It’s bad enough that our cell phone bills are so high – but add to that the cost of all those accessories that constantly seem to be breaking, disappearing or malfunctioning and the expenses just keep adding up. There are charger cords, portable chargers, car chargers, phone cases… and the prices vary greatly.
When it comes to cell phone accessories, do you really pay for what you get?
You can go to the Apple Store and drop $40 easily for a phone case. The ones at the mall kiosk aren’t that much cheaper. I find myself looking at them and thinking, “This hunk of plastic probably only cost pennies to make.” Because the case is decorative and not electronic, you can afford to go cheap. For the younger family members, Claire’s Accessories sells overpriced cell phone cases to fit every model. However, they have a sale section at the back where you can find some drastically reduced cell phone cases. I have also seen perfectly attractive ones at the 99 Cents Only Store. I bought my son’s on eBay. It features his favorite rock band and was just a little over ten dollars. The bottom line: shop around for the best deals. You can find inexpensive ones on eBay at the dollar store that aren’t any lower in quality.
These, like the ones pictured above, all seem similar in quality. I bought one at my local grocery store on sale for $14.99. You can probably find them cheaper on eBay. Just remember you will need a charger cord to plug them in. They are a little heavy to carry around, but quite handy. If you find yourself constantly looking for an outlet to plug your phone in, you need one of these. Again, shop around for the best deals. Don’t pay over $15.
I have not had the best luck with these. You can find them at the dollar store, the gas station, 7-11, Target, etc. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they work for awhile, then stop. Sometimes they wiggle around just enough to stop charging the second you got them working. In short, they are maddening. I have not had any more luck with the more expensive ones. My best advice: make sure they are compatible with your particular phone and save your receipt.
Charger cords and power adaptors.
These drive me mad. We go through phone cord chargers constantly. I swear these things are meant to break so you will just keep spending more money. Here is where I bought them and the results:
The Apple Store. You can buy them there for $19-29. The ones that came with our phones always worked… until they didn’t anymore.
The mall kiosk. I have opted to buy them from the kiosk directly across from the Apple store for $11 and these have worked just as well.
CVS. I bought a charger cord for my iPhone for about about $15, brought it home… and it didn’t work. Neither did the colorful power adaptors I bought. At least they let me get my money back. I will not be buying from there again!
The dollar store. The charger cords turned out not to be 8 pin which is what I need for my iPhone. Tip: Although these cords all look similar, make sure they are compatible with your particular phone.
The gas station. Another crap shoot. I have bought charger cords for about $8. They work some of the time and some of the time they don’t.
7-11. Same as above, but no refunds.
Best Buy. Sick of my frugal buying choices, my husband went out to Best Buy and spent $60 on a charger cord and power adaptor because the salesperson convinced him that the quality was higher and the price was worth it. They stopped working within two weeks.
The Verizon Store. Walked in once when my phone was dead. Saw the prices and walked out.
eBay. Guess what – the very same brand of charger cord that you can buy at the Verizon Store for $20 is just a buck or two if you buy it from eBay, shipped directly from China. I bought about a dozen of pretty, no-name colorful ones for $8 (free shipping!) from China. What a bargain! But they were so cheaply made that all twelve of them broke within two weeks. Tip: Stick to brand names you recognize.
The best quality seem to be the ones from the Apple Store. They do not comfortably fit little ears, though, so kids may be frustrated with them. I bought adorable gummi-bear shaped ones from Urban Outfitters (for me, not the kids) and they weren’t particularly cheap (about $15) but when I used them to talk on my phone, no one could hear what I was saying. The inexpensive, cute ones from the Target dollar bin or from the 99 Cents Only Store seem to work well for the kids who use them to listen to music, but forget trying to make a call with them. One friend told me that when I use them to talk on the phone while driving that I sound just like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Tip: For making calls, go bluetooth instead.
What are the best deals you’ve gotten on phone accessories?