Recently I wrote about how I bought two iPhones 5ses from Glyde for nearly half off the current full retail price. (You would probably be well served to catch up on that post before reading this one.) Seeing that Glyde sports an unconventional business model, and there are probably a few questions about its street cred out there (I know I had my doubts), I thought I’d write a follow-up update on my experience with them for your benefit.

It All Started on September 15…

…when I placed my orders on Glyde for a 16GB Black/Space Gray iPhone 5s and a 16GB White/Silver iPhone 5s for $318.23 and $321.23 respectively. Since different individuals sell each device, each phone is purchased in separate transactions and they are shipped as two independent orders. Once the orders were placed, within 24 hours Glyde shipped a pre-addressed, postage-paid shipping container to the seller. The idea is that the seller gets this convenient package in the mail, they pop their iPhones in the box and turns around and drops it back off at the post office. Let’s discuss what happened with each phone separately.

Nine Days Later

The entire process for the first iPhone (the black one, if you’re curious) went about as smoothly as possible, and it took nine days for the phone to reach me (September 24). Glyde is based in Palo Alto, California, the seller was in New York, and I’m in Tennessee. So I was actually satisfied with the speed of shipment, all things considered. Obviously, since Glyde makes it clear up front that this is how the goods get transported, I knew that I wasn’t going to be getting any Amazon Prime 2-day shipping experience here. But what happened with the second iPhone was much more telling of the type of company Glyde is.

And Then I Got An Email…

On September 22, I got this following email from Glyde: 

Thanks for buying on Glyde. Unfortunately, the seller of the Apple iPhone 5S – 16GB – Silver – AT&T in Excellent condition had to cancel their sale. Cancellations like this are rare and we’ve taken action to remove this seller from the Glyde marketplace.

The good news is that we have found an Apple iPhone 5S – 32GB – Silver – AT&T in Excellent condition from a different seller. Although this item was listed at a higher price, we’ll cover the difference so that you’ll still pay $321.23. If you choose to accept this order, the estimated delivery date would be between 9/30-10/2. Click below to accept or cancel your new order.

Ladies and gentlemen, THAT’S how it’s supposed to be done. I understand that Glyde doesn’t control their inventory and that they’re simply the marketplace, but their big value proposition is that they’ve got my back in case something falls through. In this case, something obviously did! So they upgrade me for free to a 32GB model and quickly replaced my order with another seller.

So the whole two-step shipping process happened all over again with the shipment originating from Palo Alto and again going to a seller in New York before making it’s way to me. This seller didn’t turn around the package as quickly as the last guy, so the shipment took a bit longer. I finally received the second phone on October 6, exactly three weeks from when I placed the original order. Yeah, that’s slow compared to most services and it’s a downside that’s inherent to Glyde’s business model. The lesson: Don’t buy from Glyde if you’re in a hurry.

Upon Arrival

With both phones, once it arrived, Glyde sent a courtesy email to ask me to inspect the phone and verify that it is as described. (They even include a helpful how-to list for the inspection.) I have an option of rejecting the order, sending it back, and getting a refund. Fortunately, both phones came as described: excellent condition, no aesthetic issues, no water damage, chargers present and working, and most importantly with still-robust battery health.

I will also say that when I had a question regarding the shipment of the second phone, I got a human response to my email inquiry (they don’t have a telephone number for customer service) within 2 days—on a weekend. I think that’s only reasonable when they don’t have a customer service phone line.

To Glyde or Not?

Overall, I was pleased with Glyde. I would buy from them again (as long as I wasn’t in a hurry). They stood up to their side of the bargain, demonstrated excellent customer service, and proactively handled issues that arose without me having to badger them. The one big downside in all of this is the slowness and somewhat unpredictable nature of their order fulfillment and shipping. Given the nature of their business model, there’s not a whole lot they can do to solve this problem, and it’s something the customer is made aware of on the front end. Nevertheless, I believe they are doing a good job mitigating that risk. I’ve had a good experience with Glyde, and even with the issues mentioned, I think the value they bring outweighs the issues inherent to their type of business.

If any of you had reservations about trying out this service, hopefully this has helped answer some of your questions. Oh yeah, and last I checked they’re even selling iPhone 6es now at a discount! Check it out!

*The links to Glyde on this page are affiliate links, so this blog will get a bonus if you sign up and make a purchase.