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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Buying a Mobile Phone (1): The Old Way

I thought I would use a real world example now about actually buying something and discussing how the process currently works in our standard world (part I) and then how Crowdstorm will enhance this (Part II). I'm actually going through this process right now so it is very appropriate.


Setting the Scene
I'm after a new mobile phone as my existing Nokia 6310i has been dropped about 15 times, gets full of dust, and seems to be a bit behind the times these days. I know I want another Nokia as I like the operating system and menus. So, what next?

  1. I'd go into a shop and look at the Nokia phones on display to see which ones grabbed my attention in terms of shape and style. I'd probably then make a note of a few I liked and create a shortlist.

  2. Next, I'll take this shortlist and try to read some magazines or find reviews and information on the web about the handsets. I understand the technical aspects so I may compare a couple and look at what they offer.

  3. So, next I email a couple of them to some friends who I know get good phones and similar ones to me, and ask them their opinion. Some have heard about it while most haven't.

  4. Lastly, I take a couple of the phones that look like the best bet and them compare prices on them at a price comparison engine before finally choosing the one I want and taking the plunge!


So - what's wrong with that you ask? Well, it seems like we're trying to fit our buying requirements around the process that already exists in the market, rather than it adapting to us. For starters, the phone shops don't actually tell me which one is good or popular and I generally get an annoying salesman in my face who knows less than I do. Secondly, the magazine reviews are the opinion of one person and often are different between publications because of this. Who do I believe? Also, some gave it 3 stars, some gave it 4 stars, and 1 gave it 9/10. What does that mean exactly?

My friends also have slightly different views about their preference for phones and of course a few of them can't keep up-to-date with the whole market between them. Seems like I need more friends or to open up my network a bit :-) I think I may have bought the right phone now but I won't really know till I get it and become the guinea pig. All in all, it has taken me 5 days to find it!

Is there a better way? You betcha... (stay tuned for Part II)


Blogger Caz Mockett said...

Hi Philip,

I will be very interested in reading part II of you post. But I thought I'd throw in my 2p to tell you about my shopping experience.

I, too, bought a new phone on Saturday. It was a bit of an impulse to be honest - although I'd been thinking about it for a while, it wasn't top of my list of priorities until recently, when the buttons began to stick on my 2-year-old crusty Sony Ericsson, and I thought, what the hell, I need rid of this.

I'm a Pay As You Go customer, and hadn't upgraded for a while, so knew I was entitled to a little discount on a new handset. But when I actually got to the shop (which was virtually empty as the world and his dog were watching England stuff up at the footie), the choice was quite limited (at least, for those with a sensible budget).

In fact, it came down to two options, pretty much. The cheapest (about £30) was a Nokia with nasty buttons, or the sexy blue Motorola L6 with free bluetooth headset for about twice that. No contest!

So, not all of us go through the meticulous-research/poll-friends/eventaully-buy cycle for a mobile phone. I didn't. But I would if you'd ben talking about a new Digital SLR, for instance! In which case, Crowstorm would prove eminently useful :-)

One more thing re the phones - I had to go to the shop to see what phones I could reasonably upgrade to, as a PAYG customer. I wonder if/how Crowdstorm would be able to advise on this?

10:38 am  
Blogger Philip Wilkinson said...

Ah yes - the impulse buy. Nothing wrong with this as often you just want to buy something and use your gut instinct, or as you state, you have limited options if on a discount contract scheme.

Its just one of the many ways of buying a product but at least now you can take that phone and talk about your experiences on Crowdstorm :-)

Maybe we can also help with the packages at some point - you never know..

3:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Philip - I'm a journalist and interested in hearing about part 2 - could you e-mail me at robbooth1@gmail.com and we could discuss more?


11:14 am  

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