In recent years, the prices of smartphones are less and less pleasing, and more often upset. This is due to the ruble exchange rate and the rise in the price of devices. And this also applies to flagships and devices of the middle segment, and sometimes budget ones. Therefore, when buying gadgets, you have to ask yourself: is it possible to somehow save money and take the device cheaper?
Overseas online stores
Probably the most obvious way to save money. Everyone knows that the cost of smartphones Xiaomi on AliExpress is lower than on the shelves of Russian stores.
The cons are also obvious:
- delivery can be delayed (of course, lately this happens less and less, but you cannot order the device and receive it the next day);
- the method is the simplest for buying devices from China, in other cases everything can be somewhat more complicated, for example, you will have to bother with shipping;
- there is a risk of getting a version of the device not for the Russian Federation (without support for some frequencies, without an NFC chip, or the firmware may be for another country);
- there is no official guarantee and service (now there is a certain guarantee in some Russian service centers, but how well it will work, especially in the regions, is not very clear).
Until there is a draconian restriction on the cost of parcels (and the requirement to pay Russian VAT), the method is quite good. We estimate the price gain, compare it with the risk of running into a marriage and the cost of repairs, and order a gadget.
Buying 'gray' devices can also be a good option to save money, especially for residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg, but I – a provincial – somehow does not work out with them. There are practically no local servo carriers with interesting prices, and Moscow stores have repeatedly refused to sell without prepayment under the pretext that the goods were allegedly out of stock.
The advantages of a store selling gray devices over foreign online stores are clear:
- faster delivery (or you can come to the store yourself and pick up the gadget);
- there is a certain guarantee from the store (but how well it works is again a big question);
The downside may be a higher price, which is critical with a tightly limited budget.
Tmall is an AliExpress platform for selling goods officially certified in the Russian Federation. Delivery is carried out from a warehouse in Moscow.
Various discounts are constantly held.
When viewing prices, remember that the price in the list (search results) may not coincide with the price in the item card. In addition, sometimes price reductions are made through a seller's coupon. And there may also be an additional discount for certain customer statuses on AliExpress.
Probably the most famous Tmall shares are sales of Redmi 5a and Redmi 6a at 6,000 rubles. You can also remember how on 'Black Friday' (November 25, 2017) Galaxy Note 8 was offered at a discount of 10,000 rubles.
In some cases, the price of the devices turns out to be quite comparable to the price in foreign online stores. And the advantages in the form of an official guarantee and fast delivery can finally persuade this option.
If you are interested in Xiaomi or Huawei products, you are in luck. Firstly, both stores have loyalty programs, where various discounts are often offered to 'club members'.
It was previously proposed to join the club Huawei by passing a survey on the site, but, unfortunately, the company has already closed this opportunity. And Xiaomi still offers to join the club.
Secondly, promotions or simply attractive prices can be for everyone.
And thirdly, there are also promotional codes that give a discount.
Sometimes the price in a company store is very attractive, sometimes not very. We have to look at each specific case and evaluate the profitability of the purchase. In the case of Xiaomi, there are two stores (mi.com and mi-shop.com) right now, and prices must be checked in both.
MTS today is probably the only federal network offering honest cashbacks for smartphones. When buying a device for which a cashback is declared, it is imperative to clarify this point to the seller in the salon (you cannot order delivery to a gadget with a cashback). The money is credited to your account in the MTS Money system, from where you can either withdraw it with a commission to your card (for example, 3,882 rubles are withdrawn from 4,000 rubles), or used for payments.
Honor 10 now (just like the Galaxy S7 a year ago) is priced lower than the gray market. Which makes the purchase extremely profitable.
In addition to cashback, MTS also has regular promo codes that also give an attractive price.
In this case, the prices for Huawei P20 and P20 Pro turn out to be very interesting, the final discount is even more than the cashback for Honor 10.
But the most interesting thing is the cases when one model has cashback and a promo code at the same time. This was the case on August 21-22 with some models Huawei. Cashback was valid simultaneously with a discount on the 'HUAWEI20' promo code. A call to the contact number of the online store confirmed this fact: if you have a promo code, it does not in any way cancel the cashback, you get two discounts at the same time. The 'cunning' seller in the salon first tried to argue that there was no cashback, then – that it does not work at the same time with a discount, but I was relentless: 'Your contact center was told that everything should work.' Then he turned to an older friend, who confirmed the availability of both cashback and discounts. Purchase verification completed successfully – Huawei P20 lite cost a total of 12,109 rubles (including the commission for withdrawing cashback to your card).
'I have the opportunity, but I have no desire …'
The main problem with good discounts on gadgets is that they are announced when the store decided to do it, and not when you decided to buy a new device. Therefore, you have to adapt to this reality: figure out when you will need a smartphone (for example, you are preparing a birthday present) and how much you need it (maybe there is no point in buying now, the old device is also doing its job well).
How to find out about discounts
The answer is obvious: monitor information. Branded stores Huawei and Xiaomi allow you to subscribe to the newsletter and receive timely notifications. Ordinary stores (including MTS) – too. Unfortunately, for Tmall, I have not seen a way to automatically subscribe to notifications from a certain section. You have to check it manually. It also does not hurt to subscribe to those people and publications who publish information about discounts. For example, I learned information about a discount for Huawei in MTS from Eldar Murtazin's twitter.