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Can I Sell my locked iPhone? Who will buy it?

Unlocking the potential of a locked iPhone can be a tricky maze to navigate. Whether it’s due to forgotten passcodes or iCloud activation locks, many find themselves wondering: Can I sell my locked iPhone? The answer is more than a simple yes or no. 

Can I Sell my locked iPhone Who will buy it

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of selling a locked iPhone, shedding light on who might be interested in purchasing it and what options exist for sellers in such a situation. So, if you’re pondering the fate of your locked device, stick around for some valuable insights.

Can I Sell My Locked iPhone?

Selling a locked iPhone raises questions about legality and practicality. Legally, it’s not inherently prohibited, but buyers may demand transparency. Finding buyers willing to deal with locked devices can be challenging, potentially affecting resale value. 

However, some buyers may purchase parts or attempt to unlock them themselves. Ultimately, while it’s possible to sell a locked iPhone, sellers must navigate legal and market complexities to ensure a successful transaction.

What Exactly is a Locked iPhone?

A locked iPhone encompasses various restrictions that limit its accessibility or usage. Passcode locks prevent unauthorized access to the device, while iCloud locks tie the phone to a specific Apple ID, hindering activation. 

Carrier locks bind the iPhone to a particular network, restricting its use with other carriers. These locks can impact resale value, buyer interest, and device functionality. Understanding these lock types is crucial for sellers and buyers to navigate the iPhone market effectively.

Who Would Want to Buy a Locked iPhone?

Generally, buyers interested in purchasing a locked iPhone may include:

  • Tech Enthusiasts: Individuals adept at unlocking or repairing devices for personal use or resale.
  • Parts Resellers: Businesses or individuals seeking specific components for repair or refurbishment projects.

Potential buyers for selling a locked iPhone may include:

  • DIY Repairers: Hobbyists or technicians who enjoy fixing and reselling electronics.
  • Electronics Retailers: Stores specializing in refurbished devices or parts.
  • International Buyers: Individuals in regions with fewer restrictions on locked phones.
  • Unlocking Service Providers: Companies offering unlocking services for resale or personal use.
  • Research and Development Teams: Tech companies or educational institutions use locked devices for testing and development.
  • Artists and Creatives: Individuals repurposing iPhones for artistic projects or installations.

How Do I Prepare My Locked iPhone for Sale?

To prepare your locked iPhone for sale and maximize its appeal and value, consider the following tips and steps:

  1. Perform a Factory Reset: Clear all personal data and settings to ensure the device is ready for its new owner.
  2. Highlight Accessories: Include original accessories like chargers and headphones to enhance the perceived value of the package.
  3. Provide Detailed Information: In your listing description, be transparent about the lock status and any other relevant details to build trust with potential buyers.
  4. Offer Competitive Pricing: Research the market to set a reasonable price that reflects the device’s condition and locked status.
  5. Take High-Quality Photos: Capture clear images of the iPhone from multiple angles to showcase its condition and attract potential buyers.
  6. Consider Unlocking Services: Evaluate unlocking the iPhone before the sale to broaden your pool of potential buyers and increase its resale value.
  7. Choose the Right Selling Platform: Select a reputable platform or marketplace that caters to buyers interested in purchasing locked iPhones.
  8. Provide Excellent Customer Service: Respond promptly to inquiries and address potential buyers’ concerns to facilitate a smooth transaction.

Where Can I Sell My Locked iPhone?

When looking to sell a locked iPhone, consider the following platforms and avenues:

  1. Online Marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace offer broad visibility to potential buyers. Be transparent about the device’s locked status and provide detailed descriptions to attract interested parties.
  2. Specialized Websites: Platforms such as Gazelle, Decluttr, and BuyBackWorld specialize in buying used electronics, including locked iPhones. These sites often provide instant quotes and offer a convenient selling process.
  3. Local Electronics Stores: Some brick-and-mortar electronics stores purchase used devices for resale or refurbishment. Visit local shops and inquire about their buyback or trade-in programs.
  4. Trade-In Programs: Retailers like Apple, Best Buy, and carrier stores may accept locked iPhones as part of their trade-in programs. Depending on its condition, you can receive store credit or cash in exchange for your device.
  5. Online Forums and Communities: Participate in online forums or communities dedicated to buying and selling electronics. Engage with potential buyers directly and negotiate terms that work for both parties.
  6. Auction Websites: Platforms like eBay allow you to list your locked iPhone for auction, letting buyers bid on the device. Ensure to set a minimum price that you’re willing to accept.
  7. Local Classifieds: Consider placing ads in local newspapers or community bulletin boards to reach buyers in your area who may be interested in purchasing a locked iPhone

What Are the Risks and Considerations?

When selling a locked iPhone, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and considerations:

  1. Legal Issues: Selling a locked iPhone without disclosing its lock status could result in legal consequences or buyer disputes. Always provide transparent information about the device’s condition in your listings to mitigate this risk.
  2. Limited Buyer Pool: The market for locked iPhones is smaller than that for unlocked devices, which may prolong the selling process or require a lower selling price. Consider unlocking the device to appeal to a broader audience of potential buyers.
  3. Scams and Fraud: Sellers of locked iPhones may encounter scammers attempting to exploit their situation. Exercise caution when dealing with unfamiliar buyers, especially if they request unusual payment methods or ask for personal information.
  4. Reduced Resale Value: Locked iPhones typically have lower resale value than unlocked counterparts. Manage expectations by researching market prices and setting a realistic selling price based on the device’s condition and lock status.
  5. Technical Challenges: Unlocking a locked iPhone can be complex and require technical expertise or specialized software. Evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of unlocking the device before proceeding with the sale.
  6. Carrier Restrictions: Some carriers have policies or restrictions regarding selling locked iPhones. Ensure compliance with carrier guidelines and address any outstanding financial obligations or contract terms associated with the device.

Can I Unlock My iPhone Before Selling It? 

Unlocking your iPhone before selling it can broaden your pool of potential buyers and increase its resale value. Pros include attracting more interested parties and potentially fetching a higher selling price. However, unlocking services may incur additional costs and can be time-consuming. 

Additionally, unlocking may void warranties or violate terms of service. Consider weighing the benefits against the drawbacks before deciding whether to unlock your iPhone before selling it.


Selling a locked iPhone presents both challenges and opportunities. While it can be legally and ethically permissible, navigating potential risks such as limited buyer interest and reduced resale value is crucial. 

However, with transparency, careful consideration of unlocking options, and proper market research, selling a locked iPhone can still be viable for those willing to manage the complexities.

Also Read: Can I sell my phone if it’s under contract?

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