Starting a Mobile Phone Shop

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: June 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Independent mobile phone shops supply handsets on a contract or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis. Phones are typically 'locked' so they can only be used on a specific provider's mobile phone network, or may be SIM-free handsets that can be used on any mobile network. Mobile phone shops also stock a range of cases, chargers, screen protectors and other accessories, along with individual network providers' SIM cards, top-up vouchers and international calling cards, which enable low-cost calls to be made to worldwide destinations from the UK.

In order to supply contracts and SIM cards, mobile phone shops usually sign up to a partnership scheme with a network provider, or use a 'connecting distributor' or fulfilment service to supply them with access to network providers' services and handsets or to handle the distribution of stock to customers.

Mobile phone shop proprietors typically supply both consumers and business customers, however the contracts they can offer on behalf of network providers may vary in terms of price, phone type and length of contract, depending on whether or not the customer is a business user.

Most mobile phone shops provide device unlocking and repairs and operate a 'trade in' or 'upgrade' service, accepting customers' old handsets in exchange for cash or discounts on a new phone or contract. Phone repair and unlocking is covered separately in MBP 402, Mobile Phone Repair Service.

This profile provides information about starting up and running an independent mobile phone shop. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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