Thursday, January 19, 2012 New Phone, No Contracts, That's Frugalicious!!

Team Blackberry...FOREVER!! Ever since I got my first one in 2009, a decision not solely made by me. Previous Company X customer for 10+ years, I was perfectly happy with my LG Glitter, a slider phone with touch screen!! Then we got the word...big Company Y was taking over and guess what? My beautiful Glitter, with its sweet covers, would go away. So awesome; the closest I’d come to a Smartphone...I didn't think they were necessary.

Time came to pick a new phone, and nothing compared to mine...except the Smart Phones. I caved and decided tried the Curve. Instantly in love and since I can conduct business with it, I'm forever a fan!!! When I started traveling internationally again, I needed one that allowed me to use it overseas. I fell deeper in love with the Tour. EVERYTHING you could want (and need) in a phone. It's been to China, Jamaica and Cayman Islands; the perfect companion.

I've had a lot of phones (and my not always frugalicious daughter has had twice as many as me, but I digress...) and when I get a new one, I usually sell the old one. Craigslist has helped me do that for every phone I sold (Commercial: STOP SOPA & PIPA), but that's not why I'm writing today. 

Teenagers and do the drama. It's been lost, stolen, ran over by a car, waterlogged...Sigh. So we've been through our share of insurance claims, refurbished phones and the like. I'm telling you...waste of money all around. Then I got hip to the game. Couple tips...

1) Buy your phone prepaid - It's the same phones as the plan phones, but you buy it outright. Guess what? It's cheaper to buy it prepaid and activate it on your account. Buying it outright at the store while on a contract plan will cost you several hundred dollars.

2) Skip the insurance. You pay a premium monthly and nothing may ever go wrong with it. AND if it does you still have to pay a fee to get another phone, which MAY or MAY NOT be a refurbished phone.

3) Buy or get a phone from someone else. It's okay to buy used, even phones. As long as the phone belongs to your phone carrier, you're good. You could get a phone "flashed", but it causes too many issues. Don't bother.

Back to yesterday…this is where Craigslist has been my good friend. Like I sell there, I buy there. My Tour was BRAND NEW, came with everything as well as three cases: a Coach, a leather and a metallic one. The owner upgraded to another phone. Which brings me to my most frugalicious point. No upgrade, no contract!! If you change your phone (and you can change the ESN yourself online), you don't have to be stuck. 

I loved that Tour, but it has that dreaded trackball, that gets stuck. Normally a little alcohol and a Q-Tip will do the trick of loosening it, but no more. 15 months with it was good though, so I set out to find the Blackberry Bold, same phone with a trackPAD instead. I looked a few weeks ago and the lowest was $150; didn't want to spend that much. I tried later, nothing. Then a glimpse of hope. They lowered the price to $120. I started to email them to negotiate, but I forgot, until earlier this week. I looked again and it was at $100. BINGO!! I emailed her and confirmed my carrier, then told her I wanted it.

Yesterday, I picked it up. It was NEW, only used one month, until she got a new phone. It came with the wall and international chargers and five covers. Oh, I forgot. I was given an early birthday gift the other day, to be used for my phone, so I only paid $70 out of my pocket. Happy early Birthday to me!!

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