We are a major UK reseller, repairer and ebayer of mobile phones. There is quite a lot of information regarding buying mobile phones from Ebay, however in our opinion and experience, most of this is misleading and costing people a lot of money unnecessarily.
Just to set a few things factually straight
1. Most phones that are blocked are not blocked because they are stolen or reported missing, but blocked by the network for non payment of a contract. In fact over 95% of blocked phones are blocked because of unpaid bills (see checkmend reports for this)
2. Using Checkmend when buying a phone DOES NOT protect you from the phone being blocked in the future. The main reason is it takes the network 3-6 MONTHS before it blocks a mobile phone for non payment..(i.e. after the 4th or 5th unpaid bill)
3. Selling blocked phones IS illegal, unless the seller can prove they bought the phone in good faith and it subsequently became blocked whilst in their possession. Ebay sellers selling numerous blocked phones are quite probably breaking the law, as they have actively purchased blocked handsets to sell on
OUR ADVICE WHEN BUYING PHONES FROM EBAY
1. Only buy a mobile phone from a registered business seller who is readily providing a UK company name and address. Therefore if the phone becomes blocked after sale, you have recourse to refund by going through trading standards and/or the police.
2. If a phone is for sale through an individual and you "must" have it. Then ensure you have proof that the phone is no longer under contract. (i.e. proof of contract ended, proof of upgrade)
3. When buying broken phones for repair, make sure that they have had some sort of IMEI / Checkmend done on them. This way you are as protected as possible from buying blocked phones.. As they are sold as faulty, you have little recourse other than reporting the seller to the police for actively selling blocked phones
4. To be safe stay away from the following phones
NO SERVICE, NO SIGNAL, NETWORK BARRED, NETWORK RESTRICTED
5. Ebay and PayPal WILL NOT stop Ebayers selling blocked phones, we have this in writing direct from Ebay. Therefore you have NO PROTECTION from Ebay or Paypal if you buy a phone from Ebay that ends up blocked. You will have to go to trading standards or the police, which is why it is our best advice you buy from a business seller
Information provided by Fonefixed