08-22-2014 04:15 PM
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  1. raptir's Avatar
    So best case, if you Jump yearly, assuming you want the best insurance in any case, you're paying T-Mobile half the device's starting value, plus $24 for the balance of what it costs to be on Jump over that of just having insurance, and starting over with $0 from the transaction to put towards your new phone. So for a Note 3, that's roughly $350 + $24 (again, best case scenario, this could be up to $120) = $374 down the hole, and T-Mobile just took your device away to give you the privilege of buying another, so that $374 is gone.

    Alternate scenario: you bought a Note 3 off-contract. You paid $700 out of pocket. You buy damage and loss insurance on your own. At the one year mark, if you decide to switch, you resell it. If you can get more than $326 (which with most flagships would be awful, but Samsung devices seem to do a terrible job of holding their value), you're ahead, and if you didn't buy any insurance beyond the warranty, that break-even number drops to $230. Add to that, the device is yours, so you can sell it unlocked, which usually increases its resale value. I'm not saying that you can't come up with scenarios where Jump makes sense, I'm just saying that generally speaking, T-Mobile is the one coming out ahead, not the customer.
    I'm not sure where you're getting that Samsung devices don't hold their value. Looking at sales trends on Swappa, they do better than anything but the iPhone. The situations for the HTC One and LG G2 are even worse than for the Galaxy S4/Galaxy Note 3. Unlocking will get you a few extra bucks, but it's not substantial when you look at phones that have the same hardware between the different versions (as in, ignoring cases like the Galaxy S4 where the international/unlocked version and the T-Mobile version had a different CPU). And even Swappa hits you with that $10 fee, while eBay is 12.9% of the sale price. If you sold it on eBay you would need to sell it for $370 to his the break even amount after fees assuming you were buying insurance anyway.

    And yes, you're absolutely paying for the convenience, but when you look at the actual prices the devices sell for (and don't just say "surely you can get more than x") it's not a substantial amount when you consider that you can just walk into a store and walk out with the new phone rather than needing to put out the money upfront while you wait for your phone to sell online.
    boogas8 likes this.
    08-22-2014 02:26 PM
  2. zorak950's Avatar
    Alright, I went and did some actual homework and came up with this:

    For flagships, looking at eBay, the M7 does best. It started at $650 and is $350 after 17 months (53% of original value, a $300 loss). The Moto X (16GB) started at $350 and is now $180 (51%, $170) The 16GB S4 is 16 months old and is going for $330, down from $640 (51%, $310). The G2 is worst; it was $575 and is $260 a year later (45%, $315).

    The Galaxy Note does much poorer than the S4: it started at $700 and is now $350 only 11 months later (50% value, $350 loss).

    The champion? After ten months, the 16GB Nexus 5 is still going for $280, having retailed at $350 (80% value retention, $70 loss). That's not entirely fair considering it's the youngest of the bunch, though, so for context let's look at the 16GB Nexus 4, too: $350 at release, now $150 a whopping 22 months later. That's 42% value retention after almost two full years, and a loss of only $200.

    The bottom line for me is this: with Jump, you get maximum value if you upgrade once per year, on the dot. The best you can do is a 50% loss plus your monthly Jump fee on a phone you may have paid extra for to get it from the carrier in the first place (see the Nexus phones). If you buy unlocked and off-contract, you get the same device, can reasonably expect to get roughly half your money back, don't pay $10 a month extra to T-Mobile, and since you actually own the thing from day one, you can make choices about when you want to get rid of it based on when its value is high and something else you want is available. If you want, you can even upgrade more often for less money, because you can sell devices that are only months, not a year or more, old, and are thus still in higher demand, and get much more money for them than T-Mobile's flat 50%.

    I get the convenience thing. I respect it, and I wouldn't tell anyone they're wrong to do it. But in my opinion, the fact that you're unlikely to do better financially, and will likely do worse than you would buying and selling through third parties, and the inflexibility of Jump's terms, makes dealing in off-contract devices the better option.
    08-22-2014 04:08 PM
  3. raptir's Avatar
    The Galaxy Note does much poorer than the S4: it started at $700 and is now $350 only 11 months later (50% value, $350 loss).
    Interesting how much different it is between sites. On Swappa the average price recently sold was $438 and the last sold price was $475.
    08-22-2014 04:13 PM
  4. zorak950's Avatar
    Interesting how much different it is between sites. On Swappa the average price recently sold was $438 and the last sold price was $475.
    Well yeah, it does vary. I didn't want to go to the trouble of looking at multiple sites. But if anything, that just adds to my point: eBay doesn't even necessarily represent the best price you could get for a device. If you're willing to put a bit of effort in, you can do even better.
    08-22-2014 04:15 PM
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