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Author Topic: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!  (Read 378 times)

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Online andrewfi

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I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« on: February 18, 2020, 12:07:39 PM »
I was wasting a few minutes, as I do, watching a couple of vids on YouTube.

One of the channels that I subscribe to had just posted a video about a rather strange smartphone.
The phone was called the Escobar Fold 2.


This was claimed to be a folding phone, the price was $399. The guy is a bloke, coincidentally from my home town. He had a story about how he had ordered the first version of the phone, which was a real phone - but he had not received it.

A few days ago he had an email telling him that his order had been upgraded to the new model, the one in the box in front of him.

He opened up the box and inside was a garish gold coloured phone that looked very like the Galaxy Fold.

He opened it up, checked it out and, it was, indeed quite clearly the phone I thought I recognised - a Galaxy Fold version 2 with very strongly affixed gold stickers carrying the branding.

The branding was Escobar. The brand is owned by Pablo Escobar's brother and is part of a genuine business whose function is to act as a holding/investment company managing the Escobar family fortune.

Arun, the presenter, told us he had been in touch with the company. It seems they have been buying up returns, closed out stock, distressed stock from around the world. They have rebranded the phones and are selling them for just $399 for the 128Gb version and $599 for the 500Gb version.

Like Arun I too was rather sceptical but I was intrigued. The first, second and third thoughts were that this was a scam. It might well be...

But I thought that I would do some due diligence.

A quick look around the Internet revealed that there are genuine vendors selling the Galaxy Fold at rather low prices. Not as cheap as this, but a lot less than the $2000 that the phone sells for through normal channels. It is possible to buy the 500Gb  version on Amazon UK for £1400 but not through Samsung.

It is clear that there is distressed stock about. The Amazon ones, for example, are not UK units, they are from someplace else and the vendor claims that they have to open the phones before despatch to remove region lock and activate the phone! Those phones are distressed stock of some kind.
When I was selling electronics, decades ago, I dealt with jobbers who would buy up electronics stock for resale. They'd pay around 10% of retail.

So, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

The website is pretty kosher. The order process was well set up and the emails for the confirmation of payment and sending tracking status was efficient. Of course, setting up a website is cheap as chips so that does not signify much.

But Escobar have sold genuine products in the past. The company really exists so I bunged them $399 for the 'cheap' version.

I could've paid by credit card and by doing so I could take advantage of buyer protection on my card but I decided to pay using Bitcoin. The cool thing about Bitcoin is that I bought into Bitcoin again a year ago and am sitting on a 300% increase on that. So, the thing is paid for out of the increase in value there. But its actually better than that. :)
Since I paid for the phone a while ago, Bitcoin has increased in value covering about half the cost of the phone already today so the $400 hit on my account is reduced already to just $200. :)

I am looking forward to seeing what happens. If I get nothing then it hasn't cost me any 'real' money. My crypt currencies are for holding and playing with. If I get the phone, it will be a $2000 retail phone for free.

Oh, I will let you guys know what happens, good or bad to the order. I remain sceptical, but hopeful. :)


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Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 07:25:26 AM »
Just been having a rather worrying couple of days. My payment for the phone was not showing on the Escobar system and they kept sending me reminders to pay.

This morning I received a confirmation email that payment had been tracked in their system and my phone is now being readied for despatch.

Yesterday the Escobar Fold 2 was featured in a very high viewership YouTube channel. It looks as though the phones are from distressed stock as this was noted in the video from another source.

So, when it arrives (upgraded from 'if', should I remove the gaudy gold branding to reveal the Samsung branding and case below? Or should I have the gaudiest, blingiest smartphone around out on display?

Apart from anything else, while this may not replace my primary phone, this would seem to be ideal for my purposes as a travel computing device. The Samsung Fold 2 runs DEX a very handy way to run apps such as Microsoft Office on an external monitor in a desktop mode. The large screen enables one to work with documents on the phone itself. I currently use a Huawei with a similar desktop system and it is very useful - but the phone's screen limits the usability on the phone itself. The Fold will enable me to ditch my current tiny laptop and just carry one or two phones instead.
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Online Guile

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 02:06:57 PM »
you probably got scammed. why didn't you just buy a pre-paid from Carphone Warehouse or the like


Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 04:01:48 PM »
Took a chance to buy a $2000 phone for $400. The money I sobbed in has already been covered by the Bitcoin price going up.

Buyers seem to be getting their phones.

I took a chance at very low cost to me - more like no cost as it happens.

Sometimes one takes a chance and sea what turns up. I expect to get the phone I ordered in a few days.

I didn't buy the thing because I needed it.
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Online Guile

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2020, 08:44:14 PM »
Google the first version, it's a scam.  No one got ther Escobar Fold 1.  a blatant copy of a Samsung:

https://www.androidauthority.com/escobar-fold-2-1079743/

Do let us know if you get it but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

If your Bitcoin went up just buy the real thing or the new Moto Razor fold.

Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2020, 03:25:18 AM »
The first version was NOT a copy of a Samsung phone. The first phone was the Royale Pai. The Fold 2 is not a copy of a Samsung phone either - it is the Galaxy Fold.

It is certainly true that some people, including the presenter of the first video did not get their phones. However he and other have received the Fold 2 or have been told to expect the Fold 2.

As I noted at the outside I decided to take a chance. My surmise was that these were distressed stock. As you know from my previous posts the company has said this was the case.

It looks like there may be several hundred thousand units floating around in the retail channel, all looking for a home. The Galaxy Fold 2 is due to launch imminently. Samsung have refused to allow retailers to discount the phone for fear of devaluing a halo model. Some Galaxy Folds have been sold through alternative channels as can be seen on Amazon. Additionally there's evidence of a variant of the Fold that was never launched by Samsung but seems to have been manufactured.

I may not get my ordered phone. If I don't then I lose nothing. If I do, I will get a $2000 for free. No risk to me but I can see why it might be an issue for the poors for whom lack of money enforces risk aversion.
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2020, 07:26:04 AM »


I may not get my ordered phone. If I don't then I lose nothing. If I do, I will get a $2000 for free. No risk to me but I can see why it might be an issue for the poors for whom lack of money enforces risk aversion.

As usual, andrewfi cannot simply face facts -  he has (probably)  LOST $399 ..   

If I invest in something and then throw some money from the gain - it's still a loss...it is interesting to watch andrewfi 'justify' his stupidity / gullibility..


Perhaps, the forum was too quiet 
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2020, 10:37:53 AM »
You lose $400. Hey it's your money. Even rich people fall into scams. Look at Bernie Madoff.

Mike Tyson once had $300 million and now he's broke.  From the Good Book "A fool and his money are soon parted"...

I got some offshore stocks you may be interested in lol...

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2020, 02:24:59 PM »
If I invest in something........

Dude, you had trouble investing in $7 of gasoline.

Relax, Afi is toying with free money.

I did read the comments and some other stuff on one of the links posted though and many of the commentators seem to think it was a scam and justified why.

Also it appears that they mail out a book first under some pretext that people provide an incorrect shipping address and they need to verify it. This is of course absolutely nonsense and they are mailing out a book with tracking so they have something to present to defend any credit card chargebacks.

Afi has likely lost his free bitcoins but may get a book.
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Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2020, 06:24:57 PM »
Actually, I was wrong earlier. There's no charge backs because payment is either by bank transfer or, as I chose, through crypto.

So the book thing is not about charge backs.

For me, this is a little gamble. I used money that was, quite literally, free as a gamble on getting something that I'd like to have but would never buy at normal price.

Having done the due diligence, I know that the company has a track record of fulfilling orders for previous offers. I know that buyers have received both the Fold 1 and Fold 2. I also know that the company has been clear about the sources of the phones. I also know that there is a supply of distressed stock because other vendors have been selling these phones, albeit at much higher prices than Escobar.

I now know that Samsung has sold way less of the Fold than they claimed or targeted. The latter implies that, even with batch manufacturing, that there's a surplus of phones in warehouses. I also know that in South Korea, the largest market for the phone, that retailers have been asking Samsung to be able to reduce prices by some 25% in order to shift stock; that retailers are getting desperate to turn the stock.
Samsung have refused to allow discounts for very good reasons I won't go into here - they're in a difficult position right now.

I also know that for goods of this type manufacturers with market power will stuff the retail channel with as much stock as possible. This problem has arisen before in the mobile phone business.

All this suggests that there's plenty of phones. Escobar have said that they can fulfill up to 200,000 orders. Given the numbers I have seen, that number seems reasonable if Escobar have been able to get hold of a significant part of the surplus.

Given the attention that Escobar has been receiving, this seems to be a very inexpensive way to grow brand awareness among tech mavens who are also early adopters. If they get their phones, you can bet that they will be very receptive to future offers.

For context, late last year Samsung claimed to have had orders for about 1,000,000 Fold phones. That will have been sales into retail. It seems that sales out of retail up to early this year have been somewhere between 4 and 500,000 units. That implies that there are between 5 and 600,000 units looking for buyers at a price of $2000. In a couple of months the new Samsung Galaxy Fold will be launched. The current Galaxy Fold will be unsellable at that time given the price of the Galaxy Z which has just been launched.

Related to Samsung's difficulties, the new Fold Z has the same specs as the phone I ordered. The odd thing is that Samsung never sold the Fold in the spec that I ordered, 8GB ram and 128 GB storage. That spec looked to me, when I ordered, like it was a lower cost SKU that was never released. I am very curious about that.

I expect that by Monday or Tuesday next week I will have notification of the dispatch of the phone to me. I won't be out of pocket if they don't.

With regard to comments in comment threads - none of the negative commenters can know what is happening. Their uninformed opinions are worthless. What one can know is this: on the whole, the naysayers are likely to be people who cannot afford to risk between $400 and $550.

The people who place an order, on the whole, will be folks like myself who don't see value at $2000 but can afford to gamble a few hundred dollars for a desirable item. There's many, many more of the former than the latter. Chances are that by the time we risk takers have had our orders fulfilled that the offer will be ended.

This is a bit of fun.
Mystic and others whose finances enforce risk aversion should stay well clear; this is not an offer for them.
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2020, 09:48:07 PM »
If you got a few hundred to lose why not.  This isn't risk taking, it's being scammed. Risk taking is putting all your money on Bitcoin or some stock and riding it out.  If you check some American stocks like Tesla, Apple or Amazon you'll know people have made alot of money.  My portfolio is up over 100% in the last year.  Plenty of $ to buy the latest Apple or Samsung smartphone at full retail.  :chuckle:

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 11:26:16 PM »

If I invest in something........


Dude, you had trouble investing in $7 of gasoline.

Your need to'protect 'our very own 'Russel Grant' from his folly is touching .. but at least be accurate with your 'counter' ...


The 'trouble' was the need to stop for 'gas' when already late for a once every two days train to Armenia - not the 20 Lari ear-marked for the care of Maxx' missus ...






Relax, Afi is toying with free money.

Who is fazed by 'Russel's' stupidity ?   The only thing free about the money is how freely a fool is parted from it .. :coffeeread:

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Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2020, 07:27:13 AM »
Well, right now, I am not overly optimistic about actually receiving the device I gambled on.

I emailed the company querying despatch and delivery dates. I received a fairly prompt and personal reply - which was pleasing.
Less pleasing was that the reply dealt with the mechanics of delivery and told me nothing I did not already know. Completely skated over was the issue of despatch. The sales material claims that despatch should be 2/3 days after payment has been cleared; that's obviously not the case.

Ah well, still hopeful, but not optimistic.

------------------
Guile, I take your point about returns. Of course, hindsight always provides perfect vision. When I purchased my first tranches of cryptocurrencies Tesla was looking very unhealthy - and, frankly, it still does. There's a lot of wealth transfer going on around that particular stock as a quick look at the historical pricing charts will show.

I was not placing a bet on cryptocurrencies. At the time, before the big bubble kicked in and for many months afterwards, I had been doing a lot of work and research on crypto and blockchain tech. I dipped my toes into crypto based upon my understanding of the market and technology. My returns have been pretty satisfactory, although I'd have done well to sell up before Christmas 2017. I made a 'policy choice' to hold even as I knew that the market price that December was absolutely a bubble unconnected with the underlying fundamentals. That was for personal and family reasons and was a mistake! The bubble burst rather sooner than I had expected.

I now find myself in a similar position to that which I wrote about the other day in respect of real estate investment in Russia. I now have an asset tied up waiting for a future profit. :) On the other hand, crypto is very liquid and I am sitting on a current profit.

When making an investment in any asset it makes sense to buy into assets that one has at least a modicum of knowledge about and a degree of certainty based upon the knowledge that the investment will be profitable over time. At the time I started buying into crypto, there was no way I'd drop money into Tesla. Given the amounts involved and my investment pattern, I'd not have considered Amazon or Apple - at least not directly. I have not looked but I'd be a little surprised if the funds I work with do not hold both Apple and Amazon.

As a user of crypto and not just a holder, it is my belief that cryptocurrencies, or rather a very small subset of the myriad of projects available, will have a significant part to play in the coming years. I now have my first crypto debit card to make use of the currency more transparent and convenient.
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Offline Contrarian

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2020, 12:29:03 PM »
If you got a few hundred to lose why not.  This isn't risk taking, it's being scammed. Risk taking is putting all your money on Bitcoin or some stock and riding it out.  If you check some American stocks like Tesla, Apple or Amazon you'll know people have made alot of money.  My portfolio is up over 100% in the last year.  Plenty of $ to buy the latest Apple or Samsung smartphone at full retail.  :chuckle:

Excellent point. Make wise investments and then just buy the stuff you want after a good year.

Do you think the recent market drops make it a good time to buy into the market right now or are more corrections coming?
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2020, 01:59:28 AM »


Do you think the recent market drops make it a good time to buy into the market right now or are more corrections coming?

hey man! I'd say get cash ready to buy stuff now. in 1-2 years it's gonna bounce back up like it always does.  Even my tech stocks which have dropped about 15% in the past weeks are still almost double from when I bought.

Buy 1/3 now, 1/3 in a month and then 1/3 after.  You can't time the market but you'll know things ALWAYS goes up.  Because people are greedy and want profits. human nature will never change.  ;D

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2020, 02:03:49 AM »
I didn't touch crypto.  Too many negatives.  Mt. Gox and many other exchanges which were hacked and then you have no recourse to get your money.  It isn't a bank where they will insure you against fraud.

It is not that liquid.  Lots of fees and wait times if you want to sell and cash out.  With stocks it is instant. That's what I stick with. they have done me well.  Another thing is stocks pay dividends which are tax deductible and capital gains are usually taxed lower than income.

Now many people don't report their crypto gains but technically it is all income that should be taxed.

Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2020, 06:46:15 AM »
Well, the Escobar site has gone down. They sent out an email saying that they were having 'technical issues' yesterday and today there is no site configured on their domain.

Buh bye money. :(

That's life, one little gamble that didn't pay off!
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2020, 09:43:16 PM »
Well, the Escobar site has gone down. They sent out an email saying that they were having 'technical issues' yesterday and today there is no site configured on their domain.

Buh bye money. :(

That's life, one little gamble that didn't pay off!

As Wall Street experts famously say, Pigs get slaughtered.

You “bought” that because you’re greedy, aka cheap.

And like wise Russians say, Greedy ones end up paying twice.

 :ROFL:      :ROFL:        :ROFL:
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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2020, 12:17:45 AM »
We have a saying too, "if it's too good to be true, it probably is!!"


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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2020, 02:10:37 AM »
I didn't touch crypto.  Too many negatives.  Mt. Gox and many other exchanges which were hacked and then you have no recourse to get your money.  It isn't a bank where they will insure you against fraud.

It is not that liquid.  Lots of fees and wait times if you want to sell and cash out.  With stocks it is instant. That's what I stick with. they have done me well.  Another thing is stocks pay dividends which are tax deductible and capital gains are usually taxed lower than income.

Now many people don't report their crypto gains but technically it is all income that should be taxed.

Cryptocurrency and exchanges work just like a bank & cash.

You can actually save your bitcoins in your own wallet on your own computer and nobody can touch them until YOU decide to sell them again.
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Online andrewfi

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2020, 02:58:12 AM »
Some people show us their poverty without their knowing. Here in this thread we see evidence.

I am far from wealthy. There's no way I could justify $2000 on a phone. But $400 on a gamble to get a $2000 toy at an 80% discount paid for with 'free' money - no problem.

So, while you poverty stricken folks with your poverty enforced risk aversion mindsets witter on, for me, life goes on. Unchanged. Objectively, I know the same stuff today as I knew on February 18th. So I know that most cons work on the basis of an excess of greed. I know that one should never gamble with money that one cannot afford to lose.

Nothing has changed. I made a gamble with money I could afford to lose. The gamble did not pay off.

Here's the thing. A few months ago, I made a gamble to buy some home electronics. I had the chance to pay £750 for an item that would normally cost over £5000. The gamble paid off. I listen to the sound of that sweet success every day.

A few weeks later, I did the same thing. Took a punt on another item. My ears enjoy the benefit of that success every time I take my seat in an airliner.

Not every gamble pays off and I certainly don't share all of mine here. I shared the Escobar Phone story as it was a little unusual. I get it, although the money at stake was miniscule in the scheme of things, for some posting here the amount was enough that, in your eyes, I seemed reckless and foolish. The reality, given the different context, is a tad different.
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Online Guile

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2020, 03:04:34 AM »
so you're saying you are poor?  :laugh:  Better to invest in stocks and reap the dividends. 

Astute people would notice a scam.  Why is someone selling a $2000 phone for $400? How the heck are they making a profit.  Common sense.

For those who can afford to pay full retail and get the warranty that's what they do.  Your stereo system could go bust one day and you'll have no recourse.

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2020, 04:20:57 AM »
Some people show us their poverty without their knowing. Here in this thread we see evidence.

I am far from wealthy. There's no way I could justify $2000 on a phone. But $400 on a gamble to get a $2000 toy at an 80% discount paid for with 'free' money - no problem.

So, while you poverty stricken folks with your poverty enforced risk aversion mindsets witter on, for me, life goes on. Unchanged. Objectively, I know the same stuff today as I knew on February 18th. So I know that most cons work on the basis of an excess of greed. I know that one should never gamble with money that one cannot afford to lose.

Nothing has changed. I made a gamble with money I could afford to lose. The gamble did not pay off.

Here's the thing. A few months ago, I made a gamble to buy some home electronics. I had the chance to pay £750 for an item that would normally cost over £5000. The gamble paid off. I listen to the sound of that sweet success every day.

A few weeks later, I did the same thing. Took a punt on another item. My ears enjoy the benefit of that success every time I take my seat in an airliner.

Not every gamble pays off and I certainly don't share all of mine here. I shared the Escobar Phone story as it was a little unusual. I get it, although the money at stake was miniscule in the scheme of things, for some posting here the amount was enough that, in your eyes, I seemed reckless and foolish. The reality, given the different context, is a tad different.

This is SO, andrewfi

Hundreds of words trying to tell others THEY 'don't understand' ....  :coffeeread:

It was a particularly foolish gamble ... given few, if any, other than you(?) expected a working model to appear ..   

Before you bother to type more wordy bollox.. STOP.. think .. You DID ... you actually sent money to what was CLEARLY a scam

Tech such as that DOES NOT appear at that price ... witness those prepared to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with a smaller battery - after the first model was catching fire.


Andrewfi would be the first to help educate a newbie who wants to pay by letter on a dating site ...  We KNOW he'd be wasting his money... and we slap our heads when they 'know better'
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Spurious claims about 'seeing action' with the Blue Berets are debunked >here<

Here is my Russophobia/Kremlinphobia topic

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2020, 10:34:02 AM »
Andy trying to justify losing $400 with his usual semantic acrobats. It boils down to greed and a lack of good sense.  :coffeeread:
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke

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Re: I Just Bought A Drug-lord's Smartphone!
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2020, 05:08:50 PM »
so you're saying you are poor?  :laugh:  Better to invest in stocks and reap the dividends. 

Astute people would notice a scam.  Why is someone selling a $2000 phone for $400? How the heck are they making a profit.  Common sense.

For those who can afford to pay full retail and get the warranty that's what they do.  Your stereo system could go bust one day and you'll have no recourse.

 :thumbsup:   :laugh:
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke