You can’t use your old phone anymore.
It doesn’t matter whether you broke it, lost it, or it died after years of use, your first thought after the mental anguish of mourning your old phone subsides is how you are going to quickly and cheaply replace a smartphone.
Fortunately, consumers in this situation have plenty of options, some of which may be more attractive to those who are currently locked into a contract and unable to pay the discounted “upgrade price” for a new phone.
Replace at Full Price
If you are stuck in a contract and have a long wait before you can purchase a phone at an “upgrade” price, your knee-jerk reaction may be to just accept your fate and pay the full, non-contract price for a replacement smartphone.
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This is a fairly unattractive option, as prices for handsets without two-year contract extensions can cost between $400–$800 depending on the model, which is a budget-buster for sure, especially if you are used to paying between $100–$300 for a new phone.
2. Buy an Expensive Refurbished Phone from a Carrier
Carriers recognize that buying a new phone to replace an old smartphone isn’t the best option for everyone, and will often approach consumers who are suffering from sticker shock over the full smartphone replacement price with another, potentially attractive option: carrier-refurbished phones.
Coming in at about $100–$200 less than a new phone, these refurbished phones are guaranteed to work for a carrier-specified amount of time, but they are still more expensive than a contract-subsidized phone. It’s easy to sell desperate consumers on the idea that saving a few hundred bucks with a refurbished phone is the best plan, but there are still other options available.
Buy a Phone of Questionable Quality From a Marketplace
You’ve seen the signs: “Buy used phones here!” and “Cheap iPhones!” However, marketplaces that claim to sell cheap or low-cost phones often have a dirty secret: The products that they sell are extremely low quality, and may not even be the real thing.
In many cases, these shady retailers buy broken phones at discount rates and repair shattered screens and busted components with cheap replacements that are not designed to last.
Worse, these retailers may also sell foreign knockoff products that are designed to look like the real thing, but actually have little function of their own, according to CNET.
Buy a Certified Used Phone From a Reputable Player
Perhaps the best option for those looking to replace a smartphone is to buy a used phone from a reputable third-party company.
You get to avoid paying the ridiculous up-charge that carriers expect consumers to pay for a refurbished phone and avoid shady practices of vendors that sell inferior products.
Of course, it’s important for consumers to do their research, but reputable companies that offer warranties on refurbished phones are a great option for those that need to replace a smartphone quickly and aren’t looking to break the bank.
How have you gone about replacing a defunct phone?
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons