I will tell you everything there is to know about getting a good deal, and how to avoid the bad ones, when shopping for phones!
For the purpose of this blog I won't disclose exactly which Cellphone provider I worked at. Let's just say I learned a lot about the "art" of selling and I am honestly not very proud. I was good at it, in fact, one of the best. I am now here to inform you about how they really dig for your money and "earn" your business. In addition I will teach you my technique on how to buy a phone, work the systems in your favor, and have the latest technology with the lowest price available - without getting gutted for every penny you have.
It's a scary word isn't it? It's meant to be. You see, back in 2016 all the major cellphone markets decided to scrap the contracts because smaller companies on the rise were marketing against the contracts, and instead moving to a new - Sort of sketchy - model called a DPP (Device Payment Plan) or in other words: A device Payment Agreement.
How it Works: You sign an agreement to pay the device off in the course of 24+ Months (depending on the carries) Verizon is 24 months, whereas At&t offers the "illusion" of cheaper phones by charging you the same amount but offering a 26 month payment plan. Don't be fooled! Check the grand total of the device online first before you commit. It' almost always better to buy your phones directly through the manufacturer. Samsung, Apple, and Google all offer financing through their sites and in a lot of cases, they may offer rebates, deals, or bundles!
Speaking of Bundles!
Bundle "Deals" to Avoid
The biggest scam you will run into is the Bundle Deal. Most carriers payout a commission based on either gross profit (GP) or number of additional products attached. Now, you might actually be able to play this one to your advantage, but it's highly unlikely and really dependent on the salesmen's attitude and whether or not a loss in GP is worth the commissions.
How it works: The salesmen has a number in his head before you walk in the door. They know that they can sacrifice certain items for others. Think of it this way - in terms of only GP.
Wireless Charger - $60 GP
Phone Case - $10 GP
Screen Protector - $30 GP
Easy math can tell you that based on these 3 items, they will make $100 GP off this sale, and they are focusing on their % rate - lets say it's 30%. They will make $30 in their pocket off this "deal"
How they pitch: Bundle Deal! Get this $80 Wireless charger, $40 case, and I will even throw in a screen protector and install it for free if you say yes. Otherwise, you can just buy the case and screen protector for, lets say $60... What will you choose?
Can you see that the sales person just set themselves up above the GP they would have normally earned in this? So if you say no to it all, they have given themselves room to say... "Okay well, how about we just do the Case and Screen Protector for $40 even, thats the best I can do..." That sounds like a good deal.. But look above, he it still making $40 GP off you, so you lose. It sounds like you just got them to lower the cost of the items by saying no... It's a skill, and a talent, not a "Good Deal" Be careful!
How to avoid the "Bundle Deal"
Just do this: Search for the items you are being pitched on Amazon.. Simple as that. What Amazon provides and a pretty translucent platform for selling. You can't sell an item that generates a ton of GP on Amazon because someone will just sell it for less and take literally all your sales. So people compete for the lowest GP and highest sales figures possible. So the price you see on Amazon is providing a decent guideline of how much other people are happy to pay for certain items.
I have listed my personal favorite additions to phones below that are good quality, and really cheap!
Screen Protectors (multiple)
iPhone 11: https://amzn.to/2FeDyyb
iPhone 11 Pro: https://amzn.to/2QhRRs0
Other Phones: https://amzn.to/2QjO4dS
iPhone 11 Case: https://amzn.to/2QIq0Ai
iPhone 11 Pro Case: https://amzn.to/2MPAnkK
The Loopholes That Save you Money!
If you have made it this far, Congrats! I am about to make your day better. Don't get me wrong, just because salesmen can be sticky doesn't mean the carriers are at fault. They honestly do a great job (almost all of them) at providing service, LTE, great phones, and good deals. Not to mention, every manufacturer (except apple) will team up with carries and offer deals directly through them to boost their sales and make people satisfied with their products. So it's not all bad, now let's talk about some loopholes - these aren't against any rule, however, they aren't really spoken much about because they can be silly sometimes.
Verizon's big DPP loophole:
This MAY apply to you, especially if you had Verizon between 2013-2016. They launched a program where you can trade I your phone after 12 months for a new phone (provided yours is in good working condition). What a lot of people don't know is that you can time this perfectly with a price drop that happens annually. If you are an iPhone fan like me, the price of the previous models of iPhones drop dramatically after launch of the new iPhone Sometime in September every year. So If you walk into a store asking for an iPhone (last years model in September) you'd already be getting a good deal. Heres where things get funny. So Let's say I picked up the iPhone XS Max this September. I am already paying probably 11-15 dollars less than I would have 2 weeks before that - in addition to this, my phone plan will hit 12 months next September - there the iPhone 11 Pro Max will be 10-15 dollars cheaper per month. As long as my phone is in good condition I will trade it in for that (only having paid for half of the device)
If you do the math. I am annually spending 20% less than anyone with an iPhone on the full cost - but I am also saving 50% more because I am paying half the cost with the price decrease. So I am literally saving 70% on my phones by doing it this way...
The catch: You wont own your phone if you trade it in - but the way I look at it is you can choose to ride your DPP out for a full 24 months and still have gotten 20% off. So it's a good choice either way. I just happen to like to carry the latest iPhone in my pocket because I like to...
Another thing that people don't realize (about Verizon) is they offer a rewards program built into the app that can save you a ton of money - for no work at all. It's called Verizon UP. It's built into the app. Pay your bills on time, get rewards. That's it. Free data, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks Gift Cards, TJ Maxx and Target Gift cards. The list goes on. I have saved over $40 in Starbucks alone just paying my bill. Check it out here
Anyway, I hope this helped in some way, and I hope you check out some of those links! TTB is now an Amazon affiliate and we are proud to say that we can now offer you our recommended products without having to sell data to the devil and still keep our site running! Please consider buying a screen protector or two to help us out!