Even if you don’t care about selling electronics at a markup, you’ve probably heard the hype about the iPhone X. On launch day I stayed up late and snagged three of these bad-boys.
A lot of hype
Unfortunately the iPhone X was a bit of a flop from a reselling standpoint. Most scalpers like myself thought we were going to be making a car payment by selling one phone. Sadly, we are making a cell phone payment instead.
Apple claims to have made available 46,000 iPhone X’s on launch, who knows if that is accurate. What we do know is that demand was not as strong as we all expected. I think the $1,000+ price tag played into it greatly. I also think Apple did its best to stop scalping by continuing to allow orders with an “estimated ship date”. If Apple would have simply put a huge “SOLD OUT” button on the order page after the first wave was purchased, the demand would have remained strong.
Apple allowed orders for 6+ weeks out which is a long time and likely kept many people on the hook who weren’t willing to pay scalper prices. I don’t blame them for allowing orders on phones that are not yet manufactured, but it caused a hit on resell values.
How I did on the flip
I bought two 64gb variants and one 256b variant. I purchased two from Verizon and one from At&t. I cancelled the Verizon lines right after they shipped so the activation fees were refunded.
I used my Chase Ink card which earns 5x Ultimate Rewards for purchases with cell phone carriers. All in I earned 11,385 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If transferred to Southwest Airlines those 11,385 points are worth roughly $190 in airfare, not bad.
On the resell side, I only listed the phones once I had them in-hand. I moved all three within 72 hours at 20% over MSRP and made roughly $65 in profit per phone after the dust cleared. Again, not anything to get excited about but money is money. Moving forward, I would have listed these as pre-orders on eBay rather than waiting until I had them in-hand. I would have made $100 more per phone.
- 11,385 Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $195 in profit on eBay after fees and shipping