How To Sell A Locked iPhone Online

As sure as Apple releases a new iPhone every year, there are scores of existing iPhone users who are selling their older devices to get the newer iPhone models. iPhones don’t come cheap, and this is one of the reasons that gave rise to the ever growing pre-owned iPhones online market. It doesn’t come as a surprise that you want to sell locked iPhone.

sell locked iPhone online

The refurbished or used iPhones online market has created a positive balance where existing iPhone users can trade up to the next iPhone model by selling their older phones while those who covet Apple devices can get their hands on one at an affordable price. However, it doesn’t always end well because there is also a rise in the number of pre-owned or refurbished iPhone buyers who end up with locked iPhones that they can’t use.

Whether you are an existing iPhone user who wants to sell your locked iPhone to get a new one or you unknowingly bought a used locked iPhone online; you can sell locked iPhone with the following guide.

Understanding More About How iPhones Get Locked

Now, iPhones can get locked in different ways, and each different state of lock determines the ability to unlock and gain full use of the iPhone.

SIM/Network Locked

There is often an affordable and easier way for most people to get their hands on the latest iPhone without breaking the bank.

sell locked iPhone - SIM locked iPhon

Phone service providers often offer the devices at subsidized rates with an average of a two-year network-locked contract. With this package, a $600 to $800 iPhone gets priced down to around $200. It makes sense why many people choose the network-locked option as opposed to forking out the high cost of the “SIM free” option.

The reason why phone carriers impose the binding contract is to ensure that the recoup the cost over the subsidized iPhone cost. An Early Termination Fee (ETF) is charged on early exits on contract also to make sure that the service provider can recoup back the money.

Blacklisted iPhone

The carrier/SIM locked state is not the only way an iPhone can get locked. The other way an iPhone can get locked is when it is blacklisted.

sell locked iPhone - blacklisted iPhoneAn iPhone under a contract with a phone carrier can get blacklisted if the iPhone owner defaults on their contract terms by not meeting payments,  if the iPhone gets reported as stolen, or if it gets linked to illegal activities.  Blacklisting is a carrier-initiated iPhone lock action, and the carrier uses the iPhone’s IMEI number to blacklist an iPhone.

Blacklisted iPhones cannot get activated and used with any phone service provider until the device gets removed from the list. iPhone blacklists are shared across international borders making it difficult to bypass the lock and use the iPhone outside its original country.

iPhone Activation Lock

sell locked iPhone - Activation lock

The third way an iPhone can get locked is the Activation Lock. The Activation Lock came with the iCloud, and it gets enabled by turning on the Find My iPhone service.

The Activation Lock functions as a security feature designed to make it impossible for iPhone thieves to resell or use the phone. When the Activation Lock is enabled, the only way to access and use the phone is by entering the iPhone owner’s Apple ID and password.

When an iPhone gets stolen, the owner can place it on Lost Mode and choose to erase its contents remotely. These measures go towards deterring the thief from accessing and using the phone or selling it, and they can get enabled from the iCloud website.

How To Unlock A Locked iPhone

An iPhone can or cannot get unlocked based on its particular lock status. Before going ahead and spending money to unlock your iPhone, it is crucial to understand whether or not it can get unlocked.

Find out your iPhone’s particular lock state and get options about how to unlock it.

sell locked iPhone - unlock SIM/Network locked iPhoneUnlock A SIM/Network Locked iPhone

The way to go about unlocking a SIM/network locked iPhone is to get the network provider to unlock the iPhone. The network provider can unlock the iPhone if it is no longer under contract. However, if the iPhone is still under contract, ETF charges will apply to get the phone unlocked.

Now, there could be instances where you buy a SIM/network locked iPhone online and want to get it unlocked. Unfortunately, you will still have to contact the network provider who has locked the iPhone to find out whether it is eligible for unlocking and if they can do it.

There are other instances where a seller could offer the device as a network locked iPhone, and the buyer would then have to take up a contract with the particular network carrier to use the phone.

Some sites offer iPhone SIM unlock services, but it is wise to go about it the legal way and contact the network carrier to get it all sorted out. Often, most network locked devices can get unlocked by the service provider, and you don’t have to resort to paying for it.

Unlock A Blacklisted iPhone

Unlocking a blacklisted iPhone is possible based on its particular blacklist state. An iPhone IMEI check can help reveal the iPhone’s blacklist status and sites such as UnlockSpector can help you find out all this information.

sell locked iPhone - unlock blacklisted iPhone

The first step when trying to unlock a blacklisted iPhone is to get in touch with the phone’s original owner and ask them to get its blacklist removed. Sometimes, you getting in touch with the original iPhone owner may prove difficult, and the next step would be to contact the network carrier provider.

The surest way to get a blacklisted iPhone unlocked is by getting its IMEI number unlisted from the network provider’s blacklist. The only way about this is to contact the network provider and go about it the legal way.

Unlock An iCloud Locked iPhone

The first step towards unlocking an iCloud locked iPhone is to get in touch with the original phone owner. Ask them to remove iCloud for locked iPhone, just like with unlocking iPhones in the other states of the lock.  To bypass an iCloud Activation Lock you will need to enter the original phone owner’s Apple ID and password.

sell locked iPhone - unlock iCloud locked iPhone

However, often, you will not be able to get in touch with the original phone owner off the bat, and the next step is to contact Apple. Depending on the particular iCloud lock status, it could work, and Apple may unlock the phone for you. Find out more about how to contact the original iPhone owner or Apple from our eBook How To Legally Unlock iCloud.

The most important things to have in mind is that iCloud locked iPhones that have been placed on Lost Mode or remotely erased can only get reactivated with the original owner’s login credentials.

Again, to reiterate, the numerous sites that promise to unlock iCloud locked iPhone often go about it in ways that are not legal. Your safest bet is to contact the original owner in such cases and if that fails then contact Apple to work out the issue.

How To Sell Locked iPhone The Right Way

Now that you understand how iPhones can end up getting locked you will want to know how to go about unlocking them. You may try all means possible to get the iPhone unlocked, and they may all fail. In this case, your best option is to sell locked iPhone online and cut your losses but go about it the right way.

Give A Full Disclosure About The iPhone’s Lock Status

sell locked iPhoneThe first and most important thing to do when selling a locked iPhone is to provide full disclosure about its lock status. Regardless of how you ended up with a locked iPhone, it is the right thing to do to let the next buyer know about its particular status.

Let the interested person know the specific details and whether or not it can get unlocked. Some locked iPhone buyers knowingly buy the locked devices because of their subsidized price and with the aim of attempting to get them unlocked.

Sell Locked iPhone On e-Markets

The best place to sell locked iPhone is on e-markets such as eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist.

sell locked iPhone on e-marketsListing the locked iPhone on these marketplaces does not mean that you will outrightly get a buyer, and it will take patience to find a willing buyer finally. Add in all the shipping issues that may arise, and there is no guarantee of a making a successful sale. You are also never sure about the intentions of the person buying the locked iPhone, and they may use it as a means to scam you.

All in all, selling anything online comes with a given level of risk, but it could always go either way.

Try The BuyBack Services

sell locked iPhone using buyback services

Now, the way the buyback services work is that they will buy your old iPhone at a considerably lower price than you would get if you sold it yourself. It is often an easier option and gives you access to some money you need to trade up, or if you unknowingly bought the locked iPhone, it is a good way to recoup some of the costs.

Worth noting is that most of the buyback service sites protect the buyers too with return policies. Sometimes, your iPhone may also fail to sell through these services depending on its lock status.


sell locked iPhone as iPhone sparesIf all else fails, you should consider recycling your locked iPhone. There is an even bigger market for iPhone spare parts, and you can sell locked iPhone for that particular reason.

Once again, do not expect the locked iPhone to fetch much when sold for spares but just be happy even to be able to get something out of it.

Is There A Way To Prevent iPhones From Getting Locked?

Wouldn’t the solution to permanently unlocking iPhones, and putting an end to the number of locked iPhones sold online, be simply to get rid of the Activation Lock altogether? Well, some people back either side of this chain of thought, and it makes sense to start with understanding why the Activation Lock was introduced to Apple devices.

The Most Coveted Tech Gadgets

The bottom line is that iPhones and Apple products, in general, are amongst the most coveted tech gadgets out there. Many people would love to own one of these devices, but their high cost is often a deterring factor when it comes to iPhone ownership.

sell locked iPhone

Now, you would think that the SIM/network-locked option has enabled everyone who desire to own an iPhone to get one, but that is not the case. The network-locked option is always not available in every country across the globe, and even in the countries where it is available it still proves to be a costly and inconvenient way to own an iPhone for some people.

Most people want the freedom to use their iPhone with a mobile network provider of their choice and not to be tied down with a contract servicing the phone’ payment. That is why buying refurbished, or pre-owned Apple devices quickly became the best way to own an affordably priced iPhone.

sell locked iPhoneNaturally, this came with its fair share of issues, and the cases of iPhone thefts began to shoot up around 2011 to assumedly serve the growing pre-owned iPhones online market.

In 2012, Apple introduced iCloud to replace their former MobileMe cloud storage service and with it came the “Find My iPhone Activation Lock.” The primary role of the activation lock was to offer a layer of security and prevent anyone other than the rightful Apple device owner from operating it.

How The Activation Lock Works

When Find My iPhone gets activated on any Apple device, it automatically sets the Activation Lock asking for the user’s Apple ID and password to access the device entirely.

sell locked iPhone - how to enable Find My iPhone

The Apple ID and password has a unique link to your particular Apple device, and the information gets stored on Apple’s activation servers. There is no way around it other than entering the original owner’s Apple ID and password, to unlock an Activation Locked iPhone and to fully access the device.

Being able to bypass iCloud activation lock successfully will allow you to turn off the Find My iPhone service on the device, erase the contents of the iPhone, and reactivate the iPhone after it has been deleted or put on Lost Mode.

Should You Deactivate Find My iPhone?

The only way to disable the Activation Lock on your iPhone is by turning off Find My iPhone. Then again, why would you want to do it and leave your iPhone vulnerable if it gets misplaced or stolen?

The only ideal time to deactivate Find My iPhone and unlink your iPhone from it would be when you are giving it away or selling it.

Get an IMEI Check Before Committing To A Buy

You can save yourself from having to deal with a locked iPhone entirely is to perform an IMEI check before committing to an online buy. We can help with that and to find out the iPhone’s particular lock state.

sell locked iPhone online after performing an IMEI check

Click Here to check your iPhone’s IMEI with UnlockSpector

Also, if you want to give it one last shot and try to unlock your locked iPhone and still want to try to get it unlocked, maybe you have not been going about it the right way. Our eBook How To Legally Unlock iCloud gives you all the information you need to know how to go about unlocking an iCloud locked iPhone.

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