Posts in iPhone

Buying and “Celling” on Kijiji: How to Check if a Phone for sale is Lost or Stolen

Buying a used phone makes a lot of sense. Much like a new car, new phones depreciate quickly. The hottest new phone can only maintain the title of “most coveted telecommunications accessory” for so long before it is displaced by one even newer and shinier – which is exactly what makes them a great buy on classifieds. Whether you are the one always in hot pursuit of the newest phone (and find yourself constantly wanting to unload the flavor of last month to finance your new toy), or you want to score a great deal on a great phone by buying gently used, connecting with another local Canadian to make your money go farther just makes sense.

Many are concerned when buying a new phone that they might not be dealing with the rightful owner – a very legitimate concern, considering no one wants to be unknowingly funding illicit activities, or end up with an unusable phone.

Buying and Celling: How to check if a used phone is safe to buy

How to Check if an iPhone is Lost or Stolen.

Look at the lock screen.
If the iPhone offered for sale has been erased remotely or put into lost mode, it should show either that or that it is lost or stolen on the lock screen. If it says that on the lock screen, this is how you can verify that the phone is being sold by the rightful owner.

Ask the seller to reset the iPhone while you watch.
They can do this by going to Settings > General > Reset >Erase All Content and Settings. The process should take a few minutes in which the apple logo and a progress bar will be on the screen. If the seller refuses to do this, do not buy the phone! Claims that the password is forgotten or they are in too much of a rush are big red flags.

After they reset, go through the phone set up with them – make sure to select, the language, location, and network. After that, it will ask you to enter your apple ID and password (hopefully), which means you are safe to buy the iphone.

If there is not a prompt for you to enter an ID and password, and instead it asks for the previous owners ID and password, or a message that says that the phone was lost and erased, something is wrong. Ask the seller to enter the credentials. If they cannot get past this screen, you know that the phone was found or stolen.

What about other smart phones? How do I know if an Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone is stolen?

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (or CWTA) has set up a page to check whether IMEI numbers belong to cells that are available for sale before you buy. Seller doesn’t know their IMEI? It is easy to find (and replicate to verify that they gave you the right number). Open the dialler and enter *#06#, which works on most major smart phones including BlackBerry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone, as well as many other cell phone brands.

As the list is populated by reports from carriers after their customers report phones lost or stolen, there can be a lag of up to 48 hours before an IMEI number appears on the list. If you are replying to a newly posted ad and meeting up same day, ask the seller for some verification that they bought this phone originally (or if it is an iPhone, just follow the steps above). If they can’t demonstrate that this is their phone, set a meeting time that will give enough time between the ad being posted and the CWTA list being updated to ensure your peace of mind.

To learn more about mobile phone theft and how to protect yourself, visit the GSMA website.

On the go holiday savings with the Kijiji App!

Mall chaos used to be the biggest pain of the Holiday season. Not anymore! According to a recent survey by Kijiji, 25% of Canadians would rather spend time in a lineup or fighting for parking than be without their smartphone over the holidays. And it doesn’t stop there: 1/5th would rather put in extra hours at the office, and 15% of Canadians would rather gain 10 pounds than not have their mobile in hand. Canadians are clearly smartphone dependent during the holidays!

Not surprisingly, this same survey finds that 28% of Canadians will use their mobile device to research and build their holiday gift list, and nearly a quarter (24%) will use it to shop for the perfect gift.

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Savvy shoppers know that Kijiji is a great place to score big-ticket presents without big-ticket prices, and with the official Kijiji App (in iOS & Android) you can easily find savings anytime, anywhere! Some of the great gifts you can get through Kijiji include:

  • Smartphones themselves – There are currently more than 130,000 live smartphone ads on Kijiji, with an average price of $332. Compare that to the $400 – $900 price tag for the latest releases in store and you’ve got yourself quite a deal. There are also more than 21,400 phone accessories for sale – perfect for stuffing stockings!
  • Gaming consoles – Kids and adults alike have this tech toy on their list. There are currently more than 150,000 gaming console ads on Kijiji, including the hard-to-find Xbox One. The average price for recent console generations from Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo is $203. Compare that to brand new consolers that typically go for $400 – $500, you’re looking at potentially saving more than half price by buying gently used.
  • Children’s bikes – A holiday classic gift that is always in demand, two and three-wheelers make for a nice surprise under the tree. Bikes are an ideal, durable item to buy second-hand, and with 7,000 live kids bike ads on the site at an average price of $43, you can still give that big surprise without paying the big bill.  As parents know, new bikes can cost hundreds of dollars each.

With these kinds of savings, you’ll have money left over for plenty of eggnog and candy canes! Happy gifting!

Cell Phone Buying Guide: Cell Phone Tech Specs, Decoded!

In the first part of our cell phone buying guide, we talked about the main questions that everyone should be asking themselves in order to figure out which cell phone is best suited for them and all their different needs. Naturally, the next step would be to actually sort through some options and pick the cream of the crop based on what features you’re looking for.

The thing is, unless you’re super techy or work for a cellular company, chances are you’re not going to know a lot of the technical terms that are listed in the phone specifications. Looking at the phone’s “specs” (basically, the cut and dry numbers and figures that make each phone what it is) is a must for any phone buyer. The annoyingly complicated part is trying to understand what exactly all that technical jargon means.
Here is a handy cheat-sheet to help you decode the main components of the oh so cryptic specification details. (You can find all these specs online or at your nearby mobile carrier store- most major carriers have their own store locations that you can easily look up.) Click here to read the full article.

Categories:Android, iPhone, Kijiji Tips

Cell Phone Buying Guide Part 1

Every few months there’s a new “It” Phone out with some brand new, revolutionary feature that everyone’s buzzing about. It can be hard to look past the hype and figure out what you actually need in a phone. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself when you start to consider purchasing a smart phone.

How technologically savvy am I? (Or how technologically savvy do I want to be?)
Phones can get pretty complicated these days with all the features and customizations that they come with. You have to figure out whether you want a simple phone, or if you’re prepared to take the time to learn about, and make the most of a phone that may be a little more complicated to get the hang of. Also consider how up to date the technology of your network is; as cool as things like the beam feature on some android phones such as the Nexus 4 are, if you don’t have friends who can use it with you, it shouldn’t be much of a selling point.

How much do I want to pay?
This question is two-fold. First, you need to know how much you want to spend on the actual phone. A lot of the newer phones like the Samsung 4 or the iPhone 5 are available for a decent price on a 3 year contract, but if you’re still in the beginning or middle of an existing contract and aren’t eligible for an upgrade, those phones are expensive to buy new. Older versions of popular phones, like the iPhone 4, will obviously be cheaper, so the first step is to nail down your budget.

Also consider how much you planning on spending a month on your phone plan. Are you willing to shell out for a pricey data plan? It’s really easy to go over your data limit, so if you’re on a budget and can’t afford to splurge for a data plan, it may make more sense to go for a simpler phone. However, if you have wireless networks at home, school, or work, you can generally connect your smart phone to these to save on data. There are many great deals on “classic” phones on Kijiji, which are significantly cheaper to start off with, and are perfect if you don’t need or want to have a data plan.

What am I using this phone for?
What exactly do you want out of your phone? Some people just need their phone to make some calls and maybe send a text once in a while, while others want their phones to be an extension of a personal computer-fast, lag-free, large memory space and business-friendly. Then there are those who want their phones flashy. These people want plenty of social media features and a bright, sharp, screen resolution to see all those Instagram pictures and Facebook updates. Whatever your needs are, there is a phone out there perfect for you. Blackberry designs for the business-minded cell phone user, Apple for those who want all the latest trendy apps, the list goes on.

What is my Lifestyle?
One major drawback of modern smart phones is they tend to be delicate. If you don’t want to end up walking around with a smashed screen, these phones require a good quality case as well as care. If you want a phone you can stick in your back pocket and not worry about, a large smart phone may not be a good match.

Why do I want it?
Are you eager to keep up with the Joneses, or do you want this phone because of the features? If you are thirsty for a shiny new piece of technology, and find yourself defaulting to wanting a phone, remember, there are good other options. Tablets have much of the same functionality as a smart phone, and if you primarily want one to surf the net while at home, they may be a better choice for your applications.

As long as you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to choose a new phone that fits all your needs, financially and functionally.

Categories:Android, iPhone, Kijiji Tips

How to Swap your Cell Phone

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It’s intimidating and it’s confusing – the process of switching over your cell phone let alone service providers is daunting. I recently came across an offer too good to pass up, and had to switch from a carrier I’ll call “big red”, to the one with the fuzzy animals in their campaigns. It was liberating.

In the past two years I’ve managed to swap phones three times. I started with an iPhone 4 (it was stolen while travelling), then over to a 4S, an S3 to get familiarized with Android, and finally to an iPhone 5. There was a cracked screen and a few phone drops in between, but I’m happy to say I think I’ve figured out the system. Here’s a step by step on how to make the switch:

 

Find Your Hardware

With so many great phones on the market right now, it’s hard to narrow it down. A good place to start is whether to get a smartphone or not (my recommendation is a yes). Android or Apple? And of course, the ultimate question is about COLOUR (we’ll get to the custom phone cases later). There are different options in terms of memory, upgrades, limited editions and more. Do a little comparison-shopping online and be sure you know what you want!

 

Select Your Services

Data, minutes, text messages, long distance calling – all considerations you’ll need to make when you review your options. What’s your budget? What’s your usage look like? Review the last few bills that you’ve received and make a decision based on what your normal use is. Ask if you can make adjustments as you go (the answer is usually yes). Remember to tailor it to you, you never want to have too many leftover minutes or get dinged with overages.

 

Make the Jump

Let the magic happen! I recently upgraded to an iPhone 5, and it was easily shipped to my door. Then, I was advised when the service transfer was happening (it was about 2 hours of downtime, so make sure you have a book or something to entertain yourself) and voila, I was transferred! There were a few hiccups, but they were resolved lightning-fast when I tweeted them a few concerns.

 

Be Patient

Try to wait out your contracts before you switch over, nothing worse than cancellation fees. Also, it’s okay to call in a few times to negotiation deals, at the end of the day if a company can get a new client, or a provider wants to retain you as a client, you have power. Don’t rush – you don’t want to regret your decisions!

 

Decorate

For the fun part now, let’s find you a case! There are some great ones located on eBay (and for cheap), though you won’t get the immediate satisfaction and protection. I liked the TNA silicone cases for temporary protection, and then I hopped online and browsed on etsy for a few custom cases. I settled on a galaxy print hardcase in white. Creative! The case is the window to your tech personality.

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What about your Old Phone?

If you’re not interested in keeping your old phone as a backup (and by that, I really mean that it’s brutally collecting cobwebs and dust), you can always list your phone and sell it on Kijiji. Some key pointers:

  1. Be HONEST about the condition of the phone – is it New In Box (NIB) or gentle used? Are there scratches? It’s better that a potential buyer knows up front before wasting any time.
  2. Be DETAILED, because people want to know everything from the size to the colour to the accessories included. Include great photos of the ACTUAL phone
  3. Be EFFECTIVE in your Listing – choose a site like Kijiji or other listing sites to get your old phone out there.
  4. Be PERSONABLE in your description. You can be funny, witty, interesting all in a matter of paragraphs. Info on how to do that coming in our next article.
  5. Meet in a Public Space: I like to meet people at the Apple store with a genius bar appointment, if it’s an Apple product, of course. Be safe, and bring someone in tow if you’re nervous about an expensive item.

Just a few simple steps to get you onto a phone and plan that doesn’t have you screeching at customer service. Let us know how you find your new phone!