lady holding credit card laptop

Should I Buy A New Smartphone Online or In Store?

First, a disclaimer. Here at Mr Aberthon, we operate an online store. In fact, our brick and mortar store was trading very successfully a couple of years before we launched our e-store. We say this to be clear that this article isn’t just to promote our way of doing things. Now the question is should we buy a new smartphone online or in store?

If you do decided you want to buy online, check out or deals for affordable smartphones online.

Cheaper Online, Easier in Store

person holding phone with credit card

The bottom line is that online shopping is usually cheaper than store shopping. Online stores can see their competitor’s prices in real-time. This allows them to be able to change prices quickly to remain the cheapest option. Brick and mortar stores would physically have to visit their competitors to accomplish that. By the same token, there’s nothing better than being able to walk into a store and physically handle any item you’re considering buying. Cell phones are no different in that respect.

Is it Safe to Buy a Phone Online?

About 10 years ago, buying a phone online was not the way to go. It was customary to walk into one of the big 3 retailers and browse phones while you waited for an associate. Being able to see the brand new features in real time was apart of the thrill. Every year, phone manufacturers were discovering new things they could do with technology so we saw big changes. But, that’s when you would choose from a variety of different phone brands. Now most people stay in one of two phone camps, Apple or Samsung. The most that changes now is storage, processors, cameras and design.

Since the internet and e-commerce have evolved, it is a whole new ball game. All the major brands post photos that showcase every angle of the phone. Included are stunning videos that explain every new feature and all the specifications. Customer service and ease of website use is a top priority. Any question or issue can be solved in a pop-up chat with an AI. Or if the issue is more complex, the chat is automatically redirected to a person who can help. It is safer more than ever to buy a phone online. There is access to plenty of tools to get help with your purchase.

Returning An Item is Sometimes Difficult

Many online-only stores also have quite mixed returns procedures. Usually, most places will refund the cost of shipping or send out a return label. If the item is simply no longer wanted, then fair enough, the buyer should expect to have to meet the cost of returning it if necessary. But what if an item is faulty? This is one of the best reasons to buy in-store, where you can go and put any faulty items right there on the countertop if you need to. However, such “personal” services sometimes carry a premium. Running a store costs money. Staff, utilities, rent, maintenance, and a ton of other costs do add up.

Check out Mr Aberthon’s return policy in our FAQ page, just follow the link!

Similar Prices in Stores and Online

Competition in any industry is particularly stiff nowadays, and especially in the world of mobile devices. Yet many sellers such as Mr Aberthon do everything we can to keep prices down. This means retail locations with an online store usually will have similar prices unless there’s a particular promotion in place for online-only deals. Of course, it’s the online prices that are honored in store. As Google is the first place anybody goes to compare prices and not the other way around.

Will Cell Phone Prices Go Down?

In today’s market, cellphones have gotten pricier every single year. Which to an extent makes sense because they are mini-computers that can take professional photos and make phone calls. At the same time, most people are caught up with what the top two companies are pushing out. The short answer is no they probably won’t go down. Apple and Samsung prices continue to rise higher and higher the more efficient their items become. What most people seem to forget are other brands that still release great phones for fair prices. For example, a brand new Motorola G Stylus 5G 128GB retail price is $249.99, while a Galaxy Z Flip3 5G 128GB is $999.99. Sure, some of the specifications will be slightly different and one phone folds in half. But are those differences worth paying the markup?

How to Take Advantage of Both Systems

person holding credit card

But, as we said, online is usually cheaper if there is no physical shopfront to be maintained. Yet this carries the risk of possibly a long-winded returns procedure, or an item not being physically how it was described on the company website. Thankfully there is a different way of doing things where you get the best of both worlds.

Check it Out in Store, Buy Online

If you have an idea of the smartphone you want but want to see it up close and personal, then take an hour to do just that. We’re not saying buy it. Just look at it, handle it and see if it fits your needs. Then, assuming the in-store price is higher than you want to pay, go home and order it online from a reputable dealer. By ‘reputable’, we don’t just mean ‘big’. We mean one with lots of genuine reviews and a good reputation among people you know who may have used them.

Is Amazon Safe for Buying Phones

Amazon is now one of the biggest retailers in the world, but still many of its products are sold by 3rd parties through the Amazon website. Is Amazon reliable to buy a phone? The depends on how comfortable you are with them. Nowadays, when looking at phones on Amazon there are tons of options. Some sellers are even accepting trade-in’s to help lower the initial cost of the phone you are interested in. Some smartphones have to be purchased directly with a prepaid subscription, and yes, all through Amazon.

Now Amazon is good at being there when you need help. With the implementation of their a-to-z claims, customer service is easier than ever on Amazon. Most of the time all problems with an item can be settled with the seller directly. But, on the off chance, a seller isn’t responding or being difficult, the a-to-z claims are effective. They’re also not always the cheapest, by the way. Often, smaller retailers with fewer overheads will beat Amazon on price. Partly because 3rd party sellers will add some of the Amazon commission they have to pay, onto the advertised price.

Should I Buy Mobile Online or Offline?

people exchanging packages

So, of course, the choice is always going to be up to you. The best way to go to find the best price is to shop online. You can see in real-time all the prices across different platforms. Especially now with Amazon accepting trade-ins, there is not much of a difference from purchasing in-store. The only thing you’d be losing out on is having an associate unpackage your phone and install the sim card. Our best recommendation is that you call the store before purchasing to double-check they have no in-store sales going on.

If you can do both at a price that suits you, then all the better. If you are interested in browsing our selection of unlocked phones, just follow the link!

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