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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-03-2011

Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

These phones are, by definition, phones which have been identified by the carrier as stolen, lost, activated on another persons account, etc. I don't see how selling stolen property on eBay is a viable means of handing off these devices.

Yes, in some cases it's possible that phones can be flashed to other networks to get around the bad ESN tag and therefore still be used for their intended purpose, but it doesn't make any sense that eBay is allowing the auctions of so many devices with the bad ESN tag.

Require that the ESN status of each device be laid out and establish guidelines for selling cell phones. The carriers aren't all that helpful, but if a third party could get involved and guide or guarantee that the buyer won't be stuck with a non-working device, then we'd all be a little bit happier.
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-01-2009

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
because ebay does not know what the heck your talking about or even that the scam is taking place like so many other ones.
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-22-2006

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
This is a very disturbing practice. My son's phone was recently stolen and I reported it to Verizon and while looking for a new phone on eBay I found out about this whole "bad ESN" scam. I have reported this to both Verizon and eBay, but nobody wants to admit that stolen phones are being sold. Verizon admits that bad ESN phones are phones that are reported either stolen or lost. I think eBay should force sellers to disclose the ESN in the auction so that the perspective buyer can check out the phone.

Can't these dishonest people just turn these phones in to Verizon and get them back to their rightful owner. I guess it is a bit to much to ask for people to be honest.
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-04-2011

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
A major part of this scam is the original phone owner selling his/her phone as a private sale and waiting a few days to a week and reporting the phone lost or stolen. Cash for the phone they sold and in most cases a new phone for free or far less than list price.

Ive called verizon to check an ESN and they told me it was clear to find that after selling it the person I purchased it from reported it lost or stolen. There should be a title document for each phone just like an automobile. You have the title you own the phone. How could Verizon or any other company lose out when a phone has a bad esn. Just means more profits for them. That's a scam in itself. You can purchase protection against lost or stolen phones... the company that makes the most in all this is coming away unscaved.
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Community Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-30-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
Buyers can avoid alot of this by READING the product description instead of blindly bidding because the phone they want is cheap. It seems all common sense goes right out the window around here. Buyers buy a bad esn phone knowing it had a bad esn then they leave the seller negative feedback because the phone had a bad esn! How much sense does that REALLY make? Aside from that, if your phone gets broken, you can always buy a bad esn phone, use it for parts and fix yours. That's quite a good use. I broke my V3m in half not long ago. I bought a bad esn V3m and put my board into it's housing. My V3m worked again.
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Community Member
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎04-19-2011

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
Bad ESN phones can sometimes be because the original owner sold the phone used and never got around to deactivating it. So to ban all bad ESN phones would be a mistake because there is no way of knowing why the ESN is bad.

Also I doubt eBay would prevent the sale of them because I'm sure they make a lot of money from them.
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Community Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-30-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
Again. 2 words. Common sense. Does everyone lose it the moment they log on? If it is listed with a bad esn or with a term you don't undrestand, DON'T BID. Even more to the point, ASK QUESTIONS! I know that's pretty complex. If you have to bid brcause you can't help yourself, you don't belong here. You certainly have no right to leave negative if you do.
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jlh1973mu
Community Member
Posts: 3,058
Registered: ‎04-03-2007

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
Buyers can avoid alot of this by READING the product description instead of blindly bidding because the phone they want is cheap. It seems all common sense goes right out the window around here. Buyers buy a bad esn phone knowing it had a bad esn then they leave the seller negative feedback because the phone had a bad esn! How much sense does that REALLY make? Aside from that, if your phone gets broken, you can always buy a bad esn phone, use it for parts and fix yours. That's quite a good use. I broke my V3m in half not long ago. I bought a bad esn V3m and put my board into it's housing. My V3m worked again.


good post

buyers need to read listings carefully and ask questions

and if not sure do not bid
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Community Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-26-2009

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
BAD ESN are locked on the network that the phone was used at, its still good ! Dont forget that you can use on different network or all over the world. That is why its 100% legal to sell it.. It may not work in USA but will work in Europe or will not work on Sprint but will work on Boost etc..
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-22-2007

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
my friend bought sprint device with bad ESN. just put in local cdma sim card and the phone work great.

as I read about Bad ESN, I think bad esn doesn't mean someone who sell bad esn phone is thief. may they have big bill on sprint or verizon and won't to pay the bill. or just want get phone in cheap prices then sell it after few month. none knows....

as I know bad esn phone has good margin and there alot international hungry buyer for US bad esn phone.

Illegal or not I don't know about US regulation for bad esn phone.because I'm not american citizen :smileyhappy:
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gporpc
Community Member
Posts: 3,719
Registered: ‎01-28-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell
my friend bought sprint device with bad ESN. just put in local cdma sim card and the phone work great.

as I read about Bad ESN, I think bad esn doesn't mean someone who sell bad esn phone is thief. may they have big bill on sprint or verizon and won't to pay the bill. or just want get phone in cheap prices then sell it after few month. none knows....

as I know bad esn phone has good margin and there alot international hungry buyer for US bad esn phone.

Illegal or not I don't know about US regulation for bad esn phone.because I'm not american citizen :smileyhappy:




RE:
ust put in local cdma sim card


Huh?

A cdma phone does not use a sim card
A phone that uses a sim card is not a cdma phone.
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-23-2011

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

I bought a lost or stolen phone my self and i canceled the payment with the credit card company and im oredering the same phone again just from amazon this time.

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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-05-2007

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

I learned this the hard way. I have never done this before and will NEVER do it again, but I allowed a friend to sell her phone under my account. I have a perfect feedback score. The buyer got the phone and it had a bad ESN. I was stunned. Anyway, he contacted me thank God instead of going directly to e-bay. I immediatly refunded his money and even sent him a pre-paid postage express mail box to send it back to me. I was upset and then everyone I know (they all have pre-paid phones) told me to sell it again as long as I advertised it with haveing a bad ESN. They explained that people buy them to put on pre paid accounts. I did contact Sprint and it turned out that she had never paid her bill. She owed $565.00 and needed to pay it to clear the ESN. Well, she wasn't going to pay it, just like she did not pay me. So, I had to refund over $200.00 to the buyer out of my pocket. It was well worth it to save my feedback score. I now have the phone and am going to sell it with advertising it having a bad ESN. This is why I am not so sure it is a "scam". Now, if you look under the items some one has sold or is selling and they have sold numerous bad ESN phones, then possibly something is fishy. In my opionon, if a buyer READS how it is listed, they wont buy a bad ESN phone. I also read some very good information from e-bay regarding why they are allowed to be sold.

Cristi Ann
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-14-2003

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

When you sign a contract with Sprint, for example, the phone that you receive is discounted heavily for agreeing to keep an account in good standing for 24 months. If you look closely at the agreement, you will find that if you default for any reason within the first 24 months, i.e.: non-payment, cancellation, etc, you will owe the retail price of the phone. Full price for a 4g smartphone can be as much as $400-500.


 


The payment balanced owed on a "Bad ESN" phone is quite often the full or pro-rated cost of the phone. People cancel the account and then ignore the payment demand for the cost of the phone. Of course, there are bad accounts where somebody has run up a huge bill and disappeared. There are also scammers that sign up for an account, and then immediately resell the phone.


 


After talking to eBay, I talked to Sprint representitives about the ESN issue. The reason that eBay can sell the phones is because Sprint has not lodged a formal complaint. It has nothing to do with legalities, morality, karma, etc. The people I talked to were vague on their reasoning.


 


To protect yourself, if you do not see the words "CLEAN ESN", ask the seller and keep the correspondence. If you get burned, eBay and PayPal will both protect you..

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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-04-2011

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

Bad esn doesnt always necessarily mean theft. I have a friend who got his phone wet and filed an insurance claim right away. We took all the steps to try to fix it, but he didn't really ever bother to see if it would work because he just assumed it was done. Few days later we try to turn it on just for kicks. It did not work but I suggested that the battery might be dead and I put mine in. The phone ended up working. And continued to work with no issues whatsoever. He figured he would keep the new replacement phone since it was brand new. He is real into mint condition electronics so in his opinion he came out on top for only $100.



He thought he could straight up sell his old phone, but I had to inform him about the whole ESN thing, and how that phone will most likely be marked as a bad ESN. But I told him that he could still get decent money for it if he offered returns, explained that the ESN was bad and that at one point it suffered water damage.



He had an EVO 4G back when it was still a hot phone, so it was great for activation on another carrier or even as a media device. Apple, Samsung and other companies charge a few hundred for WiFi only devices/MP3 players in the phone form factor. Galaxy note, ipod touch etc. So after it was all said anddone some guy/gal bought it to use as a media device at home and on the go in their car.



But pay attention, people are good about listing if the ESN is good or bad. If you get screwed, that is why there is buyer protection. Buy from ppl with great ratings. Dont think it is Ebays responsibility to govern this issue. And you got alot more protection than if you went with some clown off craigslist or other sources.

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Community Member
Posts: 534
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

I think eBay should force sellers to disclose the ESN in the auction



So that they can be cloned?

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Community Member
Posts: 534
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell


I think eBay should force sellers to disclose the ESN in the auction




So that they can be cloned?



Sorry for the double post, screwed up the quote in my last one.

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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-26-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

so let me get this staight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we know they are stolen phones ,they knpw they are stolen phones and ebay self concious do not do nothing ,HUO. I have a suspended selling account because someone reported my pictures they are not well lighted but stollen phones are okay !!!!! Is in this some out of this world??????????

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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-30-2011

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell

so are they safe to buy?

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Community Member
Posts: 534
Registered: ‎07-09-2010

Re: Why are **bad ESN** phones allowed to be sold on eBay?

in reply to sdlovell


so let me get this staight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we know they are stolen phones ,they knpw they are stolen phones and ebay self concious do not do nothing ,HUO. I have a suspended selling account because someone reported my pictures they are not well lighted but stollen phones are okay !!!!! Is in this some out of this world??????????




It's already been discussed that bad ESN phones, although somewhat likely to be stolen, are not necessarily stolen.  Also, eBay has been known to suspend sellers for some rather odd and often unfair reasons but I absolutely don't believe you were suspended for dim lighting in your pictures.

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