NCL Warns Consumers of Online Smart Phone Resale Fraud

By on December 17, 2014

Tech-savvy consumers often trade-in their smart phones when new models with improved features are released into the market, but some consumers opt for selling their device to a third party online reseller.  Resale may sound like a reasonable option, but according to the National Consumers League (NCL), some online resellers are ripping off consumers.

The legitimate resale process generally operates as follows:

1) a consumer fills out on online form, providing information about the device they intend to sell.

2) the reseller responds with an initial quote. If the consumer accepts the quote, then they may print a prepaid mailing label and ship the device to the reseller.

3) after receiving the device, the reseller either confirms the initial quote or adjust the offer.

4) if the consumer accepts adjusted quote, then the reseller pays the consumer.

Fraudsters lure consumers by promising higher trade-in values, but then significantly reduce their offers after receiving devices from consumers for inspection. If a consumer rejects the reseller’s low ball adjusted quote, the device is never returned to the consumer.

The NCL advises consumers who are considering selling the used smart phone to either do business in-person with resellers in their community. If consumers still choose to sell their smart phone online, then the NCL recommends performing due diligence prior to shipping their device.

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