Choosing a Cellphone Unlock Service on eBay

If you've come to the conclusion you want to switch carriers for your cellphone, you may be concerned that you will have to purchase a new device that is compatible with the new carrier. However, thanks to an abundance of simple mobile unlock service providers on eBay, chances are good that you can quickly have your phone unlocked and ready to use with a different carrier. Here's how to choose your service:

Select an affordable unlock service by carrier

While some may be able to work with a variety of carriers, the majority of unlocking service providers only work with one initial carrier. Due to the vast reach of larger networks, most services will focus on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. However, you can also find Straight Talk iPhone unlock service, along with service from providers that focus on Boost Mobile and other smaller carriers.

Is your phone compatible?

Most of these services will mention "iPhone" or "Galaxy Note" in their listing titles, but you typically will need to read the listing to see all the models that are included. Unlock services seem to fall into two broad categories in this regard: those that will work with just about every model of a given phone type and those that will only work with newer models. Be sure to verify that your phone is compatible before purchase. Most providers stipulate that they will not unlock a phone that has been marked missing or stolen or has been associated with any type of fraud.

Look closely at success rates and refunds

It's unlikely that any eBay factory unlock service will be 100% successful, but many come close. While shopping, check the listing specifications. Most services will tell you their approximate success rate, usually in the form of a range. It makes sense to choose one with a higher success rate, but there's one other thing to consider, which is refunds. If you are at all unsure of whether your phone can be successfully unlocked, it's wise to choose a service that offers a refund if the unlocking attempt fails.

Consider turnaround time

Another aspect where new unlock service providers vary considerably is turnaround time. Even a quick search will show you that turnaround times will vary from an hour to 10 days. If you're on a tight budget, selecting a service with a longer turnaround time may be cost effective. However, if you urgently need the phone unlocked, paying a bit more for a faster turnaround might be warranted.