If you’re looking to get a cheap mobile phone, you might be thinking about signing one of those mobile operator incentive contracts that give you a free hand set. However, something that many people don’t realize is that these contracts don’t actually save you money on a mobile, in fact, quite the opposite. If you look at the monthly price of an incentive contract and compare it to the monthly price of a simple calling plan contract, you’ll find that the costs for the incentive plan are quite a bit higher. This is how the mobile operator covers the cost of the phone that they give you.
Furthermore, if you do the math you’ll find that over the course of your contract those extra fees will add up to more than the retail cost of the phone that you were given. Obviously, this isn’t a great way to save money in the long term. However, there are some ways that you can save on buying a new mobile. Today we’re having a look at what your options are for getting a cheaper phone. So if you want a new mobile but don’t have much cash, then read on to find out how you can save.
Refurbished Mobile Phones…
One of the best ways that you can save on a new mobile is by looking at refurbished mobile phones. These are models that have been bought and then returned, usually because the customer is suffering from buyer’s remorse, and has changed his mind. But the phones aren’t simply resold. They are sent back to the factory, where they’re cleaned and rebooted. They are then subjected to a thorough inspection before being certified to be resold. Refurbished mobile phones might not come in their original packaging, and they might be sold with a generic charger or a reprinted manual.
In look, feel and functionality you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a refurbished model and a brand new one. Purchased through a reputable source, these phones should also come with a ninety day warranty, so should something go wrong, you can return the phone. If you’re looking for a decent phone, something mid-range, that has been on the market for at least six months or so, then you should definitely look at refurbished phones. There are web sites where you can buy them, though you should make sure that the site you use has a good reputation and is reliable. You can also check out mobile service providers, as they sometimes sell refurbished models too. But by far the best place to look is the manufacturer’s web site. Even Apple sells refurbished iPhones if you check their site. For most people, refurbished phones will get them the phone they want at a heavily discounted price.
Second Hand or Used Mobile Phones…
Buying a second hand mobile is a little riskier, but there are some good deals available. Basically, a second hand phone is a device that has already been used by someone else, so it’s undergone heavier wear and tear than a refurbished model has. It has not been subjected to cleaning or inspection before being sold, and is not generally sold with a warranty. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy though. As long as you inspect the phone yourself, then there’s a good chance that you can get a bargain. An inspections should mean that you check out the casing, looking for dents or scrapes, and look at the screen for scratches and dead pixels.
You also need to turn the phone on and try all its functions, that includes making a call, connecting to the internet, and sending a message. A good tip is to take a picture with the phone’s camera and examine the resulting photo for blurs or flaws. This is a good way of telling whether or not the phone has been dropped, since delicate camera lenses often crack when a phone is dropped and therefore take noticeably flawed pictures. Plus, you should research the model that you’re thinking about buying to see if there are any known defects or weak spots. If a model is renowned for a delicate screen, for example, you’ll want to make sure that you look at the screen very carefully.
There are plenty of online sites that sell second hand phones, but this, of course, means that you won’t be able to check the phone yourself before buying. If you must buy online, then try to ensure that the site you’re using has a return policy, just in case. A better idea is to go to a retailer who sells second hand mobiles, that way you won’t have to buy sight unseen.
There are other ways that you can get good prices on mobiles. Right after the release of a new model is a good time to benefit from lower prices on the preceding model, for example. In phone buying, timing can be everything. If you desperately want a newly released, high end phone, it’s a good idea to wait a few months since prices often drop after the model has been on sale for six months (iPhones are a notable exception to this rule, since iPhone prices don’t drop until a new model is launched). You may also find good prices and decent discounts through retailers who are having sales, and these prices will beat the prices that you get buying through a mobile service operator. Do be careful though. A common scheme, especially for online sales, is to offer a cash rebate after purchase. These schemes aren’t exactly scams, since if you’re very careful you will get the money. But they often rely on complicated instructions and procedures to get a percentage of your rebate at a time. You generally need to put a lot of time and effort into making sure you follow all the instructions to get your rebate, or you will forfeit your ability to claim.