This post is an addendum to my other posts regarding how to start your own cell phone store.
I am submitting my Master Dealer List since I have been getting a lot of inquires for it. However, I'm not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing to do. It does help people starting out their business, but possibly hurt others already in the business. I'm hoping to help out people by making this info available, but if I get too many nasty comments, I may take down this post.
Anyway, enjoy it while you can. Here's the Master Dealer list and other suppliers that you can use in the cell phone business.
I wanted to put a little disclosure saying that this list was current in the beginning part of 2008. I am sure that with this tough economic climate, some of the suppliers listed below has gone under. Hope you can check for yourselves to see which ones are still around.
Cell Phone Maste Dealer and Supplier List
MGM Wireless www.mgmmobile.com 800-506-6788
Pinnacle Wireless www.pinwireless.com
Platinum Wireless www.pltm.com 877-889-8000
AA Wireless www.aawireless.com 800-788-8801
Mobile Line www.mobileline.com 877-978-1001
American Wireless www.americanwireless.com 800-726-2333
Ameritel www.atiglobal.com 718-826-1111
Wireless Warehouse www.2wwi.com 1-877-255-2994
One Touch Direct www.onetouchdirect.com 813-262-6878
ProStar www.prostarwireless.com 510-477-8060
K&B Wireless www.knbwireless.com 215-362-1005
Brightpoint www.brightpoint.com 800-952-2355
My Dream Wireless www.mydreamwireless.com 866-466-5488
Moorehead Communications www.mooreheadcomm.com
Global Wireless Data www.wireless-data.com 877-289-2373
Celluphone www.celluphone.com 800-367-8822
CNCG www.cncg.com 888-436-6352
QDI Wireless www.qdiwireless.com 800-877-3002
North Atlantic, Inc www.naiccomm.com 800-442-2388
Perfect Connection www.perfectconnection.com 877-682-2533
HyperLink Inc. www.hyperlinkusa.com 877-237-4040
Xentris www.vzwdealers.com 800-XEN-ACES
Telephony Partners www.telephonypartners.com 866-878-7552
Metro PCS www.metropcs.com 914-593-8500
Virgin Mobile USA www.virginmobileusa.com/about/contact
HELIO www.helio.com 888-88-HELIO
Disney Mobile www.thewondersofwireless.com 866-528-2286
KDDI Mobile www.kddimobile.com 877-533-4117
Industry Publications (Free Subscriptions)
Wireless Dealer Magazine www.wirelessdealermagazine.com 800-862-2609
Wireless Week www.wirelessweek.com 717-399-1900
The Prepaid Press www.prepaid-press.com 866-203-2334
Phones Plus www.phoneplusmag.com 480-990-1101
Microvision www.microvision.com 1-877-797-7226
iGrip www.igrip.net 1-877-854-4747
Wilson Electronics www.wilsonelectronics.com/20 866-294-2738
Discrete Wireless www.discretewireless.com/dealers 800-358-6178
ROV www.microvision.com 877-979-7226
Advance Tec Industries www.advancetec.com 800-881-8211
Sage Quest www.sage-quest.com 888-837-7243
Inter Buy Cellular www.interbuyusa.com 305-513-3848
Life Photo www.lifephoto.com
Turbo Charge www.turbocellcharge.com 888-668-0797
CallPod www.callpod.com 800-951-CPOD
Walls + Forms www.wallsforms.com 972-745-0800
MOBO Original Accessories www.mobousa.com 800-601-3209
Mobile Glove www.mobileglove.com 800-658-9151
Wireless Complete www.wirelesscomplete.com 305-623-2000
SLK Global www.slkglobal.com 718-706-6800
AIMO www.aimowireless.com 877-687-6688
Turtle Wireless www.turtlewireless.com 214-347-8025
E-Trend Corporation www.etrendcorp.com 626-579-9068
WAU www.waunlimited.com 800-586-5675
Amistar www.gsmusa.com 305-681-2345
Hypercel www.hypercel.com 1-800-30-HYPER
Phoenix Wireless www.phoenixwireless.com 800-880-5610
ARIES www.ariesmfg.com 800-959-2743
TESSCO www.tessco.com 800-305-9772
OMEGA www.omega-electronics.ca 800-668-7881
GNJ Supply www.gnjsupply.com 305-651-1801
Skin It www.skinit.com
XS Gems www.xsgems.com 213-351-7655
RM Trading www.rmtradingstore.com 310-828-4809
Cellcom Wireless Distributors www.cellcomdist.com 718-859-2220
ORCA www.orca2.com 800-992-5526
CellKeeper www.cellkeeper.com 800-616-1608
First Choice Wireless www.wirelessfirstchoice.com 386-668-8943
National Cellular www.natcellular.com 888-871-8450
Malcom Distributors www.malcomwireless.com 718-803-8100
Xentris www.xentrisllc.com 800-XEN-ACES
Perfect Connection www.perfectconnection.com 877-682-2533
Off Wire www.offwire.com 888-OFFWIRE
Malsha Products Digital 2000 www.malsha.com
CMH www.barefoot-usa.com 305-593-7455
JCM Sales www.jcmsales.com 888-526-1222
Technocel www.technocel.com 800-843-5600
QDI Wireless www.qdiwireless.com
Dream Wireless www.dreamwireless.com 1-888-872-8988
C5 www.c5.com 800-535-8284
CellStar www.cellstar.com 800-530-4664
Executive Products Inc. www.executiveproductsinc.com 866-833-1444
Let's Crystal It www.letscrystalit.com 877-866-3485
Cellular Jewelry www.cellularjewelry.com 800-699-9291
Bello www.hellobello.com 800-515-3837
Import Com www.importcom.com 888-351-7283
Wireless Xcessories Group www.wirexgroup.com 800-233-0013
Image Accessories www.livewiredist.com 877-633-5500
Pro Mobile Gear www.promobilegear.com 866-466-5488
Winner Wireless www.winnerwireless.com 888-239-5864 AG 800-871-3133
National Cellular www.natcellular.com 888-871-8450 Scosche 800-363-4490
Libratel www.libratel.com 866-35-LIBRA
Digi Harmony www.digiharmony.com 800-922-1602
Moss www.mossus.com 818-886-5400
eWireless USA www.ewirelessusa.com 888-494-7243
Microcell Communications www.microaccessory.com 800-980-4886
Delton Accessories www.natcellusa.com 888-871-8450
Hands Free Devices
Bluetrek www.bluetrek.com See Website for Distributors
CARDO Systems www.cardosystems.com
Super Cell N/A 718-338-5459
Remanufactured & Refurbished Phones
DigiCell www.digicellintl.com 800-474-1316
Quality One Wireless www.q1w.net
Wireless One www.wirelessoneco.com 866-947-3571
World Star Wireless www.worldstarwireless.com 323-930-1777
Cellular Fantasy www.cfrepaircenter.com 800-213-6002
All Pro Distribuint www.aalprodist.com 866-909-2666
Pace Butler Corporation www.pacebutler.com 800-248-5360
Milan Wireless Wholesale www.milanwirelesswholesale.com 248-355-3331
Ebay www.ebay.com Check Listings
Dummy Phones www.dummyphones.com 718-782-0393
Retail IQ www.iqmetrix.com 866-476-3874
Mobile Action usa.mobileaction.com See Website for Distributors
MMS www.cellular.mmspos.com 877-517-2020
Tele Tracker www.teletracker.com 877-277-6810
Switchboard switchboard.arkideas.com 877-548-7409
Wireless Standard www.wirelessstandard.com 800-497-8733
Music Giants www.musicgiants.com 775-832-5692
Cell Sell www.cellsell.com
Shows & Events
Wireless Power Selling www.wirelesspowerselling.com
Intele-Card www.intelecardexpo.com 800-883-8353
Channel Partners Conference & Expo www.channelpartersconference.com
Mobile Web Expo www.mobilewebexpo.com 727-399-2812
Corporate Dynamics, Inc. www.corpdyn.com 630-778-9991
Cell Phone Store Layout
Wireless Store Branding www.wirelessstorebranding.com 866-880-1234
Palmer Promotional Products www.pppkiosk.com 800-444-1912
Trio Display www.triodisplay.com 800-454-4844
Displays 2 Go www.displays2go.com 800-572-2194
Store Supply Warehouse www.storesupply.com 800-823-8887
M. Fried Store Fixtures www.mfried.com 877-630-1600
Victory Corpos www.victorycorps.com 800-328-6120
Wireless Business Owners Consortium www.wiboc.org 630-778-9991
American Mobile Telecommunications Association www.amtausa.org
Association of Wireless Professionals www.aowp.org
Network Enhanced Technologies www.my011.com 800-818-5555
Calling Cards.com www.callingcards.com
Rapifon www.rapifon.com 800-430-8691
STX Communications N/A 718-220-0598
IDT Retail www.idt.net 800-373-8438
Ta Facil www.tafacil.com 800-216-9565
Send Global www.sendglobal.com 866-733-8810
Got Prepaid www.gotprepaid.com 866-650-3278
Import and Unlocked Phones
PCS Wireless www.pcsww.com 718-786-9300
Amistar (Hong Kong) Ltd. www.gsmhongkong.com 852-2367-5111
Titanium Wireless www.titaniumwireleess.com 310-538-5300
Matrix Marketing www.matrixmarketingonline.com 888-636-4765
SND Cellular www.sndcellular.com 323-957-2607
First Telecom USA www.firsttelecom.us 305-542-6668
NexAira 800-705-0140 CTI Miami www.cti-miami.com
Modern Wireless www.modernwirelessusa.com 800-474-9724
National Electronics www.nationalelectronicsusa.com 800-835-7186
We Sell Cellular www.wesellcell.com 516-334-6400
Portix www.portix.com 309-834-0322
Kithan Limited www.mobilesources/kithan 852-2542-2283
Pacific Cellupage, Inc. www.pacificcel.com 323-297-1111
Gadiscell, Inc. 718-788-4936
SNS Communications www.snscomm.net 718-786-8998
Maimai Cell www.miami-cell.com 305-592-3607
Edge Tech www.thepcedge.com 866-439-3343
zBoost leads.wi-ex.com 800-239-5475
Spot Wave www.spotwave.com
Prime Mobile www.primemobileinc.com 678-638-1102
Picante Movil www.mipicante.com 888-867-2764
Data Storm www.datastorsolutions.net 866-283-8090
Liberty Wireless www.libertywireless.com 786-594-3934
Maxx Mobile www.maxxmobile.com 310-318-4621
Americas Local www.americaslocal.com 888-LOCAL-15
Radko Azteca www.aztecamobile.com 888-799-6060
Lucky Wireless www.luckywireless.com 888-96-LUCKY
MX Mobile www.maximoimpact.com 866-557-8989
G Cellular www.gcellular.com 866-638-7673
Red Pocket Mobile www.redpocketmobile.com 888-993-3888
Focus Mobile www.focusmobile123.com
Sky Net www.skynetmvno.com 623-334-9152
Wireless Toyz www.wirelesstoyz.com 866-237-2624
Wireless Zone www.wirelesszone.com 866-WZ4-3577
telSpace www.telspace.com 877-560-7322
Info USA www.infousa.com 402-593-4520
Courtesy of Prepaid Reviews.com, here is an updated list of prepaid carriers as of July 2010.
Metro PCS: http://www.metropcs.com
Net 10: http://www.net10.com/
Omni Prepaid: http://www.omniprepaid.com/
Thanks courtesy of Prepaid Reviews.
These are comments that I received while the page was being published on HubPages. I received a total of 164 comments on my Hub, and found some to be very helpful, so I wanted to republish them here as well. I do hope that you find some of the comments below helpful.
Keep in mind, I do not endorse any of the comments or links below, so there maybe some that are not good, already out of business, or just might not work out for you. Please use it with your own risk.
We are a manufacturer of mobile phone manufacturer in Shenzhen, China.
We can provide varieties of mobile phone, such as WIFI, TV and JAVA mobile phones, TV mobile phones, watch mobile phones, smart phones, 3G modem phones, old man's mobile phones and related products with competitive price.
Glad to know you are in the market
of mobile phone, We are a manufacturer of mobile phone manufacturer in Shenzhen, China.
We can provide varieties of mobile phone, such as WIFI, TV and JAVA
mobile phones, TV mobile phones, watch mobile phones, smart phones?
3G modem phones, old man's mobile phones and related products with competitive price?
We try to find a way to cooperate wity your esteem company in electronical field.I have a feeling that
we can do a lot of business in this trade.
Any questions, welcome here,please contact me right now.
Melissa Huang|Marketing Manager
Tel:+86 755 28471364
Shenzhen Yuanxin technology Co.,Ltd
Add:Floor 1, Bldg1, Lauch Technology Park,
North Wu He Avenue Bantian, Long Gang district ,
Shenzhen .Guangdong. China.
We try to find a way to cooperate wity your esteem company in electronical field?Any questions, welcome here.
Wish our products will be helpful for your business.
Here is my info contact me and we will add you to our distribution list. We are worldwide master distributors.
21-21 41st AVENUE, SUITE #5C
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY 11101
BB PIN: 21BCF9ED
This is an excellent list and will be very helpful for us when dealing with cellular devices. I also wanted to mention our wholesale cell phone accessories business: Budget Electronicshttp://budgetelectronics.ca
We are actively looking to help kick off new cell phone businesses :)
Great list for people who are interested in joining the wireless gold rush!
We are a Master Dealer of Red Pocket Mobile which uses ATT network and has the lowest perpaid rate plans in U.S.
If you want to become a dealer, visit our site, it costs you nothing to become a dealer. Also you have no inventory risk and costs as we are SIM-only business.
Please visit our website at http://www.NoVAPrepaid.com and contact us if you are interested.
I do wholesale in cellphone & cellphone accessories.
My website is megahousings.com and register .They will ask for registration code
and the code is 6786.
I buy good quantity of t-mobile & att phones.If you have any supplier pls let me know.
Hello, this is exciting to find. Thank you for such great list. we buy brand new blackberry in bulk. Looking for Brand new blackberry only. If you are an wholesaler and want to move your inventory, we buy hundreds of phones a month to sell outside of plans. Need torch, 9700s, and anticipated pricing for the new 9900 coming out in september. We buy 200 - 500 phones at a time. unlocked/locked is fine. email me: email@example.com
Very precise explanation!I like it.
Thanks for your sharing.
i say many friends were looking for a list of master dealer here, and we are the professional brand mobile phones wholesaler, from China. Mainly sell unlocked blackberry phones many years. if you have any inquiry, just email to us:
We are master dealers and vendors for cell phone accessories and we have customers throughout USA and Canada. Please do send me an email and we will work out the best prices for you at a good quality. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
AT&T Master Agent based in Seattle, WA
Hello! Check out AccessoryGeeks.com if you are looking for a great cell phone accessories wholesaler. Best in the business!
Hi We offer the cellphone parts and accessories with all carrier, my email is : email@example.com , and telephone number is :8513553883067 I am Lisa :) Thanks all
thanks for your information, they are useful for us !
Our company supply all brand cellphone parts , if you are interested in any parts , please don't hesitate to contact us !
Have a nice day!
We are looking for your reply !
SLC development Co.,Ltd
Xiabian village,Changan town,
Dongguan City,Guandong Province
You obviously did your homework, great post you listed a ton of information that would take many hours to find on your own, thank you! There is one other accessory that you can list that is very competitive in the industry, check out
and see if its right for you.
The mobile landscape is changing faster than most industry experts can keep pace. In general as of Feb 2011 the trend is still for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO's) to start working with independent dealers. However, gone are the days of brick and mortar shops or costly start up fees for things like license agreements or large supplies of inventory. These days just about anyone with a credit card and 200$ can start selling some type of phone service. The question these days isn't HOW to sell phone service but what TYPE of phone service makes sense to sell. A great starting place to look is at http://www.mvnolist.com/ which has MVNO's selling everything from pre-paid to contract phones. The vendors listed range from bottom dollar service to high end android phones with data plans. They market to international markets, to kids, and to people conscientious about the earth. This list is by no means complete. A quick search of the web for MVNO's produces a plethora or vendors such ashttp://www.bargaincellular.net,http://www.bigcellphonecash.com/1023.html,
http://nocreditcheckwireless.org ,http://www.pompeywireless.webs.com/ all of which have a basic entry fee and allow you to sell phones and plans on a prepaid basis to your customers. Some work with unlocked phones, some provide you the phone list they offer,some are a hybrid of both models. Recently the trend has started to move into network marketing and refer-a-friend. An example of the lower tiered technology services with the referal method ishttps://www.libertyfreedomnetwork.com/products_wow This site and most of the above sites are still only selling phone or limited 3g plans. For an example of a vendor introducing multi-carrier high end 4g service please visit. http://itsmith.vodaplex.com. (Disclaimer, this is the vendor I chose after lots of research indicating the next big wave of phones revolve around the 4g model, plus they offer opportunities in tv and internet which these days it seems all three technologies are converging to). If anyone has any questions, I'm happy to answer them. I've done plenty of research and as thanks to the community who has taught me, I offer assistance back. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck in your endeavors, the barriers to entry in this exciting field have been virtually eliminated allowing a stronger level of competition benefiting both the consumers and the motivated entrepreneur.
I started a Cell Phone distribution business last year for TOUGH PHONES. This list is incredible, what a reference to help brand my phones. I have two generations now, The Hammer and The Ricochet. Look for my video on youtube "Hammer Phone" and any suggestions would be awesome. Thanks again, email@example.com
Best of luck to all of you starting up new businesses. If you wish to carry our new headset (no-snag, no-tangle, retractable, wired & Bluetooth) or our new Recording cable (record your cell phone call and save voicemail messages to your computer) or our Headset Splitter (connect two headsets to any device - cell phone, iPod, laptop, etc.) please conatct me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 235-0561.
All the best,
I am a Master Agent for Red Pocket mobile, We are looking for Dealers in Texas,Arrizona and Miami Fl.
If you own a shop or are thinking about a opening a Cell Phone shop and would like to offer Red Pocket Mobile then drop me a email.
Red Pocket is MVOA of ATT Been Around since 2006. But 2011 is the year it Floods the market.
Hi ! I am jacky from OUNUO Technology in China .An OEM and ODM factory producing earphone /headset/iphone and ipad accessories ( case /screen protector) .Pls view our Web www.ounuo.com . www.iounuo.en.alibaba.com . and E-mail email@example.com We are looking forward to do business with you . of course we will supply goods at a resonable price and superior quality for you . Thanks !
I also found the Celly Source wireless supplier directory to be a big help in finding different cell phone companies to help run a cellular business. Great info, here's the link if anyone needs it!http://cellysource.net
Another importer, dealer and supplier of unlocked cell phones is www.Portable-Fun.com who is located in Connecticut. They are also a t-mobile dealer. Give them a call, maybe they can get you a good price on bulk orders.
Fusedealers.com is a top T-Mobile master dealer
As the name says
BEYOND CELLULAR VISION - Started with FLASHING PHONES and went INTO developing Applications. Now we are one of the biggest cellphone CUSTOM ROM makers & security Anti Virus developers.
If anybody is looking to get a Custom ROM for a network we can do it for you.
What to put a Verizon phone to MetroPCS - we built one Click executable OS files that makes the Verizon Phone to a fully functional MetroPCS phone with all functionalities & 3rd party apps working!
Company Based in Dallas, TX.
they are really nice and friendly. helped me get started and walked me through the process.
Downtown Cellular in LA has been a great source for my business.. www.downtowncellular.com
Wow, great information for anyone that is opening or even has a cell phone store! Here's another tip, get your store(s) listed on CellySource.com, it's a nationwide cell phone store directory. Even if it brings you one more activation over the year it's worth it! Good luck everyone.
Anyone who is in the business and needs phones unlocked we are one of the largest servers in the world and can offer unmatched pricing for unlock codes.
go to www.pompeywireless.webs.com and signup with Pompey Wireless they can setup up in minutes and they give dealers 35% from there customers bill.
Distributors of Brand New Mobiles Phones; BlackBerry, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, & Samsung.
http://fnin.com/ is also a great list broker. the company offers quality consumer/business/investor lead databases all in specific categories and its really affordable too, so they are worth taking a look at.
NexGen Communications http://www.mynexgenonline.com is really a "home for all cellular needs".
Try them, their price and service is simply the best.
I've never personally dealt with Metro PCS, so this is just my take on things. I can be completely wrong.
From what I know, Metro PCS is a prepaid-like dealer. There are no contracts on what you get.
Unfortunately, from my experience selling prepaid phones, the profit margin on them are extremely thin. You usually make money on the hardware (phone) sales, and small fraction on the monthly charges.
If you're buying a Metro PCS store from someone else, there is a possibility that they we're making the money they wanted, and that's why they are selling the business.
Prepaid dealerships need to make money solely through volume, so you need to look at your potential customer base, and see if you have enough of them to make any kind of real money.
Metro PCS probably targets immigrants as well as low-income sector since they don't require a contract, and that means no credit checks. If the store is in a growing community of new immigrants coming in, that might be a case where there is an opportunity. Other than that, the marketing costs needed to acquire volume would be extremely difficult with so many other national carriers spending a ton on money on marketing.
Of course, I may be totally wrong, and Metro may offer great commission per activation. If that's the case, just look for your potential customer base to see if you have enough to pay your bills and make some money off of the operation.
Good luck with it all!
SnH Wireless offers the highest quality of cellular phones on the market today. Since 1998, we have provided superior service to our customers and have assisted them in achieving their goals. Our years of experience and commitment to excellence have earned us the reputation that we haveOur Values:Leadership: At SnH Wireless, you receive the kind of quality and service you expect from a leader. Our company is always evolving as the needs or our customers change and as new opportunities are created in the market. You can rest assured that, working with SnH Wireless, you will enjoy the latest services, technology and developments in the industryTeamwork: We make it our responsibility to know you and your business. We work closely with you to ensure that the solutions we provide are tailored to meet your unique needs and challenges. We are committed to your success.Customer Relations: At SnH Wireless, our highest priority is satisfied customers. You are important to us and you can expect us to go the extra mile for your business. Superior customer service is the hallmark of SnH Wireless. We are proud to serve you and work hard to earn your business.SnH Wirelss: All our customer service and sales representatives are well trained and ready to serve you, and answer any questions. SnH Wireless is an authorized Motorola dealer. Our direct relationships with the major manufacturers and wireless carriers around the world means that when dealing with us you can be assured that you are receiving the highest quality products at incredibly low prices.We are the fastest growing GSM distributor in the industry, distributing fine mobile handsets world wide. Our enormous warehouse is located in New York, literally minutes away from seaports. Our convenient location is an advantage, making it easy to import and export merchandise.
Why use SnH Wireless :Every storeowner has the potential to become tomorrows success story. SnH Wireless wants to give the agent every possible chance to rise to the top.Call us today @ 718 715 4973 to get started, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Great article, I am a wholesaler with great deals on at&t branded phones and bluetooth as well as new and refurbished unlocked phones, we have offices in NY and Miami, Please call me at 305-704-3663 x.101 or email email@example.com
The Phone Club
Check out our line of Talon branded accessories. We carry the latest models with hot designs to help your business stand out and grow. The prices are unmatched.
One of the best site for information on how to start a cell phone business. You left out one of the better master dealer for t-mobile. which is www.2wwi.com, they are located in atlanta, ga.
@Nizam. Roughly speaking, You would not need that much to start a retail cell-phone store. This is a minimum investment business. I'll give you few examples:
Lease: $3000. $1500/month (1 month security, 1 month rent)
Display showcases: $ 500-1000 (usually need 2-3)
Business license : $200-300
Phones: $2000-4000 (I'd get 7-10 different phones, and 3 qty each)
Accessories: $500-800 (don't go crazy over accessories, keep it limited)
When you sign a lease, negotiate, they must give you atleast 2 months free of rent. For a 3 year lease, they should give you atleast 2 months free rent. For a 5+ yr lease, they should give you 5 months free rent. You won't get your commision till after 2 months, so hold on to your cash to pay for replenishments.
And you need some cash for displays and slatwalls etc. Which is not that costly.
If you have $10,000 or around there, than you are good to go.
Thanks for your comments and compliments.
Let me try to answer your questions as to the multi-carrier approach.
First of all, there are (or used to be) master dealers that do have multiple carriers that they handle. However, with all the recent mergers of big carriers, I would think that there are very few master dealers that do offer multiple carriers in terms of post-paid contracts today. Brightpoint maybe one, and I think they offered Sprint, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile, last time I checked.
Second, with regards to the multi-carrier approach is a good investment or not. From my personal experience, we always had at least two major carriers that we offered to our customers. Primary and secondary carriers in our view. And we probably switched our primary carrier around at least once a year. The reason why we kept having to switch was that the carriers have the power to cut your commission dramatically in a month's notice. I remember at one time a carrier was offering $250 in commission, and next month down to $125 or so. It was a big hit, and a lot of the dealers offering the carrier's service went under. We fortunately always had two carriers, so we would switch over to the other to stay alive. It is sort of an insurance plan to have multiple carriers for your business.
Thrid, after talking about the points above, some carriers like TM actually rely heavily on their indirect dealers to bring them business. So they will treat you well, pay you well, and hopefully value the relationship enough to not cut you off like the other carriers. It maybe a requirement to sign an exclusive agreement to get paid the higher commission, and it will up to you to sign it or not. Other carriers have enough store on their own that they don't value the small volume that indirect dealers bring in, and will be pretty fast to cut you off.
In terms of multiple carriers, it works best if you have enough volume each month to offer it to your customers. If your store isn't booming, like many of the cell phone stores out there, it is probably best if you concentrate on selling one carrier. That way, you do earn a higher commission, and probably get a lot of collaterals to build your business on.
From my personal ideals, it would be awesome to be able to open an independent store with T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, and act like an insurance agent to your customers to shop out the best service for them. However, since the carriers have all the power in this industry, and they hate it when you switch a customer when their contracts are up, this ideal will not come true in the near future.
The only way you can do an independent store with multiple carriers is to build some bargaining power yourself. That means sell like crazy and establish enough volume to a point where a carrier sees value in you. And this will likely mean selling in the high hundreds and even into the thousands each month.
And lastly, the commission matrix is something you need to ask your master dealer for since it changes around once a month.
Good luck to you and your new business!
Thanks for your comment.
If you're interested, check out my other Hubs on How to Start a Cell Phone Store.
To start the business, you're looking at inventory costs ($100~500 a phone), retail location rent/deposit, and other normal start up costs like stationary, employee, accountant, professional costs, etc...
I would recommend you write a business plan to see how much the whole business will take to start you up. If you already have a retail location, it may only cost you the money it takes for inventory, which can be as low as $1,000. If you don't have a location, then you will need to account for everything, plan meticulously, and have enough financing to keep you alive for at least 3-6 months. If you don't do this, you will likely fail as I have seen many people fail in this business due to the lack of planning in this competitive market.
Remember, the cell phone business does have a negative cash flow model, where you need to spend first to buy your inventory, and commission will come back to you in 1-2 months. You better plan to have enough cash and credit to not let this cash flow model affect your business.
The cell phone business is now relatively mature and saturated, so planning and working with a niche market is key to your success.