Industrial-grade clickbait stories... Anyone could also do better by simply stealing a phone. Or even better, getting a phone for a negative sum (getting paid to accept the device). Who said you can't beat free? More realistically, there's refurbishing programmes whose subsides nearly fully pay for everything. It obviously doesnt cost this little, as taxes and public money usually cover those expenses. And there's obviously the possibility the sellers of ultracheap devices are getting their money's worth off cheapskates one way or another, like by slipstreaming datamining malware or including their own app store.