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Good, trustworthy website to buy cell phone without contract?

ReadyToRollReadyToRoll Posts: 1,191Registered User Senior Member
edited October 2009 in Parent Cafe
S is going to need a new phone (PDA) before heading off the college, and his contract isn't up until after he leaves. I've never bought a phone independently of renewing the contract and was wondering if anyone knows of a reputable place to do this. (Buying right from the cell company costs a ridiculous amount of money!)

I looked on ebay, but every seller seems to have a tons of negative feedback.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Post edited by ReadyToRoll on
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Replies to: Good, trustworthy website to buy cell phone without contract?

  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    ive used Discount Cellular phones, GSM Unlocked Phones, International Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories from MyWorldPhone.com before and it was good.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Your cell phone price is subsidized when you're on contract so the higher prices for phones at cell phone stores is reasonable - you're just picking up the whole cost of the phone upfront. If you don't use the cell phone much, then you should be saving a lot of money over a contract.
  • mom60mom60 Posts: 5,626Registered User Senior Member
    If you have ATT you can buy a Go Phone for much less. They will issue you a phone number for it and have you buy a small amount of minutes for it. Take it home, take the sim card out for the Go phone number and insert your son's sim card.
    Also keep the old phone. If the new phone dies you will have a standby. We collect old phones when family members get a new one. My son is presently using a phone that his Aunt used for 2 yrs before getting her IPhone, he had already broke his original phone, gone through a cheap Motorola Go replacement.
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,673Registered User Senior Member
    If you use ATT, Go Phone for sure.
    Otherwise, tell him to ask his friends (who use the same cell phone provider that you use) if anyone has a an old phone he can have, or borrow for a few months.
    If neither of these cheap and convenient systems work, go to the cell phone provider you use and look at the cheapest replacement phone they offer - figure out which phone has been around a while. Buy it on ebay from a seller with good userfeedback.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    We all use GoPhones and they work very well for us but make sure the provider that your son uses has good coverage in the places that he mainly needs to use the phone.
  • meredesfillesmeredesfilles Posts: 513Registered User Junior Member
    OP, if your son is close to eligibility to buy a phone, go into a store for your phone service, and see if they will allow him to buy it early. (My d has done this.)

    Also, if you or another member on our plan (assuming you are on a plan) is eligible to buy a phone, they can buy it and your son can use it.

    If your son wants a PDA, the phone company is happy for him to have one, because you will have to pay for a media plan.

    We have AT and T and they are more than happy to sell us a phone that will need an increase in service/more money for AT & T. I've bought 3 blackberrys in the last year for $49.99 each. They put them on sale and I stalked them until they got to a price that I liked.
  • anothermom-w-qanothermom-w-q Posts: 1,125Registered User Senior Member
    Try to find out which companies offer the best coverage on campus. If you buy him a phone and he can't make calls on it from his dorm it won't help much.
  • my-3-sonsmy-3-sons Posts: 2,356Registered User Senior Member
    ^^So true. If he doesn't need the new phone before making his final school choice, wait and check the cell service on campus.
  • seiclanseiclan Posts: 4,179Registered User Senior Member
    I just purchased an unlocked blackberry curve on ebay. It cost about $169, gently used (actually in terrific shape). The seller has lots of them.
  • ReadyToRollReadyToRoll Posts: 1,191Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the advice. We are Verizon users, and I have learned that typical "unlocked" phones don't work with Verizon because they are on a different network. (Verizon doesn't use sim cards and is on CDMA.)

    His contract costs very little because we have a family plan. But he can only get a new PDA (i.e. a Blackberry) when his contract is ready to be renewed...otherwise it costs way too much for the phone directly from Verizon.

    Good point about checking out which school it will be first, although almost every place we have every been in the US seems to have great Verizon coverage!
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    If you are on the family plan at Verizon, usually the main account holder can upgrade once a year while the family members have to wait until the end of the 2nd year. You can let your child have your upgrade. Verizon has let us do this many times.

    I hope you realize that your inexpensive family plan will go up quite a bit if your son gets a Blackberry. You'll have to add on the additional data plan.
  • PhotoOpPhotoOp Posts: 1,110Registered User Senior Member
    I got mine at Costco.
  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    I hope you realize that your inexpensive family plan will go up quite a bit if your son gets a Blackberry. You'll have to add on the additional data plan.

    It doesn't have to, BIS is optional.
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    ^there's no reason to get a PDA/Blackberry unless one plans on using it as a PDA. Without the additional data plan, it's nothing more than a cell phone. If that's all this person is looking for, then he should stick with a cell phone and the $10 additional texting.
  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    I know plenty of people who simply use BB's, iPhones and windows mobile devices as cellphones alone without data. Different people have different needs.
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