The Top 5 Ways to Buy iPhones for Canadians
So let me get this straight…you have seen the breathtaking, revolutionary device, called an iPhone, right? And now you want to get your scrubby little paws on one? Sounds easy enough, right? Well, think again if you’re not living in the mighty USA or in Europe. To think that Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner, don’t you think we should’ve gotten the iPhone a bit earlier than the rest? Don’t worry, it boggles my mind too. So, where do you go to buy an iPhone in Canada? If you’re a Canuck in the Great White North, what’s the first thing you should do if you’re looking to buy an iPhone? Well, I’m going to tell you…here we go! So let’s get started with the Top 5 Ways to Buy iPhones for Canadians!
1. The Apple Store (in the USA of course)
This is by far the cheapest way for you to buy an iPhone if you’re Canadian. If you are relatively close to the US border (or you have an “Ameri-friend” who can buy one for you) then you should take the plunge and drive down to your nearest Apple Store and pick yourself up an iPhone. Right now it will cost you $399US for an 8GB iPhone. Remember, the Apple Stores now limit purchases to 2 phones per person, and they do not accept cash payments, only credit cards!
Aside from state tax (depending which state you visited), you will have to pay GST/PST if you choose to declare your iPhone to the Canada Customs. There is NO duty on the iPhone, contrary to what you might read online. I would know because I bought my phone from the Apple Store located in Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington. I paid state tax, declared the iPhone at the border (GST/PST=13%; it’s not worth it to get searched and caught–you’ll get a permanent record that you tried to smuggle into Canada and consequently get searched every time back into Canada, regardless of your point of entry! Falsely declare at your own risk!). I told the Customs officer that I had an iPhone, I pulled over, went inside to pay my taxes (they accept debit, MasterCard, and VISA–and cash!), and was on my way. The total damage? My 8GB Apple iPhone came to $490CDN after state tax and GST/PST. Yeah, I paid $50 in GST/PST…cheating $50 is not worth it to get a record!
So let’s say you don’t have the time to struggle with border waits to get your precious iPhone (now with the Canadian dollar at par/higher than the US, waiting times are just that much longer). What to do? Well, hit up Craigslist and buy it from the dudes there! Sure, you’re going to be paying one heckuva premium to buy your iPhone in Canada. Most sellers on Craigslist sell brand new (and unlocked) 8GB Apple iPhones in the range of $520-$600 (Vancouver Craigslist–some phones were as “low” as $490)–yes, that’s right. You’re going to be paying extra to get your little paws on an iPhone. However, if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with the border and driving to the States, and you don’t have a clue on how to unlock your iPhone yourself, Craigslist could be the way to go. Hey, nobody said getting your hands on a “revolutionary device” would be that easy!
Ahh, the auction site that everyone loves. Sure, waiting for your iPhone to ship can be a pain in the butt, but at least you know you will be saving some cash on your precious iPhone purchase (that is if you aren’t scammed by some Nigerian; note to you: don’t bid on “mystery” iPhone auctions, where you bid on a magical envelope!). eBay still dominates the worldwide auction place for cool new and used things–an iPhone being one of them. The highest completed price I have seen so far has been $3900US for a Buy It Now auction (just crazy) to a super low price of $270US.
However, with eBay there is the difficulty of, as I mentioned above, getting scammed. So due diligence should be made for Canadians trying to buy an iPhone on eBay. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Check your seller’s feedback to make sure that other buyers actually received their iPhones. Also, if you do happen to find that magical auction that you feel confident with (aka not receiving an empty iPhone box), be sure to ask for shipping via USPS (United States Postal Service) so you don’t get dinged with the outrageous duties of UPS or FedEx. Another good idea is to make sure the seller has some sort of refund policy, so if the iPhone doesn’t work when you receive it, you aren’t hooped!
4. Online Buy & Sell Forums (Howard Forums, RedFlagDeals, etc)
Are you part of any online communities? If you are, then you should check your online forums in the Cellphone Buy & Sell listings. There is a risk to buying with these online communities as you have no idea who these people really are. Unless you’re buying from a local seller, having an iPhone shipped to you can be a risk. But there are some simple ways to verify that your seller is indeed true and honest! Yes, those people still exist nowadays!
If you find an iPhone seller on your local community forum (Howard Forums is one of the biggest mobile forums on the internet), check to see how many posts this seller has. This usually is a good indication of how long this user has been around, and that means other users will be able to verify the seller’s reputation. When in doubt, ask lots of questions for clarification of the iPhone. Is it new? Used? Unlocked? Etc. Also ask for the username of a previous buyer from this seller. That way you can ensure that this guy/girl is infact real!!
5. “Borrow” Your Friend’s iPhone
So why the heck do YOU want an iPhone? Well, most of the time after actually playing with one, and “ooooo’ing” and “ahhh’ing” and even drooling over your friend’s iPhone, that gets most people hooked. After playing around with the iPhone the first time at an Apple Store, I was hooked. I didn’t buy mine until I visited the Apple Store a second time around (I had plans to buy an iPod Touch instead!) and then took the plunge on the iPhone.
So yeah, if your friend has an iPhone, just ask to see it–then run away! Sure, your friend is going to be mighty pissed at you, but at least you’ll have your sweet, sweet, iPhone. Okay, maybe consider giving the iPhone back to your friend after a few hours, or risk having him steal your girlfriend.
So there you have it folks, these are the Top 5 Ways to Buy iPhones for Canadians! Like with anything, be aware of your purchase and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” when purchasing an iPhone. After laying down your cold hard cash or credit card, shout “YES I DO!”, smile, and walk away knowing that you will have one of the most amazing handheld devices on the planet! Once you get your iPhone, get ready for your friends to be super iPhone-envy–that’s when this crazy routine will repeat itself, over and over again.
Here are some pictures of my 8GB Apple iPhone in all its glory. Let the unboxing porn begin!!
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