Friday, March 28, 2014

Game of Phones

I have bought a couple of smartphones off TradeMe (similar to eBay but localised to New Zealand) recently and have learnt a few things along the way. If you can collect the phone when the auction is closed, that will be best as you can check the cosmetic appearance and button functions. Whether the phone will work with your SIM or not – that’s another story. If the phones were originally bought in New Zealand – they should work with any NZ network. You might have seen the description on some listings that the phones did not work with the sellers’ SIMs – in this case they might not work with your SIM either.

The first one that I bought turned out to be a dud – albeit being a very nice and tidy phone without a single scratch from a respectable seller with 100% positive feedbacks. I took it to Vodafone shop to change my SIM and the guy there was kind enough to set up everything for me but there seemed to be some problems. He disappeared to the back office and 15 minutes later, re-emerge with store manager who sat me down and explained to me that the phone did not work (with any SIM) because it was blacklisted. The phone might have been reported stolen or lost and claimed against the insurance – that was the most likely case. And New Zealand has a brilliant system to prevent the recycling of stolen and insurance claimed phones.

I contacted the sellers and reported this problem – the phone returned and the money was paid back into my account with tons of apologies. The phone was sold on behalf and the sellers did not know the origin of the phone either. No one in their right mind would want the police knocking on the door to question about stolen properties. I don’t think my case was the first – it must have happened quite often and the professional legally challenges would have known this system too. So I can tell you that the market of second hand smartphones on TradeMe is quite safe. However, you might be better off buying from the sellers whose main business is selling phones – as they often give a limited warranty. Problem with wi-fi connectability can happen quite often in some models.

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