7 Effective Ways to Get a Discount on a Smartphone (Sponsored)
It’s no secret: smartphone prices are on the rise. The average smartphone selling price is $374 according to GfK (via Pocket Now), though you’ll pay a lot more than that for a high-end device with all the bells and whistles.
This is why we try so hard to save money on our smartphones. But with so many vendors claiming to offer the best deals and with so many money-saving experts offering up the best tips, it’s hard to know where to start.
To save you time and a considerable amount of money, we have trawled through the Internet and examined our own money-saving processes to highlight the most effective ways to get a discount on a smartphone. Given the high price of new tech these days, you can’t afford not to take these methods seriously.
Consider What You Need
Before you even begin researching a new smartphone or its prices, you first need to know exactly what it is that you need. As a person who loves to play power-intensive mobile games, your needs may differ greatly from a person who primarily reads ebooks or checks their emails on the daily commute to work. Likewise, your smartphone needs will also differ if you mainly use your device to watch HD films and videos on Netflix and YouTube.
We don’t expect you to keep a spreadsheet noting all of your usage — or for you to know exactly how much battery each app uses. There are phone usage tracker apps that will do the job for you, such as Social Timer which includes a timer to limit your usage. QualityTime and My Addictiometer are two other highly recommended apps for tracking your usage. Additionally, iOS 12 has built-in tools to track what apps you use the most, and which of those use the most battery. Use the data from these apps and your phone when selecting a new phone.
Learn How to Negotiate
The next top tip for getting a discount on a smartphone is to learn how to negotiate. Phone retailers and networks are focused on making as much money as possible, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be lenient sometimes. Keeping your business is more important to them than trying to squeeze more money out of you and so there is often room for you to negotiate.
Save the Student has an excellent guide on how to haggle, including top tips such as not stating your budget (they won’t offer you a deal lower than your budget), leveraging your loyalty if you’re a longstanding customer, and to ask for a warranty as the use of internal company quotas for warranties can be used to your advantage.
If you aren’t fussed about buying brand new, then buying a refurbished phone is also a solid way to save money. Refurbished phones are phones that have had previous owners before being traded into retailers where they are then tested, repaired, and cleaned by professional, certified teams of engineers. Because retailers are unable to sell these phones as brand new, despite the high quality of the handsets, they make them a lot cheaper to ensure that they get sold.
As a result, it means you’re likely to save a lot more money on a refurbished handset than you would by buying a brand new phone. And that goes for older phones as well more recently released ones. For example, the price of a refurbished iPhone 8 is just $594 for an unlocked model with 64GB of storage space. This is a saving of $105 (or 15%) compared to the brand new version of the phone, meaning that buying refurbished helps to relieve the strain on your savings.
Though, it is important to note that different refurbished phone retailers have different prices. Although you’ll be getting a discount wherever you shop for refurbished, retailers like Amazon and Gazelle may list different prices based on what its refurbished handsets include (e.g the length of the warranty) so that’s something to consider.
Don’t Buy on Contract
One of the most common methods of getting a smartphone is to buy it on contract. You opt to pay monthly for a handset over a period of 24 months (or 12 months, depending). Smartphones these days are so expensive that it may make sense to pay for a handset monthly instead of paying for it outright. When that contract includes your minutes, texts and data, it also makes things a lot simpler than having to research either your handset or your usage and pay for them and manage them separately.
But from a cost perspective, you may be losing out. BelleNews highlights buying an unlocked smartphone that isn’t on contract as one of the “unmissable” ways to save money on a smartphone because it frees you up. For starters, it means the handset not be locked to a specific carrier for the duration of the contract, however phones bought on one carrier can be used on other carriers once completely paid off. It also means that you aren’t restricted to that carrier, either. 24 months is a long time to be stuck with a carrier and you’ll be unable to switch to a better deal unless you pay off the phone.
Are There Bundles Available?
You may also save money by enquiring about bundles. Chances are, if you’re looking to buy a smartphone then you also use other services such as cable television and Internet (Wi-Fi). You may even make use of tablets, phone accessories, satellite navigation tech, smart home devices, and you may even need insurance for all of these devices too.
Some phone retailers and network carriers, such as Verizon, offer all of these goods in their stores and they may try to “upsell” you. Upselling is when a retailer sells you one product but tries to sell you additional goods or services. You may be able to use this to your advantage by asking them about different bundles; it’s possible that your carrier or phone retailer offers a discount on your smartphone if you get other services with them. This may not always be the case but if they do offer a discounted bundle, you’ll be glad you asked.
This piece of advice is applicable whenever you’re buying new technology, not just smartphones. Be patient and you could save a substantial amount of money in the long-run.
When a new smartphone is announced, i.e. the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy flagship, you get drawn into the hype. With swish promotional videos, celebrity endorsements and tech blogs that enthuse about the latest hi-tech feature (e.g a much-improved camera or a larger screen), it’s easy to get carried away. But the first few weeks after a handset has been released is the time when it is the most expensive. That price will come down and better deals will become available if you just wait for a few months.
Within a few months, the handsets will also become available as refurbished. Plus, you may not need those specific new features at launch (even if they do look mighty appealing). So wait it out and reap the benefits.
Don’t Buy Without Using a Price Comparison Site
Our final piece of advice is indispensable and if you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this. We recommend that you never buy a smartphone without using a price comparison site. Even at launch, when a smartphone has an RRP (recommended retail price) attached to it, there is still going to be a major disparity in the offers from different retailers and networks.
Some retailers may offer longer warranties than others, some may throw in a free accessory set, and some have even been known to give you bonuses for mobile games. It all depends on who you buy from so don’t buy without using a price comparison site or you could end up missing out on a brilliant deal just because you acted too quickly.
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