Iphone scams abound on eBay. If you are new to selling on eBay, don't start off selling your used iPhone. Unscrupulous buyers are looking for people who are new sellers and don't understand the way eBay works. Granted, most new sellers want to make money fast, but selling a used iPhone is not the way to do it.
Newbies often want quick cash
Here is what happens. A newbie seller has a used iphone he wants to sell. He lists the phone - taking good photos of it, writing a nice description, and maybe even throwing in free shipping. Buyers can tell he is new because he will have a low feedback score. Even if his feedback score is high from being a buyer, crooks know how to figure out how many sales a seller has had by checking the "Feedback as Seller" tab on the feedback page. Also, newbies generally tend to have very short titles, not the best photos, and really short descriptions without a lot of language about returns or refunds.
How does the scam work?
An unscrupulous buyer purchases the phone, the newbie seller ships it. The buyer takes the phone apart, removing important parts he can either sell, use to make a "Frankenstein" phone, or sell at those "We Buy Gold" places. He puts the phone back together, contacts the seller stating that the phone doesn't work or he changed his mind, and requests a refund. Under the eBay Buyer Protection Program, the seller is required to accept the return. Once the seller has the phone back, he doesn't realize it has been stripped of its components or why it won't work. It becomes the buyer's word against the seller's. In most cases, buyers claim that the phone didn't work when they received it. Now the seller has a phone that is defective and he can't sell, and he has been forced to refund the buyer's money.
Other options for selling used iPhones
Selling a used iPhone can be a no-win situation on eBay. You are much better off using a site like Gazelle or Amazon's Trade-In program, where you get cash or gift card credit. No hassles with a buyer, no scams, no long drawn out investigation. Selling on eBay isn't as easy as it sounds, but if you are sincere about learning to sell the safe and correct way, check out Unite Commerce, a virtual training school that offers an eBay Basics class. The class is live through GoTo Meeting, and costs $47.