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Sold iPhone and serial number on box does not match phone

wormvortex

Member
I Sold an iPhone on eBay and serial number on box does not match phone. I did not know this and the phone was purchased by myself 2nd hand. The buyer is now asking for a refund saying it does not match the item description as I stated it comes with the original box.

Obviously the phone is genunine and has nothing wrong with it. Am I expect to expect a replacement because the box and phone do not have matching serial numbers?
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Did you take pictures of the box/note serial number on phone prior to selling?
If not, how will you know they’re not going to send back a different (presumably bad condition) phone to you?
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Imagine you will have little choice. eBay and PayPal side with the buyer most of the times and in this case, however trivial, the buyer has a valid reason. So if the buyer is intent on returning I fear that eBay and PayPal will find in their favour.

Sorry about that.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

wormvortex

Member
I have a photo of the serial number yes and it's the same as the one in the photo they have taken of the phone.

I did not pay any attention to the serial number on the box but it does have pen crossing out some of the words which I do remember seeing. I just never thought anything of it.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
It's technically still the original box that you got it in.......
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
I did not pay any attention to the serial number on the box but it does have pen crossing out some of the words which I do remember seeing. I just never thought anything of it.
Maybe ask if he can take some close up shots of the box so you can confirm it matches your photos you took of the box.
Just a bluff, but IF they’re a scammer, they may be put off if they think they’ve been rumbled.

If the box does look like you remember then you’ll probably have to accept a return. Worst case would be eBay refund him (as not as described) & tell him to keep the phone & not bother to return it to you :confused:

Maybe see if they’d be happy with a small partial refund to save the hassle of returning & then trying to sell again.
 

wormvortex

Member
He has taken photos of the phone and the box and the serial number on the phone matches the one I have and the box has the same pen marks on the back that I remember.

I've no idea why the serials do not match. I can only assume it was either replaced at some point or the previous shop put the wrong phone in the box???
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I have to ask a stupid question, so apologies in advance.

Unless you are amazingly Techy/Anal/OCD type of person, why does this matter?
Ok, so it's not the matching box, but is the product still as the buyer wanted, the condition and price?

I do agree about the idea of an easy way out would be to just bite you lip, take a deep breath, apologise for not noticing it, and offer a small refund to smooth things over.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Empty iPhone boxes go for around £6-15 on eBay.
Explain what you’ve said here, genuinely had no idea, ask him if he’s happy with the actual phone (most important thing), & offer him £10 back because of the box. If he returns you’ll pay more than that in postage & selling fees.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
He has taken photos of the phone and the box and the serial number on the phone matches the one I have and the box has the same pen marks on the back that I remember.

I've no idea why the serials do not match. I can only assume it was either replaced at some point or the previous shop put the wrong phone in the box???
This often happens when Apple replace a phone in a coffin box IIRC, often times you’ll see sellers clearly stipulate or buyers ask if the numbers on device and box match.
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
When Apple replaced my iPhone 6Plus a few years ago (bendgate that they didn’t officially recognise outside of US and the phone was 1 month out of warranty bought overseas so international warranty) they gave me a refurbished one. I still had the original box I bought the phone in at home and of course the serial numbers don’t match.

as others have said wnat is teh problem if they don’t match?If they take the phone to Apple they will check if it matches the original. Even if it doesn’t, check the serial number and make sure It is genuine.

even if they want to sell it on I again can’t see teh issue as long as it is genuine and in the Apple system somewhere. Refund £10-20 for the “wrong box”.

if they insist I suppose you need tk refund and get it back and resell stating the numbers are different (and hopefully be able to say why).

Bit of a chance they willscam you on the return so pursue the other avenues first :)
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Seems like people will try any little thing they can when it comes to pulling a fast one on ebay. Not surprising, when the the protection seems to heavily favour the buyer.
 

realfrankturner

Distinguished Member
Seems like people will try any little thing they can when it comes to pulling a fast one on ebay. Not surprising, when the the protection seems to heavily favour the buyer.
Same on Amazon

I used to work for a company that sold thousands of pounds of stuff a day on there and I ran the Amazon/Ebay side of things.

Worse story was a guy who bought a phone for few hundred quid, rung up same day he got it and said he didn't want it anymore, I said fine I will confirm everything via the messaging/returns system so there is a trail and you can return it for a full refund upon checks being done once recieved.

He then opened an A/Z saying the phone wasn't as described, and Amazon just refunded him via our funds and he never returned it despite being chased up legally, and just got away with it.

Most people are honest, but there are the ones that will try it on that ruin it.
 

wormvortex

Member
Offered a partial refund but he declined this is the response. I will let eBay decide to outcome but I imagine they will force a return. Lesson learned. Don’t sell on eBay. Not worth it.

Dear Seller, Due to the lack of trust with this deal, I am not happy to keep the item because it doesn't match the description or photos
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Doesn't match the photos? he's fibbing isn't he?
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Dear Seller, Due to the lack of trust with this deal, I am not happy to keep the item because it doesn't match the description or photos
It’s the same box & phone in the photo/listing, no?
Unless you had put the serial number of the box & phone on the listing, or posted a picture of the serial number, then in what way doesn’t it match the description or photos?
 

Vini

Active Member
The Model number (and therefore serial) has a slightly different prefix if it has been swapped/serviced by Apple. Could this help provide an explanation in your case? (Admittedly, this may also put the user off, if he thinks he’s gotten “a refurb”, though he’s buying second hand, so...)

Equally. I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve seen boxes that do not match actual phone. Especially if they’ve come from CeX or the likes. To them, a box is a box is a box! (Which is how it should be really, the box has no function in the scheme of things.)

If I notice a mismatch during sale/taking of photos, I’ll often Stanley knife the serial bit from the sticker on the case 🙈

Which is overkill, but at least it’s as pictured”.


Finding the model number of your iPhone is easy. Tap on Settings > General > About and scroll down to the Model section. This setting will show you the nine-digit model number that you can use to determine the origin of your iPhone.

Check if iPhone is New or Refurbished, How-To

  • M – your iPhone is new
  • F– your iPhone is refurbished (refurbished by Apple or a carrier)
  • N – your iPhone is an Apple replacement phone
  • P – your iPhone was personalized with engraving
On newer iPhones such as the iPhone 8 and higher, the model number is also visible in the SIM tray slot. You will need to remove the SIM tray and look.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
All the explanations and suggestions are all very well, and I agree that the matter is pretty trivial, but it is all pretty moot because it will all come down to what eBay say.

Fact - the buyer has received a phone and a box that don’t match. This wasn’t mentioned or shown in the listing. The buyer is nervous that something fishy is going on so is requesting a return and refund. I expect eBay will find in favour of the buyer and if the seller doesn’t comply eBay will simply force a refund.

We can say that the issue is trivial all we like, everyone here is saying why does it matter, regardless it seems to matter to the buyer and it is what eBay decides that matters.

All the same, it would be interesting to see the listing, if it is worded such that it has been owned from new and never had any problems, I might question why the phone and box don’t match myself.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
Last edited:

Vini

Active Member
All the explanations and suggestions are all very well, and I agree that the matter is pretty trivial, but it is all pretty moot because it will all come down to what eBay say.

Fact - the buyer has received a phone and a box that don’t match. This wasn’t mentioned or shown in the listing. The buyer is nervous that something fishy is going on so is requesting a return and refund. I expect eBay will find in favour of the buyer and if the seller doesn’t comply eBay will simply force a refund.

We can say that the issue is trivial all we like, everyone here is saying why does it matter, regardless it seems to matter to the buyer and it is what eBay decides that matters.

Cheers,

Nigel
Yup OP will have to chalk this one up as a case of live and learn.

Common sense and eBay don’t go hand in hand.
 

NorvernRob

Distinguished Member
When we traded in my wife’s iPhone 6 to CEX a while ago I noticed the serial numbers on the phone and box didn’t match. It had been a brand new phone from Sky a couple of years previously. CEX weren’t bothered, if they even checked.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
All the same, it would be interesting to see the listing, if it is worded such that it has been owned from new and never had any problems, I might question why the phone and box don’t match myself.
OP bought it second hand.
 

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