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Tips on Buying Cheap Cell Phones

Taking a picture at night with a smartphone

by Curtis Linnell

Electronics Specialist

In an increasingly connected world, cell phones are almost a necessity. However, unless you know where to look for cheap cell phones, the price of staying connected can get expensive. Here are a few tips to help you find cheap cell phones that are packed with features but won't empty your wallet.

The front and back of an iPhone

Buy Refurbished Cell Phones

Buying refurbished cell phones gives you the opportunity to purchase newer models at a more affordable price.

Understanding how the refurbishing process works may help resolve any concerns you have about buying a refurbished phone. Typically, most of the components in these cell phones are replaced, leaving you with a new screen, memory processor, and more. But because of the stigma of refurbishing, cell phones turn out to be really cheap.

The screen of a smartphone with a bright display

Eliminate Features You Don't Need

Just like buying a new car, the latest features of a cell phone are sold at a premium. Cheaper models don't include the very latest technology, but they still include great features. If you can eliminate features you probably won't use, like a larger screen, nicer camera, and other high-end features, you'll still have a varied selection of cheap cell phones that still have all the features you need.

The screen of a smartphone with a bright display

Buying a Phone With or Without a Plan

Most manufacturers offer deep discounts on even the latest cell phones if you sign up with a cell phone plan and contract. Signing on the dotted line can bring the price down.

If you buy a phone at full price outside of a plan, you have the option of unlocking your phone. Unlocked cell phones give you a little more freedom without the contract. You won't end up paying early termination fees or unlocking fees to your carrier if you end up needing to change wireless networks. The long-run cost of your phone drops considerably when you can avoid these charges.

Picture of an older black model flip cell phone

Choose an Older Model

You can find cheap cell phones by looking for older model numbers or versions. Manufacturers regularly unveil the new models, making previous mobile phone models drop dramatically in price. The newest versions of cell phones usually offer just a few tiny upgrades, so you won't miss much when you buy an older model.



Curtis Linnell

by Curtis Linnell

Electronics Specialist

Curtis is a fan of technology and anything that makes life easier. He once took second place in his sixth grade spelling bee and loves to write. Curtis loves to golf and spend time with his family, not in that order.