I finally settled on purchasing a 32GB iPhone 3GS this past weekend. And I NEED to tell you the adventure that it was to get it into my pocket.
I’ve been saving up for the iPhone 4 since Christmas 2009, agreeing with my wife that I could purchase it as my birthday present this year, as my birthday is in June. So June comes, Apple introduces their brand new, beautiful peace of art in the iPhone 4 and I’m set to win my prize. However, amidst the waiting I had to suffer as I waited for iPhone 4 to be released here in Canada, I had a change of heart.
I have a cousin who bought the original iPhone when it was first released in the US, the one that was never released in Canada. He was looking for a 3GS to buy himself with the iPhone 4 now available. He didn’t want the 4 because he does not want to pay for data, same as he has not done with his existing original iPhone. After finding out how he gets away with preventing any data usage and how easy it is to do, I was convinced I wanted to do the same, as I find my data plan to be an unnecessary luxury at this point in my budget.
So I set out to find a 32GB 3GS instead. eBay didn’t have much to offer. Apple was only offering the 8GB brand new for $550, and 32GBs were priced around $500 on Kijiji. So I kept an eye on available black iPhones on Kijiji. I’m not big on buying from Kijiji sales as there’s very little accountability from sellers and you normally have to pay cash. But to get a 32GB for that price, I didn’t have much choice.
Well, I found a phone that seemed decent enough. It was purchased in February, so there was 6 months still left on the warranty, and the seller was selling it because he bought an iPhone 4. (The hope being in making such a statement that the phone isn’t stolen.) I sent a message to the seller, he called me back and we set a time to meet up.
We met in a Fresh Co. parking lot. We was a young guy driving his father’s Cadillac around. He seemed legit and was friendly. Julie and I took a look at the phone, trying to see if there was anything physically wrong with it. I couldn’t check its functionality as the phone had been reset to factory already. That seemed a bit shady, but wasn’t completely unreasonable as of course he wouldn’t sell it with his personal info on it. He also offered it at a good price too, much lower than what was generally on Kijiji, and he reduced it even further because he thought I was a nice guy, asking him where to meet instead of demanding he meet me somewhere for this.
So we agreed to buy it. I followed him over to a bank so I could get the cash and he waited in the parking lot. I brought the cash out to him, jokingly saying “You got the stuff?” as I brought it to him. I counted it out for him so he knew it was all there, and we made the exchange. I went back to my car, and he went on his way.
When we opened the box however, we found the phone had a crack in the screen on the lower corner that we never saw before. Your ultimate concern suddenly appears reality–did he swap the phone while he waited in the car? I was freaking out, feeling as if I had been had.
I quickly called the seller back, telling him about this crack we didn’t see. He said he didn’t know it was there either, and he said he would come back to us. We waited for a few minutes, wondering if we were waiting for nothing, wondering if we had been “had”. Sure enough, the seller came back! I showed him the crack and I wasn’t sure what his response would be. He felt bad about it, as he had not seen it before. You could only see it if you moved it a certain way in the light.
I was going to tell him to forget about it, but waited for his response instead. He said he had a friend who had his screen replaced for $50 and said he could do that for us. I told him I would go get it fixed myself, and he could just give me $50 off the price. That way he doesn’t have to worry about it and I get it cheaper. He agreed to that. He gave me the money, and we parted ways feeling a little better about it all.
I got in and started my car, when a policeman walked up behind the car and knocked on the trunk, asking me to turn the car off and step out of the vehicle. Having done nothing wrong, I got out without argument.
The policeman asked me if I knew “that man,” pointing towards the guy I just bought the phone off of. I said, “Yeah, I just bought an iPhone off of him. Is it stolen?!? Please don’t tell me it’s stolen!” (I was afraid my biggest concern was coming true.) The policeman said, “What??” I told him, “Kijiji! I just bought an iPhone from him.”
He turned his head and laughed with a big smile saying, “Are you kidding?? Someone called us saying there was a drug deal going on! Carry on.” And he walked away.
So that was the exciting experience of buying an iPhone 3GS. The seller called us on our way home, asking us what happened. We found it pretty funny that we had been talking about $50 and crack for 10 minutes before they showed up. Haha.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the phone works great! Hopefully I won’t have to buy from Kijiji again any time soon.