OnePlus’ past history of marketing the OnePlus One was questionable at best, but the company is off to a great start with the OnePlus 2. Just like its predecessor, you will need an invite to purchase the device, but this time OnePlus has come up with a clever promo to raffle off some invites. OnePlus is giving you a chance to get an invite much quicker than usual, and although it will cost you some money, it will go toward a great charity.
Through the eBay Giving Works program, OnePlus is offering 100 OnePlus 2 invites for the 64GB Sandstone Black version of the phone. You can bid on the invites via eBay. The company already released 50 invites today and will release another 50 tomorrow, with each individual auction lasting 4 days. Winners will receive their invites on August 10 and have 7 days to use it or lose it.
Related: Hands on: OnePlus 2
All 100 percent of the proceeds for each auction will go towards the UNICEF Tap Project, which improves access to safe water and sanitation facilities in more than 100 countries. Just $1 will provide clean drinking water to a child for 40 days.
OnePlus decided to do a charity raffle on eBay because many people sell their invites on the site anyway. The company doesn’t think selling the invites on other sites is fair, even though it’s not a violation of any rules. It’s not like OnePlus can stop it, so the company thought it would be a good idea to “join them,” but for a good cause. Fans who are willing to pay extra for a OnePlus 2 can feel better knowing that the money is going toward a charity rather than into someone’s pocket.
Handing out invites through promotions is nothing new for OnePlus, but this one is actually something you can rally around. Last year, the company offered invites to those willing to make a video smashing their old phone and women who were willing to take a picture of themselves with the OnePlus logo on their bodies, in an effort to have men pick the “most well liked” image. Both promotions came under a lot of scrutiny and damaged the company’s reputation greatly.
Be prepared to open your wallet if you’re interesting in bidding, though. As of the time of this post, some of the auctions have already gone higher than $800. We need to reiterate that the sticker price is only for the right to buy the phone, not for the phone itself. At least you can take comfort in knowing that you will be helping a great cause, though.