The official flash sale of Redmi Note 3 may have ended with more disappointed people compared to happy ones, but that doesn’t mean that the phone is not available online any more.
People who booked the phone have started reselling them on classified websites such as Quikr and OLX, within minutes of the flash sale ending.
The phones are being offered after charging Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 extra.
According to the flash sale rules on Amazon, you can book the phone without paying any money, and complete the transaction within two hours.
Many people take advantage of this facility, book multiple number of phones, look for a buyer and make the payment only if they are able to find someone to resell it at a higher rate.
It is virtually impossible to prevent this behavior as it is not possible for Amazon or Xiaomi to figure out who is a genuine buyer and who is a reseller, though they have tried in the past.
Legally, it is not possible to prevent either mass purchase or reselling of phones. Technically, any person is eligible to sell any phone that they have bought using classified ads.
Many technically sophisticated people have also come up with browser extensions and scripts to keep checking the website for availability and make the booking almost as soon as the phone becomes available.
This almost always beats the human method of refreshing the page and using a mouse to click on the ‘buy’ button.
Some fans, however, are hoping that more precautions will ensure that such behaviors become more difficult to adopt.
AVAILABILITY IS ONLY SOLUTION
As LeTV showed, such arbitrage seekers can be discouraged by ensuring robust availability.
LeTV, for example, put up 95,000 phones for sale for its second flash sale, a record in India. This ensured that stocks remained available for more than 10 seconds, enough for most humans to buy.
However, when stocks are below 10,000, it’s almost impossible to get hold of stocks.
It is not clear how many Redmi Note 3 phones were put up in the flash sale by Xiaomi. The company did not reveal the information, but merely said: “Thanks for the support! If you didn’t get a RedmiNote3, registration for the next sale” opens soon.
Meanwhile, the LeTV Le 1s, which has a more powerful, but older chipset and a lower-speced camera, is available on demand from Flipkart. The phone comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, unlike the Redmi Note 3 which has generic toughened glass protection only.