Have you ever wondered what the difference is between AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc. stores in your local mall? I have traveled the country and understand that some markets are not that saturated having maybe only 1 cell phone store per operator (or less) in each mall, but for the most part there are usually at least 2, I have seen as many as 8, of the same carrier in the same mall!
Why would a carrier do such a thing? Why does a kiosk, cart, or online store have different offers? What’s the difference between this AT&T store and that one, between this Verizon store and that one, etc.?
I will help answer what is the difference between a business-owned mobile phone store and a licensed mobile phone store.
Difference # 1 – There are two types of retail stores. One is the actual store of the company that is owned and operated by that trucking company and its employees. The second is an authorized retailer or distributor that is a separate business entity from the actual carrier. At the same time, the authorized retailer (reseller) is approved by the carrier itself to sell its services and products.
Difference # 2 – The phone no. 1 is $ 100 at this store vs. $ 50 at this store. Corporate stores for the most part are consistent across the board with phone pricing and plans. At the same time, authorized retailers can change prices within the limits of their agreement with the carrier and with the company’s profit and loss as to what would make sense. You can often find better deals at licensed retail stores, but the same can be said for operator-owned stores.
Difference # 3 – No secondary contract vs secondary contract? What is a secondary contract? A secondary contract is a contract that most licensed retailers use to help deter and secure the discount passed on to the customer. Example: A phone that sells for $ 100 is likely to cost the retailer between $ 50 and $ 200 more than the asking price. Believe it or not it’s true. On average, it could cost the retailer $ 100 more than the retail price. This is where the secondary contract comes in. If the consumer cancels their service with the operator before the minimum days necessary (concession period) for the company to earn their operator commission, they will lose not only their operator commission, but also the cost of the phone. Should this scare the consumer from buying from an authorized retailer? In my opinion, NO. The only reason it should scare the consumer is if you plan to cancel your service and not return the phone within the grace period granted.
Are Corporate Stores Better Trained Than Authorized Retailers? In my experience, it depends on the actual store and employees. I’ve seen it go both ways.
In theory, both carrier-operated stores and licensed retailers coexist and should respect each other. In practice, I have seen him both friendly and downright fierce between the two of them. So if you happen to be shopping and visiting authorized and corporate owned dealers, be sure to follow your instincts and buy from whoever you are most comfortable with.
Key thought when buying: Buy from the seller who rates you the best. That is, it asks you the right questions to help you adjust to the right phone and plan. If they don’t ask you the basic questions … keep shopping!
Hope this article helps you.