6 Confessions Of A Former RadioShack Employee

Former RadioShack employee “D” chimes in with a few tips that may come in useful the next time you find that yourself in a RadioShack. We haven’t been in one for so long, we’re not even sure what they look like inside. Do they still ask for your phone number when you buy batteries?

Note: This is not a rant or venting session. I was laid off after the holidays, and I have no hard feelings about it ( Layoffs happen to everyone these days) . This is simply a guide to shopping at RadioShack ( henceforth known as RS) for any consumer who likes or buys electronics,written by someone who’s sold far too much of them.

This of course begs the question: Why would an informed consumer have anything to do with RadioShack? Well, for one, RS does have some pretty good deals on some items from time to time. You won’t find them in the circular or on some huge ad, but they do exist.

For example , we sell on clearance Ultimate Ears Super Fi pro 3 earbuds ( think iPod headphones on steroids) for the price of $49.97. Amazon and many other e-tailers sell them for about $60 before shipping. I use the above as a precise example that RS is not completely useless.

So, if you do find a good deal on something ,or if you’re an RC car nut, here’s how you shop at RadioShack with your wallet and mental health intact.

First: Know what you need and how it works.

This is crucial. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when a hapless soul comes in wanting a ‘thingy that works with my iPod’ .If you walk in the door knowing that you’re getting an FM transmitter, and that you need it to work on 88.5 FM will prevent you from getting bilked into taking home the auto-seek, kitchen sink edition $100 model + Service Plan.( More on that later)

Second: Ask a floor associate where something is right away.

I worked in my first store 1 year continuously, and I still didn’t know where some things were. Oh, it wasn’t because we sales guys were lazy: it’s because just when you got the whole store kinda-sorta mapped and memorized there was some new and unnecessary POP and merchandise rearrange that sent us floor guys back to square one every other week. So if us part and full time employees barely know where stuff is, chances are you won’t even be in the right side of the store of what you need.

Third: Cell phones and other pitches.

Because RS depends on an ancient business model , you will run into these sales pitches at least once no matter what you’re buying. The new plan from corporate before my departure was to ask every customer who purchased something what cell phone plan/company/phone/accessory/family plan/contract they used. And write down why they said no. So what do you do when you’re confronted with a seemingly silly cell phone pitch when you’re buying a $2 capacitor?

Don’t get angry. Don’t get defensive. Understand that as disgusting as it may be for you, savvy customer, to be pitched a cell phone, its doubly repulsive for us sales guys to have to ask over the span of 8 hours every senior citizen and high school kid what cell phone they use. And if you yell and complain to corporate, a DM might congratulate the store for “Persistently offering the Customer Wireless” . Bottom line: It’s nothing personal.

As far as service plans are concerned, this is where knowing what you buy counts. Since you know what you need and why , you’ll also know whether a service plan ( extended warranty) is a good idea or not. I don’t agree with the maxim that ” All Service Plans are Bad”. There are some things that need it, and some things that don’t . The bottom line: You should know about the service plan before the associate offers it. And since you have 30 Days from the date of purchase to decide to buy it, if you’re feeling pressured and you’re on the fence , grab a pamphlet and hoof it. If you still want the service plan after reading the pamphlet, well, at least you cant claim ignorance.

The NO-NO’s

Heres a list of things NOT to do at RS :

1. Buy a cell phone.
Unless you’re buying a mobile computer, there’s no reason why a consumer should pay anything more than $5 for a decent , midrange cell phone with a 2 year contract anywhere . Any retail establishment (online or brick and mortar) that charges cash+ mail in rebate should be cross shopped heavily. I recommend that ,if you’re in the market for a new cell phone, unless you have a relationship with an RS (for example, knowing an associate who is knowledgeable) employee , check the internet first.


2 Bringing a cell phone bill and demanding a fix:

While one detail of our duty at RS is customer service, cell phone problems are the type of issue that makes us look very awful.
This is because, of the companies we sell ( Sprint and AT&T) we control not one iota of anything besides selling and activating the phone. Which means if you break no-no #1 and buy/upgrade a cell phone and your bill is wrong( or worse) , you could be in for some aggravation. Believe me, at RS we will do whatever we can to fix your issue. Catch is, if ( strictly hypothetical) Sprint tells us they can’t help with a billing issue, then everybody’s hands are tied. And you’ll end up at the cell carriers corporate store anyways.
So if you got to an RS store and they say that there’s nothing that store can do, well, its not because RS likes to piss you off. Its cause they can’t do it.


3. Buying batteries.

If you have to choose between going without and buying batteries at RS, go Zen and do without. Otherwise youll blow your top when you go to Target and find name brand batteries that cost half of what you paid.

Final thoughts.

I hope this helps you consumers who are completely befuddled by RS. Believe it or not there are some good reasons to shop there. Just stay away from the parts drawer, the cell phone display, the satellite radio counter, the iPod accessories area, and the cable/ battery row , and you might even have a good time.

Yours
Former RS employee.

(Photo:dalvenjah)

Comments

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  1. smitty1123 says:

    Rule #1 should be the rule for shopping in general.

  2. forgottenpassword says:

    The only reason to go to rat shack is that they have items that noone else has. I cant exactly stop in at walmart to get an antenna for my police scanner.

  3. full.tang.halo says:

    Still amazes me to this day that RS is still in business, they’re locations are always the worst in malls, and I do believe I have seen a tumbleweed come out of the door on more than 1 occasion…

  4. drdom says:

    I can’t totally agree with everything, but it generally seems like good advice for the most part. There are a few exceptions, notably in cable products, they sella serial to usb converter cable that is vastly superior to anything anyone else sells, is priced competitively, and I have yet to find one comparable anywhere else. But otherwise it is pretty much on target.

  5. Phipps6505 says:

    Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been in twice. The first time I saw an Altec Lansing iPod dock that was $100 off – that put it about $50 below what Amazon was charging, give or take (after Christmas it went back up to regular price). Right after Thanksgiving, they had Memory Sticks for Sony cameras for about half of what others were charging (the price has since gone back up. Radio Shack isn’t totally useless, but if you shop carefully you can find some decent prices. Do shop around, because the markup on non-sale items can easily be double of what an Office Depot might be.

  6. ideagirl says:

    RS is often the only place that carries weird, specialty batteries. But for your everyday AA variety, avoid, like the guys says.

  7. Buran says:

    He forgot the free invasion of privacy!

  8. loganmo says:

    I disagree on the cable…any random cables, I often buy at RS. Everything at BB/CC is that gold/platinum/christ-blood coated crap that costs 10 times as much as it should because the christ blood coating improves the connectivity speed-yea right. Although, sometimes, I have found good cable deals at home depot, too.

  9. parad0x360 says:

    “Unless you’re buying a mobile computer, there’s no reason why a consumer should pay anything more than $5 for a decent , midrange cell phone with a 2 year contract anywhere .”

    What!? A decent MIDRANGE phone costs about $100 with 2 year contract. A $5 phone is a piece of shit no matter how you slice it.

    One thing I do like is (after searching 10 stores) I found a Optical Cable switcher. My receiver only has 1 port and I have 3 things that use optical for my audio. The item was on clearance and while its not the best switch (its not automatic and its pretty big for what it does) I only paid $4 for it. I spent about $20 in gas but…well thats a hidden fee so it doesnt count =)

    I dont really like RS. Lots of stuff is overpriced. If you cant find it at target or walmart for cheaper, amazon is always there to fill your needs. Also when the ipod 5g came out the RS guy told me he was taking backorders and the list was 6 weeks long. He said you wont find an ipod anywhere so you better buy here.

    Well 2 seconds down the street at Circuit City I found a display case with about 150 of them so I got one and brought it to RS and showed the guy and he wasnt very happy.

  10. stubblyhead says:

    Radio Shack–You’ve got questions, we’ve got blank stares.

  11. ThunderSaid says:

    I’ve never bought anything at Radio Shack that wasn’t over-priced. Sometimes, though, you need a weird cable and you need it quick.

  12. Ashcan says:

    If they ask what cell phone plan/company you use, just tell them “Sorry, I don’t give out that information”. They can handle an information refusal.

  13. zibby says:

    I did get a killer deal on like 50 AA batteries at RS one time, but yeah, usually they are high. Still using ‘em and they seem to last well.

  14. The last time I went to Radio Shack (for a mini-to-mini cable, which they did not have) the salesguy literally took my phone OUT OF MY HAND as I hung up from a call and started telling me that I needed to upgrade and what he was going to upgrade me to. When I reached for it back, he HELD IT OUT OF REACH. He would not give it back.

    I had to repeat “Give me back my phone” five or six times before he did, increasing in volume and firmness, interrupting his ongoing pitch repeatedly. I was SOOOOOO pissed.

    Needless to say I haven’t been back.

  15. JiminyChristmas says:

    I agree about the value of RS for finding uncommonly-used batteries. I’ve found some at RS that Batteries Plus didn’t have.

  16. SHUDUPAHYOFACE says:

    But they have the best deals on recordable media! Spindles are WAY overpriced as it is. RS always seems to have 50 pack CD-Rs for $6, and 50 pack DVD-Rs for $13. Can’t beat that. Also, the employees at the RS across the street from me in Boston are always blaring hip-hop stations and can’t do basic math on purchases and/or returns. I’ve gotten full refunds for items I purchased cheaper on sale, and pulled off buying $30 worth of DVD-Rs for $6. I actually argued with this guy on about the math, but then quickly shut up.

  17. lukobe says:

    @parad0x360: “What!? A decent MIDRANGE phone costs about $100 with 2 year contract. A $5 phone is a piece of shit no matter how you slice it.”

    I just got a Motorola W490 from T-Mobile for free plus a $50 rebate, and I’d call it decent.

  18. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    “Just stay away from the parts drawer, the cell phone display, the satellite radio counter, the iPod accessories area, and the cable/ battery row , and you might even have a good time.”

    So loiter outside the front door then, eh?

  19. JustinAche says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: If he had done that to me, he would have heard me tell him to give me back my phone or I’d break is f’ing arm, and then I’d leave the store right then, before I had to follow through

  20. wfpearson says:

    I just had to add: Batteries at Radio Shack are a convenience item. Expect to pay for the convenience. I sometimes do if it will save me a trip somewhere else.

    Also, extended service plans and credit card applications are Point-of-Sale promotions that are shoved down employees throats just as much as customers. I refused to sell that crap at a former job of mine. I was stuck back in the stockroom for a while until I got bored and quit. If the manager happens to be standing at the counter, this is a good time to say something like “Now did he put you up to selling me that junk?” Always blame the manager and clique with the sales person, or if you’re talking to the manager, clique with her and blame corporate.

    I’ve actually gotten discounts (not at Radio Shack) for talking with a manager about what ridiculous corporate policies she had to follow.

    Radio Shack is still the only store that carries things like auto-dialers and max-min thermometers. These are great for server rooms, and other tech/lab applications.

  21. RGISMYFAVORITECANADIANMORMON says:

    I think I got lost after the, “Know what you need and how it works.” part…

    I was under the impression that sales people are supposed to know what their selling.

    However, from experience at RS, I know this is true:

    I needed “one of those thingies that you can plug into the phone that will record the conversation,” and was given two options. I took the more expensive option that the sales person seemed convinced would work for me.

    It didn’t. I needed to return it, but kept putting it off.

    Which leads to my favorite RS issue: Return policy.

    I finally took the device and the receipt back to the store, only to be told that I couldn’t return it because my receipt was expired. I asked if he would take it without the receipt and he said sure. But he couldn’t take it from me now, because he knew my reciept was expired.

    I turned around, drove to the other Radio Shack down the block, told the guy I didn’t have the receipt and he gave me my money back. In cash.

    Thanks, RS!

  22. shan6 says:

    The RS I have near me is even more clueless than the Best BB, if you can believe that. I had one of their employees tell me that he has been working with antennas for 15+ years, and there is no such thing as a balun…

  23. legotech says:

    Also if you do end up buying anything from them, pay cash. I got nailed with some sort of insurance subscription added onto the credit card I used at RS. And RS was the only “new” place that I’d used the card at in months…everywhere else was the same 6 places I always go. It was one of those sub $9 a month ones that they hope you’ll ignore so they can keep slamming you. When I called the CC Company they didn’t even blink “Yup, we know about them, we’ll credit you and send a form to sign”

  24. jamesdenver says:

    sigh… i miss the old Radio Shack of the 80s. Me and the neihbor kid eagerly waited for the catalog. One of our dads would drive us there and we’d stock up on do it yourself radio kits, little motors we’d run on big batteries, and all sorts of McGyver fun stuff.

    Damn I wish I had a time machine and when I though cordless phones and Tandy Computers were the ultimate in technology…

  25. Meat Farley says:

    /walks over to the Tandy in the display window and types…

    10 Print “poop”
    20 GOTO 10

  26. MercuryPDX says:

    I was also a former Brooklyn RS employee. I remember getting yelled at and fired for “single handedly lowering the stores name and address average” because I refused to press people when they balked at “Last four digits of your phone #?”. Happiest day of my life, if only for the huge scene it caused in the store.

    I got a call from the manager about 2 hours later asking me to come back in for a meeting. Apparently the customer that I was checking out called the District Manager (DM) to recount what had happened. The DM called the manager and said “You cannot fire him, you have to make him quit.” (paraphrasing how the manager explained it to me).

    I was apologized to (“I did not mean to yell and fire you. You’re not fired. I’m sorry this happened.”) and told that my hours were going to be reduced to Part-time evening shifts, and will not change back until my N&A average was back to 75% or better. If I didn’t like our new arrangement, it would be considered “Quitting” as he was not allowed (by the DM) to fire me.

    Rather than attempt a “Must get fired” style of kamakazi mission and go for a 0% N&A average for the hell of it, I just said “Well, I quit.”

  27. Magicube says:

    I’m guessing he says to avoid the parts drawer because it’s marked up pretty high, but that’s the price you pay for convenience. When I need a common zener diode or capacitor or IC that I forgot to order from Mouser or Digi-key, am I going to wait for the mail again? Or just run down the street and pay the extra 50 cents? C’mon.

  28. seraphicstar says:

    RS is trying to force themselves into a market that they cant compete in. when I worked for them they named ccity and bestbuy as their top competitors. employees are rarely trained well, and they are taught to ambush a customer as soon as they walk through the door. They love to push sales of any kind of accesory, especially batteries. When I was there (05-06) cell phones were an employee’s bread and butter… you had no hope of making your ridiculously high sales goals without them.
    dont even get me started on when they decided that they needed “sprint specialists” in stores to take all of the sprint sales from other employees.
    they’re going down the tubes with ccity.

  29. cde says:

    @RGISMYFAVORITECANADIANMORMON: Depends on the store. My old RS were I worked started at 40, then went down to 25 for no hassle no receipt returns.

  30. econobiker says:

    Radio Shack has the connector units for cell phone (maybe other phone) to headset and digital recorder units that the other mainstream places (wal/kmart, target) don’t touch. But buy a USB downloadable digital recorder elsewhere…

    Happily recording customer service interactions…

  31. sonichghog says:

    I like RS. Of course, I also have a ZipZap collection…..

  32. pegr says:

    I learned BASIC standing in a Radio Shack store on a TRS-80… Too bad they don’t have any decent computers anymore…

  33. MercuryPDX says:

    @wfpearson: back then, we earned 10% of any ESP (Extended Service Plan) sale as a spiff, and had an average to maintain there too, although it was not as strictly enforced.

    Credit card Apps were $5 just for getting them to fill one out, and an extra percent or two added to your sales commission.

    @RGISMYFAVORITECANADIANMORMON: “I was under the impression that sales people are supposed to know what their selling.”

    No training is provided, although if you DID know something it could only help you. A manager at one store I was working at would split commission on any computer sale I assisted another sales rep in getting.

  34. trujunglist says:

    @Stubblyhead

    hahahahaha good one.

    @article

    “Just stay away from the parts drawer, the cell phone display, the satellite radio counter, the iPod accessories area, and the cable/ battery row , and you might even have a good time.”

    So basically, don’t even go into the store?

  35. stopNgoBeau says:

    “Know what you need and how it works.”

    Radio Shack directly markets to people who have device A and device B and need to make the two work together. You can’t expect people who aren’t electronic savvy know exactly what they need to get their devices to work together. I seem to remember “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.”

  36. swedub says:

    @Magicube: Thanks for the tip regarding other electronic stores that carry capacitors, diodes, and whatnot. I’ve bookmarked both of your recommendations. I’m recently getting into soldering and other fine electronics repairs and was wondering were else I can go besides RS.

  37. crashman2600 says:

    I used to work for “The Shack” back in the early 90′s. I started there right out of high school. The store I worked for actually had people that knew what they were talking about and the reason was is that they paid well. You got a 7% on everything you sold. Now 7% wasnt alot on a $3 battery but a $2000 computer would get you $140, not bad for a 1/2 hours work, and the little stuff added up too, if the manager did the schedule right you could make a tidy sum with the day to day stuff. Now I think the shack pays minimum wage plus 1% which is nothing so thats why the people who work their are idiots.

  38. techguy1138 says:

    @mercurypdx:
    It sounds like you goofed here. You were fired, publicly.
    They can’t just “unfire” you. That’s called rehiring.

    Unless your manager over stepped his authority, it sounds like they were going to owe you money.

    If it was the manager overstepping his authority he sounds like the kind of guy you want to see in trouble.

  39. Nighthawke says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Should have walked to the nearest phone and called the police for theft.

    Being a former rat shak rep, I can readily agree 100% with the confessions. Even in a franchise store, we had mins to reach each week or we were toast. One major advantage I had over the other reps, was the noodle for electronics. Custie comes walking in with a component, the other reps hand it off to me because I knew what it was about. And I oftentimes got a nice tip or commish outta the sale and a “thank you very much”.
    [radioshacksucks.biz]

  40. crashman2600 says:

    @mercurypdx: Forgot about the 10% spiff on TSP’s and $15 for cell phones. I also think you got an additional 10% spiff for selling “disco’d” items.

  41. MercuryPDX says:

    @seraphicstar: One store I worked at (Caesar’s Bay) was a few stores away from a Circuit City. Psycho manager #1 would have one of us attempt to poach customers from in not directly in front of their store (We used to joke it was like “Psst… wanna buy a watch? [open trenchcoat]). When we eventually got in “trouble” for it, he had us follow people to the cars, ask what they bought, and try to encourage them to return the item and buy it better/cheaper at our store.

    He was later transferred to another store after the complaints continued to roll in. Good Timesâ„¢.

  42. balthisar says:

    They’ve got all the little computer tools (e.g., small Torx) that the other places don’t carry. Got a great deal on a GPS there, but only because I found out about it online first.

    It’s been a while since they’ve asked for my phone number, though.

  43. @DemolitionMan: He was a helluva lot bigger than me. Like 6’5″, 250 pounds bigger. (I’m 5’2″.)

    I did consider threatening to call the cops if he didn’t give me back my phone, but how was I going to call them? HE HAD MY PHONE.

  44. Jim says:

    Remember when Radio Shack actually carried stuff to build radios?? Now what parts they do have are found in the back corner of the store. I also remember the ‘free’ battery card. Ah those were the days.

  45. MercuryPDX says:

    @techguy1138: I was a young 20 years old at my first “real” job, and didn’t know any better. He totally overstepped, and for a brief second I considered becoming the “worst employee ever”, but I was just glad to be gone. It was not a career position by any means unless you were a total snake to make sales.

    @crashman2600: The BEST was when commissions were lowered in November/December/January to 5% because naturally you will be selling more around the Holidays with the increased store traffic.

  46. MercuryPDX says:

    @Jim: I had the privilege of giving Vincent Gardenia his free battery every month when he came in with his card.

    We were supposed to use the card as an opportunity to sell. Like anyone coming in for a free 9-volt dry cell can be convinced to buy a TV.

  47. bohemian says:

    My hubby got a wireless security camera setup for $100 less than anyone else including Amazon at RS over Christmas. So they do have deals, you just have to look for them.
    We have one RS in town I refuse to ever step foot in again. The two kids running it were just beyond obnoxious. I had some cable or connector I was looking for, knew exactly what I needed, just had to find it in their confusing maze. This kid followed me around trying to sell me everything but the freaking cable I was looking for and could not help me find said cable.
    I finally found it myself after too many interruptions and got the hard sell to get a sprint phone repeatedly even after I told him we already had a Verizon 2 year and we were happy with it.
    Nobody in my family is allowed to go in that store at least with me along.

  48. Nighthawke says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Nut’em.

  49. lawnmowerdeth says:

    @Jim: Yes! The monthly free craptastic battery club card!
    And back when they asked for your phone number even if all you were buying was 2 bucks worth of stuff.
    And all the Tandy Color Computers… But now I’m just showing how old I am.

  50. ragold says:

    To “beg the question” does not literally mean to ask a question; it’s a philosophical term that means to presuppose a conclusion. Otherwise +5 for informative.

  51. Murph1908 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    The guy was 11’7″??!!

    Day-am!

    Where were you shopping, Gilder?

    =)

  52. ekthesy says:

    @mercurypdx:

    Caesar’s Bay Bazaar in Bay Ridge? Wow, what a trip down memory lane, I remember seeing that hulk of a strip mall rising above the Belt Parkway on my way into Bensonhurst to visit my grandma. There used to be a Korvette’s there, right?…this is going back at least 25 years.

  53. crashman2600 says:

    @mercurypdx: I never remember that happening guess it could have and I would have never noticed.

    Did you ever get the pleasure of working a “tent sale”? The regional warehouse would clean out all the returned crap and sell it in a big outside sale for a week. They only allowed the top sales people to work the event and you made an metric assload of money because people would come from miles around. Also by working it you got first crack at the stuff.

  54. MercuryPDX says:

    @lawnmowerdeth: I was “fired”/quit about 5 or 6 months after the RL-1000 computer… The one they marketed to keep in your kitchen, because it had software that could track your grocery inventory.

    @ekthesy: Yes, that was the one. I don’t remember Korvettes, just the CC, the arcade I would spend half my lunch hours in, and the food court at the bazaar having the best steak and cheese ‘samiches’ ever.

  55. MercuryPDX says:

    @crashman2600: OMG yes! I helped set one up at the RS on Sunrise Highway in East Meadow, NY. My manager was dating their manager and I was volunteered because everyone else lived in Brooklyn and I lived the closest (Nassau County). I remember getting all gross and dirty filing through the boxes of dusty crap they were trying to get rid of.

  56. fhic says:

    I’ve also found they’re sometimes good for specialty batteries, especially if you don’t have time to wait for an online order to arrive.

    That said, never, never, NEVER buy hearing aid batteries there. Their R/S-branded hearing aid batteries are incredibly bad, and you have to argue with the manager if you try to return them.

  57. Respectthebox says:

    Anyone remember Incredible Universe? Ahh….good times, good times.

  58. frankadelic says:

    Thanks D! I stopped going to RS when the locations around me all started putting their parts cabinets in the back room. It was annoying to ask the kid behind the counter for a few resistors or whatever. I remember going into RS as a little kid (early ’80s) and being amazed by all of the electronic potential!

  59. theblackdog says:

    On another forum I knew a guy who worked for RS, he was so obsessed with the Starbucks DoubleShot “Glen” commercial that he put it on a continuous loop on their TVs one day.

  60. bcostin says:

    Wow. I used to love those old tent sales, or the bargain table of discounted stuff that some stores used to have. Back in the day I picked up some cool Pocket Computer books and accessories that way.

    Radio Shack needs to rethink how they handle cellphone sales and support. I always go into the store knowing exactly what I want and even approximately where it is. But when I find my item and take it to the counter, I still have to wait behind a bunch of people asking about cellphones. It’s a damn nuisance.

  61. tcolberg says:

    If Fry’s Electronics were closer and it didn’t feel like I have to bring a machete each time I go in, I’d never be seen in a Radio Shack again. But alas, there’s a RS a mere 1.5mi from here and Fry’s is so far.

    Although, I still love my Tandy 1000– my first “real” computer which I received for my 4th birthday. Go go 640k of RAM!

  62. glater says:

    Contrary to what this guy says, I only go into ratshack *for* the parts bin, really. Yes, it’s marked up versus wholesale, but I’m ok with not waiting for the post, and sometimes I only need one part today – not 50 bajillion in a week from now. I’ll also check out whatever they have on sale as far as gadgets – the week after I bought my digital camera elsewhere they had it on sale for $15-20 cheaper. I also check out the various radio (hah) selections as far as shortwave and emergency radios. I never ask the sales associates anything, at all, because I’ve seen what happens, and they now know to leave me alone when I walk in and go to the parts bin. They can’t help and they’re not going to upsell me. I’ve bought a (crappy gigaware – don’t buy it) USB hub there, a pocket magnifier, a solder station, and a 13.8v switching power supply for about a third of the price anywhere else (on mega sale). I generally dislike the store on principle; but it’s what’s out there, so I go there.

    And they stopped asking for phone numbers a while ago. I always refused anyways.

  63. MikeHerbst says:

    @Magicube:
    Ding ding! The only reason, as far as I’m concerned, to shop at a Radio Shack, is to buy the random electronic component I don’t have in my collection. (And lets me clear, this happens at least once a month).

    Its still the only resource some electronics tinkerers have, especially on a Sunday…

    So yes, I will dramatically overpay for an Electrolytic Cap or IC, but it also means being able to finish that weekend project THIS weekend.

  64. uricmu says:

    They do have decent deals sometimes. For example, I got a really basic logitech wireless kb/mouse set for super cheap. It’s also a decent place to get simple cables and adapters for cheap without having BB push you a monster cable.

  65. yg17 says:

    RS is good for those obscure components you need right now. As others have said, you pay for convenience.

    I’ve only gotten the cell phone sales pitch once, and it was annoying because I actually didn’t end up buying anything there because they didn’t have what I wanted. It’s once thing to give a sales pitch as I’m checking out, but I don’t want to be bothered if I didn’t even spend money there. I’m halfway out the door, and the guy realized he forgot to ask me, so he yells “who’s your cell phone carrier?” I yell back “T-Mobile.” He says “Are you happy with them?” and then I said “Yes, very” and walked out before he could try to pull any more crap.

    Ironically, this was in a shopping mall and directly across from a T-Mobile store, I wonder if anyone in the T-Mobile store who was torn between T-Mobile and Sprint or AT&T (what RS sells) was persuaded by me at all, if so, I want a cut of the commission :D But depending on who was in that T-Mobile store and if they were on the fence between T-Mobile and the others, he very well could have lost a sale by asking me.

  66. ShadowFalls says:

    The last time I asked someone in Radioshack for help looking for something, they didn’t know what it was and I had to find it myself.

  67. il1lupo1970 says:

    did strider_m2k quit?!?

  68. Annika-Lux says:

    Once upon a time, back when iPods first became compatible with Windows, I went to Radio Shack looking to buy one. The salesperson told me, “Apple doesn’t make an iPod that works with Windows, and if they did, it would cost more money.” Hmm, kthx. I just went to Best Buy and bought it there (I wanted it RIGHT NOW). Amazingly enough, Best Buy had these Windows-compatible iPods that Radio Shack didn’t know existed.

  69. yagisencho says:

    These days, Radio Shack doesn’t even carry the weird cables or connectors that I need. They’ve struck out 4 of the last 5 visits. The Internet is my new Radio Shack. Sure, it’s cheaper, but it isn’t nearly as convenient. =/

  70. Posthaus says:

    Stay away from the cable row? Well that’s about the only damn reason I go there anymore! I hate being goaded into spending too much for a freakin 16ft cable..or even an 8 ftone, when a 6ft or 3ft will do the job.

    It’s a pet peeve to have deal with all of that damn excess length, and be forced to pay for it. It’s not like I need that added length to move components- I bought the wheeled cabinet for a reason.

  71. RuralRob says:

    *Sigh* It’s amazing that Radio Shack is even still around. I haven’t been to one since the CB radio and TRS-80 Model 1 days. Back when they were still known for their excellent, if overpriced, vacuum tubes with gold-plated pins. Damn, I’m old!

  72. alexmg2420 says:

    Actually, I love our Radio Shack. We’re always asked if we need help and never given a wireless/other sales pitch. In fact, I’ve bought things in sunday/black friday ad specials for about 50-70% off online prices ranging from a card reader to an $80 Zune accessory set. Although regular prices are overinflated.

  73. alexmg2420 says:

    Also, I can’t believe that they actually still sell CB radios

  74. MommaJ says:

    Visiting Radio Shack is a bit of a trip back in time, but usually a fairly pleasant one. I like our local store because it’s conveniently located, has great parking and employs very polite, well-spoken, helpful people who really scramble to serve the customers. To me, that beats fighting my way into some big box nightmare whose employees have been scraped from the bottom of the barrel (if you can anyone at all) and is worth somewhat higher prices and and the low-key attempt to sell service contracts (I was actually offered a $3 service contract on a $12 phone–we both laughed.)

  75. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Radio Shack still remains marginally useful when looking for “I need it now” electronic components or a wall-wart, although I’m waiting for the day when they decide to shut down that part of their operation…at which point, Radio Shack will become completely useless.

    On a side note, Tandy used to have a commercial electronics division called TechAmerica that was completely awesome. It wasn’t profitable enough for them, so last year they sold it off to another company. It still lives, but I have no idea if it’s still any good.

  76. ThePlaz says:

    Umm:

    “Just stay away from the parts drawer, the cell phone display, the satellite radio counter, the iPod accessories area, and the cable/ battery row , and you might even have a good time.”

    What else is left? I think that’s everything in the store!
    -Michael [theplaz.com]

  77. guruscotty says:

    Sad – that’s the best poor Bob and Elizabeth at HQ could come up with? Accosting customers about their cell phones plans?

    That’s about as good a plan as trying to compete with Wal*Mart and Best Buy in the LCD market.

    Or making a big deal of supporting HD Radio, when the sound quality isn’t the problem, it’s the crap content on the radio – not to mention everyone would rather listen to their iPod.

    Full Disclosure: I was laid off about this time last year. Best career event I’ve ever had. Still miss the gang…

  78. Frankencow says:

    My favorite RS story is of the day I thought a different antenna might help my reception with local TV channel 4. The sales associate listened to my story and told me that no antenna would help because “That is a VERY popular channel and the signal probably gets absorbed before it gets to your house.”

    Were the the employees just messing with me?

  79. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @dwayne_dibbly:
    TechAmerica is probably all that’s left of the late, very lamented Allied Radio in Chicago.
    Allied had this magnificent store & catalog with everything electronic.
    You could go to the order counter & have the item, no matter how esoteric in 15 minutes.
    The the bastards at Tandy bought out Allied & destroyed it.
    The headquarters store & warehouse on Western Ave. is now a state youth prison.

  80. trinkagen says:

    PPl don’t realize that at chritmas when the kid looks at you with a blank stare it’s because he probably has a paper name plate and he has been working there all of but 3 months tops. Every store hires temporary employees just to help. If you talk to the manager or a seasoned associate (It says how long on their name badge) then you should have an easy shopping experience not because they aren’t going to add on to your sale but because they will know what they are talking about. If you buy a dvd player for an old tv you are going to make another trip to radioshack to ask why you can’t hook it up. It happens a few times a week. The add ons should be acctually helpful if you don’t just think of it as them trying to steal your money and think of it as someone trying to help you. I don’t think it is necessarly the #1 place to work but I do think it is a good place to shop! Let’s see walmart CC BB or any other chain that sells electronics know anything about them. My local Radioshack may not have the answer to every question but they will find it.

  81. eleraama says:

    As a current employee of a RadioShack in Omaha, I know firsthand of the sh– corporate tries to pull. Because I am a decent human being, I generally abstain from asking people about cell phones in favour of finding them exactly what they need– sure, I probably have the lowest postpaid sales rate in my store, but I also have the lowest rate of product return by far because I actually bother to give the customer what they’re looking for. I agree heartily with those who say that the normal prices are severely overinflated, but we often have really good sales on things (and definitely check out the “Manager’s Special” items, wich are devalued or discontinued and can often be gotten for really excellent prices). Most stores have at least one employee that actually knows what they’re talking about and doesn’t give a shit for their numbers– find them, be nice to them, and they will be extremely good to you. These people can tell you where the good prices are, where you should look to find better deals, recommend better or cheaper products, etc. and are generally extremely helpful and anti-pushy.

    Honestly, though? I would be extremely surprised to see RS last another two years. They are dug deep into dying markets, wireless and consumer electronics. Everyone already has a cell phone, despite what my District Manager wants us to think, and the rate of expansion is slowing dramatically every year. Consumer electronics is dominated by the big-box stores known for it like Best Buy (who, by the way, usually have no idea what they’re talking about). Who thinks to himself “Oh, a need a [insert expensive electronic such as television or computer here], I should go to RadioShack?” No one, that’s who, and I know firsthand. By focusing on their brand image rather than the “get rich quick” schemes they have now, they could easily survive as a place stocked with all sorts of parts and staffed by knowledgeable people, but who wants to listen to me? I guess I’ll just have to get the last laugh when I hear of their closure in a couple of years.

  82. jamar0303 says:

    @parad0x360: “What!? A decent MIDRANGE phone costs about $100 with 2 year contract. A $5 phone is a piece of shit no matter how you slice it.”

    Um, come again? For a little more than $100 I can get a phone with 3.2MP autofocus camera with optical zoom and image stabilization, MP3 player, video player and a 2.7inch VGA screen.

    …Oh, I forgot, y’all are in America.

  83. highhopes2006 says:

    3. Buying batteries.

    now you telling me….

    I’m not from the US, last year I was there for four month, I bought a batteries charger and 4 batteries for 24$ I had no Idea how expensive it was.
    the charger was good (too slow) but the batteries was really bad, they never worked.

    few weeks later I found another RS store (I was traveling a lot) and asked for them to replace them, the asked for receipt, I asked them where else can I buy batteries with a huge “radio shack” icon on them… didn’t help I had to throw them away.

    that was my first and last shopping experience in that store. I found that every other place is much cheaper and I don’t have to fill my name/address/phone number/ cellphone number… for a freakin batteries

  84. PhilR8 says:

    I too am a former RS employee. Things used to be good at RadioShack – I remember making a TON of money during the winter of 05/06. Then they dumped Verizon for AT&T (stupid) and changed the payplan, which caused everyone’s paycheck to plummet and forced everyone knowledgable employee to seek other employment. This is why today you go into RS and no one knows what they’re doing – all the good sales associates have left for greener pastures. And trust me – with the way the new payplan(s!) have worked, McDonalds qualifies greener pastures nowadays.

    I agree with the OP on most counts. Batteries are a scam – even the button cell batteries cost twice as much as they do at Wal-Mart. RadioShack has a better selection, though. Like, are you going to find AAAA batteries at Wal-Mart? Probably not. Like a poster above said, with RS batteries you are paying for convenience.

    Cell phones – this is where most employees make most of their money, but since Sprint is circling the drain and the selection of AT&T phones flat out sucks, this is not a reliable source of income for your contemporary associate. I remember when we sold Verizon and all the guys I worked with – myself included – were selling five to ten phones a day. Those were pretty good times. Not any more!

    I will say that RS does often have great deals on flash memory. Many times I’d compare our out-the-door prices to Best Buy prices and sometimes we’d undercut them by half. We always used to get great deals from SanDisk to pass on to the customer.

    My advice: if you have the time, buy online. If you don’t have the time, buy online and pay for overnight shipping. If you have to have something THAT DAY – well, just pray you run into one of the few remaining knowledgable sales associates. Good luck.

  85. Cyberdelic says:

    When I was seventeen years old I had a brief 6 month stint with RadioShack. The pay was unimpressive, with minimum wage, plus 2.75% commission on my sales. I lived in a heavily Hispanic area speaking English, so my checks would average at about $300 bi-weekly. The only reason I stayed with RadioShack for the full six months was for the free TV and satellite radio, and to download mp3′s on the store AT&T phones, and transferring them to my phone.

    Also, RadioShack locations outside of malls regularly turn off their security cameras and front door alarms, due to laziness and inconvenience to the managers. There will be a closed caption television in the back monitoring the store, but any recording tapes sit on a shelf covered in a thick film of dust.

  86. Silversmok3 says:

    As a former employee myself ,I agree with the OP.

    The parts drawer is marked up bad.If you don’t need it in 24 hours or less, order online.$4 for a resistor? I know that you kinda don’t have a choice if you need it fast, but come on.

    He said iPod ACCESSORIES, which I can understand. An iPod 80 gig that sells for 29.99 cost RS about $5.00 to sell. ( This is what happens when an associate finds the back room stock menu that tells these things).
    As far as iPods themselves? Youll be glad to know that they cost RS about $297.00( retail for an iPod touch is 299.99)

    Cell phones? Self explanitory. $1200 over the course of 2 years for a device that, assuming standard use, will fail 1 month before its eligable for a replacement. Sounds like a great deal.

    Plus: a good , quality cell phone doesn’t have to cost $100. My ATT motorola KRZR at wirefly cost exactly $0 , at an instant discount.The same phone at an AT&T corporate store cost $99.00 before accessories.

    Cables: well, do you really think a 25′ long segment of basic coax cable( not exactly cutting edge here) really is worth $29.00 ?
    For you HD junkies out there:A $99 STANDARD ( as in , not Monster brand) HDMI cable only cost RS $15 to sell.
    Again, unless you need it yesterday, snag it online.

    AS far as the corporate aspects are concerned,its fubar. Fort Worth knows their moneymaking cell phone ( wireless? puke) days are over, and are still trying to con the store level employees into thinking its still 1995. Too bad for them the customer knows better.

  87. plasitcgorilla says:

    As an employee from years back all i can say is:
    Radio Shack:
    You’ve got questions…
    We’ve got blank stares.

    /really not too bad working there I had a good time problem solving and trouble shooting, the worst was the trailer park crowd that would want to buy the largest speaker they could get their hands on, while i try to tell them i will sound like crap and try to sell them a smaller one(to my sales goal detriment). They buy the big one and return it a week later, because it sounds like crap and i don’t get the sale and some other schmo gets the comish because the dude got smaller speakers from him…

    - not bitter, just funny.

  88. StevieZ83 says:

    i’m a radio shack manager, i know where not perfect…but show me a corporation that is. As far as knowledge goes, give me a break, someone that has been at radio shack more than 6 month and that trys at all will know more about what there selling than and sales person with cc, bb, walmart, target, and whoever else. For the record, the number of people that come though my doors everyday and ask me about make there “stuff” work is the reason radio shack is still around and always will be, baring corporate stupidity…

  89. themediatrix says:

    Sorry, but RS does have things that aren’t available at Best Buy or CompUSA. If you’re producing media and need something in a pinch, there’s almost always a Radio Shack nearby.

    I’ve gotten a great stereo lav mic for just $20 bucks at RS (still works after 4 years) and they always have a range of XLR, mini and RCA cables for cheap. (The person above who said they couldn’t find a mini-to-mini must have encountered a fluke situation.)

    Going in RS is a drag because the atmosphere is so hyoer-spammy, but I just close my eyes and ears and make a beeline for what I want, and then beat it.

    Frankly, I’ve been greatful for RS more than once.

  90. themediatrix says:

    um, “hyper-spammy” that is.

  91. molife says:

    What a LOVE/HATE place! Ratshack has their head so far up their *ss they can’t breathe! What a great store it once was.

    *****When it concentrated on hiring the local uber geeks that actually knew how to use the various “can’t find it anywhere else” products.*****

    The only RS in a tri county area here that is any good – is because a ham radio guy works there. RS is for hardware hackers and do it yourselfers. Or at least it used to be. And was the one thing no one else did and everyone needs.

    Then they got some dumb ass CEO that decides he wants it to be another BB or CC. With the strategy of “You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.”. Then stocked the store with f-ing idiots selling overpriced cellphones and mp3 players you can get at CC or BB or anywhere else for one third the price! Guys a moron! I have no idea how well or bad they’ve done since this. But I don’t really go anymore. And I dare you to find anyone with an IQ over 75 in the place. Or even anyone that understands what an RCA adapter is. Might as well be speaking Greek to these dumb sh*ts.

    I used to stop in them and look for the little red tags. You could get little phone pouches for like a dollar. Or some obscure part or device that you can only find there.

    Here’s a total geek confession. I once went on a long long road trip and stopped at every RS on the way. Just to chat up the local uber geek and see what red tags they had. I took a pic at every one. This was back in the 80′s when the stores and employees were really cool. It was also the place that no matter where you stood on the social spectrum in high school the guys that worked at the RS at the mall would always talk to you. Treat you with respect. Of course they had dandruff and pocket protectors. But hey.

    If RS was now what it was in 1980. They would be doing computer repairs and have the most savvy hackers working for them. And probably sell the most computers and electronic devices of any store.

    I guess the difference is they used have huge knowledge and honesty. With products you couldn’t find anywhere else. Now they sell overpriced crap you can get anywhere with the least knowledgeable staff of any electronics store out there – bar none.

  92. DeadWriter says:

    Best advice for any negotiation in which someone is pressuring you,
    “If you want an answer now, then the answer is no.”

  93. KJones says:

    @molife:

    The worth of Radio Schlock ended around the same time computers and electronics became too complex for do-it-yourselfers. I miss the days when “open architecture” in a computer meant soldering your motherboard and writing your own breadboards. That’s what Radio Schlock was best for.

    Radio Schlock would do better if their stores consisted of a “help yourself” wall of parts and a checkout clerk. The costs would be lower and the service would be better.

  94. whistler40069 says:

    I was let go of Best Buy as a seasonal because of a Corporate mistake… as I transfered between state stores. I tell you, this RS guy sure doesn’t seem disgruntled at all, he surely sounds like some one that should STILL be working there…. making me think this is a RS ploy.. anyway, as a BB seller and quite the electronic price watcher, RS most always has higher prices than many places such as Fred Meyers, Walmart, Best Buy, and Online. If you are in a Hurry for a 6′ rca to 1/4th female cable, thats where to go as some cables are hard to find if a best buy or circuit shitty is not around. Anyway, I’m still happy to have Radio shack at the mall on those days I’m dragged to the mall because of my wife’s addiction and I can see what kind of new toggle switches or hdmi dvd players they have. NOW for BB, if you are shopping at Best Buy, ALWAYS check their frigging web price first just as CC, because they sell for much higher price at the store and won’t ever tell you if its marked $200 cheaper on the internet. I don’t have enough time to sit here and tell you everything you should know, but common sense, the internet is the way to shop FIRST.

  95. Unamerican says:

    I still can’t believe Americans pay for mobile phones. I’ve had about 5 in the UK, going back to 2000, and I’ve never paid a penny for any of them. My current phone is a Windows 6.0 smartphone, my last was a touch-screen Windows 5.0 phone, both free with a 12-month contract. You’re all being screwed.

  96. HeartBurnKid says:

    Stay away from the parts drawer? But that’s the only place in the whole damn store I can find something that isn’t cheaper at Target, with nobody hassling me about a service plan or a cell phone… if there’s no parts drawer, there’s no reason for RS to exist.

  97. donTHEd says:

    As far as in store cell phone pricing goes..RadioShack usually has the cheapest prices, on the phones they carry. Especially on upgrades.

  98. Mr.V. says:

    I actually don’t mind radio shack much..
    I usually only go there for stuff like motors/LEDs etc

  99. dragondorm says:

    All I have to say is stop wasting my time to find out how to hook up or make something work then go somewhere else to buy what you need. If you hate RS so much don’t come in. We work on commission if you don’t think my knowledge is worth the extra price of the product don’t come in at all. I can’t make any money if you waste my time.

  100. sono says:

    I think The Simpsons said it best:

    Homer: We’ll search out every place a sick twisted solitary misfit might run to.
    Lisa: I’ll start with Radio Shack.

    The first time I saw this (Treehouse of Horror VII), I burst out laughing. Ah, good times.

    I still go to Radio Shack, though.

  101. yg17 says:

    @Unamerican: Well, you don’t have to pay for cell phones over here either with a new contract, but the free ones are usually pieces of junk.

  102. dna says:

    Radioshack employee’s, for the most part, are idiots. You’ve got questions they’ve got blank stares.

    Example of a recent conversation I had with a Radioshack employee:

    Me: “Hi, I’m looking to buy some multi-color LED’s.”

    Employee: “Some what?”

    Me: “LED’s.”

    Employee: “I don’t think we carry those.”

    Me: “You don’t carry LED’s? You know what I’m talking about, right?”

    Employee: “I think we may have carried those before but not anymore.”

    Me: “Oh… I’d heard you guys carry them.”

    Employee: “Tell me what it’s called again?”

    Me: “LED… light emitting diode…”

    Employee: “You mean like a little light bulb?”

    Me: “Yeah… like a little light bulb.”

    He walks me over to a drawer marked “LED’s.”

    Employee: “Are these the things?”

    Me: “Yes… thanks.”

    Then he stands there while I look through the parts as if he could possibly help me find something else. He stood there the whole time. I grabbed a few capacitors, a bag of assorted resistors, some battery boxes, and walked with him to the counter. He was clearly dumbfounded by what I was buying. So what does he say?

    “Are you interested in a cell phone or GPS device? They’re on sale today only…”

  103. Fierock says:

    So in other words, don’t buy AA batteries at Radio Shack?

    Seriously they are no different than any other retailers. I’m not really sure what this guy is “confessing”.

  104. strider_mt2k says:

    Radio Shack is like anywhere else.

    Shop the sales. and if you know where to get it pcheaper GET IT.
    Don’t waste everyone’s time crowing about how you can get it cheaper!

    What you’re supposed to be paying that extra for is advice and help from a friendly, experienced salesperson.

    The problem is Radio Shack doesn’t want to pay for them, so you get cell phone BS from monkeys while the company blithely goes about aying off execs with golden parachutes who lied on their resumes.

  105. dragondorm says:

    It’s one thing to help you find your product in the drawers if you know what your looking for i.e. a specific resister, L.E.D. or transister but don’t ask us how different parts will interact with each other i.e. ‘I’d like to reduse the voltage with this voltage regulator what else do I need?’ We don’t have electric engeneering degrees nor are we or have we ever been given that kind of training.

  106. That70sHeidi says:

    You know, I once “dated” a guy who bought the entire “back room” of Radio Shack full of broken crap. Sounds like your tent sale. He also lived with his mom and was 27, trying to date a 16 year old. Needless to say, that didn’t work out.

    I tried cashing in that service plan for a new set of headphones after the strap broke on the ones I have. The website listed my sale price of $0. My receipt? Said $39.99.

    Called them up. They don’t know why it says $0, they’re seeing $0 on their system too. Great, I offer to fax over my receipt so I can get another set of headphones (already irked that I can’t exchange in-store and I can’t just do this online). The guy puts me on hold for a few minutes and comes back to tell me that my service plan doesn’t cover “physical damage.”

    Of course it doesn’t. I could have called up saying it burst into flames. They wouldn’t cover it.

    So I try to explain that when I first bought these, within 30 days the same strap broke, I took it to the store to use my service plan and the nice man THERE said not to bother, and handed me a new set. So if they were willing to replace it THEN, why is it suddenly not covered NOW?

    It’s covered for another 10 months. I’m feeling it’ll just “stop working” soon. Granted it was only a $10 service plan, but come on. Way to be more useless.

    And I’m getting a Bose set next. Why is Radio Shack still in business!?

  107. Rambozo says:

    I like Radio Shack, over the summer I ended up buying three Xmods RCs and several parts at Radio Shack when they were heavily discounted. My favorite part was their buy one $25 starter kit and get three free parts, so two of those parts I got were the $17 engines.

  108. Unamerican says:

    @yg17: That’s so sad. Over here, I can’t afford not to upgrade my phone…a new one, free, every 12 months, and I get a £50 credit for turning in an old phone. Any old phone. That’s why iPhone sales aren’t so strong in the UK and the rest of Europe.

  109. dabofug says:

    Only one key to buying @ Sh-t-Shack someting you need NOW:
    Go online, check the specs, get the item #, (usually something like 43-1081) and go find it. I do a lot of projects on weekends, and 5 mins online saves me lotsa time and aggravation.
    If it’s really critical or higher priced, call the local RS and ask first for the item by item#. They “check the computer”. Then ask the RS worker to go get it and verify it’s in-the-store. Get the rep’s name. Tell ‘em you’ll be there in a few minutes to get it. Do all of the above nicely and politely. The folks at my local RS have been great about this. Call should go thusly:
    “Hey, it’s Dadoc, you got a 43-1081 in-store?”
    “Yeah, Dadoc, we got it”
    “This Paulie?”
    “Yeah, I’ll get it up front”
    “Thanks, see ya in a few”

    DO NOT get in line behind the Senior with the cellphone issue or the lady with the “Doggie-in-her-bag” wanting something that’s “roundy on one end and kinda squarey on the other”.

  110. Magicube says:

    @MikeHerbst: Exactly. Think of it as a convenience store for electronics enthusiasts. And SWEDUB, you’re welcome. You’ll save a lot of money planning ahead and buying in (relative) bulk.

  111. twomz says:

    I worked at teh Shack this past summer. We no longer get straight commission, we get a 2.75% commission on ‘certain’ items IF we maintain a $75 per hour rate (easy enough). The only real way to make money anymore is to sell cell phones.

    I do disagree on the cell phones to an extent though. RS cell phones are going to be cheaper than buying from the dealer. I have even had service reps from AT&T tell me that. We still have free phones while the AT&T store doesn’t.

    Also, service plans are good if there are factory rechargable batteries in the device (wireless devices, walkie talkies, ect) because you can get them replaced for free. $10 to get a $20-40 battery? Heck yes plz. But yeah, they are still pushing for service plans, credit cards and making the employees attempt to sell cell phones and batteries (40 packs of AA and AAA on sale for $15 ;)). Just be polite to the part/full timers because it’s really the only way they can make any kinda money.

  112. Anonymous says:

    You’re not going to beat RS for their interest free Charge Card, their great sale pricing, their knowledge when you can’t understand how two wires should go together and so on. I would advise customers to show a little gratitude and respect for that guy that is busting his butt standing on his feet 9 hours a day 6 days a week to feed his family so you can get the right battery for your phone, or the right advice on home theater connections. Sure, you’ll meet lousy sales reps in any business, but RS has been around for a very long time and they have not only moved with the times but they have stayed true to their foundation.

  113. I_have_something_to_say says:

    One of the few reasons I go to RS is for the damn parts drawer. I know I’m getting raped but I would still buy the $ 2.00 resistor pack rather then having to order them and wait a few days. So I saved a few dollars – big deal. You don’t go there to save money. It’s a convenience and you pay for it.

  114. Mutuelle says:

    It is great to shop at Radioshack by the simple comparison given on the Ultimate Ears Super Fi pro 3 earbuds ( think iPod headphones on steroids) for the price of $49.97 and Amazon selles it at $60 before shipping. I paid mine at $70. Great deal saving around $20. Must give a try.
    mutuelle