Jessica emailed in the following tip:
I recently saved myself $220 on a new phone after doing a bit of research.
I had dropped my cell phone in the sink — and while the SIM card (which contains all of my phone numbers etc.) still worked fine, the touchscreen no longer worked.
When I went to the cell phone store, I found that they did not have my older model available and that it would cost $270 to purchase a new phone without getting involved in renewing my contract.
Instead, I went online and found my phone for $50! Because it was made by my cell phone company and was the same model, all I needed to do was put my old SIM card into the new phone and voila! Brand new replacement phone, same phone number, all my information, for $50 instead of $270.
If you were to buy a phone not made by your cell phone company you may need to take it to be “unlocked” at a local store (small fee for doing so) or if your SIM card was damaged you may need to purchase a replacement. However, even this would be much cheaper than paying the price for a brand new phone at your local store! -Jessica