TIME TO BUY A NEW PHONE
My 4-year old Samsung Note 2 died, I revived it and it was on life support, and I knew I had to buy a phone. As in on the next day. It was a battery problem which could be fixed by buying a new battery, but it wasn’t worth spending for the battery anymore since the Note 2 was getting obsolete.
The Samsung Note 2 was a great phone in 2012, but it’s now 2016 and I also needed a much better phone camera. I bought it for 22k brand new from my Greenhills suki and I can say, nasulit ko naman for 4 years.
Fortunately, I had been looking at new phones for the past year because I had wanted to upgrade for so long already. So when this happened, I already had an idea which phone fit my needs. I chose the Huawei P9 because of the camera. I was looking at several other flagship phones, but the prices for the higher-end Androids were ridiculous. To be honest, the P24,000 official price tag of the Huawei P9 was still a bit on the high side, but for me, it was the best choice in that price range.
GREENHILLS – STILL THE BEST PLACE TO BUY?
Out of habit, I also checked the prices for the Huawei P9 online at olx, tipidcp, kimstore, cmk, and the usual places. I saw an ad for a brand new Huawei P9 for only P17,000! P17,000, for real? It was the best price I saw online. I contacted the seller and she assured me that it was a brand new unit. She had a stall in Greenhills so I told her that I would visit the next day.
Instead of going directly to her stall, I walked around the cellphone tiangge area of Greenhills and visited my suki. Of course, I asked if they had a brand new Huawei P9 available. She said they did, and that the price was P18,000. I asked her if she was sure it was brand new and she said yes, she’s sure. I told her another seller was selling it for only P17,000, can she match it? My suki told me, baka repacked yun. I asked her again if her P18,000 unit was really brand new and not repacked, and she assured me that it was really brand new. P1,000 difference lang daw, doon ka na sa siguradong brand new.
WHAT IS A REPACKED PHONE?
A repacked phone is a slightly used phone that is repacked and sold as brand new. I mean, it’s repacked and looks like a brand new package – complete with new box, all the “original-looking” accessories, protective plastics, manuals, guides, etc… The box is even wrapped in plastic just like a brand new unit. As in, it really looks like a brand new unit.
Some sellers even get away with selling the repacked phones at “brand new” prices!
MY GREENHILLS SUKI
Now, I have been buying from this suki for years. As in, way back when Nokia E63s were the best phones ever. Marami na kaming pinagdaanan na telepono – from Nokias to Blackberries to Android smartphones, to my iPod Touch 4g phase. Maayos naman siya kausap and we haven’t had any problems with our previous phones bought from her. After all these purchases, we already have her number saved on our phone. I also sell her my old phones and she offers me good prices for them.
However, a few months before this, J bought a brand new Samsung Note 4 from her, and after taking it home and checking, he realized that the supposedly “brand new” Note 4 he got had already been rooted (Knox counter was tripped). After letting our suki know about it, she and J worked it out some phone replacement and cash back thing. She seemed to genuinely want to work things out so I still trusted her. It seemed that her supplier was the one who lied to her, her supplier told her that it was brand new and she believed him. She said that after the incident with the Samsung Note 4, she would get my phone from another supplier that she trusted instead.
SO I BOUGHT A BRAND NEW PHONE
I visited the seller who was selling for P17,000 and asked her if the unit was really brand new or repacked. She admitted that it was repacked.
Since I still trusted my suki, I went back to her and bought the P18,000 Huawei P9 that was a sure brand new unit. I tested what I could while there – tried texting, calling, wifi, mobile internet, camera, sound, charging, etc… I was happy to be able to buy a brand new unit for only P18,000! I was like, wow, that was a P6,000 discount from the official price!
AND… IT’S REPACKED!
When I got home, I reset the phone, played with all the menus and settings, etc… and then I when I tried to register my “brand new” phone, I got a notice saying that the phone had already been registered on Aug. 21, 2016! I bought the phone on Aug. 30. I definitely did not register the phone on Aug. 21, so someone else must have.
I wasn’t really mad that I got a repacked phone. Judging from the registration date, it seemed like the phone was used for less than 10 days before being resold. I got a P6,000 discount for a phone that’s only been used for a few days, so I really don’t mind, and it looks brand new – no scratches, no dents. P6,000 off from the official price did seem like it was too good to be true, anyway.
What I am more upset about is being lied to. Don’t swear to me that it is a brand new unit when it’s not. If you tell me that it’s repacked, but that it’s only been used for a few days, and you get me a P6,000 discount from the real brand new price, I really wouldn’t mind. Just be honest. My suki still swore to me that it was a brand new unit, and that her supplier assured her that it was brand new talaga.
Haay, nanghinayang din ako sa P1,000. I should have just bought the one that’s P17,000 where the seller was honest enough to admit that it’s repacked.
In spite of everything, I still think I got a good deal. The Huawei P9 is a really nice phone with an awesome camera. I often leave my bulky DSLR at home because the Huawei P9’s camera takes pictures almost as good as my DSLR! Even J, who has a Samsung Note 4, is sometimes envious of my Huawei P9 because his Samsung Note 4 is laggy!
TIPS WHEN BUYING PHONES IN GREENHILLS
I hope this story helps you out next time you’re buying a phone in Greenhills. Since this happened, I am now suspicious of “brand new” phones sold in Greenhills.
If you’re looking for “brand new” phones, check to see if they are repacked. After this incident, I think maybe most of the “brand new” phones there are probably repacked. There is nothing wrong with repacked phones, as long as you don’t pay high “brand new” prices for them. If you’re getting repacked phones at a good price, sulit naman.
Thinking back, I am now wondering if all the “brand new” phones I have bought over the years have been repacked units. But it’s useless thinking about it now, at least now I am aware of repacks and will be more careful in the future. While I don’t think she intentionally lied to me and I hope that she was duped by her supplier as well, I have lost faith in my suking tindera.
If you’re on a budget, straight up just ask for a repacked phone. Hopefully, they’ll quote you a better price since they know they can’t fool you by selling you “brand new”.
Be nice. Yes, you’re trying to get the best price you can. But the sellers are also people who are trying to make a living. No need to be rude. They are also more likely to give you a better price if you’re nice to them while canvassing / haggling.
Always get the name & number of the store you bought your phone from. This is in case you need to contact them again if something is wrong with your phone. They usually have calling cards, ask for one. Don’t rely on the store’s location – the Greenhills cellphone tiangge stalls move around, the sellers are assigned to different stalls every cycle. Palipat-lipat sila.
Try to learn how to check Knox counters and things like that that can tell if a phone has been used before. Or bring a friend who knows these things.
Try to buy earlier in the day. This is so that when you get home and start playing with your new phone, and find something wrong, you can go back to the seller on the same day. Better yet, is to stay somewhere around Greenhills, like in a restaurant where you feel safe, and start charging your phone / checking your phone. If there’s a problem, at least you’re still in Greenhills and hopefully resolve the problem with the seller on the same day. During the Samsung Note 4 fiasco, we bought it late, around 7pm. By the time we had dinner and were checking the phone more thoroughly and discovered that it was previously rooted, it was already too late because the tiangges had already closed shop by 8pm, so we had to come back the next day.
Have mobile internet. This way, you can easily check specs on gsmarena.com and compare prices with ads on olx, kimstore, etc… and then decide if the price you’re getting is a good deal or not.
Be careful with your belongings. It’s a crowded place. Keep your valuables guarded at all times. Try to dress down so you don’t stand out as an easy victim. Be alert.
Happy Phone Shopping!
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The Barat Queen
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