During a recent summer vacation, we stopped in at a pawn shop to look for “treasures”. We noticed several iPhones in good condition behind the counter, and we inquired about them. They were a great deal and had I been alone in the store, I would’ve probably bought one. However, I had someone with me who knows technology and everything “Apple”.  After looking at the phone and doing a little inquiry, it was revealed that whomever had sold the phone to the shop, had neglected to sign out of his/her Apple ID and thus the phone was iCloud locked. Meaning, without the previous owner’s Apple ID and password, the phone could not be used!

The iCloud lock is set up to discourage theft. However it’s an important feature to know about, should you desire to  sell an iPhone or purchase a used one.

This was news to the store owner, as he had thought that because the phones had been wiped/erased that they were “good to go”. As we looked at the other iPhones he had available, we found the same problem to be the true for those phones as well!  He now had several phones sitting there, virtually worthless (except for parts)

So, we share this post with you today for two reasons:

  1. To know how to prepare your iPhone for a sale (and have a happy customer)
    2. To prevent you the frustration and expense of purchasing a used iPhone that is iCloud locked and thus unusable.

Simply wiping or erasing your data is not enough to prepare the iPhone for a sale

To prepare your phone for sale, heres what you want to do:

  • Back up your iOS device to iCloud. This way, when you register a new Apple product with the same Apple account, you will still have access to all your data and photos etc.




Next, go to Settings > iCloud










Scroll to the Bottom and press Sign Out. Confirm





Once you confirmed that you signed out, you can wipe/erase your device by going to:

General > Reset > Reset all content and settings.

Your personal information and data will now no longer be accessible and your phone is ready to sell!

Selling a phone or tablet that you aren’t using is a great way to make some extra money!  Not to mention de-cluttering your home at the same time, so win win 😉

Want to Buy a Used iPhone?

Save money by buying used, but don’t waste money by getting stuck with an iCloud locked phone!

If you are purchasing a used iPhone and are wondering if a device is iCloud locked, you can enter in the IMEI/Serial number here to find out: https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/

You can find the IMEI/Serial number by looking at the back of the phone, or by tapping the “i” on the setup screen. You will now know if the phone is ready to have a new owner, and won’t be wasting any of your cash.


Bonus Frugal Living Tip:

Don’t forget you can also shop “Refurbished” on  Apple’s website to save money on Apple products, but still have the convenience of a One Year Warranty.  You can save 10-15% by buying refurbished and it still comes with the same warranty as if you were buying it new!




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2 thoughts on “What You Must Do Before Selling an iPhone

  1. Excellent information. Something everyone should know (especially pawn shop owners)
    I’m just wondering, though, I’m thinking of buying an iPad. Would this info apply to them as well?
    Thanks for the heads up 👍

    Posted on 19/10/2016 at 9:23 am
    1. Thanks for visiting our blog, glad you found this useful.:) To answer your question, yes, the same applies to iPhones or to iPads. Hope you find a great deal on your upcoming purchase!

      Posted on 20/10/2016 at 4:36 pm