This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Get It for Less: Smartphones

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Most high-quality smartphones cost at least $200 when they first come out (and when paired with a new two-year service contract), but with a few notable exceptions, there's no reason to ever pay that much.

Louis Ramirez is a senior features writer for DealNews, a money-saving Web site that frequently gathers deals on new phones, and he shared his expertise with us to pass along the best strategies for finding a good deal.
You once needed to wait at least a few months before you saw any kind of deal on a new smartphone, but the time frame for price reductions is much shorter than it used to be.

Wait a few weeks
It used to be that you needed to wait at least a few months before you saw any kind of deal on a new smartphone. But with the market flooded by so many new Android phones on a weekly basis, the time frame for price reductions is much shorter than it used to be.

"The best way to save on a smartphone is not to buy it the day it's released," Ramirez says. "Now there's so many smartphones out there that the market is saturated, and you begin to see deals a week to two weeks out."

>>More Help for Homeowners: HARP 2.0

As an example, he points to the Motorola (MMI - Get Report) Droid Razr, which came out of the gate in November for $300 but dropped to $111 on Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) after less than a week. An updated version of the phone, the Droid Razr Maxx, went on sale just a couple of weeks ago, and Verizon (VZ - Get Report) will offer a buy-one, get-one-free deal on the new model starting Friday.

If you're in the market for a new Android phone, don't pre-order it and don't buy it during the first couple of weeks it's on sale. Chances are, your patience will be rewarded very quickly.

Buy refurbished
Waiting a few weeks may work for Android phones, but Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhones are a different beast. New iPhones come out generally only once a year, and the price on the newest models stay fixed until the next one comes out.

There's one very good way to bypass this, though: Buy a refurbished phone. Ramirez says that he's had good luck with a refurbished iPhone, calling it "just like new." And it will certainly save you a bit of money: AT&T (T) sells a refurbished 32 GB iPhone 4S for $249.99 with a new contract -- a $50 discount on the price for a brand-new one. Discounts for refurbished phones apply to other smartphone brands as well, Ramirez says.

Buy online
Ramirez says he generally recommends checking online retailers before bricks-and-mortar stores to get the best price on a new phone. He points to and as two that consistently offer great deals on phones -- indeed, the latter made waves in November when it offered several phones for just a penny each. He says that if you do feel the need to shop in a physical store, carrier stores (for instance, a Verizon store) tend to offer better deals. (Once again, Apple is an exception to that rule: While you won't find refurbished iPhones at carrier stores, the prices on new iPhones are identical to those on the online Apple store.)

As a final tip, Ramirez recommends checking out Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry to take advantage of the floundering company's desperation.

"If you're not biased on [operating system], consider BlackBerry," he says. "Everyone knows that BlackBerry is hurting, so you're going to see some aggressive deals there."

>To submit a news tip, email:

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $112.12 0.00%
AMZN $539.80 0.00%
MMI $48.39 0.00%
VZ $44.16 0.00%
FB $93.24 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,084.49 +33.74 0.20%
S&P 500 2,014.89 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,830.47 +19.6820 0.41%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs