Cyber Monday is fast approaching, so it's time to plan and take advantage of upcoming deals and discounts for laptops, headphones, VR headsets, and phones.
Prepare smartly, and you might purchase a slick new smartphone for yourself or your family while saving big. But while Cyber Monday is sure to bring plenty of great deals, you’ll only score the best purchases — and the lowest prices — if you know the right tips and tricks.
If you don’t know where to start, read on. We’ll break down nine strategic tips to leverage to ensure you benefit from Cyber Monday smartphone deals as much as possible.
1. Plan To Shop Ahead of Cyber Monday Madness
While Cyber Monday will have plenty of excellent smartphone deals, the days and weeks beforehand may also be optimal opportunities to pick up some new devices on the cheap.
Early to mid-November could see a rise in Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions that you can take advantage of.
Why do companies advertise special promotions ahead of Cyber Monday? In many cases, it’s to beat their competition — after all, if you can get a special smartphone deal a week before Cyber Monday, why not purchase it instead of waiting?
For example, AT&T offered a no-trade-in promotion for the Galaxy S20 FE, allowing customers to trade in an old phone and receive up to $520 in credit toward data plans or other products around November 12, 2021. Similarly, Verizon offered a $200 no-trade-in credit for major Android phones around November 18.
At the same time, you may see a rise in trade-in promotion values in early to mid-November this year. In 2021, AT&T's trade-in promotion for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and others dropped their lowest trade-in credit tiers, enabling customers to trade in these phones for even more value (sometimes up to $800 or $1000).
Don't forget to look for phone plan promotions around early to mid-November. In 2021, Verizon opened up extra promotions for all unlimited plans for phone plan switchers and upgraders.
All retailers do this, from Motorola and T-Mobile to Amazon and Apple. Even retailers like Walmart may have prepaid or gift card phone plan deals to snag with phones like the Apple iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 14.
Bottom line: the earliest part of the month could be the ideal time to snag a great smartphone from store shelves before other buyers.
Many companies are looking to accelerate their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and inspire shoppers who usually wouldn't participate in Cyber Monday shopping craziness by offering deals "ahead of schedule."
2. Take Advantage of Trade-In Promotions
You may find plenty of trade-in promotions during Thanksgiving week, especially during Cyber Monday's run-up. For example, during Thanksgiving week last year, Verizon offered $700 or $800 in trade-in credit for those who traded in their old Google Pixel 6 Pros.
Trade-in promotions are excellent if you want to upgrade phones from the same manufacturer. Say that you wish to the new Samsung Galaxy and have last year’s model in good condition.
You may be able to get a massive discount or practically get a new phone for free if you turn it in around Thanksgiving week. Of course, this does require you to visit a store in-person in most cases.
At the same time, remember to check out no trade-in promotions. In 2021, AT&T offered $864 in credit around November 22 if you traded in an old iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 mini for something with better battery life and processing power.
On Cyber Monday, AT&T offered $800 on no trade-in credit if you turned in a Samsung Galaxy S21.
3. Beware Smartphone/Phone Plan Combo
Around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may find a wide range of advertised smartphone and phone plan deal combos.
For example, a smartphone manufacturer may persuade you to purchase a new-line smartphone with a charger (at a slight discount) since you'll receive a phone plan for 12 months in a bundle.
They might seem like great deals depending on how these combos are represented. In reality, these Black Friday deals could be bad picks, even if they come with sweet perks like Amazon Prime Day offers or early access sales.
Why? In some cases, smartphone and phone plan deals lock you into subpar or expensive phone plans for 12 months, if not more. In the long run, you may pay more for your phone service than for a cheap smartphone.
Because of this, always read discounts or deals carefully and don’t be afraid of the fine print. It may contain details that tell you whether a Cyber Monday deal is actually good or if it’s a trick.
4. Don’t Shy Away From Good Combo Deals
On the other hand, you may find good combo smartphone/phone plan deals depending on the phone manufacturer or plan provider. Again, you should read the fine print and details of any deal you find before rendering judgment.
Generally, phone plan/smartphone combos that don't lock you into an excessive amount of time, like two years or more, are good deals.
The phone company or phone plan provider is confident that you'll come back for more, given the quality of their service, coverage, and features.
This is a good rule of thumb for all your Android and iPhone deals during Cyber Monday.
As you look for the best smartphone deals around Cyber Monday, read the details carefully so you are never surprised and don’t end up paying more than you anticipate.
5. Sign Up for Email Newsletters
Have a phone manufacturer or retailer you shop at frequently? Do yourself a favor and sign up for their emails.
This is advantageous because many retailers or online stores will send discount emails and advertisements around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In many cases, you can only access the best smartphone deals if you are on a retailer's email list.
Not only does signing up for a retail email list give you access to exclusive discounts, but it also tells you when new items are in stock and how best to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales sessions.
You need as much information as possible when adding the best phone deals. Signing up for an email list is an easy and strategic way to get that information.
6. “Strategically” Abandon Your Cart
On or around Cyber Monday, it may help to put a phone in your digital shopping cart with those Airpods or Galaxy Buds, then exit out of your current window.
If you do this with a retailer whose email list you are on, you may receive a sudden discount in your email inbox minutes later.
This strategic cart abandonment is a great way to maximize your Cyber Monday smartphone savings. In a nutshell, many retailers have automated settings that send discount emails to people who abandoned their carts.
They do this to sweeten deals and make their offers more attractive, assuming someone who abandoned their carts is on the fence.
You can take advantage of this system and exit out of a page, then jump back in once you have a new coupon or discount offer in your email inbox.
7. Use Incognito Mode When Browsing
It's also a good idea to only browse online retailers using your browser's incognito mode. Many online retailers these days use dynamic pricing models, which may offer higher average prices for products like smartphones and phone plans based on your web activity.
For instance, if a retailer knows you buy a lot of electronics from their store, they may assume that you will buy a new smartphone product no matter the price, especially around Cyber Monday.
Thus, their dynamic pricing model makes you pay $10 more (or something else) than a new visitor to the same site.
Incognito mode protects your identity and prevents retailers from using this scheme against you.
8. Compare Prices for the Same Phone
No matter what deals you find, comparing prices for the same smartphone across multiple platforms and stores is a good idea.
For instance, if you find a deal for a great smartphone on Target.com, don't forget to check in-store at Best Buy and similar retailers to see who has the best Cyber Monday deal.
Alternatively, you can use services like Navi. Navi allows you to compare the best Cyber Monday phone deals simultaneously, not just by price. You can also compare different smartphones by their features and app compatibility sizes.
In any case, never go with the first discounted phone you see, even if it’s a great model like a Google Pixel 5A, iPhone Pro Max, or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Always confirm it’s the best deal before pulling the proverbial trigger.
9. Check Depleted Stocks Before the Following Friday
As the buzz and hubbub surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday die down, don't think that all the deals have also vanished. You may be able to score an excellent smartphone from previously depleted stocks if you regularly check before the Friday after Cyber Monday.
Many phone retailer promotions end the Friday after Black Friday rather than Tuesday or Wednesday. In 2021, for instance, AT&T only reverted the no eligible trade-in promotion values for the Google Pixel 6 and the Galaxy S20 FE on December 3, just in time for holiday shopping.
Meanwhile, Verizon shoppers benefited from a boost to trade-in promotional value. On December 3, 2021, S21 phone switchers traded their phones for $700 or $800 value rather than $350-$400.
Essentially, if your favorite phone is out of stock, like a foldable Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, when you check during Cyber Monday, check back in the days following. You might still be able to purchase it for a great price if Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are still active.
Try Navi’s Phone Navigator Today
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to make sure you get the best Cyber Monday deals on smartphones. However, you can make searching for the perfect phone much easier by relying on a service like Navi.
Navi’s Phone Navigator service can help you find the best phone for your budget by comparing dozens of different phone deals by price and features. Check it out today, or contact Navi for more assistance finding the right phone or phone plan for your needs.