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Having turned a leaf from the old Anthony (who was not frugal), I consider myself to be quite frugal, although I still have a few indulgences (mostly surrounding food). For this reason, I am never one to jump to buy the latest phone knowing that I could potentially buy one from a less frugal friend who always has to have the latest and greatest. I really am also just not that into phones. I am thankful that beyond making calls, apps do make like much simpler, but I know I donâ€™t need the latest and the greatest to use all of those amazing functions.
We had upgraded my wifeâ€™s phone almost 2 years ago, and we bought it on the plan where they add the payment for the phone to your phone plan spread out over 24 months. She is a photographer so it seemed to make sense that she has a smartphone with a great camera. At the time, I did not want to add the extra expense of a phone for me, so I just let it go. Last week, I got an email from my carrier stating that I could upgrade from my iPhone 6 (16GB) to an iPhone 6s (32GB) for just $5 per month for 24 months ($120). Now that seemed like a decent enough deal for me to want to bite the bullet and pay that extra $5 per month, especially because I was strapped for room for apps and actually needed more space. I also knew that I would not need to pay for insurance becauseâ€¦ wellâ€¦ that was more than the cost of the phone. And I also figured I could sell my phone for roughly $100.
I went to the store to claim my offer and was told it was an â€œonline onlyâ€ offer. It was frustrating but they said they could ship the phone to the store and I could pick it up there, have them switch the SIM cards and I would be on my way. I did find out that there was a $40 activation fee, which they cut to $20, bringing my total cost to $140.
Selling my iPhone
I am not sure why I thought I would get $100 for my phone, but it turns out that I was wrong. I checked with my provider online and the site said they would give me $70. I had checked the Decluttr site which offered me $72, so I figured it was just as easy to go to the store and trade it in and get the credit towards my bill. I arrived at the store and joked about getting a few thousand for my phone and the guys said, â€œwell, maybe a few hundredâ€ so I was feeling good. Well, by the time I got to the actual rep, he put it in their system and it said $55 trade credit! I asked why it was different from the website and he said I could feel free to go to the website and try to claim that offer. Not so great on customer serviceâ€¦ but that seems typical for certain providers.
So back to my Decluttr offerâ€¦ I have had email offers from them since I have used them before to sell electronics, and I recalled getting an email for an extra 10% in trade value. My coupon was expired, but I did a search and found one online, and got an additional 10%, so in the end, I got $79.20 for my phone. This brought my total out of pocket expense to just $60.80.
Other Options to Sell Your Smartphone (or Save Money on a Smartphone)
While Decluttr is a great place to sell a smartphone, there are certainly other options for selling your phone and you might even net a little more money. And if you are looking to save money on a smartphone, you can use the same sites. Here are a few options:
Social Media – Ask your friends on Facebook if anyone is looking for a phone. This is a great way to help someone get an affordable phone from someone they trust, and for you to ensure that you donâ€™t get scammed in the process (because scams do happen)
eBay – I am leery of selling on eBay (mostly due to the potential for scams), but I have sold old smartphones on eBay prior. There is lots of competition as well. Always make sure you are working with a buyer with a solid history and positive ratings. I typically wonâ€™t sell or by from anyone without a solid eBay history.
Craigslist – Sorry Craigâ€¦ donâ€™t do this. You would be better off donating it and taking a deduction. I hear about way too many scams on Craigslist to where I just canâ€™t recommend them.
So what about youâ€¦ how often do you upgrade your phone? And what secrets do you have for saving money on smartphone purchases?