TechRestore vs Online Classified Sites

Every so often, a customer will come to us with a device they purchased from an online classified site.

Although it seemed fine at first, there’s a problem:

  • During set up they discovered it is iCloud locked
  • There is some functionality problem (buttons not responding, won’t charge, touch screen is erratic)
  • It was working fine, then it suddenly died.
  • It won’t work on their network, even though it’s supposed to be unlocked for their carrier
  • They can’t get ahold of the seller again to unlock, explain or refund the purchase

Sometimes, we can help resolve these issues and occasionally we find some damage that cannot be fixed. We hate being the bearers of news like this. Some of these problems can be avoided, but many people don’t know how to get their Apple device ready for resale. 

There is no completely reliable way to check iCloud lock without the device in hand.  Apple had an online tool to verify iCloud status on their site until early 2017 when it was suddenly taken down (presumably it was being used for nefarious purposes). There are other online checkers, but the best way to check it is to go through set up.

There is no easy way to confirm what network a phone will work on. Most late model phones (iPhone 5 and later) were unlocked when they were released, but some networks “lock” them once they are activated. Even if you call with the IMEI number, you can get different answers depending on who you talk to. “Jailbreaking” an iPhone can also lead to hardware issues.

Water damage can sometimes take a while to show up. We’ve done thousands (upon thousands) of iPhone repairs over the years, so we’ve really seen everything. Sometimes water (or soda or whatever) does its damage right away and the device never comes back. Often, corrosion occurs over time and shows up as little functional issues followed by a big collapse. The same is true when a device has been dropped over and over. Each drop shakes up the inside a little bit and eventually, something comes loose or breaks.

Of course, there are the other cautions of online classified private party sales. Whether you’re buying or selling, each site will have some safety tips so you don’t end up a headline on the evening news. Most of them are common sense but being overly cautious is usually better than being over trusting.

Watch this video and see if you can relate. We think it (hilariously, over-dramatically) perfectly describes what it’s like to buy something from an online classified (in this case, Craigslist).

Compared to how many transactions are conducted through these sites, the likelihood of having a problem is relatively low, but even one bad experience can turn you off to it forever. The ones we hear about, of course, are the bad ones.

At TechRestore, you can always buy and sell with confidence. No shady terms, no hassle returns if there is a problem.  We’ve been delivering quality repair and sales experiences (even on online classified sites!) for over 14 years. 

Our devices undergo a 25 point inspection by an Apple Certified Technician to become “Certified Restored”. They look and act like new. We stand behind them with a 90 day (extendable) warranty, too. 

Our store is brightly lit, staffed with friendly, knowledgeable staff and open at convenient hours! If you’re not local, we offer several shipping options for most products. We’re happy to answer questions and even help with set up if you need it.

We pay 10% more than Apple or Simply Mac for  devices you’re ready to sell! You can either bring a quote from them or we’ll show you on their site how much they would offer. We’ll even recycle unusable or no value devices for free! We adhere to a “no landfill environmental policy” (we have a verifiable, certified downstream).

What else can we say? We LOVE MACS! We use them, repair them, sell them and buy them. Come check us out and you’ll see our prices are fair and our quality is outstanding.

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