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When is the Right Time to Buy a New Phone?

Every year, dozens of new smartphones flood the market at varying price points. Some of the (rumored) upcoming phones of 2019 include Samsung’s three new Galaxy S10 flagships, two new phones from LG, two new phones from OnePlus, and the next Apple iPhone. And that’s just the premium end of the market!

With such a sweltering amount of choice, it can be difficult to know when is the right time to buy a new phone. You fear that if you buy on launch day, then you’ll have to pay the highest price possible but what if you wait, and a newer, better phone is released by the time you buy the existing model? It’s a tricky decision, and it’s hard to answer these questions on your own, which is why we’ve put together a guide to help you out.

When to Get the Best Phone Discounts

When a new phone is released or announced, people go wild. The talk of new, powerful features excites people and has them instantly whipping out their credit cards to pre-order the new device. With powerful ad campaigns and positive reviews, it’s understandable why so many feel that draw.

However, if you wait for just a month or two after new phones are released, you can get a generous discount on the previous version. The high demand for the latest model means that there is less demand for its predecessor and so retailers will be keen to shift it from their shelves by selling it to you at a lower price.

The optimal time for this will vary by manufacturer as different phone brands like to announce their phones at different times of the year. Samsung tends to announce its new, flagship phone during Mobile World Congress which takes place in February of each year. Samsung’s announcement schedule makes March or April the best time to get a Samsung phone. Apple usually reveals its new iPhones in September and so by October, price cuts for the previous iPhone model will be announced.

When Should You Buy a Second-Hand Phone

It’s not just brand new handsets that reward you for your patience; by waiting, you can get better deals on second-hand phones as well. Second-hand and refurbished phones already offer reasonable prices, and as the phones get older and as more people trade them in to second-hand and refurbished phone retailers (causing the stock to increase), the price will come down. It’s for this reason that you can now buy a refurbished iPhone 8 for a fraction of the cost, less than two years after it was first released. The standard size of the iPhone 8 (64GB of storage) is available for around $480, and that includes unlocked models which work with any network carrier. You could potentially save a couple of hundred dollars for an iPhone with no noticeable scratches in complete working order, just because you were a bit more patient.

Refurbished versions of brand new phones generally become available just a couple of months after release as well. The average waiting time is around two to three months, and you’ll save approximately $100 by choosing to buy second-hand instead of brand new, making the wait more than worth it.

When Should You Negotiate With Your Carrier?

Timing is everything when it comes to your cell phone plan, as well. There are optimal times for negotiating with your network carrier and by haggling with them, you could potentially shave $10 (if not more) off of your monthly payments. These savings will quickly add up – just by making your monthly cell phone plan payments $10 cheaper you would be saving $120 a year.

To negotiate a cell phone plan the smart way, you’ll need to have leverage. One way you can do this is by arming yourself with data about other network carrier deals. If you’re on T-Mobile but notice that Sprint or Verizon offers something cheaper, then tell T-Mobile about it during the contract negotiation! Eager to keep your business instead of losing you to the competition, T-Mobile will likely provide you with a deal that matches (or is better) than the deal offered by a rival carrier. Another tip is to negotiate with your network carrier once your contract with them is up. The end of your contract makes you a “free agent,” and if your existing carrier doesn’t want you to jump ship, they’ll usually offer you a sweet deal to keep your business.

Cell phones and cell phone plans don’t come cheap, and it takes a big chunk out of your budget. However, by switching phones and plans at the best time, you can enjoy mobile tech without paying more than you need to.

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