This year for my birthday, I was given my brother’s AT&T upgrade to get an iPhone 4. That excited me for a lot of reasons. I got something new and shiny, the ability to video chat, and a far superior camera. It wasn’t something I would pay for myself, but with the upgrade, it was guilt-free.
Actually, it was also dollar free too.
Actually, I made money on the exchange.
Well the iPhone itself was $200 with a $36 upgrade fee. I knew I could sell my current iPhone 3G S for around that much, and a quick search on craigslist showed that the lower limit I would get for it was around $250.
Already, it was a great deal and I was ready to pull the trigger.
I ordered my phone, picked it up, called AT&T to activate it…and the service was down. I spent an hour talking to a customer service representative trying to fix the issue, and when he couldn’t, I asked if he could compensate me for the time and stress, so he offered $25. (had I not asked, I wouldn’t have gotten a penny!) Good but not great. I asked for the $36 upgrade fee reversed and he agreed quickly. For an extra day of waiting, I was rewarded with the equivalent of a free month of service. I wonder what would have happened had I asked for $50..
Great, so all I had to do was sell my phone on craiglist. People pay a premium for a jailbroken iPhone, and I agreed to sell it for $300, so I jailbroke it for someone who ended up not being interested (was a weirdo who said that since he already came to me, I should accept $20 less than we agreed on. That bothered me, so I said see you later and went back inside. It wasted 15 seconds of my time and he was left iPhone-less, so who had the bargaining power??). I called one of the other buyers. He came to pick it up, and when I asked if he wanted it jailbroken he said no, so I tried to reverse the change quickly and clear all data.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work the way I expected and instead of clearing the data, it did a hard reset on the phone, meaning I had to do a full install of the latest software, which can’t be jailbroken. Of course, he was no longer interested, and I was sorely disappointed.
I was devastated. I upgraded the phone to the newest version of the software, prayed a little, bargained with the G-man a little, and checked to see how much I could get on craigslist. In my mind, I would take anything over $200.
It turns out that I got several offers when I set the price at $250, and in the end, someone came and bought it for $270.
All was better. I only lost $10 from what I wanted to sell it for originally (plus a $20 donation to charity that I promised in my bargaining phase).
My eagerness to get that last $20 cost me about 2 hours of time and a ton of stress. Of course, it all turned out well in the end, as it usually does.
My lesson? Stop trying to squeeze every last penny! Take what you can get, be happy with what you have, and don’t worry about getting the very best price. Just get a really good one.