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Tips on Buying Cheap Cell Phones

by Paul Sanders
Published April 29, 2010 | Updated February 13, 2015

In an increasingly connected world, cell phones are becoming ever more indispensable. However, unless you know where to look for cheap cell phones, the price of staying connected can get expensive. The key to finding great deals is to identify ways that manufacturers offer discounts and grab those good deals. Here are a few tips to help you find cheap cell phones that are packed with features but won't empty your wallet.

Finding Cheap Cell Phones:

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  • Buy refurbished cell phones.

    Buying refurbished gives you a wealth of cheap cell phones to choose from without sacrificing features. Understanding how the refurbishing process works may help resolve any concerns you have about buying something refurbished. 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, they turn out to be really cheap cell phones.

  • Eliminate features you don't need.

    Just like buying a new car, the latest features 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 PDA capabilities, a music player, and other high-end features, you'll wind up with a varied selection of cheap cell phones with exactly the features you need.

  • Buy a phone with a plan.

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

  • Buy a phone without a plan.

    Unlocked cell phones give you a little more freedom without the contract, and 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 cost drops considerably in the long run when you can avoid these hidden charges.

  • Choose an older model.

    Every year, manufacturers unveil the newest models, and every year, last year's mobile phones drop dramatically in price. You can find cheap cell phones by looking for older model numbers or versions. These are still new cell phones; they just aren't as popular as the next big thing. An older model phone will still have more features than no phone at all.