Best place to purchase unlocked iPhone (Verizon)

ilikedonuts

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2001
2,428
Arlington
A family member's iPhone 5 was damaged today.  The screen is not shattered but it no longer works (very minimal lighting).  It's assumed that it was dropped on the ground and is damaged beyond repair (is that a bad assumption?).  With the contract expiring in two months and a new iPhone on the way it seems like the best option (besides bringing it to an Apple store for a repair quote) is to find an unlocked iPhone 4 or 5 for the Verizon network so that the account can be transferred over to an interim device.
 
What do people recommend?  I thought there was a previous thread about used iPhones but I searched and could not find one.
 

mt8thsw9th

anti-SoSHal
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
17,120
Brooklyn
The Verizon iPhone 4 can't be unlocked, it has no SIM. The Verizon 4S is locked, and the 5 and 5S are unlocked phones. Just buy it full price anywhere that sells the phone.
 

ilikedonuts

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 30, 2001
2,428
Arlington
I think I used the wrong terminology - what's the best way/place to find a used iPhone that will work on the Verizon that can be purchased and used in place of the damaged iPhone 5?
 

mt8thsw9th

anti-SoSHal
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
17,120
Brooklyn
Bring it somewhere and get a quote. Unlocked phones, like the 5, are still going to command a good amount on eBay and other sites. Getting it fixed means you have a fixed (no puns) cost and don't have to worry about winning an auction, and you can turn it around and sell it for a couple hundred bucks in September. 
 
I can't imagine it's going to be more expensive to fix something which is probably a backlight, or something of that nature, than it would be to buy a phone.
 
In short, I think it's a bad assumption. If it's only "minimal lighting" it means it's still perfectly functional, it just likely needs a light source. It would be a lot worse if the screen still lit up but didn't display anything.
 
Separately, iPhones hold their value really well so it's going to be tough to find a cheap option for two months if you go that route. The flip side to this is if you can get it fixed for under $200, you'll likely come out ahead when you can flip it for $200 or more on eBay in September. Or you could rent my spare 4S for two months for $150. :D
 

bosoxsue

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 16, 2001
1,550
One of the guys at my Verizon store has sort of a side business at fixing this kind of issue. Young-skewing demographic that works there. If you've got that kind of Verizon store, you may be in business for cheaper than you think in getting it fixed.
 

EddieYost

has a special friend in GHoff
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,262
NH
eBay... Private seller with pictures of the phone and 100% seller feedback. Make sure the MEID is clean.
 

Joe Sixpack

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2002
4,570
Canton, MA
I have a Verizon iPhone 4 I was about to get rid of on eBay and was going to try to sell it for $100. I'd be willing to let it go for $90 to bypass ebay/PayPal fees.
It was my mother in law's phone, pretty much sat in a hard plastic case with screen protector the entire time, so it's in excellent condition.
 

bibajesus

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
645
I've had mixed success on swappa. I bought 2 galaxy nexus there when my incredible died. One died after two weeks* the other is starting to die recently but has lasted a year.
*I woke up after half a case of Heady Topper and a night on the town in Burlington to the phone being non responsive. So something may have happened to it to hasten its demise but I do not recall.
 

weeba

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
3,273
Lynn, MA
If you're in Boston, bring it to Boston Iphone Repair in Cambridge. We've gone there a few times, and they do great, cheap, work.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
14,562
weeba said:
If you're in Boston, bring it to Boston Iphone Repair in Cambridge. We've gone there a few times, and they do great, cheap, work.
 
He's my go to for anything like this. He's been great.
 
The only issue I have is his screen's glass are crap IMO. Whatever screen glass he uses break way easier than the original. It could be I just have had bad luck, but the new glass he's put on has broken way easier. He could be using OEM Gorilla Glass but I doubt it.
 

EddieYost

has a special friend in GHoff
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,262
NH
NortheasternPJ said:
 
He's my go to for anything like this. He's been great.
 
The only issue I have is his screen's glass are crap IMO. Whatever screen glass he uses break way easier than the original. It could be I just have had bad luck, but the new glass he's put on has broken way easier. He could be using OEM Gorilla Glass but I doubt it.
That's one heck of an endorsement.
 

Hoya81

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 3, 2010
4,808
I've had good experiences with the Apple Store/Genius Bar giving discounts or free repairs if you bring in an older out of warranty phone.