I got more than I bargained for when looking for Citibank branches within 5 miles of zip code 22033.
For a while I had a cute Samsung Galaxy S3. I really liked it, and it lasted a solid year with me. One free fall too many cracked its screen and now I was in the market for a new one. I decided to stick with S3, since my thinking was that I would perhaps be able to snag one from CraigsList for about $200 or $300. But after searching for about 3 weeks, it turns out that many of the S3 phones listed on CL have their own set of issues. Most of the owners refused to tell me the IMEI number over the phone – what they were afraid of, I am not sure. Rather, they insisted that I meet them in person. Not a bad idea, but driving 10 miles just to get an IMEI number doesn’t sound like an efficient exercise to me. Of course, buying a phone without checking its IMEI against the carrier’s website, such as T-mobile’s IMEI verification site is a terrible idea – the phone may have been stolen and it won’t work on most of the US carriers anyway.
Then comes the issue of price and the art of story telling. Most of the sellers on CL would launch into stories on why they are selling this phone without me even asking them. They mostly said their price was *FIRM* and they only accepted cash. I wasn’t even thinking of bargaining or offering them my credit card and the stories seemed too ready.
About 3 weeks and 7 hrs later, I realized that compared to the average price of $325 that I was getting on Craigslist, a brand new phone is actually available from Amazon for only $398!
Ordered it, got it next day via Prime, just inserted the Sim, connected to my google account, and it is ready to go. In the total time that entire thing took place, I would hardly have negotiated the IMEI number with one CL seller, if that.
In a nutshell, here are 2 (10 in binary) good reasons not to buy a cellphone on Craigslist:
Enjoy your Android or iOS device!
Sitting through a sales presentation, I noticed the following leading sentence on the slide:
This sentence was one of 22 lines, and these 11 words were 11 out of 179 words on the slide. It was apparent that the presenter makes little difference between a presentation and a paper. IMO, the following phrase would have been sufficient:
Opportunities for concise messaging are readily available in most of presentations – irrespective of who makes them, so this may be a gentle reminder to keep a lookout for them. This is also quite reminiscent of the fish story in Presentation Zen.
This XKCD says it all:
Audio books are a real boon. Especially for people like me, who have decent traffic commute as well as some occasional travel. In the past I have usually gotten the audio books on CD from my local library. About 3 months ago I signed up for Audible, and have been patiently listening to some audio books since then.
However, their entire user experience is based on DRM. I cannot play those audio books on just any MP3 player, because these files are in Audible’s proprietary format.