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IMEI Lookups: Guide to Identifying and Validating Used Phones

When buying or selling a used smartphone, one of the most important things you can do is perform an IMEI lookup. The IMEI, or International Mobile Equipment Identity, is a 15-digit code unique to each mobile phone. An IMEI lookup allows you to get key information about a device before deciding to buy or sell it on sites like Gizmogo.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about IMEI numbers and IMEI lookup reports. You’ll learn what an IMEI code is, why these reports are so useful for buying and selling phones, where to enter an IMEI number to get a free report, and how to understand the detailed information in your lookup results. Let’s get started!

What is the IMEI Number?

The IMEI number is a unique 15-digit code assigned to every single mobile phone, typically found behind the phone’s battery or on the box. This code is used to identify valid devices in mobile networks, so each code is given to a phone by the manufacturer and is different across devices.

Even two phones that are the exact same model from the same manufacturer will have different IMEI numbers. This allows networks to recognize each specific device, rather than blocking all devices of a certain model or brand if issues arise.

So, what is the main purpose of the IMEI number and having it displayed on each mobile phone?

It comes down to security, blocking stolen devices, and understanding a phone’s history. Cellular networks and authorities use the IMEI number to block any phone that has been stolen and placed on a global blacklist. The IMEI number also allows third-party services to track key details of each device based on its unique code.

This brings us to IMEI lookup reports… Check here

What is an IMEI Lookup Report?

An IMEI lookup is the process of searching a device’s 15-digit IMEI code in specialized databases to retrieve a detailed history and usage report. These reports use the phone’s unique IMEI number to access information that includes:

  • The phone’s model and technical specifications
  • What network(s) it was locked to when originally purchased
  • If the device has any negative history such as being lost, stolen, blacklisted, or tied to fraud
  • Usage on different networks internationally over months or years
  • Warranty and purchase dates

So in short, an IMEI lookup allows you to validate and learn the full history of any phone based on its unique identification code.

Why are IMEI Lookup Reports so Useful?

For both buyers and sellers, IMEI lookup reports help avoid wasted money and hassles when exchanging devices. Lookup reports help:

  • Verify the phone works normally and has no issues that would impact functionality
  • Confirm the phone model to know its exact hardware and software specs
  • Check internationally if the device is blacklisted as lost or stolen
  • See if the phone is locked to a certain carrier and where it was originally purchased
  • Understand how much past usage a device has seen across different carriers

Without running an IMEI lookup and reading the device history, it’s much riskier buying or selling a used phone. You won’t be able to validate anything beyond physical condition when judging if a price seems fair.

Where To Enter an IMEI Number For a Free Lookup Report

Many websites offer free IMEI lookup reports by simply entering the 15-digit IMEI code. Top sites include:

  • CheckMEND – Comprehensive used device history reports
  • – Quick validation of phone model specs and blacklisting
  • FoneFinder – Detailed reporting of US and international carrier usage

The process only takes a minute. First, locate the IMEI number on your device by dialing *#06# or checking under Settings > General > About. You’ll then enter the 15-digit code on any IMEI lookup site above and get immediate access to a history report on that phone.

CheckMEND tends to provide the most robust details, while the other sites offer quicker headline verifications. Every site is free to use for basic reports.

Reading and Understanding Your IMEI Lookup Report

Once you generate an IMEI lookup report, you’ll want to analyze the results to learn the full background of a mobile phone. Key details to understand on your lookup report include:

  • Device Details – Shows the confirmed model name and technical specifications based on the IMEI code. This helps you properly identify the hardware and features.
  • Ownership Profile – Indicates the original purchase date and country. Also note the length and type of warranty.
  • Usage Profile – Usage details help determine real-world battery lifespan. Shows cumulative call minutes, texts sent, and data used over time.
  • Service Provider History -essential for understanding if the phone has only been used with one carrier or many over its lifetime.
  • Status Checks – These validate if the phone has any negative statuses like lost, stolen, blacklisted, barred, or fraud. Critical for risk evaluation.
  • Condition Report – Some IMEI lookups generate a condition grade for the device based on age and usage. Helps gauge fair secondhand value.

Carefully going through all categories in your IMEI report gives you peace of mind about any used phone’s history before buying or selling it services like Gizmogo. You’ll understand exactly how each device has been used and whether it poses any problems.

Why Perform an IMEI Lookup Before Reselling Your Phone?

Selling your used phone responsibly means having all the details to inform buyers and list the device accurately. Running an IMEI lookup helps you:

  • Confirm your phone’s technical specifications and model details
  • List how much usage the phone has seen to demonstrate lifespan
  • Prove your device has no negative statuses and verify it is fully functional
  • Determine the number of previous carriers and original purchase country
  • Price your phone competitively based on age, usage, and condition grades

Informed sellers can build buyer confidence, price phones according to real-world value, and avoid issues after the sale. By providing an IMEI lookup report, you’re being transparent so buyers have nothing to doubt about your phone’s background.

Selling a Phone Without an IMEI Number

In very rare cases, a phone may not have an IMEI number located anywhere in its settings. This can happen if a device’s internal hardware was damaged and required replacement. When reselling a phone without an IMEI, it’s smart to:

  • Note the IMEI is missing immediately so buyers understand why running a report isn’t possible
  • Provide detailed photos, allowing buyers to fully inspect the condition
  • List the original purchase date, location, and carrier details you have
  • Check if the device has any unique serial numbers or codes that offer some identification
  • Price the phone accordingly based on age and testing functionality

Although an IMEI lookup isn’t viable, you can still take action to sell responsibly. Increased documentation gives buyers more confidence despite having no IMEI for reference.

Protecting Yourself from Fraud When Buying Used Phones

While most buyers and sellers of secondhand phones are honest, fraud does happen. Follow these tips when purchasing phones to avoid being ripped off:

  • Run your own IMEI lookup for validation instead of trusting any reports the seller provides
  • Meet locally if buying directly from an individual rather than trusting shipping
  • Verify phone functionality thoroughly before finalizing any transaction
  • Pay securely with buyer protection through sites like Gizmogo rather than risky methods

As long as you independently confirm a device’s history through an IMEI lookup and operate safely, buying used phones is usually very reliable. Be vigilant and you can land great deals on tested devices.

Selling Properly on Secondhand Marketplaces

When reselling your used phone, make sure to get properly prepared:

  • Perform a complete factory reset and remove any accounts
  • Gather accessories like cases and cables to add value
  • Provide original packaging and documentation if you still have it
  • Clean your phone thoroughly before taking photos and listing
  • Run an IMEI lookup to provide detailed usage history and have the confidence to list accurate details

Also, price according to real-world value by checking completed listings on Gizmogo rather than overpricing your phone. And offer free returns within short windows to build trust.

The more information you supply and the better condition your device is in, the quicker and simpler it will be to sell it successfully.

Sell or Buy Used Phone on Gizmogo

From both buyer and seller perspectives, there’s no question that IMEI lookup reports are invaluable tools when exchanging secondhand phones. By entering a device’s unique IMEI code before any transaction, you gain immediate access to extensive details on usage, history, blacklisting status, and hardware.

IMEI lookups help ensure you never buy or sell a phone completely blind. You’ll have complete confidence thanks to the full transparency provided in these reports. For the latest prices when selling your device or scoring deals on used phones locally, be sure to check Gizmogo as the top marketplace for responsibly exchanging electronics.