8/29/2013

Sell Phones

In my ongoing series Rage Against the Machine, I explore my love/hate relationship with technology. In this post I discuss how we made our own "BOGO free" mobile phones deal.

I was way overdue for a new mobile phone. My Google Nexus S Android smartphone was over two and half years old, it had outlived it's update lifespan and was definitely acting its age. I was waiting until my wife's phone plan expired in mid August of this year because we had never been on a plan together, I wanted to save some money being on a shared plain and be on the same phone hardware cycle as her. My wife had a iPhone 4, which is two generations older than the current iPhone. It was time we both upgraded.

black and white Samsung Galaxy S4
My dream phone was the current Google Nexus phone, the Nexus 4. It is sold on the Google Play store unlocked. Unlocked phones are pricey because they aren't tied to any carrier who can subsidize the cost of the phone when you subscribe to one of their plans. I love the Nexus phones because they come with the latest version of the Android OS, are the first phones to get Android updates and because it's sold unlocked directly by Google there is no carrier branding or preloaded apps. But my wife talked me into getting the Samsung Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile from Costco. They sells phones and plans on all the major carriers and were selling the S4 for $100 with a two year contract. The S4 comes with the newest version of Android available to locked phones, 4.2.2, which is only one version older than the newest available, 4.3. We chose T-Mobile because they were the only carrier with unlimited talk, text, and data. Overall we got a good deal. We bought his and hers phones-a black one for me and a white one for her.

Then we had to figure out what to do with our old phones. We could recycle them, let them become toys for our boys or sell them. I figured if they were worth anything we should get some money for them. I was surprised at the value of our old, outdated phones. We sold the iPhone for $75 on Gazelle.com and sold the Nexus 4 on USell.com for $42. Both websites turned out to be legit and no hassle. You tell them what phone you have and rate the condition, then they give you the estimate. If you accept they send you a free shipping kit. After they receive the phone they review its condition. If they accept they send you the payment. Between the two sell transactions we recouped the cost of one S4. Essentially we made our own "buy one get one free" deal. It worked out pretty well.