Where and how to buy mobile phones nowadays
November 8, 2015 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Since Verizon ditched the subsidized-phone-with-contract deal, I'm not sure what the best way to buy a phone is anymore. My contract just ended and I'm DYING to get a new phone. My last one failed under warranty and the replacement that they gave me had a battery that would barely make it through the day ("like new", my ass). I've been counting the days until I was able to upgrade.

I would like to get a Droid Maxx (the original from 2013, not the Droid Maxx 2 that recently came out. If I can find it for a good price, that is.) and I'm fully planning on sticking with Verizon. However, paying $300-$400 dollars for a 2+ year old phone (directly through Verizon or indirectly through Amazon) seems insane.

I was hoping that someone might have some suggestions as how to get myself a new phone in the most cost-effective way possible.
posted by JimBJ9 to Technology (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well you were paying for that old phone in your monthly plan. Buying one outright is going to be far cheaper for you.
posted by k8t at 5:37 AM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


You can find it for less and then pay to have it cleaned up at a phone shop. I use webuy.com.
posted by parmanparman at 5:39 AM on November 8, 2015


Buying one outright is going to be far cheaper for you.

We just did this, since the math worked out very clearly in favor of buying outright. And to my surprise a phone call to Verizon to ask politely "we are buying new phones outright and we wanted to check if we are getting the cheapest service possible?" immediately lowered the monthly bill more than a third to a price well under what they have displayed on the website. I don't know why they make the charges so opaque, but there appears to be some significant flexibility at their end and the displayed price is not necessarily what they will charge.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:16 AM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The significant flexibility comes from the fact you have your own phone and can shop for service wherever you please. Thsts another reason buying a phone outright is a better buy, assuming one has the funds or the credit to do so.
posted by notyou at 6:41 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've bought the last lot of phones in my household through Swappa--they're mostly gently used, but emphasis on gentle, in my experience. Phones are (usually) cheaper there than retail, since they've been used, but they have pretty strict rules about what sort of condition things need to be in, and I've never had a bad experience.
posted by MeghanC at 6:45 AM on November 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love my OnePlus 1 phone and if it weren't still holding strong, I'd be looking to get their new model, OnePlus 2. You buy directly from the maker, so mark up is minimal and you get an unlocked phone with no carrier installed bloatware. The operating system also allows for much better privacy settings.

OnePlus.net
posted by quince at 7:10 AM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I too am a very satisfied OnePlus owner, but it will not work on Verizon if you are insistent on staying there.
posted by AugustWest at 7:18 AM on November 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


+1 for swappa.
posted by lalochezia at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've bought 4 phones on swappa.com and all have been in good shape and priced well.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:05 AM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nthing swappa. I just started using it and it is great. Good moderation. It is the Metafilter of phone sales.
posted by 4ster at 2:14 PM on November 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The significant flexibility comes from the fact you have your own phone and can shop for service wherever you please.

IIRC Verizon has just switched to a model where all of their new plans involve paying full-price for phones, so this might not still be true; the other problem is that Verizon uses a different network from AT&T/T-Mobile so you usually need a model designed specifically for them, which limits your ability to shop around.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:16 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


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