Cell Phone Shopping Tips

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -Searching for a cell phone can be well, dizzying!

There are flip phones, smart phones, touch screens.  In fact, there is tons of technology to choose from.

So how do you know you're making the right choice?

First, decide what you want before you hit the stores, or at least have some sort of idea.

Know what your needs are, like whether you'll spend most of the time talking, which may just call for a basic phone, or if you'll be using it to text, check email or surf the web.

Next, try it in the store. Play with the keyboard if you text a lot and make sure you test a touch screen.

In fact, test drive the phone at home.  Most retailers will let you return a phone penalty free within the first 30 days.

So see if you like it, and make sure you have good reception in the places you'll use it the most.

Next, it may seem odd, but sign a contract. You can save a lot on the phone itself when you sign a one or two year deal. Of course, make sure its what you want, because getting out of a contract is pricey.

Some carriers charge $350 to break a deal.

Finally, skip insurance and extended warranties.

Hang on to your old phone, and if your new one breaks, re-activate that one until you qualify for a free upgrade.

If you're looking to slash your cell phone bill, here are some tips:

1.) Don't overbuy minutes

2.) Maximize family calling plans

3.) Use freebies to the max

4.) Consider texting bundles

5.) Call the carrier to complain about a huge bill

6.) Get a data plan

7.) Shop around

8.) Avoid early termination fees

9.) Consider a pre-paid plan

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