So I set out to find a solution.
The options that were left had their own pro's and con's, but being a young teen I was ready to experience every option myself.
Classified Ad's: Learning the hard way...
The first obvious choice was Craigslist. I found someone selling a used phone that I wanted. I met them up at a local McDonald's, after testing the device and negotiating a little on the price I bought the phone.
It worked perfectly for three weeks and then the ESN / IMEI (which is serial number of the phone by which it is tracked.) went bad. After contacting the carrier I was told that the customer had stopped paying for the phone and thus they had put the phone on the block list. In other words it was nothing more than an iPod now. I got burned. And lost money.
Why didn't I check the esn? Well I did, but it was blocked after I purchased it. There was no way for me to know that this could happen. Too risky.
It could have been worse: if the phone was stolen, the matter could have become a legal issue.
Also: I have encountered people who first sell their phone and them claim it to be lost to get money from their insurance. Sad and Pathetic.
Shortly after this happened,I wend wit a friend of mines to meet up a an individual selling their phone off craigslist. I told my friend my experience but he said that the seller seemed like a nice guy. So I agreed to go with him. When we met at the McDonald's the guy started acting suspicious. I told my friend to not go outside the McDonald's but he told my friend that he used to work at that McDonald's and got fired so he didn't want to come inside. At this point the sirens inside my head going crazy. I told my friend that I wasn't going outside but my friend, because of the deal he was getting agreed and stepped inside the car with the seller. The car was facing away from where I was sitting so I couldn't see what was happening. A few minutes later my friend came running to me, "He had a gun!" he said, "I just got robbed, call the cops, should we follow them ?" he continued, and as much as I wanted to say I told you so, I didn't. We didn't follow, we just went home and decided to part ways with the classifieds site forever.
Risk of getting a stolen phone.
Risk of getting a phone that gets blocked due to non-payment.
Risk of getting robbed...or worse.
Con's clearly outweigh the Pro's. Craigslist a No No.
Stores are always safer, Right? -- I wish.
I was still without a phone, so I saved up and set out to explore the local mom and pops stores, I knew that I would be paying a little more than craigslist but I would have the problems associated with it. Most of the stores I visited lacked variety or had heavily used phones. I just wasn't feeling it. But soon enough I ran into a local store that had a phone that I liked. Everything seemed to checkout. Aside from trying to up-sell me half the store, he offered me 3 months warranty which I thought was great. I paid cash and got a great deal, paid much less than I would have to from a carrier store. I did it! I had finally found the solution! So I thought. I took care of my phone. Bought a case and everything. Fast forward into the second months, I started having a problem with the touch, so I took it back to the store I had bought it from explained the issue and knew I was covered. Unfortunately, the store owner was in the mood of playing the blame game. I was told that I was damaged it or placed it in water and thus the warranty was void.
I was furious. I tried to explain that nothing like that had happened, but the store owner was convinced that the warranty was void so I left. Never to return to a mom and pops store again.
Safer than craigslist.
Don't always offer warranty.
If offered warranty, it will not always necessarily be honored. It can be denied on the claims of self-damage / water damage or abuse.
Lack of variety. Very limited options to choose from.
I waited about a year before my next upgrade.
By this time all the online merchant sites were growing and offered a huge variety of phones. So I thought:
Online: The Ultimate Solution?
50% Right 50% Room for improvement.
The online merchants offered a great variety by becoming a gateway to sell for regular individuals trying to get rid of their unwanted items. So after sorting through multiple offerings of the same product, the specific model that I wanted, I finally decided to purchase a slightly used phone. Everything seemed smooth. But since this was from a different brand, like switching from Apple's iOS to Andriod, I needed some help with connectivity and some guidance on how to use some of the features. I took it to a carrier store near me so that they could help me with my connectivity issues; but since when they realized that I had bought the phone online they weren't very open to helping me so they told me to contact whoever I had bought the item from. I sent an email to the party I had bought it from since they didn't have a phone number on file. After a few days of no response I decided to call the merchant website itself to see if they could help me, or get me in touch with the party somehow. I called and after being put on hold for some time I was connected with a rep that was not from within the USA. English wasn't their first language and thus I communication took longer than it should have. After explaining my situation a few times, the rep finally understood and told me they "had no knowledge on how to resolve the issue" but would try to get me in touch with the department that would get me in touch with the department that could help me. So after being transferred and put on hold, and explaining my situation AGAIN, I was told that the only way I could contact the seller was to email him again and just wait. The problem was that I already wasted a ton of time with them and thought it was a tad bit unfair to have paid a significant sum for an item on such a "Reputable" marketplace and be left with utterly useless support.
Countless options to choose from.
Long hold times when called.
English is not the first language. Leading to difficulty in communication.
Lack of knowledge or expertise as they sell other products as well. Which limits trouble-shooting.
Individual Sellers may leave or be removed from the merchants site.
Very time consuming to sort through all the individual listings / offerings for essentially the same product.
In a nutshell: Either the service was terrible or the price was outrageously high.
I then decided to take matters into my own hands. I got busy establishing a brand that would provide a great product without compromising on service or breaking the bank.
After many years of working with reputable retailers figuring out how to source and supply these products at lower price-points and learning and recruiting guidance of tech experts SaveOnCellz.com was born.