August 5, 2009

What did I learn selling my friend's cell phone!

Cell phones are good things. But sometimes they can turn out to be a pain in the neck. My friend's Sony Ericson Z555i turned out to be one such disaster. It had a fascinating look, as though it was made out of crystals. But my friend realized looks can deceive. The phone was never loud or clear, the way Sony Ericson Phones are usually expected to be. It behaved in different ways at different times. Sometimes it was loud and sometimes it never made a noise even if some one called you. It had an option where you could just wave your hand on the phone and make it silent when it rang. But that rarely worked. I used to see my friend waving his hand on the phone in desperation when it rang and it just wouldn't listen. And my friend decided to sell the thing off and get a new one.

Sell the cell phone! And I joined in. That was when we learned a few things about the 'second-hand' phone market out there. Let me share a few of the things we have learned with you:
  1. After you start using a phone, don't throw the box it came in away. Phones with the packages they come in, with all the bits and pieces of paper that came along with it, can fetch you a lot more than a phone with no box.
  2. Keep the bill. Phones with bills are easy to sell.
  3. Don't buy phones that you can flap shut or slide open. They look good and stylish, I agree. But 'second-hand' phone dealers look at them like a piece of good for nothing crap. If your phone is one piece, people will buy.
  4. When you buy a phone in India and you want to sell it later, buy a Nokia Phone. No, I am not campaigning for Nokia here. I know many of the Nokia phones suck equally when it comes to performance. But in the Indian 'second-hand' market, Noika Cell Phones are revered than any one. So are some of the Sony Ericson models, only if they are in single piece.
  5. Go to at least five or six 'second-hand' dealers, before you get rid of 'that-bloody-thing'. You will gain a sense of how much you can ask for your piece of trash.
  6. Make sure that your phone is working, at least for the time the 'dealer guy' is going to check it and certify it. If the phone malfunctions, as the guy is checking, you are doomed. The price can come down drastically. 
  7. Make sure that you know the model number of your phone and when it was thrown into the market. Sometimes, these people can tell you that it is an old and useless model and will not fetch you much. The more you know about your phone, the better.

After all the hardships we had to go through to sell off the Z555i, my friend decided one thing. He is not going after the look and style any more. Before buying a new phone for him, we went and saw many models. Talked to people who knows about mobile phones. We identified a few good models, came back to look at reviews on them in different 'product review sites'. Once we went back and decided which phone to buy, we checked when and where the phone was made. [Made in China is strictly a 'no no' and Manufactured four or five months ago is again a 'no no' ] Made sure that we have a warranty or guarantee for all the bits and pieces of the phone, including the battery, the charger and the ear phone, at least for a year. [Now remember, the dealer would say there is Guarantee for all the stuff in the cell phone box. But sometimes he may not put his seal on all the papers related to Guarantee. Make sure that you have the dealer's seal and signature on the guarantee cards.] We insisted that the sales guy gave us a live demo of the phone. Made sure that it had all the features we wanted. And then bought the new one. 
Worth the trouble. A few minutes ago, my friend called me and said that 'the phone is good'. By the way, it is another Sony Ericson. I wish it would remain so for as long as he wants.

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