If you’re in the market for a new device, plan or pre-paid phone, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost. 

With a growing number of networks and sellers, it’s becoming a lot easier to find comprehensive mobile phone deals without paying a hefty monthly fee.

If you’re coming to the end of a contract or want to get a better prepaid deal, here are a few ways to bring down the price.

1. Think about what you need

Modern mobile phones tend to come with a lot of bells and whistles, which come at a premium. Often the cost of the device and its internal capability is rolled into the plan, which can mean you’re paying for features you don’t need or use.

Before speaking to retailers, think about how you use your phone. Often, that will dictate things like the camera megapixels, data capacity and model of phone you need. If your usage and needs are more limited, you may be able to save significantly by choosing an older device model.

2. Research the best price for the model you want

Once you’ve identified what you need, check the price different retailers and network providers charge for that model. You may need to survey friends and call a few different stores to ask about the specifics, then keep a log of the lowest prices offered.

It could also be worth waiting a few weeks to a month to see if any specials emerge through the phone networks you’ve got an eye on.

3. Be prepared to haggle

When you’re armed with the information about how much the model you want typically retails for, speak to providers about what they can offer. Some networks give discounts to students, retirees and long-term customers, as well as trying to entice new customers with sign-up deals. It never hurts to ask.

4. Consider a second-hand device

As with many things, second-hand phones tend to retail at a significant discount. Hit up your friends and family to see if anyone has upgraded recently and is looking to offload an unlocked device. Some major retailers offer second-hand phones for sale – again, at a reduced price.

5. Weigh up the cost of long-term plans

At a headline level, longer-term plans often appear cheaper. For example, if you’re offered $50 a month for two years or $35 a month for three, the latter obviously sounds more enticing. However, it’s worth considering whether there are any hidden costs or downsides, such as the inability to get a new device if yours is lost, damaged or stolen.

It’s important to read the fine print – including the costs to pay out the plan if necessary. That way, if something unexpected happens – like losing your job – you don’t get a big surprise if you need to end your contract early.

Source: Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)

29 May 2023