Update 5: Very popular and thus, yet again, out of stock.
Update 4: Back in-stock…
Update 3: Out of stock… again…
Update 2: Back in stock, same price, same deal.
Update: Amazon has run out of stock, we’ll keep you posted as to when it comes back in-stock.
We normally don’t cover other carriers (on their respective sites), and there is a deal forum… but sometimes deals come along so good they are worthy of front-page status.
Amazon.com is offering the Sony Ericsson T610 for $99 with $300 in rebates. This brings the post-rebate price to -$200 (yes, only one-year agreement required). Since the rebate is valid on family plans, the cost is $80 a month for 5 lines (yes, that includes taxes for most areas). Taking into account an average eBay sale value of $100 per-phone, you can break even with a year of free service on a FamilyTalk plan.
So… here’s what you do.
1) Order the T610 with a new service plan (just chose any plan, it doesn’t matter at the point of sale). Repeat four more times to have different orders numbers (Amazon does not allow for multiple-quantity orders to prevent errors).
2) Let the phones arrive. Call T-Mobile customer service and consolidate all the lines onto a $49.99 FamilyTalk plan (or higher). Yes, the rebates are still valid, Amazon simply does not have the ability to do family plans online at this time, this is their reccomended method of doing it.
3) Mail in the rebates on all five phones, sell the phones on eBay; Rebate 1, Rebate 2
4) Use the money from the rebates and sale value to pay for the entire year of service.
5) After the rebates all arrive, lower your plan to the $29.99 FamilyTalk plan.
Of course, you then have to have a GSM phone to use on T-Mobile, but considering the viewership of this site, that generally is not an issue for most readers (and for the rest, there is always eBay).