White House response.
Folks here at the White House leapt into action. The White House policy team convened more than a half-dozen agencies and offices’ senior officials to ask a simple question: How can we move this issue forward? After careful deliberation, it was clear to us: The Administration couldn’t agree more with petitioners, and we came out in strong support of again making it legal for consumers to unlock their devices.
But we didn’t just agree; we offered a template for how to make it a reality. Our response laid out steps that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), wireless carriers, and Congress could take to make sure copyright law didn’t stand in the way of consumer choice. And over the following weeks and months, we worked with the FCC and wireless carriers to reach voluntary agreements to provide consumers with additional flexibility. That captured national attention, including support from national editorial pages.
All that helped motivate Congress to take action, and heed the call in a bipartisan way. Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, partnered with the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to promptly introduce joint legislation that would restore the DMCA exemption. That legislation passed both Chambers unanimously this past month in the form of the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act.
It’s that legislation that President Obama signed earlier this month. And just last week, we held a conference call with hundreds of petition signers to help explain what the legislation does — and to talk about the important part every one of those 114,000 signers played.
So what’s next for We the People? This petition was a great case of the amazing online organizing we’ve seen by petition creators, but we’re working to make it even easier for creators to organize around their petitions.
That’s why we’ve created a simplified signing process that removes the need to create an account just to sign a petition — and why we’ve been hard at work on a Write API that will eventually allow people to sign petitions using new technologies, and on sites other than WhiteHouse.gov.