Monday, February 9, 2009

How to buy an iPhone on ebay for Valentine Day

Valentine's Day is a festival that cherishes love and romance. The festival falls on February 14 every year and is celebrated in several countries across the world including US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, China and India. Though the festival commemorates the martyrdom of a Christian saint called St Valentine, the festival as it is celebrated today has little religious significance. In present times, Valentine's Day has assumed a secular and global flavor and is celebrated by people of all ages and races.

As we all know eBay is the place for buying almost anything imaginable. However there are things that we must watch out for if we intend buying on eBay. Never forget the rule caveat emptor, or buyer beware. As in all facets of life this rule rings true and even more so on eBay. There are steps you must take to be sure that you know what you are buying, do that and you will really get a great deal on an iPhone. On the other hand if you are not careful you can have great disappointment and lose your money. So listen up and take notes.

Firstly, know exactly what you are buying and if you don't know, ask the seller. They are obliged to answer your questions. Watch out for conflicting information between the title and the extended description. As an example there was a listing for an unlocked 16 GB iPhone, at least that was what the title said. In the description it said that, and it was clearly stated the phone is locked, then they stated that they are using it with a carrier other than AT&T so it clearly must have been unlocked. You could ask the seller for clarification of the issue, but my reaction would be to look for another phone.

Do you know the difference between unlocked and locked? We will give you a brief rundown here. If the phone is unlocked, it means the firmware has been hacked and now you can insert any chip that will work on your chosen mobile network. Different countries have different carriers so you should find out what is available to you and what services they are offering. Some features of the phone can be lost if you go away from Apples recommended carriers. Where your iPhone will work has nothing to do with the chip but with wiring of the phone and the radio frequencies of the carriers.

The terms "unlocked" and "new, unopened box" are incompatible. You have to open up the box and hack into the firmware in order to unlock the iPhone. Apple does not ship unlocked iPhones. In order to hack into the iPhone you must open the box, and hook the iPhone up to a computer. This is hardly unopened. Locked means that the firmware that Apple shipped the phone with is intact and untouched. These phones will only activate and work on the AT&T network. However, a locked phone has no issues or troubles with any firmware upgrades whereas an unlocked phone must be careful when updating to be sure they do not re-lock the iPhone.

Three very important words to look out for when purchasing anything on eBay are, refurbished, new and used. If an instrument has been refurbished, hopefully by the manufacturer, it has been take from not performing the way it should to an as new state. Find one of these and you should get a decent phone at a realistic price. If the seller is for real he will declare what the phone is, either new or refurbished, but watch for those les scrupulous sellers that may not disclose this fact. As always if you're not sure ask. If in doubt shop elsewhere.

There are many phones that are similar in appearance to the iPhone, but clearly are not. There is only one iPhone. You will see phones called A88 iPhone, PDA, cell phone. This is not an iphone but a look alike. Make sure that any phone you are considering as an iPhone is the Apple brand.

Very important when buying on eBay, make sure that you know the sellers return policies and only pay through PayPal using your credit card. Some will ask you to pay direct to their account.. I never do that, I go somewhere else. Never ever pay with cash or checks or wire transfers or money orders. No, no, no, just don't do it. Stick with Pay Pal and if a dispute arises you have recourse through that company. Sorry if that sounds like a plug for Pay Pal, but we are opening ourselves up to the scammers of the world when we shop on eBay and I have found not safer way. So if you find a seller who does not take credit cards or Pay Pal then I would be most suspicious. Remembered "caveat emptor" and go somewhere else to buy.

eBay tries their hardest to make it safe for you to shop, but you must do your part by educating yourself and giving yourself the best chance of getting a good deal.

Before you buy an iPhone on eBay do your due diligence and research what you want and don't be disappointed.

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