Buying new phones on the cheap(ish)

November 20th, 2011 | Posted by Kevin Wright in Features

You will often hear us talking about getting deals cheap through Topcashback, or Quidco, and paying monthly, and the most common response is “I don’t want another contract”. We understand, but here is a quick guide to the way you should think about this, and how it can spread the cost of cutting edge tech.

Before we start, you need to be able to pass a credit check, so if you are completely unworthy, stop reading, but, even if you think you are, you may be surprised with some of these deals, and it costs nothing to try.  In this example, we will use the latest Nexus phone, the Galaxy Nexus as an example, but it applies to most things really, you just have to look around, for example, at date of this post it applied equally to the Galaxy Note, an awesome device, arguably better than the Nexus :-)

So, the Galaxy Nexus price Sim Free and unlocked, no contract varies, but appears to be £529 at Phones4U, and Amazon have it listed at £519 although not until Dec 2nd in the latter case, and in the former, it appears to be in store only at P4U.

So, how to get it for £450 with only £249 upfront layout and 0% interest on the rest? (with a Sim card for a friend or a child maybe with 50 mins and 250 texts for 24 months)

Step 1. Join QUIDCO or TOPCASHBACK if not already a member, TCB is totally free, and Quidco take first £5 a year of any earning (if you earn nothing, you pay nothing)

Step 2. Log into your account at either one, and I always clear my cookies before a major purchase, as if oyu have visited a site before, and have a “competing” cookie, from say HotdealsUK or similar, they may get the commission and not you.

Step 3. Search on TCB or Quidco for O2 (this example uses O2, it could be anyone) Read ALL the details correctly, for example on this one, the cashback for a 18/24 month non-iPhone contract is £50.50 with TCB. This figure can change up and down daily so CHECK IT CAREFULLY.

Step 4. Click the link and it opens up the O2 website, just as if you went direct. It keeps TCB site open in another Tab so you can refer back at any point. Now find the deal you want, in the example, choose Shop and there are many ways to get to the phone you want, when you have you will see something like this.

There will be other contracts listed below, but it is the cheapest one we want, it will default to £16.50 a month, with 500mb of data, but you can select the 100mb a month (remember we are not doing this for the actual Sim or plan, its a way to get the *phone* cheap) and it will drop to £13.50 with the upfront staying at £249. Remember all this things can change, so to make sure you know what you are signing up for you need to take the cost of contract, plus the upfront cost and add them together to find TCO (total cost of ownership)

So, £13.50 * 24 plus £249 (delivery is free) is £573 right?  OK, but with O2 at the time of writing this, it is possible to take off even the 100mb of data and save another £3.5o a month. In fact you can do this before you even receive your phone. All you do is log into the account using the details you signed up with and remove the data bolt on. On my last 2 deals I have done like this, I was able to remove the data well before I got the phones, right after you get the despatch email actually.

So, once removed, you will be paying £10.50 * 24 plus £249 upfront, so that is £501. Assuming you get the cashback (never g/teed but I always have) that brings it down to £451, that is not only £69 cheaper than Amazon and £79 cheaper than P4U, it is also only £249 today and the rest spread over 24 mths. I got my first Galaxy S2 for £311 this way!

Now, you may or may not get the phone unlocked, but worry not, you are on a contract, and all you need to do is go HERE as soon as you get the phone (you must make one phone call with supplied Sim card first) and it will be unlocked free within a week or so, often quicker.

So, for a maximum of £501 spread £249 upfront and £10.50 * 24 months (if cashback did not pay) and a likely £451 if cashback does pay, this is a good way to spread your tech costs. And it also means you are on O2 contract customer, giving you some other benefits like money off Broadband etc.

Oh, and don’t forget, if you resist the urge to unlock right away, (use it on wi-fi if its locked to O2) and  DON’T USE THE SIM card you can DSR return the phone within 7 days and pay nothing!


Hope this helps a bit, feel free to ask questions in the comments.




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