Unofficial retailers sell 'brand new' iPhone 15 Pro Max for 26% cheaper

By Khuong Nha   March 21, 2024 | 06:26 pm PT
Unofficial retailers sell 'brand new' iPhone 15 Pro Max for 26% cheaper
An iPhone 15 Pro Max with its original box and accessories at an official store. Photo by VnExpress/Tuan Hung
Certain unofficial outlets are selling 'brand new' 1TB iPhone 15 Pro Max units for a 26% markdown compared to official retail prices.

Thuy Quynh, an office-goer in Hanoi, recently forked over VND33.5 million (equivalent to US$1,350) for an iPhone 15 Pro Max boasting a capacious 1TB storage capacity from an unofficial vendor. The transaction stood in stark contrast to the VND44.5 million price tag attached to the same model at authorized outlets.

The seller assured Quynh that the device was 'hand-carried', a colloquial term in Vietnam denoting informal imports, yet insisted it was both pristine and untouched.

However, Quynh's suspicions were aroused when she received the phone wrapped in plastic, devoid of its original packaging and accompanying accessories. A closer inspection revealed that the phone's warranty began in October 2023, indicating prior activation.

When Quynh pressed the seller about this discrepancy, she was met with evasion, with the seller dismissing the issue as inconsequential, contending that even if it was unactivated, she would not be able to use the official Vietnam Apple Care warranty services anyway.

Instead, the store offered a six-month window for exchanges in case of any issues.

Despite reservations, Quynh acquiesced to the purchase, constrained by her budget of VND31 million, which only permitted acquisition of a 256GB iPhone 15 Pro Max from official retailers.

Vuong Quanh Manh, a seasoned proprietor of an unofficial mobile phone store in Ho Chi Minh City with a decade of experience, expressed skepticism regarding the legitimacy of selling a brand-new 1TB iPhone 15 Pro Max at VND33.5 million.

"Despite claims of 'new' and unused, most of these devices have likely been activated with multiple charges logged," he noted. Manh said that these vendors are often unaware of the phones' origins and justify lower prices by citing the absence of warranties.

An entrepreneur behind a Hanoi-based establishment vending these discounted iPhone 15 Pro Max units in Ba Dinh District admitted he did not know the phones' provenance, divulging only that inventory was limited and sold out swiftly due to enticing price points.

Manh cautioned consumers about the potential pitfalls of purchasing such devices, including warranty nullification and absence of original accessories. He warned of the possibility of component substitution with cheaper alternatives or prior damage repaired to conceal flaws.

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