Reflections on a Wandering Life.....
Friday, February 14, 2014
I had talked with a shop about a phone I was interested in, but I was puzzled because the price they were quoting me was quite significantly lower than what had been quoted by every other place I talked to. I went back to see them yesterday. They quoted a price of 3500 for the Galaxy Note III. I went to the shop of Eason's friend and he said there was no way a legitimate one could be purchased for that price. He said it must be fake. I went back downstairs, but I did not want to talk to the two guys running the shop I had been to before, because I was becoming more and more convinced that they were trying to cheat me. To avoid dealing with them, I turned and went down the escalator into the basement. I thought to go to the other end of the market and find another way up and out. When I stepped off the escalator in the basement, I noticed another cell phone shop. I looked briefly at the phones on display, and the proprietor asked me, "Can I help you with something?" I really hadn't planned to stop and talk, but I have been in Beijing for ten years, and this was the first time a merchant in the electronics market had addressed me in English. I was so taken aback that I couldn't help wondering what in the world he was doing here. I said, "Well, actually, I've been looking at the Galaxy Note III." What he said next blew me away.
"Do you want the fake one or the real one?" He was serious.
I said, There's a fake one?
"Yes." He showed it to me.
I said, "But it says "Samsung."
"Yes, I know, but it's fake. I'll show you how to tell."
Turns out the fake one sells for 1900 RMB. That was the price he quoted me. But later, he told me that most shop owners buy it for 1500 and sell for anything from that to 2000. That means that if the guys on the first floor were trying to sell me a fake one, they would be making a handsome profit.