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You’ve already switched to SIM-only and you’re enjoying the massive savings that brings, but your old smartphone has given up the ghost and it’s time to buy a new handset. You want a decent model with a good camera and lots of storage, but you don’t want to drop £800+ for the latest iPhone. Sound familiar?
If you want to keep saving money but still enjoy the latest tech, read on for our top five ways to save on your next smartphone purchase.
Trade in Your Smartphone
There are a growing number of phone retailers who will allow you to trade in your existing handset. Tesco Mobile, Carphone Warehouse, EE, Three, Vodafone, Samsung and Apple all offer some form of trade in service. You can trade your phone for cash and receive anything from £5 to £300+. Alternatively, you can trade in for credit, or what is essentially a discount off your next handset or contract. You’ll get the best price for the latter, but there are often strict terms and conditions so be sure you read the fine print.
Trading in can be done in store and you’ll receive the cash or credit the same day. Most retailers will also offer an online service where you post the phone to them. The money will take longer to arrive, but this is quite convenient if you don’t have a local phone shop offering a trade in service.
Recycle Your Phone
For phones that are older or in poor condition, recycling is a great option. Using sites like Mazuma Mobile or Money Magpie, you can sell any make and model for cash. It can be quite lucrative if you have a drawer full of phones, and it’s far better for the environment than them going to landfill. Use a comparison site to find out which company offers the better price for your model. Any cash you make from selling old phones can be used to buy your new one.
Note: you should never be charged for selling your phone, even postage should be free.
Sell your phone via eBay
The two options above are easiest but you’re paying for convenience so you won’t ever get the true resale value of your handset from the likes of Mazuma.
If your phone is in good condition then you’ll alway6s get top dollar if you sell it on eBay privately. Make sure you take plenty photos and are clear with your listing as to its condition. In general you’ll get 20% more than the recycling companies offer on newer handsets so it’s worth the extra hassle.
Buy Second Hand
Buying a second hand phone is a very cheap way to get a new (to you) phone. You could buy from friends or family members or you can buy a refurbished model from a reputable retailer. Brandon Ackroyd from the mobile phone comparison site Tiger Mobiles says:
“Refurbished phones are second hand models that have been carefully checked over and restored to full working order. They work just as well as brand new phones and will usually come with a warranty. You likely won’t receive the original packaging, and certain accessories (like headphones) may be missing but the retailer will make this clear. What you do get is a good phone at a great price that in many cases has never been used.”
A manufacturer (i.e. Apple or Samsung) refurbished phone will often be of higher quality, but they are harder to come by and it may take some time to find the exact model you want. If you need a phone sooner, you can use a third-party retailer but be sure the phone includes a warranty that covers you if the handset develops a fault.
Many retailers will include a grading system for refurbished phones which gives you some idea of the quality. The grading will affect the price (with higher grades being more expensive), and is usually as follows:
– Grade A: appears new or has very minor signs of wear.
– Grade B: may have scratches, chips or other light cosmetic damage.
– Grade C: the product will look used and there will be clear signs of wear.
Use a Cashback Site
Cashback sites (TopCashback or Quidco are two consumer favourites) are a fantastic way to save money on all kinds of purchases. They regularly run deals on the latest mobile phones which could see you getting back a big chunk of your purchase.
Cashback sites work by tracking your purchase via cookies, so the purchase must be made online. The cashback site receives commission from the retailer when you buy something, which they then share with you. It’s perfectly legal and a brilliant money saving trick. You don’t receive the money back immediately – it can take up to 30 days to clear but it is well worth the wait.
Buy From the Manufacturer
Buying directly from the manufacturer is a sure fire way to save some money. Buying from Apple or Samsung on a SIM-only basis will often be much cheaper than a monthly contract or buying from a third-party retailer. You will also receive additional benefits such as a longer warranty, ongoing tech support or a better returns policy.
Knowing when to buy is the key here. Buying a model on its release date will cost you hundreds more than if you wait just three to six months. Though buying an older model will be even cheaper. You may also find lower prices online versus in store, so make sure you compare before you buy.