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Home News Three rules for buying a phone on Black Friday

Three rules for buying a phone on Black Friday

It’s dangerous to shop alone, especially when every phone deal looks too good to be true.

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If everything is on sale when you wake up on Black Friday, does that mean nothing is? Every website and store wants you to shop with them on this frenetic capitalist high holiday, and it’s frequently difficult to tell what is actually saving you cash when you buy. One of the most difficult places to make sure you’re doing the right thing before putting down cash is when buying a phone on Black Friday.

Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, however, so I’ve assembled some quick tips on how to make sure that killer phone deal is actually a deal.

Only buy refurbished if it has a good warranty

Lots of retailers now accept trade-ins for discounts on new phones, and the biggest reason is they can refurbish that phone and then sell it back to someone else and make money twice. There’s nothing wrong with buying a refurbished phone, especially if you’re able to save a lot of cash and still score something great, but in many stores, you lose an essential part of the new phone experience in this transaction. If you buy a phone with no warranty, and something happens to the phone, you are now tragically out of luck.

This is an easy thing to avoid, as long as you check to see if the company refurbishing the phone offers a warranty for the work done. And in some cases, for example, Best Buy, the Warranty is offered as an add-on service instead of included in the price of the phone. That warranty frequently covers more than the original product Warranty, and for much longer, but it’s often a considerable added expense to the cost of the phone.

If you’re going to buy a refurbished phone, do yourself a favor and ask about the Warranty before you open your wallet. There’s a good chance that deal isn’t quite as good as it seems when you add in that extra expense.

Check the price for that phone a month ago before you buy

No way, that phone on Amazon is $400 off its original price in a Lightning Sale on Black Friday! That’s nearly 50% off; Amazon really got a huge discount there, and it’s available first to Prime subscribers. I should pick that up right now!

Hold on a second. That phone was actually $50 cheaper a month ago.

This happens a lot but especially during Black Friday. Retailers slowly jack up the prices of things it knows will sell well if promoted, and then when they offer up that “huge discount,” it turns out you’re not getting that big a deal on your purchase. Very few products are as difficult to predict on this front as phones, which can frequently drop in price by hundreds of dollars only months after launch. It’s not easy to predict, and with so many phones out there today, it’s even more challenging to track.

Fortunately, there are tools for this sort of thing. CamelCamelCamel, for example, lets you set up price drop alerts for specific products on Amazon and will show you the history of the pricing for that product. If a deal on Amazon looks too good to pass up, you can use this tool to see how much it was a month ago to see just how good a deal it really is.

This is something you can take advantage of any day of the year, but on Black Friday, you should absolutely be checking to see how much money you’re saving with that incredible deal. After all, we’re currently seeing our top android smartphone pick, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, for $100 off right now at $600, so be wary if you see a Black Friday “deal” that’s priced higher than that.

Be wary of “Accessory Bundles” in deals

Carrier stores often have amazing deals on phones come Black Friday, especially if you’re willing to pick up a pair of phones to add to a family plan. It’s always worth checking out what those promotional offers will be, as they often involve fairly new phones, which are being marked down significantly for the first time in its life cycle.

That said, sometimes carriers will also create “bundle deals” for phones. These deals usually have you buying a phone at its full price but then getting steep discounts on a bundle of accessories. It looks on paper like you’re saying a couple of hundred dollars on this phone when you buy the accessories. Still, in reality, the store has assembled the cheapest accessories in the store and jacked up the price on each bundle item to ensure you think you’re saving a ton of cash.

Instead of these bundles, look for deals that let you choose the accessories you’d like a discount on. That way, you know you’re getting things you want, and you can be a lot more selective about the things you’re buying.

There’s no reason to pay full price for a phone this time of year, no matter what phone you’re interested in. But if you’re going to be crawling Black Friday deals for your next, just make sure you’re smart about what you drop cash on.

Latest

Tronsmart’s latest Q10 wireless headphones are currently on a huge discount

Tronsmart makes some great smartphone accessories and audio devices. The company has gained more and more users as a budget alternative to the big brands over the last few years. Tronsmart’s latest offering is the Q10 wireless headphones.While we have yet to fully review these new active noise-canceling headphones, Tronsmart wants to share with our readers that the Q10 is currently deeply discounted for its big launch. (but stay tuned for more on that review in the next few weeks) Retail partner AliExpress has the Q10 headphones a whopping 53% off if you act quickly.This $52.99 cutback is good for the next two days. From January 25 thru the 27th, you can snag these over-ear headphones for more than half the price. This is a pretty great deal for headphones that pack a pretty decent spec sheet.The Tronsmart Q10 will get you Bluetooth 5.0, touch controls, active noise-cancellation, and an estimated 100 hours of playtime. The headset also has Google Voice support and USB-C charging to round out the bullet points.So, what are you waiting for? Get over to AliExpress using this link: http://bit.ly/TSQ10JANae to enjoy this limited time offer from Tronsmart.

US Mobile Buyer’s Guide (January 2021)

Most consumers are familiar with the big-name wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T, but not nearly as many are as well-versed when it comes Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Consumer Cellular or FreedomPop.These MNVO brand operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at one in particular: US MobileAboutUS Mobile is a small MVNO that utilizes T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and Verizon’s 4G LTE network and is known for letting customers add talk, text and data on the fly, at any time.The carrier is not shy about its usage of T-Mobile, but it does appear to hide its Verizon component a bit. We’re not sure why.What are US Mobile rate plans like?US Mobile touts is affordable packages for subscribers who need wireless coverage but want some flexibility in the talk, text and time used each month.Customers can pick and choose plans, customizing as they see fit, or choose from a selection of “Unlimited” options. Don’t want or need data? That’s fine.The Unlimited Plans are as follows:$15/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB data$30/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB dataThe custom plans come with hotspot capabilities and 250MB of 4G LTE international roaming.A recent change to the plans sees US Mobile offering a $40 option which includes unlimited talk, text, and data. To be clear, it’s 50GB of high speed data with heavier users potentially seeing reduced speeds after hitting the threshold. Data speeds are considered “Fast” which means up to 5Mbps for video streaming.For $5 more per month subscribers can get 10GB of mobile hotspot capabilities. For $10 more per month customers can increase data speeds to “Ludicrous” up to 250Mbps, plus the hotspot feature.Family PlansUS Mobile customers can create multi-line accounts, each of which is basically the $40 plan. Things get cheaper per line as you add them to the mix.US Mobile phone selectionUS Mobile has a small selection of phones to choose from, many of which are a few years old. Moreover, they appear to be fairly expensive, too. We definitely recommend using your existing T-Mobile or Verizon phone if possible.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Bring your own deviceUS Mobile tends to work better for people who already have a phone that they’d like to use. Whether it’s a T-Mobile or Verizon handset, or something else, you’ll probably have luck using it with US Mobile. According to the carrier, 99% of devices will work with its service.What else should I know about US Mobile?US Mobile operates entirely online and does not have any physical retail locations in the US.For every friend you refer to US Mobile, the carrier will give you both up to $10. They save up to $10 on their first plan and you get up to $10 off your next bill.You can easily add talk, text, and/or data Top Ups to your current plan to always stay connected. They roll over to next month when you use AutoPay, automatic bill payment.A US Mobile starter SIM kit can be purchased for $3.99, letting subscribers keep their existing phone number.

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