Make a Smart Cell Phone Purchase

By: Jawahn Thompson

Before you go out and buy a cell phone, there are a couple of things you should know. These tips are especially important if you are like several million other Americans who are impulse buyers. These impulse buyers see something they like, whether it is a cool new feature they don't really need or a great new colored phone and they purchase it. No questions asked. . They don't stop to think about their options and they don't stop to think of what they really need-they simply buy on the spur of the moment. The following tips will help you from purchasing on impulse and buying what you need instead.

Find the Best Carrier –
Before you automatically sign up with a carrier, check around with your friends and family members to find out who they use and why they use them. If you call the carrier themselves, you will hear they are the best. Of course, they'll tell you this-they want your business!

Check Online –
When you choose the carrier you wish to get your service through, visit their store and find out what types of phones they have available. Do not buy yet, though! Before you make your purchase, go online to their website and see what deals that are available on these phones. Many carriers will often have discounts when you purchase online. You will also want to try out the phone at the store to make sure you can hear clearly with it. Most carriers will allow you to make test calls before you purchase.

Consider the Type of Plan You Need –
If you have more than one person in your household, you may want to consider a family plan. This will allow you to share an allotted set of minutes and you can both save money as a family plan is cheaper than two separate plans. Also, if you will be doing a lot of traveling, consider getting a national plan. With this, you will not be charged for any calls you make or receive while you are out of your normal area.

Overestimate Your Minute Use –
When you sign up for your plan, you will be able to choose the amount of minutes for your plan. Before you choose, make sure you understand the carrier's information for off-peak minutes. This off-peak time will allow you to make a call during this time and not be charged any minutes. Once you understand when this time is available, estimate your minute use above what you think you'll be using. Watch your minute use for a few months and you can change your plan for less minutes or more, depending on what you need. This will protect you from receiving a bill that is enormous from using more minutes than what you have allowed.

Read the Small Print –
When signing up for service, make sure you read all of the small print. Often, your plan will not include extra services, such as test messaging, picture messaging, or even email access. If you know you will be needing these services, include them on your plan. If you don't, you may be surprised with a huge bill at the end of the month.

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