Cellular Phone Stores

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Cellular phone stores downtown or across town have the great advantage of immediate gratification--if they offer what you want and if they have it in stock. If you're an impulse buyer, they're wonderful. I've stayed with the wireless provider I have, in fact, expressly because of that. Once I was simply killing time. The next thing I knew I was the proud owner--this was more than a year ago--of a slick little flip phone with lots of features I hadn't had, and a new two-year contract.

Nine times out of 10, the cellular phone stores you see--whether downtown, in a shopping mall, or in a shopping center--are owned and operated by one of the major U.S. wireless providers. These include Alltel, AT&T/Cingular, Cellular One, MCI, Nextel, Qwest, T-mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. You can also buy phones from Radio Shack, Best Buy, and a number of other stores.

Shopping Cellular Phone Stores on the Internet

Online cellular phone stores are a different shopping experience altogether. There are numerous reasons to look online, as you already know. Maybe you're not conveniently located near a physical storefront. Certainly your selection is vastly superior online, whether you're looking at independent equipment vendors or your own provider.

Furthermore, opinions are unbiased and the pressure is off. The day I ended up with my flip phone, for example, I had gone in the store with the intention of changing my service plan. I did so, but not--as it turned out later--to my advantage. The real advantage is researching into emerging technologies, comparing specifications of similar phones (especially easy with database-driven websites), finding out what your options are in traveling abroad and using a cell phone, and getting an unbiased sense of prices.

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