Can I Sell a Cricket Phone with a Blocked IMEI?
Today's advanced smartphones are expensive; however, having a choice of carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Cricket means you have some level of control over your mobile plans and pricing. The best part is that when you keep your phone in good condition you can often sell your old phone for a tidy profit to apply toward a new phone. But what happens if it's time to sell and your Cricket phone has a blocked IMEI? The following examines why your IMEI might be blocked and details options for selling your blocked-IMEI Cricket phone.
Why is my IMEI blocked?
There are several reasons your IMEI might be blocked, including an unpaid balance on your Cricket Wireless bill, an attempt to sell it before your mobile contract has expired, or a reported theft of your device.
You can find out if your IMEI is blocked by inputting it into one of many online IMEI checker tools. The best practice is to check your IMEI against several tools to see if it has been blocked. You can also contact Cricket Wireless directly to inquire about a suspected IMEI block. To find your IMEI, look in your phone's battery compartment or browse your phone's settings to locate it.
How to sell a Cricket phone with a blocked IMEI
If your Cricket phone's IMEI is indeed blocked, you might still be able to legally sell it via one of the following methods.
Ask Cricket Wireless to unblock your IMEI
If your IMEI was blocked in error or due to an unpaid balance, you might have luck contacting Cricket Wireless directly. Of course, you'll have to pay off any unpaid balances, but the value of your smartphone might negate those fees.
Pay for IMEI unblocking
Several services claim to unblock IMEIs. If you choose to go this route, it's likely your phone will be unlocked from the Cricket carrier and will not be able to be used with Cricket Wireless again. Do your research before selecting an IMEI unblocking service: not all are created equal, and some might even be unscrupulous or illegal.
You might be able to switch your phone from Cricket to a new carrier. This is called “flashing,” and works by replacing your current carrier's access files with those of the new carrier's. You'll need special software to flash your phone to a new carrier, and you'll also need to ensure the new carrier will accept your phone. Flashing only works for CDMA phones, which are issued by Cricket, Verizon, Sprint, and a host of other U.S.-based carriers. If you are able to successfully switch carriers, you should be able to sell your phone.
If your Cricket phone is equipped with a SIM card, it might be capable of working on both CDMA and GSM networks. Unlike CDMA phones, which are controlled by carriers, GSM phones can be switched between carriers simply by inserting new SIM cards. In the U.S., only AT&T and T-Mobile operate on GSM networks; however, the rest of the world largely uses GSM phones. That means you'll have to sell your phone overseas, as AT&T and T-Mobile share a blocked IMEI list and there are no other major U.S. GSM carriers to connect to. This typically isn't an issue, as a healthy market exists for used blocked IMEI phones in many countries – remember, their citizens can simply swap out SIM cards to gain network and carrier access.
Sell your Cricket phone for repair parts
Finally, you can sell your Cricket phone to private users or repair shops to use for repair parts. Be sure to explain that your phone has a blocked IMEI before completing any sale, to repair shops or otherwise.
A blocked IMEI on your Cricket phone doesn't mean the end of the world, nor does it mean you're stuck with a very expensive paperweight. Consider your options and take the necessary steps to unlock your phone, switch carriers, or switch networks. Be sure toprovide buyers (even overseas buyers) with full disclosure regarding your blocked IMEI status, and you shouldn't have much trouble selling your phone.
Next: Removing the Back Cover From Your iPhone 5: Step-By-Step Instructions