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Least expensive disposable (Pay as you go) cell phones

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  • Least expensive disposable (Pay as you go) cell phones

    I am talking U.S., but if someone wishes to add to this thread, be my guest. I do know that in some countries getting an anonymous pay as you go phone is problematic.

    I WOULD LIKE TO CONFINE this thread to talk about disposable cell phones - nothing else. I know some people like vnumber, which is fine, but the downside to vnumber among others is that if you have multiple EBAY accounts you must keep track of what is going on if you route all of those calls to one cell phone. I would rather just put a sticker on each different cell phone, assign ONE cell to EACH EBAY, and then when it rings, I KNOW who the H. I am. :-) No mix ups.

    And anyway - even with vnumber you still need a cell phone unless you are having it all routed to a landline, which is not so advisable if you are trying to stay stealth.


    Tracphones are under ten bucks about anywhere, including Staples, but I usually spend a little more and use T-Mobile to go phones. It seems that in the long run the T-Mobile phones are less expensive to use, per minute wise.

    In my opinion, the cost of the phone is NOTHING compared to the cost of the service.

    Anyone compare the various phones and carriers?

    We have Tracphone, T-Mobile to GO, AT&T GO, Virgin Mobile, BOOST (Sprint-Nextel), Verizon inPULSE, net 10 that I can think of.
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  • #2
    Tracphone

    We know the phones cost as little as ten dollars. The minutes:

    50 Minutes Value Plan
    $9.99 / month

    100 Minutes Value Plan
    $19.99 / month

    150 Minutes Value Plan
    $29.99 / month


    If you have more than one:

    Family Value Plan
    First Phone - 50 Minutes
    $9.99* / month
    Each Additional Phone - 30
    Minutes
    $5.99 / month

    ALSO security - want to make sure you don't have to supply any identifying information or SS #. Correct?
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    • #3
      T-mobile to Go

      Lest expensive phones I have seen are $20.

      If you don't add at least $100. in air time, the minutes expire in 90 days.

      Click image for larger version

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      Security I know is high, no name or identifying information needed. Can refill with cards you purchase for cash.
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      • #4
        AT&T Go

        These phones cost as high as $120. as low as about $40. I believe.

        Pay As You Go Unlimited Talk $.10 per minute + $1.00 per day, ONLY on days you use your phone (Unlimited Go phone to Go phone)
        or
        Pay As You Go $.25 per minute $.25 per minute

        The unlimited doesn't sound so great for us - I mean, we're not using it to yap just to communicate with EBAY, PP and buyers.

        Security? Need to provide identifying information? Anyone?
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        • #5
          Virgin Mobile

          These guys are only "pay as you go" as far as I know. The phone are VERY inexpensive. Complete anonymity.

          I had one of these for a while, the only issue I found was that SOMETIMES for no good reason the caller would not be able to get through and get a message that the phone was out of service. Potentially devastating for our purposes! Now that was over a year ago - they might be better now.


          MONTHLY PLANS WITH UNLIMITED CALLING, TEXT, & MESSAGING
          Unlimited 7PM Nights & Weekends Starting at $49.99/Month
          Totally Unlimited Calling in the US for $79.99/Month
          No Roaming or Long-Distance Charges
          Add Unlimited Text & Messaging for just $10/Month
          No Annual Contracts

          PAY AS YOU GO PLAN
          WITH ROLL FORWARD MINUTES
          Get Great Value Out of Every Minute!
          Roll Forward Minutes
          Choose Low 5¢ Minutes
          No Big Commitments:
          $20 200 = 10¢ / MINUTE

          $30 400 = 7.5¢ / MINUTE

          $50 1000 = 5¢ / MINUTE
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          • #6
            Boost - Sprint/Nextel

            These guys have some NICE phones - nice enough to use as your full time cell. For example the Motorola KRZR. But the nice phones are available only for the unlimited plans. The cheaper phones are for the Pay as You Go - the cheapest pay as you go phone costing $29.95

            The Pay as You Go plans are:

            Basic
            Freedom to pay by the minute or
            by the day
            Nationwide Boost® Walkie-Talkie
            Connect to anyone, anytime. Rates only 10¢/minute

            $1/Day Chat Plan
            Unlimited text
            Unlimited nights & weekends
            Unlimited mobile-to-mobile

            $1 daily subscription gets you Unlimited Nights & Weekends, Unlimited Mobile-to-Mobile, and Unlimited Text, plus 10¢/minute Daytime rates
            No monthly payments
            Unlimited Nationwide Boost® Walkie-Talkie available for an additional $1/day
            No contracts or credit checks
            No activation fees
            International Calling

            Premium Plan
            Monthly calling plans
            Unlimited Nationwide Boost® Walkie-Talkie
            Unlimited Nights & Weekends available

            I have never had a Boost account - anyone? Anonymity?
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            • #7
              Verizon inPulse

              Phones are as low as about $30. I think.

              PLANS:

              Click image for larger version

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              Anyone use them? Anonymity?
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              • #8
                Net 10

                The deal with these guys is ten cents per minute, no ups no extras I believe.

                Phones as low as $30., include 300 free minutes. Sounds like a good deal for us to get us going, except that appears that the minutes are good for 60 days only.

                You have to pay for each month's minutes - they do not roll over automatically. So, there is a service charge to keep the account going.
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                • #9
                  The Verdict

                  My EBAY accounts last a long time. I have not had an account suspended in over 1 1/2 years now, maybe even two years come to think of it.

                  So for me, what works is whatever costs the least over a one year period and gives me enough minutes. The catch with all of these carriers, it seems, is that no matter how little you pay for one month, the minutes expire or the service of the phone itself shuts down within a few months if you do not add more minutes or extend the service plan.

                  The two that have worked long term for me are Virgin Mobile and T-Mobile to Go. I know both allow complete anonymity - you can sign up under any name, and purchase refill cards for cash or pay online with Visa gift cards you bought for cash if you like, using an anonymous proxy when you log in if you are really paranoid.

                  The costs of the phones are as low as $20., and then I pay $100. to get enough minutes to make sure they do not expire for a year. So - total cost comes to $120. or ten dollars a month assuming I do not use up the minutes. This ten dollars a month net cost for Virgin or T-Mobile, no matter how you slice it, seems to be about as low as you can get for our purposes.

                  With T-Mobile to go, this $100. gets you an extra 15% bonus which means 1150 minutes for one year. That seems to be more minutes per month average, for ten dollars per month even INCLUDING the cost of the phone, than any other carrier.

                  If you do not expect your EBAYs to last very long, there may be less expensive options.

                  One other factor to consider is how often the carriers will let you change your phone number - you know, in case you need to switch over to a different EBAY/PP if one gets shut down. I know T-Mobile allows the change only once each six months. I once complained to the FCC about this and T-Mobile allowed me two changes per month, but it was a lot of work. I needed all those changes two years or so ago before I perfected my techniques to stay on EBAY long long term.

                  SIM CARDS - another factor - some of these carriers (e.g. Verizon) do not utilize sim cards. T-Mobile does. The advantage to these is that if all else fails and the carrier will not give you a new # or you want to start fresh, for ten dollars any T-Mobile dealer will give you a new Sim card, and if you buy minutes, some will give you the card free.

                  Good luck and hope people will post personal experience here and other suggestions.
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                  • #10
                    It's best to have a separate disposable phone for EACH EBAY account. When you do that, there is no reason to get vumber. If you can handle the confusion of deciding "who you are" based on what number vnumber flashes on your phone, versus just looking at which handset you are picking up, then go for it - but I prefer to have a physical separate phone for each different business.
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                    • #11
                      At this time, I find that the best disposable cell phones are ones from carriers that allow you to keep the minutes valid for a full year (where the refill period is one year): AT&T Pay as you go and t-mobile (both, once you add $100.) and virgin mobile (where you top off at least $90. in a three day period), are the main ones with this capability:
                      Prepaid Compare
                      What I like about T-Mobile To Go, is that once you break through to their "gold" barrier by adding $100. (all at once, or over time) to the phone account, all future phone card purchases will remain good for a year, even small $25. ones, AND you will automatically receive 15% more minutes for free each time you refill.
                      With T-Mobile, I suppose you could first buy a $25. card for the phone, and then add more before the 90 day expiration of each set of minutes (adding $25. each 90 days until you reach the gold level), but in the end all this is going to do is extend your last bit of minutes an extra three months beyond the year that commenced at your first $25. card purchase, so I prefer to just bite the bullet and pay $100. right off the bat since I know my accounts are properly created and will last.

                      If you do get suspended and don't want to bother with tech support for reinstatement, just call T-Mobile and claim you are receiving a lot of crank calls and need to change the number, and use that new number with your new Ebay.

                      Now if you experience rapid suspension of your Ebays, then go with something like a $10. or $20. Trac or Net10 phone with some free minutes on it, and switch to T-Mobile later.
                      However once you get an established PROPERLY created by Short List EBay account, you won't want your minutes to keep expiring every 30, 60 or 90 days, because your account will be up a long time, and Ebay will suspend you if they phone and the line is disconnected, and will want T-Mobile.
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                      • #12
                        Currently for Ebay accounts in the USA I prefer T Mobile To Go phones. Just pay $100. for one year, and from there on, pay whatever you will use the phone per year. Once you pay the first $100. refill, from, that point on all refills will be valid for one year.

                        If your account should go down, just get a new SIM card, usually free, and start over - or, if you have some time left on the refill, just change the phone number by claiming that you are getting too many wrong number calls.
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                        • #13
                          T-Mobile to go has changed. Before, you could just buy minutes and only the minutes you actually used (or texted) went off the pay as you go card. (However, minutes expired after 90 days unless you bought a $100. card in which case minutes would expire after 1 year.)

                          Now, the T-Mobile to go plan is minimum $3. per month, which includes 30 minutes or 30 texts and additional minutes/texts at 10 cents per minutes/text, with a minimum $10. needed to be added to your account at initial purchase. Also, you will need one of the newer T mobile SIM cards which do not work with older (as in ...older than a year or two) T Mobile to go phones.
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