Allphones's eBay store is currently selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for 20% off. Sounds great, right? There's only one problem: the pre-sale price is listed as $1619.99 - a whopping $120.99 markup on the actual RRP.
When the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launched in August, we advised bargain hunters to forget about scoring a significant discount for at least a few months. Turns out we were wrong - but only if you count merchants who artificially increase prices.
Allphones is currently selling the 128GB Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for $1295.99 which it claims is a 20% discount on the RRP. However, Allphones' list price is an eyebrow-raising $1619.99. Something clearly doesn't add up here.
From the first day of launch, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has cost $1499 to buy outright in Australia. Allphones is using Australian stock and the deal doesn't come bundled with any extras - so there's literally no reason for this markup.
The above "deal" is one of the worst examples of artificial price inflation we've encountered. While it is common for merchants to cynically advertise the launch price on old products, this is the first time we've seen a current-gen phone priced higher than the RRP.
This is an ongoing problem for Amazon and eBay and it's all down to unscrupulous third-party sellers. There are laws against this sort of thing, but they're difficult to enforce, sadly.
With all that said, the AllPhones deal still isn't terrible - in reality you're saving around $170 which is nothing to sniff at. It's just unfortunate that the company chose to beef up the "RRP" to make the deal look better than it actually is. (To get the deal, click here and use the discount code 'PIXEL' at checkout.)
We've reached out to eBay for comment but have yet to hear back. We'll update the article if we learn more.
Update: eBay provided us with the following statement:
ebay.com.au is Australia’s largest online marketplace with 1.1 billion listings and 40,000 Australian retailers on the platform. As with any marketplace, sellers have the freedom to set their own pricing based on their individual business needs.
Our Best Price Guarantee ensures Aussies get the best price on new products on ebay.com.au. If Aussie shoppers do manage to find a cheaper price on another site, we’ll not just match the price, we’ll beat it, by offering a voucher for the price difference plus an extra 5%.
As we said, this is a problem with third-party sellers rather than the marketplace itself. Nevertheless, it definitely pays to do some research before splurging on a hardware deal - sometimes the savings look too good to be true for a reason.
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend is one of the busiest sales periods of the year. Unfortunately, unscrupulous merchants have been known to jack up their "previously sold for" pricing to make it look like you're getting a better deal. Is this legal?
If you can't afford to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 outright, a mobile contract is the only way to grab one while it's still new and shiny. You can find additional info on each plan here.
The Galaxy Note series is the quintessential stylus-equipped smartphone. This time around, Samsung has significantly enhanced the S Pen via Bluetooth functionality. It also boasts an improved camera, more RAM and a bigger battery than its 2017 predecessor. But is it worth the eye-watering starting price of $1499? Let's find out.
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