How I Got Two HTC Incredibles for Less Than $30 (and you can too)!

Today was the day.  The Verizon Droid Incredible made its debut on Verizon.  I went back and forth on whether or not I’d pull the proverbial trigger on this model, wait for the iPhone to make its way to the big V (after all, I’d already given up on the Google Nexus One), or jump ship to Sprint in June just in time for the HTC Evo 4G.

Last Friday, after a ton of research spread out over several months, I ordered two Incredibles from the Verizon website.  They arrived much to my glee and excitement – and that of my wife, it turns out – yesterday.  I won’t bore you here with unboxing videos and reviews.  You can get that info from a thousand other places.  However, I do want to pass along some tips that will help you save some dough, especially if you’re itching for a new smartphone.

First off, you surely know that if you’re at the end, or near the end of your contract with your carrier, you hold all the marbles.  The leverage is yours to do with what you will.  In our case that meant that, for several months now, we’ve qualified for the Verizon “new-every-two” discount ($100) as our contract expired earlier this year.

If you remain patient to make sure you get just the phone you want (re: hem and haw for weeks driving your spouse crazy as you struggle with what to do), you may even get a mailer from your carrier offering you $80 off your next bill, as we did (in our case, the equivalent of one month of voice service on our, then current, main phone).

Additionally, because we ordered our two Incredibles online, the rebates with Verizon were instant.  No paying full price up front, filling out long forms, mailing them in and waiting the customary 6 to 8 weeks to get your money back.  After this experience, I may never enter another Verizon store again (though I do need some cool accessories to trick out my phone).

Here’s the kicker: The same day I ordered our phones, I saw the Verizon TV ad offering one free 3G smartphone with the purchase of another.  So, yesterday, when my phones arrived, I gave the friendly folks at Verizon a call.  Five minutes later, my purchase looked something like this:

Incredible #1 – $299

Incredible #2 – $299

Total – $598

Minus Instant Rebates of $100 = $398 ($100/phone)

Minus new-every-two discount of $100 applied to Incredible #1 = Incredible #1 drops to $99 while Incredible #2 remains $199  for a total of $298.

Minus One Free 3G Phone (Incredible #2) previously valued at $199 = $99 total for the two phones (Note that the free phone is the more expensive one as my new-every-two discount applies to the phone I’m actually buying).

Minus One Bill Credit of $80 = $19

With tax, my wife and I are out less than $30.  Two Incredible phones (my wife and I are loving them in the first 24 hours), and one truly incredible price, wouldn’t you agree?

This isn’t hard at all, really.  The trick is bringing all these separate deals together into one.  None of the phone carriers present them that way, but they’re all out there, ready for the taking.

Remember, do the math then make your purchase.  Too often, we do it the other way around.  I think that’s what’s commonly referred to as “buyer’s remorse.”  I can assure you there’s none of that here.

Finally, I shot a quick video with the phone’s camera yesterday.  I think it looks pretty good.  How about you?

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iPhone, Nexus and Droid, Oh My!

Before you ask, the answer is, “No, I do not now, nor have I ever owned a smart phone.”  Hard to believe, especially if you know me well.  Most of my Facebook friends and Twitter contacts are stunned when they learn I don’t own one.  I often hear things like, “I guess I just always assumed you did.”

I’ve had trouble in the past justifying the added data plan expense, and up until recently Verizon – my carrier – just hasn’t had anything compelling to offer.  That changed with the Droid.

My wife and I have been with Verizon for two years now.  We have no intention of switching especially when they’re offering $100 dollars toward a new phone (new every two).  More than once I’ve come this close to pulling the trigger on the Droid (which, for a limited time, includes a free HTC Eris for my wife).  Something though keeps holding me back.

First, there are the constant iPhone rumors.  Will the iPhone come to Verizon or won’t it?  I was extremely disappointed when there was no announcement from Verizon to that end last Wednesday (as was heavily rumored).  Google’s Nexus One (announced at this year’s CES) was another reason to wait (at least it seemed that way at first).  It doesn’t come to Verizon though until Spring.  And, by the way, what does that mean?  Could you be any more vague?  Spring?  Give me a break!

So, what to do?  I’m still not sure, but I know one thing: as you are a person who reads this blog – and likely a smart phone user – you have much wisdom and experience to share.  Am I right?

Help me learn from your expertise (or your mistakes, as the case may be).  Before you comment, keep in mind I have no intention of leaving Verizon as a carrier.  Now, if you will, comment away.