How to Sell Locked Phones Online

Can you sell locked phones? The short answer is yes, if you know who buys locked cell phones. Here’s everything you need to know to cash in by selling your locked phone.

What is a locked phone?

A locked phone means you can’t sell it or use it, either because you can’t access the phone or because you can’t activate it on a wireless carrier network. There are three types of phone locks:

1. Financed phone locks This means you still owe money on your phone. Whether you’re behind on payments or haven’t paid it off yet, you can’t transfer it to another carrier because your current carrier has a lock on it (even though your IMEI is clean and not blacklisted).

2. Activation locks This means software is preventing you from accessing your phone so you can activate it on another network. The activation lock, iCloud lock or a phone finder like Find My iPhone might be turned on and you don’t know your phone’s passcode (or biometrics fail) so you can’t turn them off.

3. Blacklisted (bad IMEI) locks This means your phone is blacklisted, most likely because it was reported lost or stolen. All major carriers check a shared blacklist and will not activate a phone with a bad IMEI.

The good news is you can sell a phone with any of these locks (note that these differ from carrier locks, which means a phone can only be used with a given carrier).

Even locked & blacklisted phones are worth money. Find the value of your phone.


How to sell a locked phone

Some buyback stores will buy locked phones. Prices depend on your phone’s model, capacity and condition as well as the type of lock placed on your phone. For example, blacklisted and finance locked phones can be worth between 55% to 98% of an unlocked phone’s value. Activation locked phone prices range between 10% and 50% of the unlocked value. Here’s how to sell your locked phone:
  1. Find your phone on Flipsy
  2. Click on the “Locked or Blacklisted?” link
  3. Compare prices based on your phone’s condition, then choose the best offer to cash in on your locked phone