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Penny wise

September 13, 2010
Some people would cut corners and save a dollar or two ending up with a product so much inferior, it’s not really worth the saving, or the time.  Are you one of them?  I’m afraid I am constantly guilty of such mis-doing.  And we’re not even under any money shortage to buy a better product at those time.  Take the recent cell phone incident:

The lost of one blackberry and a digital camera at Houston Airport was hard to bear.  And to think that both SIA and my citi credit card (who insure my travel) does not reimburse me after filing the paper work was disappointing.  Granted, I did not have to tighten my belt or cut my grocery spending because of this mishap, but when I needed another phone (at least one with a blue tooth), I head towards the notorious CRAIGLIST to save a penny or two.

Even despite dangerous warning on TV about murders happening in craiglist related incidence, I have quite a few successes (I bought a $189 TOM TOM for $80, and I sold my used snow tires for $60).  I first saw a used Google HTC My Touch phone for only $75.  After responding to an email, I went looking for the person in 242 West 8th Street, I came to this house with a rickety front porch.  I rang the door bell and a female student answered the door.  Phew!  She let me in and show me the phone.  I opened it up and put my SIM card into her phone.  It asked for my Google Gmail account and password which I typed in.  It didn’t work!  So I apoplogised and left the place in a hurry.  Okay, so that wasn’t so bad.

On the second call about this SAMSUNG Gravity 2, the person said he’ll meet me at CVS Pharmacy near my house at 7:30PM to 8PM.  But at around 6:50 PMwhen I was in a friend’s house enjoying good Indonesian dinner, he called and asked to meet earlier because he got off work earlier.  I moved the point of rendezvous to somewhere nearer to my friend’s house and he described himself and a fat man wearing green T-shirt shorts and short hair.  When I met him, he showed me a brand new phone in a box.  In his craiglist, he asked for $75 but I negotiated down to $60 because the battery is missing.  He claimed it can be obtained easily at Dee’s Cigar Store for $5.  I bought the phone.  It has slide down QWERTY keyboard, camera, bluetooth which I can’t try because he doesn’t have the battery.

Early next morning, I went to Dee’s Cigar store and the owner have to look through a whole untidy drawer of cellphone batteries for one that fit my SAMSUNG Gravity 2.  15 minutes later, he still couldn’t find it and was getting impatient.  I left and came back with a printout of what it looks like but he still couldn’t find my battery.  This time I know I’ve been "con"-ed.

Okay, maybe con was a wrong word to use.  But it did cost me $8.99 + $4.99 shipping and handling.  And I have to buy an extra faceplate because unbeknownst to me, his faceplate on that new phone was faulty.  And that faceplate cost me $12.99 (free shipping) online.  So I still spend about eighty over dollar for that "used" cellphone.  Sigh!  I could easily afford another new Blackberry for about $200 (free shipping).  No mess, no going down to meet Mr. A or Mr. D for battery twice and then more orders online just for an old model  lousy SAMSUNG.

As the saying goes:  penny wise, pound foolish.  Guilty!

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