1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Buying Samsung Unlocked Phone from ebay.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Al47, Jan 28, 2022.

  1. Al47

    Al47 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have purchased an Unlocked AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 phone Model SM-900A from eBay. Seller described phone as UNLOCKED. I tried to confirm unlocked status using official AT&T site at:
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/ Step-1 You have to send an unlock request AND RECEIVE a request number. Step -2 Enter phone's IMEI along with received a request number to receive confirmation email within 24hr. AT&T tech. support told me that I need to have an AT&T account number and a phone number to successfully unlock phone. eBay seller did not provided any of required information. The paid unlock service ($44) does not seems be reliable and might not work after software update. Also, it does not provide necessary information to verify unlock status through AT&T site. The bottom line is that I like the phone and would like to keep it if it can be legally unlocked. I need you opinion and advice on how to unlock the phone and conform with AT&T its unlocked status. Thanks in advance.

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    My advice :
    Don't buy a phone off ebay nor trust the seller, ever....
    You're going to get burned.
    puppykickr, Hadron and ocnbrze like this.
  3. PitCarver

    PitCarver Android Expert

    I really liked my S5, even bought a second one when the first died. I actually did buy my second off of eBay and really can't believe that there are as many as they are still on there.
    You didn't indicate whether you got yours from an individual or a dealer. Mine was listed as open box. Seller said that it was opened only to unlock the phone.
    Worked well for almost a year and a half.
  4. iBowToAndroid

    iBowToAndroid Android Enthusiast

    You can't verify that it's unlocked using any website. The only way to verify is to insert a non AT&T SIM into the phone and see what it says. So since you don't have the phone in your possession, if you want proof that it's unlocked, you would need to ask the seller to send you a video of them inserting a non AT&T SIM and showing that it does NOT ask for the network unlock code.

    PS. Don't EVER purchase any services from that site advertising the $44 paid unlock service. That costs more than the phone itself is worth and is nothing but a ripoff. If it needs to be unlocked, you can find reputable services for probably half of that cost
  5. Al47

    Al47 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I bought it here https://www.ebay.com/itm/184969724103
    Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900 4G LTE GSM Unlocked 16GB Original OLED White A+
    Excellent A+++ condition-Fast shipping-New Accessories

    I do not know seller's status but rely like this phone. It came w/out SIM and SD card but works well. Seller is saying it's unlock but AT&T indicates it is locked. I suppose if the phone was locked by AT&T is must to be unlocked by AT&T. Any other way can't be verified through AT&T site because AT&T asking for account number and cell phone number related to the phone in question. The seller offered replacement but does not seems to willing to provide account and phone number so the phone status can't be verified with someone who locked it.
  6. Al47

    Al47 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    My intention is to have an unlocked phone and later buy service from AT&T. Suppose, I used a non-AT&T card and could make a call. It indicates that phone is unlocked. However, if I try to use this very phone with AT&T it will be and it is listed as locked. Therefore, phone tested with other than AT&T card will only work with other than AT&T services. Any work around?
  7. DonB

    DonB ♡ Truth, Justice and the American Way !! ♡ ™

    Simple, if phone is not unlocked, then return it, if he does want to take it back or provide unlock status and proof, file a complaint with Ebay. Tell Ebay the phone is not unlocked and you want full credit.
    PitCarver, puppykickr and Dannydet like this.
  8. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Which software update is this? The S5 is a 2014 handset and won't be getting any software updates now, so that part is only an issue if there is an old (like 6 years old or older) update that the previous owner didn't apply. If this is an ATT phone you won't know about updates unless you put an ATT SIM in it anyway (it will have ATT-modified firmware and will only be notified of updates when connected to ATT). If you tell us what software version it has (built number, not just Android version) someone can probably work out whether there are any further updates for it anyway.

    I don't really understand what you are saying here. If the phone will work with another network's SIM then it is unlocked. And if it's unlocked it's unlocked, end of, because all that "unlocked" means is that it will accept any carrier's SIM. I don't understand why you think that this will be different if you put an ATT SIM in it.

    Also nothing you've written tells me that ATT think it's locked. You've just said that they need more information, which you don't have, in order to tell you whether it was unlocked with them or not.
    puppykickr and Dannydet like this.
  9. iBowToAndroid

    iBowToAndroid Android Enthusiast

    "it will be and it is listed as locked"?

    This makes no sense whatsoever. Locked in what way?

    Incorrect. Mobile devices aren't built that way - there's no phone in the world that can run on ANY wireless carrier, anywhere in the world. Just because a phone is unlocked doesn't mean that you can then use ANY carrier or SIM. In order to work, the phone and the carrier have to be compatible with each other. Some carriers will be compatible and others will not be
    Dannydet likes this.
  10. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    You are incorrect.

    I have in my possession two devices that can work with any carrier in my country.
    (Different countries use different frequencies.)

    You can purchase phones that are unlocked, meaning that they have no carrier allegience built in- they will work with any carrier.

    The other type of unlocked device come from a carrier, and once unlocked they will only work with carriers that use the same cellular system as the original carrier.

    The two devices I own are capable of using both GSM and CDMA carriers, as well as all 2G, 3G, and 4GLTE frequencies.

    The other kind would be limited to the system and frequencies that the original carrier used, but able to use any carrier that used the same setup.
    PitCarver and Dannydet like this.
  11. PitCarver

    PitCarver Android Expert

    This is the phone's listing.
    ZomboDroid 29012022181758.jpg

    It clearly states to check with your carrier before purchase.
    Also, it appears that it was probably a Verizon phone to start with, based on the last note.

    The seller can't give you a phone or account number either. Only a service provider can, that's what the sim card is for. My old phone required only a simple sim card swap to activate it, but I was on Verizon.

    I only made my purchase after several messages back and forth as well as checking the sellers eBay ratings as well as ratings on the phone itself.
    puppykickr likes this.
  12. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    They can actually, with one exception, North America, i.e. the United States, and maybe Canada?

    So we are just talking about the carriers in America, and no other country? Because from what I've read many times on AF, certain US carriers will only activate phones that they sell and/or approve for use their networks, e.g. a phone bought in Hong Kong can't be used with Verizon Wireless.
    #12 mikedt, Jan 29, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
    puppykickr and Dannydet like this.
  13. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Yes, but that is nothing to do with SIM locking, which was the topic of the thread.

    An unlocked phone will accept any SIM - whether the carrier whose SIM it is has any coverage in the region, or even uses any frequency bands that the phone is compatible with, doesn't matter for the purpose of verifying whether it is unlocked. Conversely if it rejects the SIM you know it is locked, which was the point under discussion. Given the mish-mash of standards in the US and that the S5 is an old phone, so supports a narrower range of bands than more modern handsets tend to, the OP would indeed be well-advised to check compatibility with whatever carrier they intend to use it on before buying a SIM though (don't bother with Sprint, for example, though even that would still tell you whether it was actually unlocked).
  14. Al47

    Al47 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    1. Galaxy S5 is GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) phone. User phone number Text and Data Plan are programmed into SIM card. If you buy another phone or change carrier, you are not required to call another company to activate a phone. Simply slip a SIM card to any phone you like. No need for a long-term contract.
    2. CDMA phones (Verizon & Sprint) store important phone data within the phone's memory, which cannot be replaced. In the US, CDMA carriers use network-based white lists to verify their subscribers. That means you can only switch phones with your carrier's permission, and a carrier doesn't have to accept any particular phone onto its network. It could, but typically, US carriers choose not to.
    3. Locked phone can be fully unlocked only by the carrier which locked the phone. Locked status remains in carriers data base and can't be removed by the third party. Therefore, all unlock services, including unlocked phones from eBay, allow to use phone with other carriers except with one originally locked the phone.
    4. My Galaxy S5 900A was sold as AT&T unlocked phone. Yes, I can use this phone with any GSM carrier (T-Mobile) except the AT&T because it is listed as LOCKED in AT&T data base. If I want to use this "AT&T unlocked" phone with AT&T- I must provide an account number, phone number and IMEI to match the data AT&T already has for the given IMEI number. Of course, my eBay seller does not have it!
    3. To buy 100% unlocked phone to use with any carrier you should be looking for a FACTORY UNLOCKED PHONE. OR ask eBay seller to unlock phone by himself and give you account and phone number he used to unlock phone, so you can check unlock status by yourself at https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/ Thank you all for help and advice.

Share This Page