New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

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Swimmer
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New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Swimmer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:35 am

My LG Android is on its last leg and won't even pair with my new car :annoyed
I need to break down and buy a new one. I purchased the current LG at Costco. However, that requires a >1 hour trip and a lot of time.
My question is: are there advantages to buying it at Costco? I think the prices were lower than other stores at the time of my original purchase. I don't think that's true any longer. I could be wrong. Any suggestions other than a Costco?
Thanks, as always, for your comments/suggestions. :D

3PKWzh9
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby 3PKWzh9 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:50 am

Some providers (but increasingly few) will give a genuinely free phone. Some will pro rate the cost of this phone across your first 12 months of billing; others are actually giving you a genuinely free phone. The service I use is Patriot Mobile, based in Dallas and operating on the Verizon and Sprint networks. They do give away free iPhone 5s phones, and I believe they subsidize fancier/newer phones. The special we purchased is the first one listed here: https://www.patriotmobile.com/shop/special

One thing I like is that the iPhone 5s that they give you for free also includes Applecare, so you get a fresh one from Apple if you break or drop it.

Nota bene that Patriot has a political angle –– they support veterans groups, Second Amendment groups, etc.

Gill
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Gill » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:08 am

I bought my last IPhone from Costco. The price seems to be fixed by Apple and they don't allow discounts. However, Costco threw in a portable charger worth, I think, about fifty bucks which seems to be their way of discounting.
Gill

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JMacDonald
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby JMacDonald » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:21 pm

Costco is offering rebates on certain cell phones: https://www.costco.com/cell-phones.html ... alogSearch
Find your carrier and see if the cell phone you want has a rebate. You can get a $200 cash card for a limited time .
Best Wishes, | Joe

CppCoder
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby CppCoder » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:33 pm

As Gill said above, Costco usually creates some kind of bundle of equipment. It's a good deal if it's stuff you would have bought anyway, but it's of little use otherwise. I think we got a free car charger and a screen protector last time we bought an android phone (Samsung Galaxy S5) at Costco.

anil686
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby anil686 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:41 pm

Shop Discover has Apple as a 5% cash back retailer - I normally order my phone through Apple since the price is fixed and save the 5% - ships to your house as well...

inbox788
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby inbox788 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:57 pm

I've yet to find a good or great deal at Costco. Most are acceptable when you compare to going full retail deals with a nominal bonus like a charger or $25/50 gift card. But when retailers like Best Buy have sales, they're often better than standard Costco deals. Also, the prepaid offerings are generally far better for many users.

Most deals at Costco are decent. A few are great (though fewer than before). And you have to buy enough to overcome the membership charge, and that's getting harder and harder for me these days. Amazon is far more convenient delivering goods to my door. I'd quit my Costco membership first before Amazon.

BTW, that link above isn't really Costco anymore. It's outsourced. FYI. In fact, the folks in the store are probably outsourced as well.
Last edited by inbox788 on Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjvmartin
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby kjvmartin » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:01 pm

Toward the end of the iPhone cycle, when the new ones are about to come out, Costco often throws in some decent cash card offers for an iPhone purchase.

Otherwise, it's too much of a madhouse at my 3 local Costco locations. I also had a very bad experience with returning. Picture 1 or maybe 2 clerks selling phones, 5-10 customers milling about the kiosk, and you are the one that wants to do a return. They make great commissions but have very little incentive to provide service beyond that and I was extremely let down by the process.

Alexa9
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Alexa9 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:44 pm

I wouldn't buy at Costco. They don't take AMEX anymore and AMEX provides the best extended warranty and purchase protection on electronics. Although Costco is pretty good too.

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TimeRunner
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby TimeRunner » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:11 pm

Check out Google's Project Fi: https://fi.google.com/about/

Good plan, good phones.
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curmudgeon
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby curmudgeon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:29 pm

I think Costco still only sells contract phones. That's generally a way too be locked into an overpriced plan.

If you want something simple and straightforward, Consumer Cellular has decent phones, plans, and good service. You can either buy the phone outright, or pay for it over time. There are cheaper no-contract options, but they often have more limitations or complications.

Lacrocious
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Lacrocious » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:57 pm

No - Costco doesn't "only sell contract phones". The last phones we purchased - iPhone 6s - back in fall 2015 and a Galaxy S7 in Summer 2016 were all under the current purchase options where you either purchase outright or on a 24month, 0 interest payment schedule. Obviously, a contract is required to pay for the phone - you owe the full amount. No contract for the associated plan. Ours was with Verizon.

- L

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unclescrooge
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby unclescrooge » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:46 pm

I bought a note 5 from Costco. It was Free after mail in rebate.

Before that I bought a galaxy S3 or S4 (can't remember, it was 3.5 years ago). That too was Free after mail in rebate.

My wife also gets her phones from there. While not free, they've been excellent deals, somewhere in the range of $29-$99 for S4 and S6s.

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bottlecap
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby bottlecap » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:39 am

Lacrocious wrote:No - Costco doesn't "only sell contract phones". The last phones we purchased - iPhone 6s - back in fall 2015 and a Galaxy S7 in Summer 2016 were all under the current purchase options where you either purchase outright or on a 24month, 0 interest payment schedule. Obviously, a contract is required to pay for the phone - you owe the full amount. No contract for the associated plan. Ours was with Verizon.

- L


In my experience and according to Costco's wireless affiliate they only sell contract phones: http://membershipwireless.com/index.cfm ... ent/do/FAQ

I don't know what the deal is, but we were really disappointed with Costco for our phones - we were misled and wound up paying much more.

I like Costco, but won't be buying another phone there.

JT

mdba73
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby mdba73 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:49 am

There isn't any advantage anymore of buying a phone at Costco or any wireless store.
If you are looking for an economical android phone - I would recommend the moto g4 plus - can be had around $200 and has the latest android 7.0.
The only thing lacking is NFC - which is actually a good thing because you won't be able to use android pay and other crappy *pay systems.

I got two from bhphotovideo for $450 which also included two samsung bluetooth headphones for free.
I just checked the deal isn't available anymore and the phone price is $249.

EDIT: A newer version is available from bestbuy for $229
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/motorola-moto-g-plus-5th-gen-4g-lte-with-32gb-memory-cell-phone-unlocked-lunar-gray/5762700.p?skuId=5762700

kjvmartin
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby kjvmartin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:06 am

TimeRunner wrote:Check out Google's Project Fi: https://fi.google.com/about/

Good plan, good phones.


+1.

If I wasn't firmly rooted in iOS, this would be my provider. Hoping they open support for iPhone someday.

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dumbbunny
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby dumbbunny » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:05 am

mdba73 wrote:There isn't any advantage anymore of buying a phone at Costco or any wireless store.
If you are looking for an economical android phone - I would recommend the moto g4 plus - can be had around $200 and has the latest android 7.0.
The only thing lacking is NFC - which is actually a good thing because you won't be able to use android pay and other crappy *pay systems.

I got two from bhphotovideo for $450 which also included two samsung bluetooth headphones for free.
I just checked the deal isn't available anymore and the phone price is $249.

EDIT: A newer version is available from bestbuy for $229
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/motorola-moto-g-plus-5th-gen-4g-lte-with-32gb-memory-cell-phone-unlocked-lunar-gray/5762700.p?skuId=5762700



Or the cheaper Moto G4 via www.consumercellular.com
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Lacrocious
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Lacrocious » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:08 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Lacrocious wrote:No - Costco doesn't "only sell contract phones". The last phones we purchased - iPhone 6s - back in fall 2015 and a Galaxy S7 in Summer 2016 were all under the current purchase options where you either purchase outright or on a 24month, 0 interest payment schedule. Obviously, a contract is required to pay for the phone - you owe the full amount. No contract for the associated plan. Ours was with Verizon.

- L


In my experience and according to Costco's wireless affiliate they only sell contract phones: http://membershipwireless.com/index.cfm ... ent/do/FAQ

I don't know what the deal is, but we were really disappointed with Costco for our phones - we were misled and wound up paying much more.

I like Costco, but won't be buying another phone there.

JT


Interesting... I guess they don't sell at full price - my mistake. I question what they mean by "contract". When you mentioned that Costco only sells phones "On Contract" - I was thinking the old style phone contract where you discount the phone and have a 2 year contract with the service costing extra to cover the discount on the phone (ie: $600 phones for $200 - with $400 built into the contract). Is that what you were saying?

With the 3 phones purchased over the past 2 years - we do have a contract to purchase the phone using 24 monthly payments. The price of the phone was divided by 24 and we pay that each month and we can pay it off in full at any time. We do not have a contract with Verizon for anything cellular related. It is the same Verizon Purchase Plan you can get at the Verizon stores. Are you tied to Verizon for 2 years? Yes and No. Yes - you need to stick with them to pay off the phone over 24 months. If you want to leave before the 24 months are up, you cancel your Verizon service (non-contract month to month) and payoff the phone early (purchase contract) and walk away with you phone.

The other thing we did was purchase during Thanksgiving week - when they were giving $200 Costco Gift Cards for iPhone 6S when you keep the phone past the 90 day return period. Thus, come February we received a $200 gift card in the mail. Sweet!

Sorry for any confusion on the contract thing.
- L

kjvmartin
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby kjvmartin » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:52 pm

Lacrocious wrote:
bottlecap wrote:
Lacrocious wrote:No - Costco doesn't "only sell contract phones". The last phones we purchased - iPhone 6s - back in fall 2015 and a Galaxy S7 in Summer 2016 were all under the current purchase options where you either purchase outright or on a 24month, 0 interest payment schedule. Obviously, a contract is required to pay for the phone - you owe the full amount. No contract for the associated plan. Ours was with Verizon.

- L


In my experience and according to Costco's wireless affiliate they only sell contract phones: http://membershipwireless.com/index.cfm ... ent/do/FAQ

I don't know what the deal is, but we were really disappointed with Costco for our phones - we were misled and wound up paying much more.

I like Costco, but won't be buying another phone there.

JT


Interesting... I guess they don't sell at full price - my mistake. I question what they mean by "contract". When you mentioned that Costco only sells phones "On Contract" - I was thinking the old style phone contract where you discount the phone and have a 2 year contract with the service costing extra to cover the discount on the phone (ie: $600 phones for $200 - with $400 built into the contract). Is that what you were saying?

With the 3 phones purchased over the past 2 years - we do have a contract to purchase the phone using 24 monthly payments. The price of the phone was divided by 24 and we pay that each month and we can pay it off in full at any time. We do not have a contract with Verizon for anything cellular related. It is the same Verizon Purchase Plan you can get at the Verizon stores. Are you tied to Verizon for 2 years? Yes and No. Yes - you need to stick with them to pay off the phone over 24 months. If you want to leave before the 24 months are up, you cancel your Verizon service (non-contract month to month) and payoff the phone early (purchase contract) and walk away with you phone.

The other thing we did was purchase during Thanksgiving week - when they were giving $200 Costco Gift Cards for iPhone 6S when you keep the phone past the 90 day return period. Thus, come February we received a $200 gift card in the mail. Sweet!

Sorry for any confusion on the contract thing.
- L


Once you stop making payments, either early or on time, they increase your rate plan. There is definitely an incentive to keep buying new phones. Not a very well publicized feature of the plan

kjvm

Lacrocious
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Lacrocious » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:04 am

kjvmartin wrote:Once you stop making payments, either early or on time, they increase your rate plan. There is definitely an incentive to keep buying new phones. Not a very well publicized feature of the plan

kjvm


I never had that happen, and actually had the reverse occur. When we were previously on contract for phones/plan - and the 2 years went by - if you didn't re-up you were able to call in and get a $25/line discount off the monthly fee - as you were no longer "on contract" and the phone cost embedded in the monthly line charge was able to be dropped.

Once we changed to the latest plan - no contract/no embedded phone costs - the plan is the plan and the phone costs are the phone costs. When I pay off my phone (iPhone 6S) in November 2016 - my plan costs won't change a dime. I won't have to pay anything except plan costs unless I decide to purchase an iPhone 8 or iPhone 9 (I heard it will be an impressive phone in 2018 that will blow away the iPhone 8 that may be released in Fall 2017. Here is just one of a handful of awesomely true predictions of the truly wonderful features of the iPhone 9 http://www.tomsguide.com/us/apple-iphone-9-curved-lcd,news-24342.html- removing tongue from cheek! :happy ).

I guess we just had different experiences. I can see how that is possible - depending on vendor Verizon vs. ATT vs. TMobile - who all rolled out non-contract plans with different unique features at different times and at different rates to non-company stores like Costco Wireless.
- L

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bottlecap
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby bottlecap » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:22 am

At the Costco Kiosk, we were told that Verizon doesn't sell the phones anymore, that they have a new system where you make payments under contract. That was untrue - that's what the Costco affiliate wants you to think. You pay more for the phone, with the right to upgrade earlier. This wasn't explained to us at the time.

Unfortunately, one of our phones was dead and we needed it for work immediately. We were pressed for time and didn't look into it because Costco usually gives such a good deal. In retrospect, I feel like it was a borderline scam. I'm a bit embarrassed that I was taken in so easily.

I'll never buy anything again at Costco that isn't actually sold by Costco.

JT

3spots
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby 3spots » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:29 pm

One plus for Costco is that if you don't like your phone, you can return it without a "restocking fee" You are still obligated to the contractual agreement with the carrier, but you can select another phone without penalty.

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victorb
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby victorb » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:04 am

Costco has some excellent promotions at times. When I bought my iPhone 6 S from Costco, they added an Otter Case & a tempered glass overlay for the phone. They also had a promotion going that gave us a $350 Costco Cash Card. The data plan was the same price as the Verizon Store. So basically, you received the case, glass overlay and $350 Costco Cash Card on top of what you would receive from the Verizon Store. Costco return/exchange policy is the best. They also offer extended warranty on a number of electronic devices in their price.

Swimmer
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby Swimmer » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:43 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I always get excellent insights from Bogleheads!

michaeljc70
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Re: New phone..any advantages to buying at Costco?

Postby michaeljc70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:48 am

Though I shop at Costco all the time, I've never bought a phone there. I refuse to be locked into a contract and find better deals online. I especially wouldn't drive more than an hour to do so.


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