Friday, October 31, 2014

When Trading In Your Phone Makes Little Sense


There is the great rumor going around that the carrier stores are giving you top dollar for your phone trade in. Yes, that new iPhone 5s that you bought last year will net you $350 a T-Mobile right now. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that that same phone is selling for $500 in your local Craigslist pages. That Lumia 925 you bought last year for $550, yep, they’ll give you $75 for that puppy. It’s a sham.

Here’s the honest truth to upgrading your device, and it’s not a pretty one. Don’t do it. I mean it. You will get ripped off every single time you do it. Unless you own an iPhone. For example, if you bought a new Lumia 1020 when it was released at $500 or $550, then you decided it was time for a 1520, you might have gotten $300 for it. Right now, T-Mobile will give you $89 for it, and as they say, that’s the best trade-in value in right now!

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Now, not being dumb, I took a quick look at Craigslist for the item in my area and found the cheapest one to be $200. It was one that an update was forced on and the camera started acting up. A simple roll back with the Nokia Software Utility and this would be back to being a mint phone with some minor cosmetic wear. So, my option if I have a 1020 is to let T-Mobile give me less than $100, or sell it online for $200-400 depending on condition.

The bottom line on this one is never ‘sell’ your device back to your carrier. Unless there is a termination fee of $300 or more being paid, you will come out on the bottom side of that deal. The other part to remember is that if you bring your device to a carrier that pays your term fee, you usually have to sign up for monthly payments on a new device, which takes your bill eerily close to where it was when you left your old plan.

Be careful and do the math before you jump in and buy something new. Check the going rate for your device prior to trading it in and most of all, make sure you have a spare phone. When disaster strikes, it’s always nice to have an old friend to fall back on.

Trade In Pricing effective: 10/30/14 per trade in page.

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