Yes? Well, if you go to the carrier’s cell phone store to get a cheap phone, guess what? The phone may be wireless but it will have lots of strings attached. No way is one of the major carriers just going to hand over an upgrade or replacement phone on the cheap. They’ll put a new contract in front of you and say, “Sign!” Then you get to pick from whatever models they have available.
Don’t want to sign a new contract or you haven’t been on the service long enough to qualify for an upgrade? OK. That just means that you get no deals from the carrier. They’ll ding you full retail price on the phone and it is guaranteed to be an eye-popper. Once you get your breath back, you’ll be happy to sign a new contract, if they even let you, and be thankful you got out of there alive.
Do you find the thought of going through this process revulsive? If so, we’ve got some good news. There’s another place to get cell phones that will work on your current cell phone plan and get them cheap!
What I want to introduce you to is the idea of buying a used cell phone. Don’t think that this necessarily means trolling the auction sites or having to go to somebody’s house to see what they’ve got. I’m talking about an online site that has a huge selection of guaranteed used cell phones ready to use. You get a 100% guarantee that your phone will function perfectly. You also get a free home charger and battery. The phone you pick will be shipped the same day with instructions for how to activate it in minutes. You never have to set foot in the local cell phone store.
Just what kind of shape are these phones in? They are graded into four categories. Refurbished is best. That’s a phone in pristine condition with the manual and box included. It’s almost like a brand new phone but at a deep discount. Excellent phones show very little sign of use. They’re like a new phone once you start carrying it around. Excellent phones come with excellent prices. A Good phone shows normal wear and tear. If your other phone was a bit scratched up or showing wear on the case you may not mind getting another phone in good condition. That’s especially true when the price is so low. Lastly, there are phones in fair condition. These are what you might call beaters. They’ve got a lot of wear showing but they’re still 100% functional. Broken phones just aren’t sold at all.
But just a second. Aren’t used phones just the old dogs nobody wants? Not by a mile. For instance, one used model in excellent condition and available right now to run on your Verizon Wireless service is a Motorola Droid 2 with Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, and a lot more. The cost? A fraction of what you’d expect to pay. There are other Droids available, too. Or you can choose from a huge selection of pre-owned Blackberry devices if that’s your preference.
You are probably wondering how you put these phones into service without having to get a new service plan. If you have a GSM or IDEN carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Boost, Nextel) you simply take the SIM card out of your old phone and pop it into your new phone. Voila! Your service is transferred to your new phone automatically. Because the SIM card is what activates the service, you can have a whole collection of cell phones and just move the card from phone to phone any time you want.
If you have a CDMA carrier (Verizon or Sprint) you probably know that there is no SIM card accessible. Instead, you need to call your service provider and give them the electronic serial number of your new phone. It will be written on the activation guide that comes with the phone. Your provider will then enter that number into their system so that your new phone is the one that works with the service. Not as convenient as a SIM card, but you can certainly get your used phone activated without too much muss and fuss.
Here are the carriers that used phones are available for: Alltel, AT&T Wireless, Boost Mobile, Cingular, MetroPCS, Nextel, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Verizon.
How about the brands of phones available in the used selection? You can choose from Apple, Blackberry, Casio, Hitachi, HTC, Huawei, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm TREO, Pantech, PCD, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Siemens, Sony, UTStarcom and ZTE.
Interested? If so, take a few minutes right now and browse the current selection of used cell phones. This selection changes continuously, as some phones are sold and other acquisitions take their place. If you see a deal you really like, you best grab it before someone else does. Unlike new phones, there can be only one or a few of any particular model available. First come, first served.