Within a couple days of my return, I exchanged both phones for domestic work, valuing them at the $815 I’d paid. The second phone’s recipient sold hers for its local value ($1,130) to an acquaintance, she said, with payments to be made over time. She told me the new owner sold the phone at an additional markup on an installment plan that will cost the final buyer about $1,350.
On a trip to Los Angeles a few weeks after my Fifth Avenue purchases, I found myself in front of another Apple Store. Walking in felt like a visit to an ATM. I asked the salesperson for an unlocked iPhone 5s. The response: Just one?
I didn’t have a buyer lined up, so I did buy only one. Still, when I got back to Italy, I exchanged it within a week, for €600 worth of household work from someone whose phone had been stolen on the subway. She’d bought the stolen one on layaway for €1,000, and is still paying it off.