Safest way to buy a Galaxy S III on Criagslist?

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  1. John1988

    John1988 Member

    Hey everyone, I have a iPhone 4 atm, and want to buy a Galaxy S3 off Craigslist. Simply the iPhone is too boring and restrictive. My iPhone 4 is eligible for upgrade with Verizon, but I want to save it for when the S4 comes out. So I would like to have a S3 for now and keep my unlimited data plan.

    I see many people selling S3's on Craigslist, but I am afraid of getting scammed. For example they can sell me the phone, and maybe a day or month or two later, they can report the phone lost or stolen- leaving me with a bricked phone and couple hundred down the drain.

    Is there a way to avoid this?

    I know we can meet at a Verizon store make sure the phone is clean and not stolen, and swap it there. But can they still report their phone lost or stolen after it's deactivated with Verizon, and on my account?

    Is there anything else I should make sure of? Any other tips for buying used on Craigslist?


  2. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!! Moderator

    welcome to the forums!!!!!

    if the esn is clean and you reactivate it on your account you should be fine. my friend bought a phone off of craigslist. he asked the seller for the esn number and called att to make sure it was clean before he bought which it was. then he met up with the buyer at a att store and had it activated there. never had any issues with it since.

    main thing is to get the esn to make sure that it is clean. it helps also to meet the person as well.

    good luck and keep us posted.
    DragonSlayer95 likes this.
  3. DragonSlayer95

    DragonSlayer95 Resident Air Bender Moderator

    Hmm this is tricky.

    Aside from making sure it's clean at a Verizon sale, another thing could be done is a typed out statement stating that you bought the galaxy s 3 from (name), with your and the sellers signature. It's more of a proof of purchase if you will.

    That way if something like this happens, you'll have a "legal document" per say to go to.

    Also if I'm not mistaken here, if the s3 is tied to an account, it can't be activated on another without the release of the original account owner.

    With that being said, i wouldn't worry about it being reported as stolen without actual proof.

    Oh and by the way, welcome to Android Forums! :D

    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Definitely do what DS said about getting a proof of purchase. Otherwise after it has been activated on your account there is no way that Verizon then could deactivate the device if he reports it stolen.

    If he does you have a proof of purchase and can take him to court :p
    DragonSlayer95 and ocnbrze like this.
  5. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Just make sure to meet at a Verizon store. Have an employee watch over the trade/sale.

    It'll all be on camera in the event something happens
    ocnbrze likes this.
  6. John1988

    John1988 Member

    So I have my eyes on 4 S3's on CL right now and they are priced at $350-$425 range. They say they are brand new and still have the plastic on screen. Is this the going rate for Craigslist?

    I emailed one of em, he was selling a brand new S3 for $350. Asked if he still had it, he responded "yes" within 5 minutes. Then I asked if he was willing to meet at a Verizon store to switch it over to my account, and we both sign a bill of sale. And no reply now lol.
  7. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    Yeah, if they are not willing to meet you at a Verizon store, I'd pass. I bought then sold a Droid Eris at two different Verizon stores. Had no issues with either transaction.

    When I purchased, I asked him to wait while the phone was put on my account. I gave him the money and he waited. I offered to wait when I sold the phone 6 months later.

    You might confirm with the Verizon rep that the phone isn't currently attached to an account before they begin adding it to yours.
  8. John1988

    John1988 Member

    Okay so far 2 people replied saying they are okay with meeting at the Verizon store, BUT they don't seem to want to sign a bill of sale?

    I sent both these guys an email asking if they would meet me at the Verizon store to check ESN and activate to my account, and if everything checked out I would pay cash on the spot. Also requested to have a bill of sale signed.

    1st person reply:

    "have no problem meeting at a Verizon store to check ESN but I can't let you activate it on your account until I have the money in my hands. Sorry, I'm not signing a bill of sale. That's only necessary if I were selling you a car, not a cell phone."

    2nd person reply:

    "We can meet at a Verizon store and you can verify the phone is not stolen. Why a bill of sale?"
  9. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Just tell them once you reach the store you can sign a potential agreement that is also a bill of sale stating that if the phone has a clean ESN and activates on your account correctly you give them the money and you also get a bill of sale.
  10. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    I've never heard of someone doing a bill of sale for a cellphone either. I'd be a little hesitant but it wouldn't hurt and I'd go through with it.

    If nothing else, have the rep put a note on your account saying you traded /bought the phones in good but "as is" condition.

    Maybe won't hold up in court, but proof enough for Verizon
    breadnatty08 and ocnbrze like this.
  11. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    Don't know why anyone wouldn't want to sign a bill of sale. A bill of sale protects the seller more than the buyer. In auto sales, a BOS proves the transfer of ownership so if the auto is involved in an accident, no one can go to the original owner asking for damages. If you want to be safe, if they pass on a BOS, pass on the sale. I didn't involve a BOS on either on my Eris sales, but it sounds like a good idea.
  12. John1988

    John1988 Member

    So I've read many horror stories of people buying on CL and then getting the phone blacklisted a few days later (sometimes even right after the sale). So I have decided against buying on Craigslist. Not even sure a BOS would protect me unless it is notarized as well.

    Anyways I was browsing Ebay this morning and found a white S3 listed not to long ago for $199.99 bid / $319.99 buyout +$9 shipping. The guy said it was a work phone, and his employers are switching to Blackberry. Was purchased in October. I asked him a few questions and he said no damage or modifications whatsoever, and comes with original box + accessories. Then I wanted to seal the deal and asked for free shipping which he agreed to!

    At least buying through Ebay I have some buyer protection, and this great price, I couldn't pass it up!

    Here is the one and only picture he had of the phone on his listing:


    Finally I can trash (well sell) this iPhone 4!

    Anyone know the going rate for a used 9.5/10 condition iPhone 4? No scratches or blemishes whatsoever, though this was a Apple factory refurb, so my box serial does not match. I assumed I could get around $180-$200? Making the S3 purchase a even sweeter deal... I just really hope the S3 is in the excellent condition he said it was, as I am very OCD with phones.

    Will 4G LTE work for me though? I'm on the grandfathered unlimited data plan and my iPhone 4 is 3G. Will they charge me more for 4G LTE?

    Fingers crossed!
    ocnbrze likes this.
  13. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Glad to see everything worked out for you :)

    If you are looking for sell your device feel free to drop by our Classifieds section: Classifieds - Android Forums
  14. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Not sure how well an iPhone will sell on here, but you could try our iOS sister site!
  15. viv1610

    viv1610 Member

    No, they won't charge you more for the 4G LTE (if your carrier is AT&T). My daughter has the grandfathered unlimited plan and no change in the bill (would be nice if it went down though) lmao!! I'll keep dreaming...hahahahaha
  16. s44

    s44 Well-Known Member

    That's T-Mo only. Verizon's ESN system prevents it.

    Next time, though, just use Swappa.
  17. John1988

    John1988 Member

    I was keeping an eye on Swappa S3's for two days before I bought on Ebay. Only 10 of them listed, in fair-good condition, and was out out of my budget. Place seems legit though. Maybe use them next time.
  18. John1988

    John1988 Member

    Does anyone know if I can keep the remainder of the warranty on the S3 that I'm getting? I know Apple just uses the serial, wondering if Samsung is the same?

    Also it seems I need a 4G LTE SIM to activate it, if I bought one online can I activate it myself at home, or will I have to take it into a Verizon store and have them program a SIM card specifically for me?
  19. John1988

    John1988 Member

    Well I received the SIII today. It's in mint condition, just as he described! I feel so good I scored this on Ebay for $320. I did notice this micro spider web on the battery cover, but can only see it in the right lighting. No big deal, I already have a new cover on the way. Thanks for the help guys!
    ocnbrze and Rxpert83 like this.
  20. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Enjoy :D
  21. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator Guide

    Congrats on getting your device. If you have any questions feel free to ask us :)
  22. DonB

    DonB ♡ Spidey Sense !! ♡ ™ Moderator

    FYI for those that do want to buy from CL in the future, the best and safest way to do so, before meeting with the seller, you tell him you want to be able to call the carrier on the spot with all the info to make sure the phone is clean, once he or she says OK, you meet up with him or her, and then you call the carrier and give them all the info, they will then also want to talk to the seller and get more info, then they will immediately tell you if the phone is good or not.
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  23. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Meeting at the store would satisfy this as well. That's what I've always done in the past.

    If anyone is trying to scam you, they aren't going to meet you there.
  24. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    i would be more scared of ebay purchase over craigslist
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  25. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Yeah I agree, I almost got hosed on one last weekend :thumbdown:

    Craigslist just has a reputation of being shady

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