Figuring out the screwy smartphone pricing on Glyde

Prices go up and down like a yo-yo; there's a reason for it.

With the release of the iPhone 7, I was hoping to get a bargain on the iPhone 6 Plus. There was nothing in the 6S that appealed to me, and the 6 would be cheaper. So, I checked out the iPhone offerings on Glyde, where I have done business before to my satisfaction. 

As of last Wednesday, an iPhone 6 Plus, 16GB, on AT&T was $374. I decided to wait for a price drop. Two days later, the price fell remarkably to $311. Well, that's going in the right direction. I decided to wait for more changes. 

The next day, last Saturday, the price spiked to $455. That's definitely going in the wrong direction.

One day later, the price fell to $334. On Monday, it was $333.

What’s going on?

That's some pretty wild swings for the same device. Mind you, it's a different phone every time, since Glyde acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. So, I had to ask them what was going on.

As a Glyde rep explained it, the company has two sources of supply: professional resellers and consumers. Consumers are, of course, individual sellers who tend to price lower because they are not trying to maximize profits like a professional seller would.

Professional suppliers are small businesses that buy old phones off people or from wholesalers who do trade-in programs. Many vendors have trade-in programs, including Best Buy, but they don’t sell the phone they take in, they just buy it back and offload these to a wholesale market. 

These resellers want to make the most money and will sell for a higher price. The spike in price over the weekend was likely because Glyde ran out of consumer sellers and shifted to the professionals, and the drop is because new consumers listed their phones. Glyde defaults to the cheaper price when it can.

So, if you are phone shopping, it helps to recheck daily.

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