Lesson #24: How to Get New Technology When You’re a Broke Ass Ho

by Rachel on September 13, 2010

This is not a post about how much I love my new phone. This is a post about how you, too, can get a new phone when all signs are pointing to you not getting a new phone.


Recently, I’d been fantasizing pretty hardcore about getting a new phone. Maybe it was because Eric and his iPhone were making me realize what I was missing, or perhaps it was because my old Blackberry and terribly sun-damaged Pre (um, seriously, do not set that thing face up in the shade for even a second) were simply not cutting it anymore. I knew it would be a few months before I was eligible for my “New Every Two” upgrade, so I was resigned to just fantasizing.

But then I got a text two weeks ago from Verizon telling me I was eligible for an upgrade. I thought it was a trick so I called and found out that yes, I was eligible to upgrade early! I was so excited…but then I realized, oh, wait…I can’t actually afford a new phone.

I knew I’d have to wait, but good lord, I hate waiting when I want a new toy. So…I got resourceful.

Here’s how you can do it too.

Step 1. Don’t be too picky. I hit up the Verizon site looking for deals, knowing I couldn’t afford to be a total snob. I wasn’t too picky on which Android phone I got…Droid X? Droid 2? Incredible? I did some side-by-side comparisons and decided I wanted either the X or the Incredible.

Step 2. Get used. Amazon had the best prices ($79 for the phone) but you can’t purchase through them for an early upgrade — only for a “New Every Two.” I moved on, but that’s definitely worth checking out if that’s your situation. When I saw that I could get a certified pre-owned Incredible from the Verizon website for $50 cheaper than the new Droid X, I knew I had a winner. I’ve done certified pre-owned devices before and I’ve never had a problem with them. To me, it’s a brilliant option, a gift from the heavens for the poor tech lover.

Step 3. Unload something. I remembered a post I saw on Lemondrop a couple weeks ago about Gazelle, a site that buys your old electronics. Again, a gift from the heavens for a poor tech lover. With the all-in-one Droid, I’d no longer be needing my second generation 8G iPod touch (which I wasn’t crazy about anyway), so I typed in the info on it and found out I could get $55 for it. Um, I’ll take it! They are sending me an envelope to ship it to them and PayPal-ing me my cash. I probably could have unloaded more old gadgetry too; the Incredible is also replacing my point-and-shoot digital camera, but I think I left that in Michigan, so I couldn’t include that this time around.

Three easy steps and I ended up saving $100 on my new phone!

And I’m so glad I made it happen! I LOVE IT.

Upon my uncontrollable excitement as I waited for it to arrive (a whole 18 hours, due to free overnight shipping from Verizon), both Eric and my mom said separately of each other, “You’re going to be unstoppable with it.”

Not that I was ever super stoppable before, but they are so right.

It’s quite a device. I can’t stop playing with it, to the point that I should probably be embarrassed.

But I do love my new toys.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leah @ L4L September 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

I’ve been contemplating trading in my Blackberry for a Droid – I think it’ll be more user friendly with the apps that I use regularly. Knowing about the certified pre-owned thing is awesome! I’ll have to look into that next month when I’m able to upgrade!

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2 Katie September 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

Thank you for this Gazelle link!!! I’m going to get back $48 for my old phone… now my new BB was almost free. I sound like I’m on a infomercial, but seriously.

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3 Rachel September 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

I am happy to help any way I can! Every little thing counts, right?!

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4 Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle September 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

I have the Incredible also. I’m addicted. It’s like crack only worse. You know how you get all excited when you get a new phone but eventually you get used to it and it’s not exciting anymore? Not true with this. Everyday there is a new exciting app. Enjoy!

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5 Rachel September 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

It IS like crack! I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

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6 Secondhand Smash September 13, 2010 at 9:49 am

Oooooo cool phone! I love my Droid phone. :) That’s cool about that website buying used electronics. Target does that, too, but I’m guessing wouldn’t have given you $55 of trade-in value.

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7 Missy Maintains September 13, 2010 at 9:52 am

Yay for the Incredible! Mine was reasonable in the beginning until I lost it and broke it and had to shell out another 100 bucks each time! Now they won’t even let me have insurance for a year. Scary. Check out Shazam and the Smart Keyboard app.

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8 Sophie @ yumventures September 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

I’m in the same boat of looking for a new phone, but I’ve had my 2 year upgrade available to me for an ENTIRE YEAR because I can’t decide what to get. If money wasn’t a problem, would you have gone for the iPhone or do you like the Droid better?

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9 Rachel September 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

OMG I could never wait that long!

The reason I didn’t get an iPhone is because I am with Verizon until, like, the end of my life (and am very happy with their service). If I had had the option I think I would have gotten the iPhone because there are more apps for it, but I DEFINITELY do not feel like I settled with the Droid!

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10 Sophie @ yumventures September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Awesome! I’ve been wanting to get the iPhone but then its always coming out with new ones! I kinda wish I had Verizon, though I’ve been AT&T since AT&T was Cingular…

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11 Rachel September 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I was a Cingular girl for a while too! If I had ATT I would def go for the iPhone though!

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12 Rachel September 13, 2010 at 10:59 am

I didn’t consider the iPhone because I am with Verizon for, like, the rest of my life (and really like their service). If I had the option I probably would have gotten an iPhone because it has more apps and would sync easily with my Mac…but I DEF do not feel like I settled with the Droid!!

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13 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm

My friend always saves a ton of many on refurbished phones. Its definitely the way to go.

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14 erin m.@well-in-la September 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Droid (EVO)-fever up in here! We took most of our vacation pics on our phones. It was incredibly freeing to have a little all-in-one for snapping pics and sharing in whatever way we wanted. My service provider gave us $$ for the old phones at the time of purchase, which brought the price down another $55. I have to pay an extra $10/month… but it’s been worth it thus far. Welcome to the Droid side!

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15 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write September 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

I bought my blackberry refurbished and it was really cheap. People don’t realize how easy it really is to get a “new” phone used. Good post.

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16 Jessica September 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Also to add one little tidbit. Depending on what your current phone is worth selling them on eBay will get you more back for your money than what your service provider will give you.

Example, my bf wanted the EVO 4 well when it finally came in we went in and got it. The service rep said they’d give him $48 for his current phone (Samsung Intrepid) , I quickly said nope! I ended up getting $120 for it on eBay after all the fees!!!

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17 Lori September 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm

The title alone made me snort into my Coke Zero.

Both my brother’s have Droids and I’m counting down the minutes until I can toss my Palm Centro for a Droid. I must needs apps!

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18 Lesley September 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I feel sad to admit this, but I don’t even have a cell phone right now. Yeah…..it pretty much sucks as much as you think it would. However, extreme financial implosion happened, otherwise known as 7 mo. of unemployment, and I had no choice.

I’m going to take some of these tips and see what I can work out. So, thanks!

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19 Ashley September 13, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Thanks to your chalkboard graphic I have “Every day I’m hustlin” stuck in my head …

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20 Leah (Nutritionista) September 14, 2010 at 9:10 am

Ashley, you need to watch this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLDitGAUrno

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21 Amanda September 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I’m so jealous! But thanks for the info about Amazon and Gazelle. I don’t get a new phone for about a year and a half, but I’ll have to remember those tips. I so want an iPhone, but I doubt that will happen… EVER. So maybe a Droid? I hope.

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22 Hima September 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

I love my Droid (even though I covet an iPhone but not enough to give up Verizon)!! Another app I like is ColorNote. It’s similiar to the Stickies on Mac which I use all the time.

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23 Elina (Healthy and Sane) September 14, 2010 at 7:45 am

Haha, congrats!! I’ve had an iphone for almost 2 years but it’s really slow now (still love it though). I can’t wait to get a new one, or switch to Verizon and get a droid. ATT does suck. :)
PS – I’m hosting a really sweet giveaway. Check it out! :D

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24 Nikki February 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

I have this phone and I absolutely LOVE it!! It’s totally the best.

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25 Dori February 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

I used eBay’s electronics trade in program and got $103 for my old Blackberry!

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