Can I Sell My Locked Phone?

Has your phone been locked or blocked? Perhaps you’ve forgotten your password, experienced a dreaded cracked screen, or perhaps your phone has locked due to other issues that can happen. Then you might have thought, “Can I ever sell my mobile?”

Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Selling your device, locked or otherwise, might well be possible and easier than you think. We’ll explain why phones get locked and what to do if your phone is locked for various reasons. We’ll also clarify some misconceptions about device wiping and how it could affect your ability to sell your phone.

Understanding locked and blocked phones

Locked, blocked or inaccessible, these can all make you think you cannot sell a mobile phone. Often, these terms can also get confused. What some people may consider locked may actually be blocked, so we thought we’d explore this first to make it easier to understand what we mean when discussing blocked and locked phones.

Locked to network

A locked-to-network phone is, just as the name suggests, a smartphone that is tied or ‘locked’ to a specific network carrier, meaning it can only be used with that carrier’s network. However, as of 2021, all phones sold in the UK are unlocked as standard, making it easier to switch contracts when you find a better deal at the end of your contract.

Blocked phones

A ‘blocked’ phone, however, is a device that has been barred or blocked from making calls, sending text messages, or using mobile data. This can happen for various reasons, such as reported theft or loss, lack of payment, or the phone being identified as fraudulently acquired.

Inaccessible phones

Many people also confuse the term ‘locked’ to also mean they cannot access it due to not having the lock screen passcode, password or the crazy lock pattern that older phones favoured. This is sometimes no fault of the user. It could be an old phone you may have forgotten the password for, or the broken screen could prevent you from accessing the device, making it inaccessible.

Does this mean you can’t sell your phone if it’s locked or blocked?

The potential problems with blocked phones

There could be any number of reasons why a manufacturer or carrier might block a phone, and this is often a safeguard put in place to combat fraudulent activities:

Reported theft or loss: If a phone is reported as stolen or lost, the carrier or manufacturer can block the device from being used. This is done to prevent unauthorised users from accessing sensitive information on the device.

Non-payment: If the user has not paid their phone bills or has an unsettled account linked with the device, carriers may proceed to block the device.

Fraudulently acquired: If it’s reported or suspected that a device has been fraudulently acquired, for instance, in the case of large-scale theft, the carrier may block the phone to prevent its use or resale.

Of course, if you’ve reported your phone lost or stolen and find it again after getting a new device, you must contact the service provider to unlock the device if possible. As a responsible phone recycling facility, we ensure that every phone we receive is a genuine sale by the owner. Any phones still blocked by the network will be notified to the network, and we will be unable to proceed with the sale.

What about if my phone is locked to a network?

In the past, network providers used to lock phones to their network to keep customers tied to their services throughout their contract period and beyond. That’s not the case anymore! As mentioned above, from December 2021, all phones sold in the UK must be unlocked. This new policy is great news; it ensures you are treated fairly when purchasing a device. You can now switch to other network providers and explore other options for cheaper services once your contract expires.

However, if you still have an old iPhone or other smartphone locked to a network, don’t worry! You can still sell your device without any trouble if you have fully paid off your contract. So, if you are wondering whether you can sell your iPhone if it’s locked to an old network, the answer is a YES: you can!

But my phone is locked, and I can’t unlock it to wipe it!

Accessing a locked phone can be challenging due to forgotten passwords or physical damage like cracked screens. When you forget your password or pattern, accessing your personal data and contacts becomes almost impossible. Even if you remember your password, a cracked screen can make it difficult to input it due to unresponsive touch responses.

We know that accidents can happen, so if your phone is damaged and preventing you from selling, it shouldn’t. You can still sell your broken phone to us and get an incredible price.

Other issues that could lock your phone include:

  • Software glitches
  • Virus attacks
  • Security breaches

Whilst all these issues make it hard to utilise the device fully, it shouldn’t stop you from selling it; just send it our way, get paid and upgrade to a fully functioning phone with the likes of our refurbished devices.

Data concerns when selling your locked phone?

If you ever find yourself with a locked and inaccessible phone for genuine reasons, don’t worry. Most phones will have a cloud that you can wipe the device from; for example, if you are looking to sell a Samsung S22, either log into your Samsung account or Google account. There could be an option to remove your accounts from a device you no longer use.

Failing that, Mazuma is here to help you out! Our team follows a thorough testing process and uses cutting-edge software to securely access and wipe your device. We understand your privacy is important and are committed to offering you the best service. So, you can rest assured that any data on the phones we receive is removed completely and securely during our processing.

Will wiping my phone myself remove any blocks?

You may have heard that wiping a device using software can remove any blocking or locking issues. While it may work in some cases, we want to let you know that at Mazuma, we have an extensive testing policy that allows us to access the entire history of the phone, including any network red flags.

So, even if you remove the blocks by wiping the device, any past issues will still show up in our systems. But don’t worry, we’re not here to judge or punish anyone. However, if we suspect this has been done to conceal criminal activities, we may need to report the situation to the network and place the device on hold until the issue is resolved. This is because we strongly commit to operating within legal parameters and keeping the marketplace safe and fair for everyone.

Ready to trade in your locked phone?

Whilst you can’t sell your blocked or barred phones, we’re more than happy to offer you a great price for your device if it is locked or restricted to a particular network. However, If you’re unsure about your phone, feel free to contact our helpful team.

They will review the issues you may have with your device and let you know if you can trade-in your phone. So whether you want to sell a locked iPhone or a Samsung locked to a network, Mazuma can give you a great price, so why not get a quote today?