Naina KhedekarAug 23, 2014 12:32:33 IST
With its unique strategy that relies on word of mouth and social channels, Xiaomi has managed to re-create the buzz every Tuesday since its grand entry on July 22. After some number crunching and five fabulous Xiaomi Tuesdays, Flipkart is believed to have sold over 75,000 units. It is quite a high number to achieve in mere one month for a relatively newer Chinese brand in India.
The company has created a frenzy among users with its flash sales that puts limited units up for grabs. All the hype is justified, once we take a look at the specs of the device. For Rs 13,999, the Xiaomi Mi 3 is a steal with its jaw-dropping set of hardware. No wonder, it is being compared to booking a tatkal ticket on IRCTC. You also find a series of tips and tricks articles on how to successfully buy the Xiaomi Mi 3.
Well aware of the frenzy created by the device, not everyone is buying it to own a plush piece of tech. Some are even trying to make quick bucks, and others (foolish ones) are ready to shell out up to Rs 20,000 to buy it. Yes, you heard it right! A look at eBay and OLX and one will come across a series of ads with people willing to sell the Xiaomi Mi 3 that they successfully bagged. Bagging a device is being compared to successfully conquering an impossible task. In fact, we have a series of conversations about buying and selling the Mi 3 in our comments section of Xiaomi-related news.
Most of the ads show a sealed Xiaomi Mi 3 package from Flipkart, and the advertiser claims to have got their hands on two units. Some simply state they don't need it as they already own a smartphone, and some others call it business. On the other hand, many readers have also begun mocking the sellers. The bottom line is simple - everyone is trying to cash in on the popularity and make some quick bucks. Now, there is nothing wrong with that as anyone who wishes to sell his phone once he or she owns it, can do so. However, the question is would really pay 19k or even 16k for a relatively newer Chinese brand?
When we got in touch with one of the sellers, he claimed to have bought two devices - one for his colleague and another for himself. And now he wants to sell the other device. "The package is unsealed as I wanted to simply take a look at the accessories and the phone. I am selling it for Rs 15,500," he said. When we asked him about the hike in price. "If you see the other ads around, you will find I'm selling it for a cheaper price than others, he explained.
Xiaomi's strategy so far seems to be working in India. One of the ads selling the phone for Rs 17,999 reads, "Features worth Rs 35,000." In our comments section, we saw several reads leaving their phone numbers and email ids for those seeking the phone, but couldn't get their hands on one. On the flip side, we wouldn't be surprised if some malicious minds are working at a scam to cash in on Xiaomi Mi 3's popularity.
Manu Jain, India's head of operations for Xiaomi, told The Economic Times, "The company is requesting these sites to try to take down such ads, but admitted that it would not be able to do anything legally to stop people from reselling the phone. We can't legally stop them from selling it (Mi 3) after buying, but we're working with Flipkart to put some checks and balances in place."
In the past couple of weeks, Xiaomi has been re-creating the record sale drama. As soon as the Mi 3 went live on the site, Flipkart couldn’t handle the traffic and the site crashed temporarily. Within 40 minutes, Flipkart claimed the Mi 3 was out of stock, but the site promptly said it would bring in the next batch on July 29 while the registration would begin on July 28. And to top it all, the second batch apparently sold in five seconds.
Its third batch sold out at a record less than two seconds and we saw a similar figure of 2.4 seconds for its latest flash sale that took place yesterday. Two seconds may sound unbelievable? This was possible as Flipkart had changed the process for the second batch wherein users simply needed to add the device to their carts, and could make the payment any time later that day.
Xiaomi’s fifth batch of smartphones that went up on sale on August 19 at 2PM sold out within a mere seconds, yet again. Even with the evident demand, Xiaomi has been releasing meagre units, much to the frustration of the masses, for obvious reasons.
At just Rs 13,999, the Mi 3 packs a Snapdragon 800, which is by far the cheapest high-end phone available in the market. It competes with the likes of the Nexus 5, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z at nearly half the price. Read our Xiaomi Mi 3 review, to find out if it is worth buying. For those who were unable to get their hands on the device at the fifth try, check out four alternatives to the Mi 3.
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