Marymart Mall used to be the go-to place to buy or have a cellphone repaired. There were dozens upon dozens of shops selling used phones, but times have changed. Most of the shops are not selling used phones, they are selling what the locals call “China phones”. These are cheap new phones, mostly from China that may look like Samsung Galaxies or iPhones but are cheap, and to my mind junky. Of course you can buy real, new iPhones or Galaxies, but they cost a fortune. But there is a small corner of Marymart where they sell used, brand name phones at decent prices.
I wanted to buy a solid but inexpensive used cell phone, like one of those old Nokias which are built like a tank and last forever. Since Carol was doing her own shopping I had about two hours to visit just about every shop in this third floor marketplace. You have to be an informed buyer and ask the right questions. Is the phone locked to Globe or Smart? If so, it’s not going to do you much good when you travel overseas. I ended up buying an open line Nokia Asha for P1,400. If it is stolen on our trip to Cambodia next year, no big deal. I thought the people running one particular shop seemed better informed and confidence-inspiring than the others. This little shop is located more or less in the center of this hubbub of shops. Expect to get a one week warranty. Get it in writing. Take it home and make sure everything works during that week.
I read all the reviews of the hot new cell phones in the online tech sites. After seeing the generation-old used phones at a fraction of the price of a new phone, I will not buy another expensive phone. I’ll head to the third floor of Marymart. The shops also sell cameras, laptops, tablets and other tech gear.