Flip This Phone

We’ve long had an understanding with the girls that we would only provide basic “lifeline” cell phone service for them. That is, they can have any phone that is free and we will provide basic service for them. They have to pay for any phone upgrades, text messaging packages, minute overages, etc. The Older Daughter has been wanting to upgrade her phone for quite some time. She did some research and fell in love with the LG Voyager phone offered by Verizon. Now it is definitely a sweet phone and may give the Apple iPhone a run for its money. The full retail price of the phone is $469, though we have some discounts available that take it down to about $300.

At 14 and with no steady job, she obviously doesn’t have a lot of money. However, she wants to spend every penny she saved from some work last summer to buy this phone. While The Wife and I don’t necessarily think this is the best decision, we think she is old enough to make spending choices on money she has earned. So we headed on down to the local Verizon store. This is an experience that I rate right up there with going to the DMV. After about a 15 minute wait (okay, so it’s not as bad as the DMV), we make it up to the counter to speak with a friendly Verizon representative. As it turns out, we pick up the last Voyager available in the area. Just two days after its introduction, the phone is already sold out.

On the drive home, I hatched a plan to profit from the short supply of a hot new phone. I couldn’t convince The Older Daughter to part with her phone to make a nice profit. So I went out to Verizon’s website and confirmed that I could order another phone online for $300. Then I went over to eBay and found that the phones were going anywhere from $450 to $550. How sweet is that? So I ordered up a phone and setup an auction to sell it. Three days later the auction closed and the final price was $575! After various fees, I pocketed around $250 for just a few minutes work. This comes really close to my dream of finding a way to make tons of money with no risk, no investment, and no actual work. However, to my dismay, I was unable to purchase any more phones for the discounted price. Any further purchases would be for the full retail price of $469. So my dreams of becoming a billionaire by flipping Voyager phones were dashed. But hey, I was able to pick up a few extra dollars of spending money. That never hurts this time of year.