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Tufts student sells spot in iPhone 5 line for $460

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 12:09

The debut of the iPhone 5 last week proved profitable for Tufts senior Brett Andler, who sold his spot in the Boylston Street Apple store line for $460 on Friday morning.

Andler said a bidding war for his spot in line broke out among customers arriving at 7:30 a.m., half an hour before the store opened. He was No. 21 in line.

“I didn’t have a price in mind,” Andler said. “I thought, if the price is right I’ll give it to them.”

Camped out in line since Thursday afternoon, Andler said he began contemplating selling his spot at 4:00 a.m on Friday.

With supplies purchased from a nearby Walgreens, Andler made a sign on neon green poster board that read, “Need to be @ work? Buy my spot up front!” He walked along the line a couple times, from Boylston Street to a side street and onto Newbury Street.

Andler believes that people were hoping to purchase a new iPhone on their way to work, but after seeing how long the line was, they were willing to buy a spot in the front. 

“The people who got there at 4:00 a.m. were not interested [in buying my spot],” he said. “The real market was all the people coming at 7:30 [a.m.] or so.”

  Andler said the woman he sold his spot to was desperate to get the iPhone 5 because her current mobile phone was broken, and she did not want to have to go phoneless until the store restocked.

Apple store employees handed out note cards to everyone in the line at 6:30 a.m., guaranteeing them an iPhone 5, according to Andler. He decided to ask for two note cards with plans to only purchase one phone. Selling the extra card allowed him to buy a black, 64 GB iPhone 5 for $399. 

“I was planning on [waiting in line] for free. It was an added bonus,” Andler said.

Andler said his decision to camp out Thursday was only partially rooted in the fact that he had not pre-ordered an iPhone 5.

“I’m never going to do this as an old, real person, so I might as well do it as a stupid, college student,” he said.

Andler, a mechanical engineering major, said he was able to network while waiting in line. A former electrical engineer who was impressed by Andler’s entrepreneurship even offered to put Andler in touch with friends. 

“There was absolutely no loss for me,” Andler said. “If I know that I can get a free phone out of it every time, then I would absolutely do it again.” 

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