Cell Phones

Where do you buy your unlocked phones?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 10th, 2019 3:22 pm
[OP]
Member
Jan 13, 2016
478 posts
259 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

Where do you buy your unlocked phones?

Are people buying at Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy? Or are there any stores around vancouver that have a good selection of unlocked phones?
20 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 13, 2007
9711 posts
4498 upvotes
Toronto
RFD BST section
Telus $45 25GB
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1364 upvotes
Bay Area
I bought my last two phones from eBay.
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2017
533 posts
229 upvotes
I have used Amazon USA and driven across the border to pick them up. If I were in some sort of hurry, I'd drive a little further to Best Buy USA, as the same phones are often on the same promotion at the same time for both sources. I have purchased several phones from the USA in the last couple of years because there were variants that were not available in Canada. Sometimes they do appear from Canadian sellers, but at inflated prices.

But it's less important now. All phones have to be sold unlocked in Canada by law. My last several purchases were through Koodo, as I have held onto a postpaid account there, and that carrier happens to have genuine bargain prices on a lot of handsets, even on plans that don't have inflated prices to give a subsidised illusion of a bargain.

For lower-end handsets, PC Mobile is a good source for phones without price gouging. For example, Moto G and E series often sell on their prepaid for substantially less than prepaid on other carriers.

I have also, in the past, purchased directly from Canadian official branches of international brands. I got my Nexus 4 straight from Google. In the independent Fido days of yore, I got a never-locked Nokia that wasn't for sale from any local carrier. Most people didn't understand what a never-locked phone was at the time, as they thought that all phones had to come locked from a carrier.
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1364 upvotes
Bay Area
I should probably add I bought my phones from eBay (US) because they had the best deals, not because they're the only ones carrying unlocked phones. Where else can you get a 30% discount on an Android flagship only 2 months after release? Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
Member
User avatar
Nov 10, 2011
434 posts
84 upvotes
Burnaby
Latebuyer wrote: Are people buying at Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy? Or are there any stores around vancouver that have a good selection of unlocked phones?
Staples and Costco have unlocked phones for purchase.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
4238 posts
2528 upvotes
Gotham
My current S9 is from HK but I got some phones from t-mobile in the US last year. There's a store in Aberdeen mall that sells imported dual sim phones that also list them on Craigslist.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
655 posts
252 upvotes
Latebuyer wrote: Are people buying at Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy? Or are there any stores around vancouver that have a good selection of unlocked phones?
Staples too. If you want to buy flagship phones or certain brands not available at Walmart or Staples, check out EasyCell in Richmond. They are moving to a new location, unsure where is the new location. Their website is http://www.easycellular.ca/
Member
Jan 13, 2017
456 posts
525 upvotes
Toronto
Koodo, since all phones sold in Camada is now unlocked.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 28, 2004
21202 posts
2509 upvotes
Toronto
In order of preference:

1. Apple store\Apple online - when new iphone comes out. This is for wifey
2. RFD BST section
3. Koodo online with their awesome dealios\tab
4. Amazon.ca

Me personally - I haven't purchased a new smartphone since 2015!

FS: Nothing at the moment
Heatware: 63-0-0
Deal Fanatic
May 18, 2009
6142 posts
1413 upvotes
Richmond Hill
arkane wrote: I should probably add I bought my phones from eBay (US) because they had the best deals, not because they're the only ones carrying unlocked phones. Where else can you get a 30% discount on an Android flagship only 2 months after release? Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
Need to pay duties?
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1364 upvotes
Bay Area
I'm working in the US so no duties to worry about.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12973 upvotes
Lately? China. Decent specs for pretty cheap.
GSI makes it even better.
jvnanu wrote: Isn't it illegal to sell locked phones in Canada?
Probably an old habit.
I still ask for unlocked phones because it's what I've been doing for 25 years.
Even though in the last what? 5? they've been unlocked (for sale in Canada at least) it's a hard habit to change.

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