Reputable dealers of refurb iPhone with quick shipping or B&M

RamiusRamius Joined: July 19, 2000Administrator, ClubPA admin
Late Christmas shopper here. I'd like to maybe try and get a used iPhone 5s for the wife. Looking for reasonably good value without locking into any multiyear service contracts. Is this an impossible dream? Or are there good sources for getting a used or refurbished device like this? I've never walked into a Sprint/AT&T/Verizon brick and mortar store in my life, do they sell the phones that people trade-in? Or are there good online sources that anyone here has used and could recommend?


  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    been poking around for this myself

    amazon has a 'certified refurbished' listing for iphones, but 1) many seem to be locked to a carrier and 2) there are a decent number of pretty bad reviews

    apple evidently used to sometimes directly liquidate old refurbed iphones via ebay, but I dunno if they still do that

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    I sell that junk for a living, I'll send you a PM with more info.

  • RamiusRamius Joined: July 19, 2000 Administrator, ClubPA admin
    I ended up going the route of purchasing a phone labeled "Unlocked GSM" and "Certified Refurbished" from a third-party seller on Amazon who ships through Prime (Fulfilled by Amazon). The seller had high ratings overall, although the product page on Amazon had quite a few unfavorable reviews. I decided to take the risk and go for it.

    The phone arrived quick, and appears to be in very good condition (battery is holding its charge well, there are zero visible scratches or dents). I looked it up on Apple's site right away by IMEI number, and it is clear of Activation Lock and appears to still have a couple weeks of Active Telephone Support and 10 months of Warranty repair coverage listed, so it seems likely it was fairly recently sold for the first time before being reconditioned (So hopefully that also means it was fairly recently manufactured and should have a very healthy battery).

    Although the Amazon listing said it was a GSM phone and stated "Factory unlocked iPhones are GSM ONLY and WILL NOT WORK with CDMA carriers", what I actually received was a ME345LL/A, which is supposedly "intended for Verizon". I'm not 100% positive, but it is my belief this phone should work on any carrier, CDMA or GSM. I don't actually know what, if any, carrier we are going to go with (she may decide to just use it as a fancy iPod), but I needed a SIM to activate the phone (Apparently you cannot setup iOS without a SIM, although the SIM doesn't have to be associated with an active plan). I didn't have any nano SIMs laying around, so I bought a $10 "Bring your own Phone" AT&T go-phone sim, and the phone setup went smooth.

    So far it seems like the risk I took is going to pay off, although I have to admit to being quite nervous about what I was going to receive and in what condition - enough so that I kicked in an extra $60 on a 2-year protection plan, which I generally never do.

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