Posted by Dan Delaney | 5th Dec 2012
I am a massive fan of the 'stock' Android experience. As a result, and on the back of an incredibly low price point (£279 + £10 shipping) from the Google Play Store for the LG Nexus 4, I decided to sell the trusty Samsung Galaxy S3 i9300 that I got on a 2 year contract in August. Whilst the S3 is a fantastic phone, I really dislike the Touchwiz overlay, and apart from the camera I found it incredibly frustrating to use and had to root it to install a ROM based on the stock experience. Having seen all the reviews and YouTube videos related to the Nexus 4, and getting to play with one from an early adopter who was lucky enough to get his shipped by Google after the original launch, my mind was made up.
As the phone was unlocked, I decided on selling via the Amazon Marketplace. It's very easy with Amazon to see what the lowest price is for the current used offerings for a particular product. eBay is great, but so inconsistent in terms of pricing! To be competitive, and shift the phone quickly, I listed mine on equal to the lowest price and threw in a couple of extras (a TPU case and microSD card). From there I was able to see upfront what I would make if the phone was sold. Taking into account listing and seller fees, I stood to make just under £295. Just enough to cover the change over whilst recognising that my phone wasn't brand new & therefore couldn't be sold at the £350 price point like many others are trying to sell theirs.
After 3 days, a few scamming attempts by the expected con-artists, some legitimate questions and a couple of picture requests, the phone sold. So much less hassle than trying to sell via eBay - my experience selling an i7 laptop last year left me determined to avoid it as much as humanly possible. Although I don't get the money straight away, Amazon handle the payment side of things so I just had to wait for their payment to clear and I got the 'dispatch now' email. On a 2 week cycle, the balance in your Amazon Seller Account gets transferred to your bank account.
The only thing I don't like about the way Amazon deal with Marketplace sales is they pre-determine the postage costs. For the phone, it worked out about £2 more expensive for me to post the phone with suitable insurance and tracking. It would make more sense for me that Amazon would allow you to choose from the popular local services (in my case, Royal Mail Special Delivery) because the prices are pretty static and available to check upfront. Having said that, I understand that if you're selling items regularly the professional accounts do allow you to set the pricing yourself.
At this point, I decided to wait for the Nexus 4 to come back into stock. My estimate was around December 13th, a month after the original launch of the device, however I did learn that there is an app to track availability on the Google Play Store called Nexus 4 Stock Alert. Very useful, although in the end I learned via Twitter that it would be going back on sale at 5pm GMT on Tuesday 4th December.
At 5.04pm, there was a mass scramble of users trying to buy the phone after the 'Sold Out' notice was removed. I kept clicking the 'Add To Cart' button only to be told that the cart was empty. Apparently this was pretty common. Fortunately for me, one time it stuck and I was able to continue on to order the device. I was one of the lucky ones that were given a 1 - 2 week lead time for my order. After my experience with ordering the Nexus 7, I'll take that with a pinch of salt.
Within just a few minutes estimated delivery times had jumped up to 4 - 5 weeks on the £239 8GB model and it wasn't long before the £279 16GB model was showing the same. As I write this, the 16GB version of phone is still available to order with a 5 - 6 week delivery estimate, whilst the 8GB version is Sold Out once more.
So now I will wait for my Nexus 4 to arrive. In the meantime, my old Desire HD has been taken out of its dusty box and replaced the Galaxy S3. What was once my pride and joy now feel old and tired, far too small. With a terrific sense of timing, my daughter threw it on the floor this morning and cracked the front screen. Fortunately there is no liquid damage but the touchscreen isn't working perfectly anymore. The Nexus 4 had better arrive quick, though I suspect I may invest in a protective case as the whole thing is covered in glass and therefore not child proof!