Author Topic: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?  (Read 4266 times)

catccc

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Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« on: October 05, 2015, 02:33:00 PM »
I purchased an iphone on ebay, and it was described as in working condition, but it was not disclosed that it was icloud locked.  I tried to contact the seller multiple times, figuring maybe they just didn't reset the phone properly, but never got a response.  I had to have ebay step in and I started the process to get refunded under the ebay money back guarantee policy.  ebay told me that I'd get my refund as soon as the item was back to the seller.  They provided the shipping label, and I sent it off and waited.  After a long while, the tracking showed that the package was refused by the recipient.  Since the seller never "received" it, ebay hadn't sent me my refund.  Eventually, I was able to get in touch with ebay, and they provided the refund.  I tried to track the package, and it looks like after it was refused by the seller, it was sent to ebay, and ebay also refused it.  No trace after that.  I didn't know where the package was, and didn't care, I had my money back.

Fast forward some number of months and someone in my small town finds me on facebook, says they have a package from ebay.  It's the phone!  My ebay address hadn't been updated since a couple of moves.  (this was never an issue because my paypal address has been correct.)

So now I have this phone.  I'm wondering if I have any rights to sell the thing, of course fully disclosing that it is icloud locked.  On one hand, I feel like it is not my property to sell because I got my money back.  On the other hand, since it was refused by the original seller and by ebay, I feel like nobody wants it.  Like, the seller essentially gave it to me by refusing the package, maybe?!

honeybbq

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2015, 02:34:49 PM »
Sell it without a second thought.

MissStache

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 02:42:06 PM »
Sell it.  Not even a little unethical.

Left

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 02:44:02 PM »
Return it on ebay.... a locked phone is most likely stolen.

You don't want to be tied to it...

Or use it for parts?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 02:46:17 PM by eyem »

catccc

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 02:48:12 PM »
Return it on ebay.... a locked phone is most likely stolen.

You don't want to be tied to it...
Not sure if this wasn't clear- I already did get a refund, and I attempted to return the phone.  The problem is nobody would accept the phone back- the seller refused the return package, then ebay refused the return package.  So the phone eventually came back to me.

catccc

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 02:52:39 PM »
Sell it.  Not even a little unethical.
Sell it without a second thought.

I have to say I'm pleased with these answers and the lack of doubt around your responses.  I may have been overthinking this.

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 02:56:04 PM »
Try to contact original owner? Not sure if apple can track it in their system by phone meid. If not stolen then sell it?

I just have issues with passing stolen goods

catccc

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 03:04:45 PM »
Try to contact original owner? Not sure if apple can track it in their system by phone meid. If not stolen then sell it?

I just have issues with passing stolen goods

As far as I can tell with the serial number and the imei lookups that are available, the phone hasn't been blacklisted or reported stolen.  There's no easy way to find the icloud account owner that has it locked.  All I have is a****@domain.com.  I understand that this icloud system is supposed to deter theft but it just seems like a PITA...  I also don't know for sure if the ebay seller is the owner or not and why he/she didn't respond to my inquiries or want the phone back.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 03:06:24 PM by catccc »

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 03:20:48 PM »
I suspect ebay returned it because of the chance it is stolen as well http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/stolen.html
They want no legal liabilities with dealing with it.

But if it isn't blacklisted or reported stolen by either the carrier or apple, then I see no reason why you can't sell it.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 03:33:14 PM »
It's not like you paid the guy to steal it, just like I didn't pay the colonists to steal the land my house is on from the Indians. I think you're fine.

catccc

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 03:50:21 PM »
I suspect ebay returned it because of the chance it is stolen as well http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/stolen.html
They want no legal liabilities with dealing with it.

But if it isn't blacklisted or reported stolen by either the carrier or apple, then I see no reason why you can't sell it.

I suspect eBay refused it because they'd have way too much shit to deal with if they accepted any refused packages of any sort, possibly stolen or otherwise.

catccc

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 03:52:23 PM »
It's not like you paid the guy to steal it, just like I didn't pay the colonists to steal the land my house is on from the Indians. I think you're fine.

Thanks for your input. And this analogy!  Ha.

Sibley

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2015, 06:03:51 PM »
So, anytime anyone asks if something is ethical, the answer is probably no.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2015, 06:39:42 PM »
So, anytime anyone asks if something is ethical, the answer is probably no.

What do you think would be unethical about selling this phone? Would it be better to let it go to waste?

Sibley

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2015, 06:44:43 PM »
So, anytime anyone asks if something is ethical, the answer is probably no.

What do you think would be unethical about selling this phone? Would it be better to let it go to waste?

Honestly, I didn't even read it. But I have since read it. In this case, you're good. But really, if you have to ask, it's probably no.

Easye418

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2015, 08:12:02 PM »
I suspect ebay returned it because of the chance it is stolen as well http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/stolen.html
They want no legal liabilities with dealing with it.

But if it isn't blacklisted or reported stolen by either the carrier or apple, then I see no reason why you can't sell it.

+1

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2015, 09:35:03 PM »
This might be a really dumb question, but isn't there a way to ask apple to like... unlock it somehow?

frugalnacho

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Re: Ethical question- can I sell this phone?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2015, 11:14:35 PM »
It would be unethical for you not to sell it.