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verizon phone upgrade....can i sell the subsidized phone for a profit?

niceperson77 3,510 498 December 19, 2011 at 01:55 AM in Tech & Electronics (2)

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i am on a family plan and one of the lines is due for an upgrade. i'm wondering if i could get something like a iphone for $200 and sell it for $600+ online? would the phone be tied to me for a certain period of time before i could sell it or would i be be free to sell it as long as i pay the bill for 2 years? if i can sell, could i keep the phone sealed in the box or would it need to be opened/activated then deactivated? i have a droid x that im satisfied with but if i can make $400 why not....



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This type of thing is always tricky with carriers. The main thing is whether or not the ESN on the iPhone will ultimately be considered "clean" by Verizon after you've sold it. If you are going back and forth in terms of activating and deactivating phones, personally I'd say there's a bit of a risk there.

You couldn't trick them into thinking you're using the iPhone after you've sold it, because the buyer wouldn't be able to activate the device; obviously it would still be linked to your account (I assume this is not one of the options you are considering, though).

Also, I don't know if there is a rule regarding the amount of time you should wait before trying to sell it. Carriers probably anticipate discounted upgrade phones being sold for profit, so maybe you need to wait out of the return-eligible period (probably 14 or 30 days). I would think it needs to be activated during that time though.

Hopefully someone with some definitive knowledge can chime in...
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You wouldn't be making $400 after you account for the fact that you have to pay the monthly charges. Let's assume you have to pay an additional $25 for the phone to be on your plan (that's probably underestimating too). That comes out to be $600 total over the 2 years. You would actually lose money by doing this. Unless you can find some way to terminate your contract before the end of the first year (1 year would = $300 charges assuming $25/month), its not worth it at all to even try this.
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You should be able to sell it without opening it if you buy it online.
If you go to the store, they may want to activate it on the spot, but you can tell them that you want to do it when you have time to backup your droid to your computer later tonight, or you can make up some other excuse.
Since you already have a smartphone, you will not have any extra monthly charges.
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A friend and her grandma did something somewhat along these lines a couple years ago on Verizon. Both were eligible for an upgrade, each with their own separate plan. Grandma is older and only likes the flip phones that are really easy to use. Friend wanted a phone with a keyboard for texting. Grandma had the $100 line credit (or whatever the extra discount was at the time for being the main line on the plan). Friend just had the regular discounted prices. Grandma ordered an ENV3 online, had it shipped to Friend's house. (I can't remember if Friend ordered one and had it sent to Grandma or not.) Anyway, phone arrived at Friend's house. Friend activated the ENV3 on Grandma's line. Then, Friend had the EISN number from Grandma's previous flip phone and re-activated that on Grandma's line, taking the ENV3 off of Grandma's. With the flip phone on Grandma's line and the ENV3 unactivated, Friend activated the ENV3 on her line. There weren't any issues with different accounts or anything like that.

I think that the warranty is only valid for the original purchaser of the phone. (That may just be the factory warranty. Maybe the monthly warranty you pay $5.99 a month for is fine for a phone that wasn't purchased on your account?)
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