1. Wetstuff's Avatar
    I was considering buying an unbroken 3GS or i4 ..to wait out the i5 ...but the prices seem really high? My biz rep for ATT says get a non-contract phone and then a 'contract' i5 when released. (I have lived with the snakes at Verizon tooooo long. I am cutting two landlines)

    Yet, when I look at Ebay the prices get many bids and the recent i4 selling prices have been between $500 - $1,000 (the later for a new, 32GB..) A ATT, '2yr contract' 3GS is $49 .. the base i4 is $199.

    I know phone companies play a shell game like in Times Square, but I cannot figure the logic of the used prices. I would appreciate some illumination. Thanks.

    Jim/Maryland
    02-03-2011 02:13 PM
  2. anaphora68's Avatar
    Jim,

    The used price on Ebay and CL is not really a market price, that's what private buyers are charging. Most likely they are trying to recoup the ETF they incurred when they bought the phone on contract, and make a profit.
    02-03-2011 02:50 PM
  3. sting7k's Avatar
    They are like that because the real price of a new iPhone 4 for 16/32GB is $599/699.

    When you buy one for $199/299 from AT&T you are getting a heavy subsidy for signing a two year contract.
    02-03-2011 03:03 PM
  4. Wetstuff's Avatar
    You both make sense... Sting, I'll think I'll accept the subsidy. I hate these long contracts, they feel like death sentences. I just got sentenced to Death by Comcast to get rid of Verizon, but they buy off the politicians, so they do not have to compete in the market. A least in the cellular market there is a choice. Thanks/Cheers.

    Jim
    02-03-2011 04:59 PM
  5. Garz's Avatar
    Because you are not signing a 2 year contract
    02-03-2011 05:02 PM
  6. ChrisGonzales90's Avatar
    Yeah, now that Comcast owns NSC Universal who knows whats going to happen to our programing...

    and another reason why its so high is because its an Apple product, and there are people who will pay anything to get their hands on an Apple product.
    02-03-2011 05:03 PM
  7. boomhower1820's Avatar
    Another reason they are so high is overseas sales. Since they are GSM they can be used in many countries. There are still a lot of countries you can't buy an iPhone in. People buy them and sell them overseas ad make a tidy profit.
    02-03-2011 05:25 PM
  8. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    The false idea that there is a limited quantity is one reason the prices are set high on eBay and Craigslist...some people still think these phones are hard to come by, but after the christmas rush chilled, the prices should float down about $100 less than they were.

    For instance...i sold my iP4 right before Xmas for $625. Today i was looking on eBay and CL and saw that you can easily score them for under $500 used. The upcharge is always going to be there for the reasons stated before (no contract, local availability, people's desire to be hobbits and never leave their home to go out to an Apple or AT&T store, etc)...and obviously, when the newness of a phone is in full effect, the prices are going to be ridiculous for a while, and taper off.

    One thing that stays constant though and always has is what boomhower was talking about, overseas buyers sometimes can't even GET the iPhone in their country, and will pay absurd amounts for them. The iPhone 4 was going for well over $1,000 a pop in China, Russia and other countries over there...and many are still right in that range today because you simply can't get them anywhere over there.

    So you combine all those things and you get a private market price that is obviously going to be higher...you can never expect the iPhone to be in the range of what it sells for under a 2 year contract...even the FIRST gen iPhones are more expensive than the $49.99 3GS (2 year contract) price right now, and that is just because those low prices are what snags many unsuspecting customers into a contract thinking they are getting a steal, not knowing they are actually paying more than full retail for the phone they are purchasing over the length of the contract.

    The rest of us just enjoy pain i suppose...lol.
    02-03-2011 05:43 PM
  9. sting7k's Avatar
    You both make sense... Sting, I'll think I'll accept the subsidy. I hate these long contracts, they feel like death sentences. I just got sentenced to Death by Comcast to get rid of Verizon, but they buy off the politicians, so they do not have to compete in the market. A least in the cellular market there is a choice. Thanks/Cheers.

    Jim
    Here's the secret to Comcast, when your "promotional" price is over. Call them and say you are going to switch to directTV because the new price is too expensive. About 10 minutes later you will have more services and a lower price. I've done this 3 years in a row. Never paid for HBO. This year they threw in a second HD DVR and lowered my price by $5 a month. They aren't so bad.

    Sean is also right about the secondary iPhone market. For some reason people still think it's hard to get In the US, especially the 4, and so they will just pay what ever. In other countries I guess it is still hard to come by. Also, depending on your baseband/firmware and it's jailbreakableness/unlockableness the value is higher for many who are willing to pay.
    Last edited by sting7k; 02-03-2011 at 08:25 PM.
    02-03-2011 08:21 PM
  10. Wetstuff's Avatar
    Sting: I do that back/forth with Dish & Direct every two years. I actually switched from Comcast (internet only) to a Verizon DSL package deal when Comcast was over. Verizon's DSL does not work with a Mac worth a damn! They finally sent me a wireless modem that helps a little, but my up/dn speeds on my ATT iPad at home are faster than Verizon's DSL.. and I live in the boonies where I need a repeater antennas to get a signal.

    I found a i4 locally for <$500, so I will sell it when the i5 is released. Thanks all, for lifting the fog.

    Jim
    02-04-2011 09:11 AM
  11. jackhale's Avatar
    As long as the demand is high, prices will always be up. Remember the iPod days, before the iPhone? you could wait weeks and months and prices won't drop on them.
    02-04-2011 07:01 PM
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