The Advantages of Shopping for Cell Phones Online

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Samsung S4

A few months ago, a U.N. study stated there are more people in the world who own cell phones than people who have a toilet. In fact, of the 7 billion or so people existing on our planet, over 6 billion have cell phone access while only 4.5 billion are able to access a working toilet. Pretty sobering statistics!

If you consider that all of these phones needed to be purchased by someone at some point, it’s clear that there is a ton of money being spent on cell phones. And while this is excellent news for the cell phone companies’ bottom lines, it can be a hard hit on your personal budget if you’re not careful.

Investigate Your Options

For most, the usual course of action when it’s time to buy a new phone is to walk into a carrier’s brick and mortar location and select the new phone. An easy choice? Yes. Frugal? No. If you knew that you could save upwards of $200 or more on your phone if you buy it online, wouldn’t that be enough incentive to at least investigate your options?

Of course, there is always the argument for other discount retailers such as Costco, which you all know I’m a huge fan of. In fact, I recently bought my new S4 there, and I received a $100 package and the new phone—for free!

If you’re not a fan of membership stores or even retail in general, don’t despair. Shopping online can be a great way to find great deals on contract phones with Vodafone and other similar online retailers.

Seek out Online-Only Deals

The beauty of the Internet is that there are thousands of ways to save money when you need to buy something. From online discount codes to special promotions for repeat customers, there are many ways to combine deals, discounts, and coupons to save more money. Don’t ignore sites that don’t exclusively sell just cell phones; websites that offer limited-time promotions or flash sales, like one of the newest flash sales sites, hushhush, can also provide excellent deals on on cell phones.

Additionally, online retailers often run online-only deals such as those which offer free delivery on all products at O2. If you’re planning to purchase a new phone, you should consider signing up for the email alerts from a few of the leading online discount sites so you know when the best sales are happening.

Consider the Perks of Buying Online

As with anything you purchase online, doing your shopping in this manner has a great list of perks. These include shopping from the comfort and convenience of your home, saving money by not needing to drive anywhere, and saving time by not having to stand in line, wait for service, etc.

Shopping online for your cell phone can also help you make a better decision because you’ll be forced to choose according to the phone’s specs and your needs rather than being swayed by the allure of the phone when they’re in your hand in the store. There’s something to be said about being able to make decisions easier when you’re not faced with a plethora of shiny, new options and a salesperson whose job is to convince you to spend more!


Photo courtesy of: Karlis Dambrans

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.

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