calling all ebay cell phone dealer information knower persons
March 9, 2008 4:49 PM   Subscribe

So I just purchased a ' BRAND NEW HTC MOGUL W/ CLEAR ESN, FREE CAR CHARGER NIB!' from eBay, and now have a few questions about how these cell phone dealers work.

1 - Where are they getting their merchandise? "YOU ARE BIDDING ON A BRAND NEW HTC MOGUL NEVER BEEN TAKEN OUT FROM THE BOX." (granted it doesn't say anything about not being a referb)

2 - Does anybody know how much they might pay for, say the Mogul in the ad above, or how much profit they might be making on these? The last three of Moguls from this seller sold for $300, $305, and $324.99. Purchasing with a from Sprint w/contract would be $350 or $399, sans-contract $550.

3 - If, for some reason, I still have a temptation to try my hand at what they are doing after reading the feedback for q1 and q2, what else should I know?
posted by B(oYo)BIES to Shopping (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1. The boxes pictured in the listing are in Sprint PCS packaging, not white label (unbranded) HTC boxes. Sprint has a great wholesale program (which is why they have so many MVNOs), so I'm guessing that the seller has some type of deal set up with HTC through Sprint. There are also distribution centers such as Brightpoint or Brightstar that wholesalers use to buy handsets. If the ESN/MEID is actually "clean"-- meaning that it's loaded in to Sprint's systems and it's not marked as a stolen handset-- then they definitely have a direct deal set up with Sprint.

2. The US handset market for carriers is based on subsidy. That's why when you buy a phone for $99 instead of $299 you have to sign a 2-year contract. Phones aren't cheap, so the carrier wants to re-coup the cost of the handset. On the other hand, wholesalers and MVNOs can get handsets for cheap if they buy up extra stock from other dealers. There are multiple factors to the equation, but I would say that the Moguls cost the seller around $200 a unit.

3. I meet people every other day who have made money selling handsets and as wholesalers. GSM handsets don't require you to have relationships with carriers, but CDMA handsets do. On the CDMA side, Verizon's announcement that they will allow handset movement to and from their service can only help handset sales.

Enjoy your Mogul.
posted by jivesoul at 6:40 PM on March 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

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