Buying a cell phone on ebay, good idea?

geepondy

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Guys, you ever buy or recommend buying a cell phone on ebay? The price for new phones is way cheaper then thru say Amazon or Best Buy. For example I'm looking to get my girlfriend a replacement phone as hers got crushed and she's only a few months into a two year Cingular (whoops "New ATT") agreement. The Pantech C300 sells for $200 at Best Buy but I see a few ebay sites offering it unlocked for $120 plus $15 shipping or so. Supposedly these sellers have lots of positive feedback.
 

PlayboyJoeShmoe

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I wouldn't have a clue about buying from Ebay.

But I DO know that all phones use a "smart chip" SIM card, and it's a pretty simple matter to change it out of one phone into another. When my Nokia got freakish they sent me a new chassis and my SIM and shell got transferred to it.
 

Trashman

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I've bought two off of eBay. Everything went perfectly, every time. Keep in mind, though, if you're looking to get a model that's new to the market, in 6 months, the price will be a lot cheaper, and even then some more, a year from now. I bought a 7610 when they were hot and new, for $430, shipped, which was the cheapest on eBay and cheaper, by at least $150, than other non-eBay dealers. That was a couple of years ago. Now, I see they're $200 less! Cell phones have got to be among the most durable electronic products made and I don't think there is any problem with them bumping around in the mail. (My cell phone gets dropped, regularly.)

Anyway, I think buying a cell phone off of eBay is a good idea. I hope my recommendation doesn't turn out to be a bad for you, though. Any future phones that I buy without a plan will definitely come from eBay.
 

gadget_lover

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We've had good luck buying cell phones on E-bay. Like you, they've been replacements / backups. My mother is comfortable with her phone but was uncomfortable about learning to use a new one.

The Cingular / ATT phone uses a SIM chip. This identifies the account, so it does not matter which phone it's in. You can use a different phone every day just by moving the chip around.

Verizon does not use GSM, and to the bast of my knowledge do not use any phones that support SIMs. With Verizon you just call them with the new ESN and it's activated in minutes. No charge, though they will try to get you to renew or update your account.

Daniel
 

Manzerick

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Be careful! If it's a SIM based phone (GSM/IDEN) you have a good chance it will be ok. I've seen may problems with CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) where the phone is stolen and on a negative file. This means it is unable to be activaed due to it's status. Not good!

PM me if you have Sprint or Nextel and get me the SIM # before you buy and i'll ping it for you..
 

changsn

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I've only bought one cell phone and the seller tried to duck - after filing a complaint, I eventually got the phone and it worked fine...so like everyone says, if your seller is reputable you should be fine.



Sam
 

geepondy

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My concern is as the phones can originate from anywhere will you be assured of getting a phone with English language and also a 110V USA type charger?
 

Lit Up

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geepondy said:
My concern is as the phones can originate from anywhere will you be assured of getting a phone with English language and also a 110V USA type charger?

You can usually find adaptors in that case at local cellphone accessory shops or online. The problem I found is finding a spare battery locally or online for a phone that is geared towards European markets.

Here's a couple places where you can buy unlocked phones:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?CatId=1809

This is TigerDirect's unlocked phone section.

Another is: http://myworldphone.com/

I noticed you're on Cingular which uses GSM. Just keep in mind any GSM phone you buy is going to want to have a 850 GSM band on it to work on this side of the pond.(The U.S.) 1900 band will also work, but in alot less areas than 850 it seems.
 

Trashman

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geepondy said:
My concern is as the phones can originate from anywhere will you be assured of getting a phone with English language and also a 110V USA type charger?


If the listing doesn't specify, just ask!
 

Brighteyez

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I'd just be leary of sellers on eBay as a whole.
What happened to the other phone that you got for her as a replacement? Did that stop working or is she just looking for more features?

I wouldn't worry about the charging since the phones are all DC devices, and you can always find a 110VAC adapter/charger either from eBay, Wal*Mart, or a ton of other places, and as an intermediary step, you can always use a car charger, which is 12V anywhere.

If it's being sold from another country, you'll want to make sure that it's a multi-band phone that covers the GSM bands that are used in the U.S.

geepondy said:
Guys, you ever buy or recommend buying a cell phone on ebay? The price for new phones is way cheaper then thru say Amazon or Best Buy. For example I'm looking to get my girlfriend a replacement phone as hers got crushed and she's only a few months into a two year Cingular (whoops "New ATT") agreement. The Pantech C300 sells for $200 at Best Buy but I see a few ebay sites offering it unlocked for $120 plus $15 shipping or so. Supposedly these sellers have lots of positive feedback.
 

geepondy

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The other phone I got her to tide her over is acting weird. It no longer rings on incoming calls. I checked and I don't believe the ringer is turned off. The caller ID lights up ok when receiving a call, it just never rings. Can make outgoing calls ok. I wonder if it has something to do with it being a pay as you go phone with a sim card for a regular account but it did work properly when we first inserted the sim card. The phone is a Motorola C139.

Brighteyez said:
I'd just be leary of sellers on eBay as a whole.
What happened to the other phone that you got for her as a replacement? Did that stop working or is she just looking for more features?

.
 

2000xlt

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I too have bought several phones off ebay, everything went fine, just like others have said make sure its a reputible seller.
 

Trashman

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Brighteyez said:
I'd just be leary of sellers on eBay as a whole.


Why, bad experience? I think if you see a seller has many hundreds or even many thousands of sales with near perfect feedback, there isn't much to worry about. Many of the dealers, that are selling phones, sell mainly phones. In fact, many are actual cell phone dealers with a B&M.
 

9volt

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Be sure to read the feedback of a ebay store seller of cellphones even if they have a high % of positives. I was looking for a phone recently and had almost settled on a seller but when I read their feedback alot of people had to wait weeks for the phone.
 

flashfan

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Check out the ad and the seller very, very carefully!!!

I was just watching one of those court shows, and they had a case of a buyer suing an ebay seller regarding a transaction involving two cell phones. The buyer paid about $500 or something, and got in the mail, photographs!!! of two cell phones. Somewhere in the ad, it apparently said something to the effect that what you see is what you get.

Apparently these ebayers have scammed a number of people. But at least ebay supposedly has banned them (can they re-register under a different identity?), and the buyer has also taken the matter to the police/attorney general.

The best part is that the judge awarded the buyer the maximum award of $5,000.00. I suspect that the buyer will have a difficult time collecting from such scumbags, but at least the judgment should show up on the seller's credit history. I hope they end up getting jail time, too.
 

Brighteyez

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I think it has something to do with the phone being defective. Take it back to the store and get another one. You haven't had it that long. I wonder if the phones that they sell for throwaways are refurbs?

geepondy said:
The other phone I got her to tide her over is acting weird. It no longer rings on incoming calls. I checked and I don't believe the ringer is turned off. The caller ID lights up ok when receiving a call, it just never rings. Can make outgoing calls ok. I wonder if it has something to do with it being a pay as you go phone with a sim card for a regular account but it did work properly when we first inserted the sim card. The phone is a Motorola C139.
 

rugbymatt

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I have bought three or four ceelphones from ebay and each time was just great never a problem. I even bought two treos and they were great. I will say once more check feedback and read the description carefully and you should be just fine.
 

geepondy

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Anybody ever bought an ebay cellphone off of username cellph4u? Has lots of phones listed and a lot of 99 plus percent positive feed back but what makes me nervous is that he has a hotmail address. I didn't even know ebay would accept hotmail addresses.
 
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