I recharged the battery of my laptop so I can put up the other main thing I talked about on the podcast: the Tracfone deals on the GSM side of their website right now.
First off, free ground shipping is available for all orders that are $19.99 or more, which is a savings of around $5.50 per order, when tax on shipping is included. Which is always a good thing.
Second, if you make an order of $60 or more, you'll get a free "GiftBox and Universal Accesory kit". What this is I'm not quite sure, but it looks to include a case, headset and car charger, which is nice. However, even if you buy the maximum (3) order of $20 refurb phone deals, you don't get this kit and giftbox, as the order total is $59.97. Even if you buy the most expensive phone (the Moto c261 or the v176 on GSM, the LG 3280 on CDMA) you still won't get the kit. You have to buy one of the 1-year-card deal. Sounds like a "free phone with a contract" idea to me.
But hey, the deals are really good!
First off, and best, is the deal that just came online and will end today if it hasn't sold out already. In this deal you get a double-minute card and a red Motorola c261 for...hold on to your hats...$30 less than the price of the double-minute carrd alone! Needless to say, this is one heckuva deal...and you get not only free shipping on this deal but also a gift box and accessory kit! Grab this deal while you can...the total value of what's available right now in this deal is roughly twice what it's selling for...I'm likely in on this one!
Second, and longer-lived, the Motorola c155 and, more importantly (it's a better phone) the Nokia 2600, is available with a 1-year card...for $80! Yes, as in $20 less than the cost of the card alone! Again, this is a really good deal. You get a $30 phone, and a good $30 phone, and a new $30 phone, plus a 1-year card, for a good bit less than the card alone. This is a good deal too...and you get the accessory kit and free shipping in the mix. I'm probably not going to get this deal, but it's good nonetheless.
Third are the deals that have been around for awhile. The two-60-minute-cards-for-$20-with-a-refurb-phone deal is still going on right now, now with the Nokia 1100. It may be a barebones old phone, with only monophonic ringtones and a black-and-white screen, but it works great...better in fact than the Motorola c155...and that's what counts here. Which is good.
It seems that Tracfone's online site is really promoting phones, trying to get them off of the shelf with $20 or $30 discounts on airtime cards besides giving the phones away. Which sounds a lot like the "better than free" contract cellular offers, but it's prepaid...and you can take the card and put it on your old\own Tracfone. So in my eyes it's all good...
Though two one-year card deals, one with the refurb Motorola v170 (the color flip with the teeny display), one with the refurb Nokia 1100 (one word, why???) are available at the normal price for a 1-year card. Which leaves me scratching my head...but okay...
Last is the "phone ladder" that Tracfone has put into place. They seem to have put into play a system where, if you pay $10 more, you get a better (or more feature-rich, at least) phone, from $10 up to $40, then skipping to $60.Which is a neat idea.
The bottom end is the Nokia 1100, for $9.99, refurbished (all other phones in this lineup are new). However, this phone isn't eligable for free shipping, so it's actually better to get the 60-minute card deal in this case. But now Tracfone has a $10 deal.
For $20 you get the Motorola c139. Pass this phone up...unless you want crazily long (week-and-a-half) battery life at the expense of polyphonic ringers and call quality, and possibly your minutes (they've been known to disappear with this phone).
For $30 you get a choice: either the Nokia 2600 (very good) or the Motorola c155 (in the wors of Borat: not so much...and no, I haven't watched that movie). Just to stress what I said, the Nokia 2600 is a very good phone, pretty much equivalent to the Nokia 2126, except for GSM, and a little bit older. The 2600 may not have web and picture messaging, but it's a great phone for voice and text...text which is free to receive.
For $40 you get the Motorola v170. Again, this flip has a tiny screen. I'd pass this up in favor of the other deals, such as the deal on the Nokia 2600 which is $10 + tax cheaper. But to each his own; some people just need a flip...
For $60 your choice is between the Motorola c261 and the v176. I don't know about how good these deals are, but they seem to be pretty good deals, considering that they're the only web-enabled Tracfones. Also, the Motorola c261 has a camera and picture messaging...and it's thin.
That wraps up the current state of the Tracfone website deals, as far as GSM goes. CDMA hasn't changed, except for the free shipping and free accessory kit deals. And that finishes up the information I covered in the podcast...as promised, I covered everything here that I covered there. Hope this helps everyone!