Do you remember the day when AT&T started unlocking the out-of-contract iPhone? I do. It was April 8, 2012. If you were a customer in good standing, AT&T allowed up to 5 devices per year to be unlocked under your account.
That’s when the world of unlocking became just a little greener, if you know what I mean.
Individuals started popping up on eBay “selling” their unlocks for $70USD-$100USD or more! AT&T did not intend for that to happen, I’m sure. Later, the “official” unlocking sites drastically drove the price down within a couple of months to a “reasonable” $8-12 range.
These official unlocking sites even offered to let you in on the unlocking game: Sign up on their site as a reseller, get a little discount and become the 3rd party unlock solution. Yeah, I did it too and made a little success out of it. Those offers are still out there for those who dare to venture into this world.
One of the challenges selling on eBay was trying to differentiate yourself from the myriads of individuals and companies doing the exact same thing. What initially helped me is that I’ve been a member of eBay since April, 2000 with 100% positive feedback.
That’s easy when you’ve sold only 3 items! Seriously, individuals are a bit wary about whom they’re going to purchase their unlock from. Many scams abounded then and still do today.
After a few price adjustments, a little prettying up of my ad and several more positive feedback postings, I wasn’t doing too bad. Over the course of about three months, I made about $700USD unlocking iPhones.
Of course, I did it for the money. But something deep down inside of me wanted to give back that feeling I experienced when I first unlocked my own iPhone 3GS.
I knew that someone out there was frustrated and needed to have their iPhone unlocked for whatever reason. After sending the customer that long awaited email, it was very satisfying to have them write back “THANKS!! It works 100%!!” However, everything wasn’t 100% all of the time.
It’s true that sellers could scam you, but what about those buyers scamming the sellers? How would I keep up with all of those customers, the “failed” unlocks, refunds and questions?
I’ll do my best to let you know how I dealt with all of that and more.