Google-ebayI don't know why I didn't think of it as an option before going to Radio Shack to preorder my HTC EVO 4G, but for some reason eBay never crossed my mind. I guess after hearing that all of the Google I/O attendees were given free EVOs with a month of service yesterday, I just assumed that every recipient would have wanted to keep theirs.

But based on all of the new Google-gifted EVOs that are now populating eBay, I was clearly very wrong. Most of the sellers aren't gouging bidders the way I would've expected them to either, considering how hotly anticipated the phone is and that we're still two weeks away from the official release. If anything, I would've expected conference attendees to at least take advantage of the month's worth of free unlimited service before chucking it on eBay.

With tax, the unactivated EVO I preordered from Radio Shack today would've cost about $525, not including the $20 worth of accessories that would've come with it. If the device weren't available off contract, I would've:

  • signed up with a new two-year contract to get the EVO for $199,
  • paid the $36 activation fee,
  • paid for a month of service ($69.99 Everything Data, $10 premium data charge, and maybe $30 for the optional mobile hotspot feature) so I could keep the phone without being charged another fee because of Sprint's 30-day guarantee,
  • canceled the contract after 30 days,
  • and paid the $200 early termination fee.

With this method, I would've been paying somewhere around $575 and would have had to deal with Sprint.

In both of these scenarios, I would have to wait until June 4th—a whole two weeks away!—for the HTC EVO's official release.

By taking the eBay route, I could pay about the same, get a month of free service, bypass Sprint, and best of all, get the phone in a few days. So that's what I did!