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Who Buys Locked iPhones? Best Places To Sell Locked iPhones

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By Ash Turner
As CEO of CompareMyMobile.com and BankMyCell.com since 2009, Ash has been a pivotal figure in the mobile tech industry. With a background in managing Brightstar’s PhoneRecycleBank, he boasts extensive experience with global carriers and MVNOs like T-Mobile and O2, and leading manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung.

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| Updated on February 28, 2024
Fact Checked By
Joey Bobiles
Joey is adept at creating comprehensive comparison guides and product reviews for devices from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google. His expertise extends to thorough evaluations of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, MVNOs, and phone plans, all while simplifying intricate technical information into easily understandable content.

Learn about our editorial process

Edited By
Kim Juanillo
Kim, an editor with a rich background in digital content management and developmental psychology, brings a unique blend of analytical and creative skills to BankMyCell. With her background in Psychology, Kim is adept at understanding complex concepts and transforming them into engaging, accessible content.

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  • Find top-paying stores for locked iPhones that we selected for positive reviews and competitive quotes.
  • Discover how pricing varies by lock type (carrier, iCloud, passcode, blacklist) and compare quotes easily.
  • Understand the legal aspects of handling and selling an iPhone you’ve found, to avoid legal issues and ensure a smooth transaction.

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SOLVED: Who Buys a Locked iPhone?

It is possible to sell your iPhone with any of the below locks, however, the process is different for each type, and the device must legally be yours before you do so. First, you must determine what kind of lock your iPhone has.

4 types of locks:

  1. Carrier Locked: Your iPhone is carrier locked if it can only be used by one network (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile etc). Compare Quotes
  2. Passcode Locked: Your iPhone is passcode locked if you have forgotten your six-digit security passcode and can no longer access the home screen. Compare Quotes
  3. iCloud Locked: Your iPhone is locked if you cannot access your iCloud account. Compare Quotes
  4. Finance Blacklisted: Your iPhone is locked with a blacklist due to the device payments being missed on a finance contract. Compare Quotes

How to Sell a Carrier Locked iPhone?

Sell Carrier Locked iPhones

Compare trade-in quotes on BankMyCell and get the best price for your locked iPhone. Visit the dedicated iPhone Page and follow these simple steps:

  1. Find your device and select the “Carrier“.
  2. Choose storage and condition.
  3. Select a store.
  4. Ship for free.
  5. Get paid.

Finding Which Carrier Your iPhone is on

Determine the carrier your iPhone is locked to. To do this on your device go to:

  1. Settings > General > About
  2. The information following Network Provide Lock is your Carrier. If “No SIM restrictions” shows, your iPhone is Unlocked.

How to Sell a Passcode Locked iPhone?

Selling Passcode Locked iPhones

To sell your activation-locked phone it is best to go through one of the trusted partners affiliated with BankMyCell. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find your device and select the “Activation Locked” status
  2. Choose storage and condition.
  3. Select a store.
  4. Ship for free.
  5. Get paid.

How to Sell an iCloud Locked iPhone?

Selling iCloud Locked iPhones

To sell an activation locked iPhone it is best to go through one of the trusted partners affiliated with BankMyCell. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find your device and select the “Activation Locked” status
  2. Choose storage and condition.
  3. Select a store.
  4. Ship for free.
  5. Get paid.
Removing iCloud Activation Locks

To get the best price try to unlock your iCloud lock before selling. To do this:

  1. Sign in to your iCloud account with your Apple ID through a web browser
  2. Click on Find iPhone
  3. Click on All Devices at the top of your screen
  4. Choose the device you wish to remove from iCloud
  5. Select Erase [device]. Press Next until the device is erased
  6. Press Remove from account
  7. Restart the device for the setup process.

If you have purchased a used iPhone and it is iCloud Locked the only way to resolve this issue is for the original owner to log out of their account.

If you cannot remove the iCloud Lock from your locked phone, you can still sell it. It’s important to clearly understand what iCloud Lock means before selling. There are no restrictions on selling locked iPhones as long as you acquired them legally, however, they are worth very little.

How to Sell a Finance Blacklisted iPhone?

Carrier Blacklisted iPhones

You can sell your iPhone even if you are still paying off the finance contract or if you are unable to clear the finance blacklist from the device (as long as you acquired it legally.)

However, you won’t get as much money selling a locked phone as you would an unlocked one.

To sell a financed blacklisted iPhone it is best to go through one of the trusted partners affiliated with BankMyCell. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Find your device and select the “Blacklisted” status
  2. Choose storage and condition.
  3. Select a store.
  4. Ship for free.
  5. Get paid.
Lost, Found and Stolen iPhones

It is illegal to sell a stolen iPhone. Before legally and ethically selling a lost or found iPhone it is important you do everything you can to find the original owner and return the device. You can sell the device as Blacklisted or iCloud Locked but your payout will be considerably lower than an unlocked device as the buyback companies can only use the device for parts.

Unlocking Blacklisted iPhones

To get the best price try to remove the finance blacklist before selling. To do this:

  1. Contact your carrier and find out the reason for the blacklisting (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile).
  2. Settle any outstanding payments on the account to remove the blacklist.
  3. If the previous owner blacklisted the device by reporting it as lost or stolen, then the carrier will be unable to remove or unlock the blacklisted phone.
Checking your Blacklist Status

Check if your device is blacklisted by checking the device’s IMEI on IMEI Pro or IMEI 24. To find your IMEI number go to:

  1. Settings > General and tap About.
  2. Scroll down to find the IMEI number. Touch and hold the number to copy.
  3. Alternatively, dial *#06# on the phone and it will automatically display the IMEI number for you to check using the link above.

Can I Sell Carrier Locked iPhones? (Activation Lock)

You can legally sell iPhones locked to networks like Verizon, AT&T, etc., even with unpaid contracts. Carriers may unlock them after 60 days or once paid off.

For those with outstanding payments, select buyback services that offer competitive quotes. BankMyCell can help you find the best deals for iPhones with activation lock.

Compare Carrier-Locked Quotes With BankMyCell

#1 Buyback Quote Comparison Site

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Average Customer Rating:

icon review 4.5

4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot

At BankMyCell, you can compare quotes on iPhones with a carrier lock. Search for your iPhone model, compare quotes from the leading buyback stores and pick the best one. You can ship your iPhone for free from your nearest post office and get paid quickly by your choice of check, direct deposit, or PayPal.

bankmycell compare iphone deals

Can I Sell Passcode-Locked iPhones?

Yes, you can sell iPhones locked with a passcode, which happens if you forget your security code or enter it incorrectly too many times.

  • Unlocking Tip: Try a DFU restore via iTunes to remove the passcode and reset the phone, making it more appealing to buyers by selling it as unlocked. Note: This won’t affect iCloud or blacklist statuses.
  • Selling As Is: While selling a passcode-locked iPhone limits your buyer pool, it’s still possible. Be upfront about the lock status.

Remember, a DFU restore can help sell your device as unlocked, potentially fetching a better price.

Who Buys Passcode-Locked iPhones?

If you can unlock your iPhone first, you’ll definitely get a better price. Many buyback stores will still purchase it even if it is passcode-locked. Make sure you exhaust all available options for unlocking it before you bring it to the buyer and let them know that it is passcode-locked.

You can search buyback stores and sites to compare prices on iPhones and find the best price for you. You can also use Google Maps website or app to search for local buyback stores locations.

BEST Places to Sell Passcode Locked iPhones

SellLocked logo

Average Customer Rating:

icon review 5

5 out of 5 on Trustpilot

The Sell Locked site will buy iPhones in any condition, including passcode-locked iPhones. If you accept their offer, Sell Locked will send a prepaid mailing label so you can mail your locked phone to them. They make payments by check or PayPal within five days after they receive the phone.

Payments Offered: PayPal or Check

Can I Sell iCloud-Locked iPhones?

Yes, you can sell an iCloud-locked iPhone, which is locked due to Apple’s Activation lock feature preventing unauthorized use. If you’ve forgotten your Apple ID or password, your device will be locked out from home screen access.

When selling:

  • Be transparent about the iCloud lock status.
  • Ideally, try to remove the iCloud lock to increase its value; otherwise, expect lower offers, as buyers may only want it for parts.
  • Ensure the sale is legal, with clear communication about the lock status to the buyer.
  • iCloud-locked iPhones generally fetch lower prices due to limited usability.

Who Buys iCloud-Locked iPhones?

A few buyback stores will purchase iCloud-locked iPhones, but the price you’ll get for them will be considerably less than that of an unlocked iPhone. If you can remove the lock, it may double the price.

Use Google Maps to search for stores in your area that buy back phones, or you can search the web for buyback stores and compare prices. Also, your nearest post office may offer free mailing so you can get paid for your iPhone.

BEST Places to Sell iCloud-Locked iPhones

SellLocked logo

Average Customer Rating:

icon review 5

5 out of 5 on Trustpilot

SellLocked purchases all types of iPhones in any condition, including iCloud-locked iPhones. If you accept their proposed price, SellLocked will send you a prepaid mailing label so you can ship your iPhone for free. Within five days of receiving your phone, they will pay you by check or via PayPal.

Payments Offered: PayPal or Check

Can I Sell Blacklisted iPhones?

Yes, you can sell blacklisted iPhones, which are devices marked due to loss, theft, or unpaid contracts. However, if an iPhone comes into your possession in a way that isn’t legal, your first step should always be to try and find its rightful owner, coordinating with local police.

Only if the owner cannot be identified and the police have no need for the device might you consider selling it through specialized stores. Remember, carriers primarily seek repayment of any outstanding amounts, not the device itself.

Who Buys Finance Blacklisted iPhones?

Some buyback stores will buy Finance Blacklisted iPhones, and the prices they offer will depend on what model you are selling, its capacity, and condition. For example, finance blacklisted phones may be worth 55% to 98% of an unlocked phone’s value.

You can search for local buyback stores via Google Maps or search online to compare prices and find the right buyback program for your needs. You may also visit your nearest post office to send out iPhones for free and get paid.

BEST Places to Sell iPhones With Money Owed

SellLocked logo

Average Customer Rating:

icon review 5

5 out of 5 on Trustpilot

If you have a finance blacklisted phone you want to get rid of, SellLocked will take it. SellLocked will check the phone out and give you a price. If you agree, SellLocked will mail a prepaid label so you can ship your phone for free. Once the phone has arrived, they will pay you within five days. Payment is sent as a check or through PayPal.

Payments Offered: PayPal or Check

Cell Tech logo

Average Customer Rating:

icon review 5

4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot

Cell Tech Express buys financed iPhones. They offer shipping labels to send your device without any cost. After they receive and evaluate your phone, you will get paid within 2 days either via check or PayPal.

Payments Offered: PayPal, Check

Gadget Gone Logo

Average Customer Rating:

icon review 4.5

4.6 out of 5 on Trustpilot

You can sell your financed iPhone to Gadget Gone and receive payment within 2 days. They offer multiple payment methods, including direct deposit, PayPal, and Amazon Gift Card. When you sell your financed phone to them, they will provide you a free shipping label.

Payments Offered: Direct Deposit, PayPal, Amazon Gift Card

Summary: Locked Phone Trade-in Vendors

Yes, you can sell locked iPhones. Many buyback stores will take them as is, but if you can unlock the phone, you may be able to get paid more. In some cases, a lot more. You can find out who buys locked iPhones online. A quick search will tell you who buys iCloud-locked iPhones, as well as buyers interested in passcode-locked and even blacklisted iPhones.

Buyback stores offer immediate quotes in most cases, as well as free shipping and the options for free returns if their proposed price quote isn’t what you wanted.

In most cases, SellLocked is the best option for selling an iPhone with a locked status.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I verify the legality of selling my locked iPhone?

There’s no direct way to check the legality, but you can consult professionals for assistance. Essentially, if you can’t use the phone due to iCloud activation or a password, it’s considered a locked iPhone. Therefore, when selling your locked iPhone, ensure you legally own it, regardless of its lock status.

Can selling a locked iPhone affect my carrier contract?

Selling a locked iPhone may not affect your carrier contract directly, but you still owe money on your phone. So, it’s important to fulfill your financial obligations. BankMyCell offers a platform to sell your locked phone responsibly, potentially using the proceeds to settle any dues with your carrier.

What should I do if I can't unlock my iPhone before selling?

If you can’t unlock your iPhone, you can still sell it as is. BankMyCell allows you to compare offers from buyers interested in locked iPhones, ensuring you still get a fair price without needing to unlock the device first.