People in the wireless industries “Grey Market”, so to speak, (I will touch on that BS in another post later) are hurting. Prices are dropping. The quality of products is dropping and so are the ethics of dealers/vendors. With sales down and people worrying on which way this market is going to go, these dealers are looking for other ways to make up for the lack in sales. You might find these ways to be troubling, you may even find them unethical; and they are all illegal.
Let’s start with the reason the market is so dismal. The market is so saturated with dealers, vendors, and suppliers that it’s impossible for anyone to be competitive. The issue is that these dealers will sell to anyone; even potential scam artists and failing companies. Others are so desperate they will simply sell their product just to get it off of their hands. The issue with this is they are only hurting the market by providing these morally confused dealers with products. When you sell a product to someone that will resell it, you are helping them remain in business. If they are corrupt or decide to be unethical down the road you just did this industry injustice. You must do your research first, or only deal with reputable companies or companies you have a relationship with. By searching and seeking out people to sell to (or even buy from) you are not only opening yourself up to a potential scam, but you could also be hurting yourself in the end.
On to my favorite part; the scams! Let’s start with the most influential company in the wireless device market; eBay. I will only briefly touch on this topic because we all know how difficult it is to find a quality product, sold by a quality seller that you won’t have to immediately return once received. Only on eBay can you find 4 different variations of the word “New”. (Find them yourselves). If you shop on eBay, good luck. Next…
You think you are selling to someone ethical right? Wait until you find out what they do with your product once they buy it. We have experienced firsthand on many different occasions how these scum-of-the-earth companies degrade/dilute the products we sold them. Here is how: First they purchase a new product, brand new in box, with all accessories. Why mess with it, right? Wrong. Did you know that if you remove the new phone, and all accessories and replace it with a refurbished product and china-imported accessories, you can almost make 50% more? All you need to do is remove the bar code from the side of the box, tell the customer you are selling to that you submitted them for “rebates” and be on your way. Now they take the brand new equipment and accessories and purchase OEM boxes, and sell as new. | This is wrong, and illegal and one of the major reasons this industry is looked upon so poorly- but that’s not all. You also have your dealers that pay others to open up business accounts at major carriers. They open lines, purchase the equipment with the discount offered and never pay their bill. They flip the merchandise as quickly as possible (before the carrier has a chance to disable the IMEI/ESN) and stick you with the phones. You verify the IMEI’s and they all come back clean…until 45 days later when they are all recorded as “stolen” for your end user to discover first hand when their device stops receiving signal. Another “shady” way of doing business is lying. What? Lying? Yes, people in every industry, not just the wireless industry lie. They lie about the stock they have, the quantity they possess, the location of said stock and not to mention the current owner of that stock. These are called “brokers”. They do not help the industry; they simply pollute it with more uncertainty. If you do not own the stock, and it’s not in your hands – it’s not “in stock”! There is no reason that you must tell someone that you have products in stock when you don’t. They do not need to know you have it in your possession, but they also do not need to be told that you do.
Many of the newer ‘scams’ haven’t caught on as of late. The newest we have seen is the iPhone 4S scam. Did you know the only location of the IMEI of your 4S is on the SIM card trey? So these dealers purchase Sprint iPhone 4S, purposely ‘brick’ them. Return them to Apple with a Factory Unlocked SIM card trey and receive a brand new Factory Unlocked iPhone 4S for the cost of a Sprint locked device.
The people you deal with every day do not participate in these activities. It’s the scum behind the scenes that are causing this global issue. Look at who you are dealing with. Do you want them to stay in business? Are they providing a positive influence into the industry? Are they ethical? If you can not answer “yes” to every one of those questions; stop selling to them. You are only promoting their unethical behavior. The more people you deal with (companies), the more people that remain in this already overcrowded industry. You wonder why you can only make $5 a phone, the industry is so overcrowded and you keep fueling it by selling to them. Stop! Get smart and deal with a company you have developed a relationship with. Be picky who you buy from, but be even more picky on who you sell to. Once you realize the company you are dealing with can be trusted, do not lose them. They may be the only one left soon. It’s ok to burn bridges, especially if those bridges only connect you to scum.