People flip things all the time. They might buy a car, spit-shine some of the rust, mark it up, and profit. A buddy of mine is in the classic arcade game business. He finds a classic pinball or video game, restores it cosmetically and functionally then finds a buyer. Once upon a time, I used to find things to sell on eBay. The common denominator in all of these is demand. Demand makes these things possible; nobody would fix things that no one would buy. Today there is possibly no greater coveted pop-culture item than an iPhone 5. An interesting story came through on the ABC News website today regarding the demand for the phone and how the market – that is the Russian black market – has driven the street price there for an iPhone 5 to as much as $3700.
This all comes about because there is no Apple Store in Russia. A release date for the Russian market has not been announced either.
“A simple internet search yields a number of gray market vendors promising to have the iPhone 5 in your hands as early as tonight. But it’s going to cost you.
A 16 gigabyte iPhone 5 is going for around 70,000 rubles, or about $2,200. Other vendors are quoting prices up to $3,700. That’s several times what it will cost you in an Apple store in the United States, where an unlocked version retails for $649”
If that sounds crazy add to that the fact that the report states that the demand is overwhelmingly high. The products are apparently being sourced from France and anticipated shipments are coming in from the U.S. The resourcefulness knows no ends as it seems they have accommodated the technical changes in the iPhone 5:
The iPhone 5 uses a nano SIM card, smaller than the micro SIM used in previous models, but it appears that Russian phone companies have anticipated the phone arriving in country before it officially goes on sale. One of them promises to have nano SIM cards available by Saturday. Other companies are planning to have them available by Tuesday. One of the internet vendors also said he could produce a nano SIM card in his shop.
So if you’re ready, have a passport, have a taste for adventure, and more importantly a taste for profit, here’s one interesting yet illicit way to land a few bucks off of all the iPhone 5 madness.