Girl Ninja was recently eligible for an upgrade from her iPhone 4. We made a deal that if we could sell her phone on Craigslist she could upgrade to the iPhone 5. I posted it last week and got zero bites. I was a little discouraged since I had a friend tell me he posted his five days earlier, and sold it for $180 within four hours of listing it.

I re-posted the ad, this time with pictures of the iPhone box and cords, on Tuesday and less than 24 hours later it sold for $200. Note to self: original boxes and cords get potential buyers super excited.

Immediately after the sale, we headed to Verizon and bought GN an iPhone 5 for $199 (before taxes/fees). After politely declining the customer service representatives “once in a lifetime offer” to buy phone insurance and some other crap fluff we don’t need, we peaced out.

We then drove across the street to Best Buy, where we argued for a good 20 minutes about the purpose of a phone case. Girl Ninja seems to think they are for aesthetics. I however believe they need to be waterproof, bulletproof, and Girl Ninja proof. She once punted her cell phone from a fourth story balcony to the ground below. We compromised on a cute, but protective, Otter Box case…

Now comes the part where I’m probably terrible….

Best Buy was selling the case for $39.99, which I was actually pleasantly surprised by. I was thinking they’d charge $50+ for an iPhone case because everything at Best Buy always seems to be ridiculously marked up.

But was $39 a good deal?

I had no clue. I hopped on my phone and pulled up my Amazon app. Amazon was selling it for $26 with free two-day shipping.

Ugh, what kind of frugal personal finance blogger would I be if I didn’t buy the cheaper option? But I felt terrible. We only knew we liked this case because we went in to Best Buy’s big, warm, friendly store, where they graciously allowed us to try out a few cases. Without the hands on experience we got in the Big Box store, we would have never known this was the best case for her phone.

Wait, let me re-phrase that, I bought the case from Amazon on my phone, while we were standing in Best Buy. That’s right, I used and abused Best Buy.

Handcuff me now and take me to jail.

While I think you will probably try to convince me I’m not terrible for making such a decision, you’re wrong. I mean Best Buy needs to sell products to stay in business. I’m pretty sure they don’t have iPhone cases on display for any other purpose than to sell them. Right?

So my question is this, How much would the iPhone case had to have been in Best Buy for you to have bought it there?

We probably would have bought it in store for up to $5 more than the Amazon price of $26. Or in other words, we would have been willing to pay a 20% markup to support Best Buy since they helped us make our decision. Unfortunately, they were marked up 50% and that’s just too much.

Update: apparently, as of two weeks ago, Best Buy will match Amazon pricing. So I am a terrible person. Pretend they didn’t though for the sake of my reader question above.

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