Any suggestions for where to buy 30+ cheap unlocked mobiles for a school trip? (and where to donate 30 x SIMs each with £10 Virgin credit?)!

A teacher friend is leading a class summer trip abroad and wants to supply each of the pupils with a mobile phone for the duration of the trip. The school will purchase them and then reuse them in trips the following years. They want something as basic and cheap as possible - the only functions they need to have are calls and SMS (no camera etc). Anyone have any idea where the best place for them to buy 30+ unlocked phones (they will be using local SIMs abroad). THANKS!

27 Comments

make sure they have tri-band or quad-band and look on ebay for job lots

Banned

my mate dodgy Dave can sell you a few mobiles :thumbsup:

Original Poster

Many thanks kiwinator - what is the band that will work in the most destinations? They will be travelling to (potentially) different countries in Europe and N. Africa only.

eBay isn't a possibility I think. Something to do with official receipts for the school. They need to purchase from a registered business.

Original Poster

Proximo;1690370

my mate dodgy Dave can sell you a few mobiles :thumbsup:



I'm sure he can, but they need to be new, purchased with receipts from a registered business!

Original Poster

emasu;1690378

http://shop.carphonewarehouse.com/pay-as-you-go/sony-ericsson/j110i-black/?



That looks a good price, but are they unlocked to use foreign SIMs..?

Liddle ol' me;1690388

That looks a good price, but are they unlocked to use foreign SIMs..?



Not sure :-(

Places such as sainsburys, tesco and asda normally have cheap deals. Phone for under £10 sometimes. But i doubt they will be unlocked. You might be able to get them unlocked cheaply if you take them to a private mobile phone shop as a bulk

Original Poster

adnaan_p;1690394

Places such as sainsburys, tesco and asda normally have cheap deals. … Places such as sainsburys, tesco and asda normally have cheap deals. Phone for under £10 sometimes. But i doubt they will be unlocked. You might be able to get them unlocked cheaply if you take them to a private mobile phone shop as a bulk



Good thinking - I guess she should check a local shop and get a quote, Thanks! :thumbsup:

Yes- Asda, Woolies, etc. I wouldn't expect any sort of bulk buy school discount, but you'll get what you need for £600 which you may be able to factor into the trip cost i'd hazard.
I bet someone on the board of Governors insists that getting phones unlocked is illegal...

Original Poster

I've sent an email to carphone warehouse to see if the phones are unlocked. I wonder what to do with the Virgin airtime credit? They wouldn't want to use those SIMs as they'd be purchasing SIMs in the local country. Seems an awful waste of airtime credit just to get cheap phones -- the school are into donations (they wouldn't be allowed to sell the SIMs on). Any ideas of how/where to donate such things? (and don't say "to me"!)

Do you need to replace the sims if you've got Virgin phones and simcards? I've recieved texts from the UK on my old Virgin PAYG as far down as Clermont Ferrand before, I kind of presumed that means they work. I never tried dialling with the phone abroad though, or recieving calls tbh. Virgin CS will (obv) be able to advise best Liddle.
Oh- other thing is that Virgin do allow combining credit across accounts if you ask CS nicely, don't know if they'd do it on 30 new sims though!
hope that helps- or at least gives a little more insight from my experiences in La France! *puts on beret and considers buying onions*

Original Poster

billyX;1690569

Do you need to replace the sims if you've got Virgin phones and simcards? … Do you need to replace the sims if you've got Virgin phones and simcards? .



I think so as they plan to buy local SIMs so that they can call each other cheaply in those countries

Original Poster

billyX;1690569

Virgin CS will (obv) be able to advise best Liddle.Oh- other thing is … Virgin CS will (obv) be able to advise best Liddle.Oh- other thing is that Virgin do allow combining credit across accounts if you ask CS nicely, don't know if they'd do it on 30 new sims though!hope that helps- or at least gives a little more insight from my experiences in La France! *puts on beret and considers buying onions*




That helps a lot, esp the combining credit thing - didn't know that. Cheers! Will talk to Virgin :thumbsup:

Surely u can blagg a sporsorship deal on this one
MAybe in agreement for the kids having a picture shoot with the M.D. showing how caring he is for the sake of vunerable children etc, corporate pennies for good PR like that

Original Poster

maddogb;1690622

Surely u can blagg a sporsorship deal on this oneMAybe in agreement for … Surely u can blagg a sporsorship deal on this oneMAybe in agreement for the kids having a picture shoot with the M.D. showing how caring he is for the sake of vunerable children etc, corporate pennies for good PR like that



Yes, it's the kind of thing I'd do, but not sure if she/the head will agree. Maybe though. I'm going to send her the link to this thread tomorrow and let her read through everyone's suggestions. Thanks!

Unlocking the phone on a local shop will void the warranty on the phones.

If you aren't in a rush phones4u do a motorola f3 which is very basic but very slim and light. They are £4.95 plus the cost of the £10 sim on virgin. The one I bought from there last week was unlocked although they told me it wouldn't be. Other people on here have also had unlocked ones form this site. Best thing is that you get £10 back through Quidco per phone. So this could always be added back to school funds when it comes through. You might aswell use the sims as it's still something for nothing. Might be expensive calls but youo have already paid for the credit. No danger of the children wanting to keep the phones either. Not in stock at the moment though.
TJHughs also sell these phones for £5 on orange, don't know if they are unlocked. I think they tend to be because they are so cheap. If not they could always be returned , just check their ret
Phones4u won't let you return the Sim only the phone but if you ended up returning them you wouldn't loose out due to Quidco.
HTH:-D

PS they are dual band

Original Poster

Thanks wookiemummy - good advice! They are not in a rush, so probably worth waiting then, esp if they can get quidco back too. Nice one :thumbsup:

I would suggest to go for ]Nokia 1600 from TJHughes - £14.99.
This is a great basic handset...and can be unlocked free - it will cost you just 1-1.5h of your time max.to unlock all of them . Because of the remote unlocking codes, you do not loose the warranties.

]Place where you can get free the codes (working - I have used them couple of time).I hope , this is another reasonable option for you.

Original Poster

7777777;1691437

I would suggest to go for ]Nokia 1600 from TJHughes - £14.99.This is a … I would suggest to go for ]Nokia 1600 from TJHughes - £14.99.This is a great basic handset...and can be unlocked free - it will cost you just 1-1.5h of your time max.to unlock all of them . Because of the remote unlocking codes, you do not loose the warranties.]Place where you can get free the codes (working - I have used them couple of time).I hope , this is another reasonable option for you.



7 thanks 7777777!

Original Poster

wookiemummy;1691214

Best thing is that you get £10 back through Quidco per phone.



So if they order say 5 phones on one go it will track as £50? Or do you have to put through each one separately? It doesn't say on quidco (just checked) so your experience will be greatly appreciated!

in that case original poster u will need quad-band

Original Poster

kiwinator;1691505

in that case original poster u will need quad-band



why? because using abroad? :?

Liddle ol' me;1691474

So if they order say 5 phones on one go it will track as £50? Or do you … So if they order say 5 phones on one go it will track as £50? Or do you have to put through each one separately? It doesn't say on quidco (just checked) so your experience will be greatly appreciated!



It looks like it is per phone, however you can check it out on the quidco thread, Sorry don't know how to post the link. If you are only going to europe you should ok with dual band. Some lucky school if going somewhere that you need quad band;-)

Liddle ol' me;1691510

why? because using abroad? :?

Well quad-band is the most universal signal that mobile phones can recieve/send.

en.wikipedia.org/wik…and

Banned

wookiemummy;1692361

It looks like it is per phone, however you can check it out on the quidco … It looks like it is per phone, however you can check it out on the quidco thread, Sorry don't know how to post the link. If you are only going to europe you should ok with dual band. Some lucky school if going somewhere that you need quad band;-)



to add a link, just right click and copy the address from the address bar of the link you want, then right click and paste it into your post :thumbsup:
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