How We Cut Our Cell Phone Bill By Over $100/Month – Part 3

20140211-195200.jpgThis is part 3 in a little three part series that details how we lowered our cell phone bill by over $100/month. Feel free to catch up before reading on.

 

Glyde Smoothed The Way

The final part of how we made the switch from Verizon to Ting, keeping our two fancy-pants iPhones, while still cutting our bill by over $100/month is a cool company called Glyde.

Since we were switching networks, we needed to get rid of our Verizon iPhones and switch them for Sprint iPhones. In the past, we’ve sold devices on Gazelle, and bought and sold on Craigslist as well. But this time, we tried Glyde – a peer-to-peer device sales site because it has a 48 hour return guarantee on every item shipped through it. (For non-iPhones, Ting sells a bunch of new and refurbished phones with even longer guarantees. But not yet for the iPhone.)

Given that we’d be putting a brand new service on to the phones (and porting numbers), we knew there was a chance that problems with the device might not be immediately apparent, so the guarantee was important to us, and worth spending a few extra dollars for.

Like other device marketplaces online, the prices will vary from day to day, and even the time of the day depending on supply and demand. But overall, we found that the purchase prices on Glyde were comparable with what we found in other sources like Craigslist, especially considering they had that additional guarantee. (Which we did use in 1 case.)

What We Bought From Glyde

  • 32 GB Sprint iPhone 4S – $255 in excellent condition
  • 16 GB Sprint iPhone 4S – $205 in excellent condition

Shipping estimates tend to be on the long side (around 10-12 days), since Glyde ships the seller a shipping container and then leaves a few days for the seller to turn the device around and get it in the mail to you.

  • The 32 GB device arrived early (just 5 days after ordering it), and was perfect.
  • The 16 GB device arrived at the very end of the shipping date range, and the order was incomplete. While the phone was there and functioning, the charger and cord were missing! Even though I accidentally “approved” transaction, I simply responded to Glyde’s service email and told them about the missing charger. (This was a Sunday night.) By the following Monday morning, I had an email back from Glyde offering me either a $15 credit or a charger shipped to us. We opted for the charger and it arrived in the mail a couple days later.

What We’re Selling On Glyde

  • 32 GB Verizon iPhone 4S – $156 in good condition (nets us $137 proceeds after Glyde seller fees)
  • 16 GB Verizon iPhone 4S – $150 in excellent condition* (nets us $131 proceeds)

Originally I tried to list my 32 GB phone for sale on Glyde too early. I hadn’t read all the fine print where Glyde instructs you to call and confirm with your cell provider that the device is eligible to be activated by someone else. So I ended up having to cancel a sale (and yes, Glyde charged me $3 for that since they had already sent me the shipping container). And I had to wait a couple weeks for Verizon to get its act together and release my phone so I could sell it.

After that, we briefly listed them on our local Craigslist since the listings there were at higher prices, but there were so many others listed for sale that we didn’t get any good bites. And after our last horrible experience selling on ebay, selling them there wasn’t an option. I also checked Gazelle (another site where you can sell your used devices), but they were only offering about half of what Glyde was.

Instead, after the first failure (which was completely my fault) we listed them both on Glyde and posted them using the suggested market rate. The market price on the 32GB one had dropped by about $10 from when we listed it previously, but still gave us a decent return.

Net Cost of The Device Switch:

$255 (32GB) + $205 (16GB) +$3 (for failed sell order) – $136 (selling 32GB) – $130 (selling 16GB)

= $197

~$100/phone

Not too bad considering that Sprint devices are currently selling at a premium and Verizon ones at a discount. (ie we got hit on both sides of the equation with extra costs).

In the first month of using Ting, our bill was $48, and we had a $25 referral credit that brought our bill down to $23. Compared to the $161 that we would have paid, we’ve already saved $138 on service, so I expect that we’ll easily be able to make up the remaining $59 in our second billing period.

Glyde definitely made switching from Verizon to Ting incredibly smooth. Like Ting, Glyde’s response to a customer service email was quick and addressed and fixed the problem immediately and we would absolutely use them again as both a buyer and a seller.

20140213-202946.jpg

Glyde’s shipping containers

My Only Beef With Glyde

For customers who are both buyers and sellers, it’d be nice if Glyde let you re-use their fancy pants shipping containers. Part of the seller fee is $3 for the container, which I’d love to keep part of considering I already had a box from the phone I just purchased. Also it would cut down on the time the phone I’m selling takes to get to the buyer since I wouldn’t have to wait for a shipping container to arrive in the mail.

But that’s a pretty small beef.

 

So after less than two months, the cost of our new/used phones will have been completely recovered and our savings by using Ting going forward is all gravy. And the transition was actually super easy.

If you try Glyde through this link, the blog will get a small referral fee.  But that didn’t impact my comments here at all.

 

* Guess which one of us treats their device more gingerly!?!

 

Have you ever used Glyde before? Where do you turn when it’s time to buy and sell used electronics?

25 comments to How We Cut Our Cell Phone Bill By Over $100/Month – Part 3

  • I swear your blog just keeps getting better and better! I got so excited when I read your post about Ting. I am DEFINITELY going to be switching to them. But I knew it would have to be a while because I REALLY REALLY miss my iPhone! And I definitely need time to save up for one. I switched to a free, prehistoric rotary cellphone about a year ago when my income took a dump, and it is the WORST phone I’ve ever had. I’m constantly getting static and dropping calls. But now with this post about Glyde? I feel like it’s Christmas! I just found an iPhone on there for $150 and an iPad3 for $200! I’m starting a business next week and I’ve been dying for an iPad to help me run it. Thank you SO MUCH for this post today. Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Valentines Day!! 😀
    Sharon recently posted..Death to New Year’s Resolutions and How to Set GoalsMy Profile

    • “I swear your blog just keeps getting better and better!”

      Awww, that’s too nice. Probably not correct, but so nice of you to say! =)

      Have a great long weekend!

  • Thanks for this series! It was very enlightening and I think when I get more time to buy/sell my phone and deal with everything it’s something I probably will do. I pay around 94 per month so that would be a big savings and it’s the only utility I pay that I haven’t been able to slash calling customer service. I have the lowest rate that I can possibly go.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..The Real LA WomanMy Profile

    • You’re so welcome, Tonya! I hope you do switch – there’s really no reason that I can see to stay with the big telcos anymore if you’re in a place that a company like Ting serves.

  • Thanks for the tip on glyde. I had never heard of them. Sounds like it’s an ideal place to buy and sell phones. I will check them out if my iphone ever dies.
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted..There’s Nothing Wrong with RentingMy Profile

  • I am always so weary of buying devices second-hand, only because I am scared of the battery life drop-off I’ve always experienced after one year. Some is due to the battery itself, and some have just been unfortunate incidents, such as my phone being plugged in during a nasty power-surge that gave it way too much juice, wrecking the storage ability.

    Did I miss it, or does Glyde itself do any sort of check for you aside from providing the containers? I mean, I saw your charger issue that got replaced, but how do they verify this? And does that charger get taken out of the other person’s payment? Just curious, and a little cautious.

    • I don’t think Glyde has a way to verify mistakes like the charger. My guess is they emailed the seller and told them the order was incomplete and docked the amount of money the seller got but I’m not really sure.
      We could have returned the entire order to the seller (at no cost to the buyer, and the seller gets their stuff back, minus the shipping costs). But if a buyer starts doing that a lot, the buyer and seller will split the shipping rather than the seller covering all of it according to their FAQs.

      I think mostly they try and work with people and give the benefit of the doubt. When I cancelled the transaction the first time I went to sell one of our phones since Verizon hadn’t released them, I think that put a flag on my account. So the next time we went to sell them I got an email from a human at Glyde asking if I was sure the phone was ready to ship now. I said it was, and had no problem completing the transaction.

  • I can also vouch for Glyde. Used them a few months ago to (also!) buy an iPhone 4S (ATT version) for the Mrs. (Christmas gift!) for about $175. Came in superb condition. The phone is locked to ATT (and I checked the S/N, it’s only a year old!), but that’s OK as long as you use an ATT MVNO (I believe it’s the same with the T-mobile version as well; you can use a t-mo locked phone on a t-mo MVNO, not sure how it works with the CDMA carriers though.

    Like you pointed out, a thing to keep in mind when buying from Glyde (I guess you might also be able to “time” your sale as well?) is that since demand fluctuates, the prices go up and down as well. Don’t jump on a phone right away, check once in a while and pick an “excellent condition” one only when the price is to your liking!
    Mr. Southbound Savers recently posted..The Problem With BudgetsMy Profile

    • It’d be great if you could somehow put an alert on an item and get an email when the price drops to what you want to pay (or increases to what you want to sell for)!

      We didn’t want to waste too much time dallying around for phones, because for us it was more important to get rid of Verizon before they charged us for another month ($160!) rather than save $20 on the phone.

  • […] Our Pennies with How We Cut Our Cell Phone Bill By Over $100/Month – Part 3  Way to go despite the stock […]

  • Oooh, I’m so glad to find out about Glyde. We have no smart phones (sniff, sniff) and even though we’re cutting expenses ruthlessly, we just can’t help but want them! The idea is to consider getting them once we’ve saved enough $$ from switching from Verizon to Airvoice for “dumb” phone service. Glyde + Ting might make it possible sooner than later. (We’re not carried away with Airvoice, but it could be our extremely basic phones rather than their service.)
    frugalparagon recently posted..Pay the Cancellation Fee and Start SavingMy Profile

  • Awesome, guys!

    I am starting to wonder how the big overpriced providers are staying in business. There are so many low cost providers to choose from these days. They are going to have to do something to keep people.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..How Snowpocalypse Cost Us Almost $1,500My Profile

  • Cool! I am currently rocking an old LG Android phone with PTel, but maybe I can upgrade through Glyde and get a little something back. It’s not like anything is wrong with my phone, but I sure would like a fancy pants iPhone. :)
    Done by Forty recently posted..Anchoring My ExpectationsMy Profile

  • Great series, Mrs. PoP, especially about Ting! I haven’t even heard of it, so I’m going to bring it up to B. I sold my old Crackberry at a site similar to Glyde though I don’t remember which one (it paid better than Gazelle), and was just excited I got anything for it since I’m always late in the game with technology. Thanks for the write-up! :)
    anna recently posted..I’m Ready to “Give Birth” to This Wedding!My Profile

  • This is a big help for saving money! I was looking into online market were I can save more. Thanks for the tips. Love reading it.
    Marissa@Thirtysixmonths recently posted..5 Easy Ways to Feel Accomplished: Make 2014 Your Happiest Year Yet!My Profile

  • What an interesting service. I’ve been trying to find a way for the box to be reusable (your minor complaint with Glyde), but I think that the fact that they insure the transaction makes it difficult for them to allow people to reuse the box. I can imagine the number of people who’d just send their stuff in half-mutilated boxes…..
    AverageJoe recently posted..What Can We Learn From Drake Bell’s Bankrupcy? A Ton.My Profile

  • Very cool. Glyde sounds like and excellent way to buy and sell phones. We can’t do Ting yet, but good information if that becomes available down the road.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Mistakes That Keep People in DebtMy Profile

  • I’ve never heard of Glyde. I love the idea of people selling their phones, just for the recycle-reduce-reuse aspect. No being wasteful!

    With buying your phones used, were you able to put Apple Care on them? I couldn’t do it without Apple Care. I’m clumsy.
    Becky @ RunFunDone recently posted..Let’s Tri Again!My Profile

    • We hadn’t considered this since our apple care had expired on our old phones (they were just over 2 years old). But I just searched and it looks like the apple forums say that if you can prove the phone is within the original 1-year warranty period you can buy apple care.
      You might want to follow up and check on what is required as proof – sometimes the ESN lookup can tell you when the phone was originally purchased, or maybe the seller has the receipt? Not sure how you’d work that with glyde, though.

  • This is one of the best ways to save money and still keep your smartphone that I’ve seen. I love how you laid out all the steps so clearly! I’d never ever heard of Glyde before.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted..How Non-Theater People Can Make Money in TheaterMy Profile

  • I just checked Glyde’s website and their services is very cool! There are plenty of smartphones or apple phones that you can pick.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted..And my Super Secret Website is…My Profile

  • Oh, this is super nice. I will surely share the article.
    Tbh I will not follow your footsteps as my phone bill is pretty low, but I can add my two cents by suggesting using VoIP instead of phone service! How? Well, you need a phone-like device like iTouch (that costs about 1/2 less than an iPhone), and you just do all the calling via internet services like Skype. I am yet to try it out, but it might be a very plausible idea -especially if you are in range of various WiFi networks most of the time.
    Heidi @ Thriftytricks recently posted..Infographic: Is It Time To Move Out?My Profile

  • Interesting! Brent’s on a Republic Wireless experiment. I should have him write that up!
    kathleen recently posted..My 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Just Went Up: Now What?My Profile

  • Here’s a super-late reply to this post. In the post you put up today (July 21, 2015), you asked about “infecting” people with DIY projects. Well, I’m way more nutty/frugal than you are, so DIY is a way of life for me. (Although I’m super impressed with your cabinet making! Way to go!!)

    But my husband is much, much more conventional. And for about a gazillion years, I’ve been trying to convince him to ditch Verizon, for which we have paid HUGE amounts of money. And it was by showing him these posts of yours that I finally convinced him that we can ditch the big V for Ting.

    I can’t wait. We’ve paid hundreds of dollars per month — seriously, when we had five lines, we paid more than $300 per month. Recently it’s been “only” $130-ish for two lines. But starting soon, Ting. Phew! And thank you for infecting us with Ting!
    Miser Mom recently posted..No more smelly trashMy Profile