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How to Find the Best Deal on a New Phone

Lots of people in a crowded shopping mall.

Buying a new phone at launch may be exciting, but it’s rarely a good financial decision if it means paying full price for the device. With a little research (and maybe some patience), you can save hundreds of dollars on your next phone. Here’s how to get the best deal.

1. Time Your Purchase to Snag a Deal

One of the best ways to find a good deal when buying a new phone is to time your purchase. There are several occasions when you can find discounts. Here are the best ones:

During the Pre-Order Period

If you want to be among the first people to own a new phone, it’s best to pre-order it than to buy it after the launch. Smartphone companies often offer flat discounts or free goodies during the pre-order period in an attempt to attract customers and create buzz around an upcoming product.

For instance, when Samsung puts a new flagship phone up for pre-order, it usually bundles a pair of Galaxy Buds for free. Aside from flat discounts and free goodies, pre-order benefits sometimes also include store credit and some free months of YouTube Premium or Spotify Premium.

The only downside here is that pre-order benefits are almost always exclusive to flagship devices, so if you’re eyeing a mid-range or budget phone, this tip might not work.

During Black Friday or Cyber Monday


Dmitrijs Dmitrijevs/Shutterstock.com

For many, Black Friday is perhaps the best time to buy a new phone as it marks the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and retailers compete fiercely to attract customers. If you’re willing to brave the crowds at offline stores or navigate the virtual shopping frenzy, Black Friday can get you discounts of 30% or more.

You can also try your luck during Cyber Monday, which comes right after Black Friday, when smaller retailers encourage people to shop online with generous discounts on electronics and appliances to avoid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

To make sure you don’t miss the best deals, it’s a good idea to learn how to make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Near the Launch of the Next Model

If you’re okay with a phone that’s about a year old, keep an eye out for clearance sales. Retailers will often slash prices to clear out old stock from last year when a new model is soon to be released, especially if they anticipate increased demand for the new model.

If you do your research, you can find some seriously good deals, especially for Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel phones. Also, since smartphones don’t evolve that fast anymore, you’re not missing out on a lot by buying a year-old phone. At worst, you’ll have to face slightly worse battery life and one less year of software updates.

During Amazon Prime Day

Amazon packages stacked on a workbench.
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you should take advantage of Amazon Prime Day. It’s held in July every year and brings big deals on almost all product categories, including smartphones and other electronic gadgets.

That said, if you’re not already a member, you shouldn’t get a Prime membership just to access Prime Day deals. First, check out everything you get with an Amazon Prime membership and decide if it’s right for you.

2. Trade-In or Sell Your Original Phone

All major smartphone companies allow you to trade in your phone when buying a new one. Depending on the condition of your phone and its current market value, the price of the new model is reduced, and your old phone gets recycled. It’s one of the best ways to dispose of your old phone.

While trading in your old phone is easy, you can likely get better value for it if you sell it on an online marketplace. Granted, it takes more time and effort, but a buyer who intends to use the device will almost always pay more than a company that intends to recycle some parts of it.

3. Use an Education or Employee Discount

A lot of smartphone companies offer special discounts for students, teachers, seniors, veterans, and first responders. For instance, Samsung offers up to 30% off on select smartphones to verified students and government employees in the US.

You may also find deals through your employer, union, or professional organization. Check the manufacturer’s website or contact customer service to see if you qualify for any such special discounts.

4. Get a Refurbished Phone

Samsung Certified Re-Newed Galaxy phones for sale

You can save hundreds of dollars by buying a refurbished phone instead of a brand-new one straight from the manufacturer. When unsatisfied buyers return their orders to the manufacturer, these pre-owned devices are thoroughly inspected for defects, repaired if needed, cleaned and repackaged, and put back on sale for a reduced price.

In other words, it’s good for the planet and it’s good for your wallet. Refurbished phones are also covered by the same one-year warranty that brand-new phones come with. However, since there aren’t a lot of refurbished phones, your options will be rather limited.

5. Use a Rewards Points Program

If you buy most of your gadgets from a certain manufacturer, you should take advantage of its rewards program if it has one, like Samsung Rewards. Once you’re registered, you’ll start collecting rewards every time you buy something from the official site or the store app. You can redeem these rewards later to reduce the price of the next item you buy.

6. Get a Referral Bonus

While a rewards program earns you rewards every time you buy something, a referral program earns you rewards every time a referral of yours buys something using your link or unique code. There’s a Samsung referral program and a Google ran a similar promotion with the Pixel 7 in 2022.

This can be quite handy if you’re the “tech person” in your family and friends and often recommend them what to buy. Remember to check the terms and conditions of the referral program before you sign up.

7. Shop on the Manufacturer’s Official Store App

Most major Android phone makers, including Samsung, OnePlus, and Oppo, have an official store app that grants you a special welcome discount the first time you buy something using the app. The discounts aren’t massive and are sometimes only available on select devices, but they are noteworthy nonetheless.

Avoid the Hype, Look for Value

Android phones don’t hold their value for long, so it doesn’t make sense to pay full price for them. You can use any of the tips we’ve mentioned in the list to find a good deal, but always make sure to do your research before you buy.

If you’re eyeing an unreleased phone, pre-ordering it is probably the best idea since you’re getting a brand-new device for a lower price or with free goodies that you might otherwise have to buy separately. If you want to save even more, wait for those sweet Black Friday deals.

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