If you walk around HK you will notice most people with their head down, absolute concentration on the screen of their mobile phones.  They are consumed with the latest phones, gadgets and games.  Take a creeping glance at their screen and you will quickly notice it’s nothing important that requires their immediate attention but rather games to consume them.  This is the only place in the world where they need subway reminders asking users to pay attention and take their eyes off their mobile phone.  Common sense is anything but in this neck of the woods.  It’s no wonder a cellphone is a status symbol and nowhere is it more prevalent than in HK.  Apple is the premium product so everyone aspires and owns the Iphone.  The secondary market is booming as most users crave the newest and greatest, their old phones must go somewhere.

MongKok district as a 3 story building devoted to all things cellphones.  Address is 83 Argyle Street, exit D2 from the Mongkok MTR station.  It’s called the Sin Tat Plaza and inside you will find vendors upon vendors of second hand and questionable origin phones.  This is where cellphones go to die.  HK people keep their cellphones in pristine condition.  All the phones sold here will be mint with not a scratch on it.  There exists an abundance of supply so negotiate hard.  Each vendor is out to eat their own if it warrants making a buck.  They also do repairs so long as they have the necessary parts available.

Vendors on the first floor sell their phones for the highest amount.  This is my price comparison for the Apple Iphone; Iphone4 is 1680, Iphone4s is 2180, Iphone 5 is 3180.  Now take a look at the picture of a vendor on the second floor, the pricing has decreased $300 all across the board on the IPhones.

2014-09-07 12.22.19

This is the third floor, the pricing is even cheaper.  A sad reality of life in HK is a sucker born every minute.  It’s really caveat emptor here, know your product before you buy and inspect it before handing over the cash.  Don’t let them up sell you.  Stick to your plan.  The first floor pricing preys on tourists.

2014-09-07 12.24.22

Always bargain and ask for discounts.  The vendors prey on the uninformed.  The Nexus phones (sold only via Google) cost more on the used market than buying new from Google. Stick to the phone you set out to buy and negotiate hard.  They make their money on the buying and selling of phones.  I once I had fortunate experience of purchasing a used phone at Sin Tat for $2200, I tried to sell it back a week later after Smartone gave me a new phone, the vendor offered me $1000.  There’s ample room for negotiation so never pay their asking price.  You need to get it down to 50% off.  Be prepared to walk away.  It’s cut throat here so slim margins and large quantity prevail.  The vendors want to offload their wares quickly before the next iteration of the phones are released.  This is the pricing prevalent prior to the lead up of Apple’s Sept 9 event.  The Iphone5s will drop quickly as will the Samsung Galazy Notes.

Another route as a stop gap measure until your new phone arrives is to buy a cheap China clone.  The China phones are unbranded and look very similar to the branded counterparts.  They are cost 1/5 of the branded phones topping out around $1200.  The quality is terrible but it will last 3-6 months.  The buttons will break with heavy usage.  I bought a Samsung Note clone as my first HK phone and I had to replace it after it stopped charging.  If the outlet did not break I would still use it today.  The quality control on the clones have gotten a lot better with the clones building quite the following, meizu, ZTE, Lenovo and Xiaomi are nice examples.  The China phones may be the future of telecom.


  1. logatfer says:

    Great guide! 🙂 Your blog is more useful than Lonely Planet!

  2. Might need to check this place out – looks like it’s better value than Asia Expat!
    Is it easy to spot a fake versus real iPhone?

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