Buying a retail sold phone


  1. godsdragon

    godsdragon VIP Member VIP Member

    Can you please explain to me how does the buying of a phone at full retail price outside of Sprint work?

    Do I have the choice of buying a phone outside of Sprint, and activate it without incurring a 2 year contract penalty?

    What if I want to buy a phone at a discount price? outside of Sprint?:confused:

    Does the phone need to be a Sprint phone or can I buy something Sprint does not have and have Sprint activate it...

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  2. falconey

    falconey Well-Known Member

    Can you please explain to me how does the buying of a phone at full retail price outside of Sprint work?

    Find the phone you want. Pay for it. Call Sprint to activate it.

    Do I have the choice of buying a phone outside of Sprint, and activate it without incurring a 2 year contract penalty?

    Yes, you only get a two year contract if you are signing up for service for the first time or upgrading with a subsidized phone.

    What if I want to buy a phone at a discount price? outside of Sprint?:confused:

    You need to clarify on this question. If you buy a subsidized phone from another retailer you will incur the 2 year contract.

    Does the phone need to be a Sprint phone or can I buy something Sprint does not have and have Sprint activate it...

    Yes, it has to be a phone in the Sprint line up, past or present and it must have a clean ESN
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  3. godsdragon

    godsdragon VIP Member VIP Member

    What I meant is, buying a phone at either ebay or amazon, one that, according to your explanations is or has been offered at Sprint...

    What do you mean by incurring the 2 year contract? You mean at Sprint?
    And what is a subsidized phone?

    what do you mean by a clean ESN?

    Thank you so much for the explanations..:):thumbup:

    Oh, 2 more questions, can I have 2 phones activated to the same line (number?)

    What exactly is an unlocked phone? Do I need my "new" phone unlocked if I buy outside of Sprint store?
  4. DonB

    DonB ♡ Spidey Sense !! ♡ ™ Moderator

    No you cannot have 2 phones connected to the same line

    Clean ESN is a clean phone, meaning the phone is not stolen and is clean in the Sprint system, either because it is new and has never been activated, or a Sprint customer is selling you there phone used and it is in good standing.

    Unlocked is not a concerned for you unless you are buying a used phone and someone rooted it, it maybe an issue to activate, so simply ask if the phone has been rooted before you purchase.

    And yes a 2 year contract would be if you wanted to buy it either at Sprint or Best Buy or another sales department, then you will have to sign a 2 year contract if you want to purchase it at a discount price, if you want to pay full price from them, then there will be no contract.



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  5. falconey

    falconey Well-Known Member

    What I meant is, buying a phone at either ebay or amazon, one that, according to your explanations is or has been offered at Sprint...

    What do you mean by incurring the 2 year contract? You mean at Sprint?
    And what is a subsidized phone?

    Ok let me try and break it down for you. There are 3 ways to buy a phone meant to be used on Sprint. 1. Buy directly from Sprint. You can pay full retail for the phone or you can go with the discount(aka subsidized) rates. I'm assuming you are a new customer so in either case you will have a 2 year contract. 2. You can buy the phone from another retailer (i.e. amazon, best buy, radio shack). Again you could buy at retail rate or go with the discounted rate(aka subsidized rate). Again we will assume you are a new customer so in either scenario you will have 2 year contract with Sprint. 3. Buy a phone from a third party that's not a authorized retailer. Examples would be a friend, craigslist, ebay or some other 'classifieds' router. In these cases you are paying what the indivual asks for the phone. Again if you are new Sprint customer when you call to activate you will be placed into a 2 year contract.

    what do you mean by a clean ESN?

    The ESN is the ID of the phone. It's how Sprint knows it's a Sprint phone. If a phone is reported lost or stolen the ESN is recognized by Sprint as a bad ESN and they will not activate the phone. This is most important if you use option 3 that I explained above.

    Thank you so much for the explanations..:):thumbup:

    Oh, 2 more questions, can I have 2 phones activated to the same line (number?)

    if you mean 2 phones and one telephone number the answer is no.
    What exactly is an unlocked phone? Do I need my "new" phone unlocked if I buy outside of Sprint store?

    Sprint's network is CDMA so unlocked means different things with Sprint. You absolutely have to buy a phone meant for the Sprint network to activate it on Sprint. So getting an unlocked phone is not the route you want to go. So if you go with option 2 explained above you don't need to worry about getting anything unlocked.
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  6. falconey

    falconey Well-Known Member


    Just to clarify, a phone being rooted will have no effect on activation with Sprint. Also Sprint will place you into a two year contract if you are new customer, regardless where or how you purchased your phone.
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  7. DonB

    DonB ♡ Spidey Sense !! ♡ ™ Moderator

    It will have an issue activating depending what Rom it is on it, if it has an AOSP rom, sometimes they don't always allow to be activates, you need to be on a sense Rom, not always but it is best.


  8. godsdragon

    godsdragon VIP Member VIP Member

    Thanks so much for all of your responses. I am a current Sprint customer, I will not get a new phone anytime soon. I have one of the best phones in the market right now (SG SII Epic), indeed, the best android phone I've ever had...
    I was just curious to learn all of my options for future reference.:pepsi:

    I am getting a kick out of all the new emoticons!! :thumbup::thrasher::party:
  9. Citizen Coyote

    Citizen Coyote Well-Known Member

    Quick clarification: a lot of secondary retailers (Like Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc.) can activate the phone for you without you having to call in to Sprint. Some will ask, some will just do it. If you want to control when the phone is activated, it's a good idea to clarify that before your finalize the purchase.
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