Remember what the experience of shopping for a gadget was like at big-box stores years ago? Whatever your actual needs were, the store clerks would invariably steer you towards whatever they were getting a commission to sell, or whatever scratched their personal itch. Why would you even go to a store if you knew you would never get an honest answer? The problem was bad enough for Apple in the 1990s, when Macs were often relegated to a dark corner alongside the Ethernet cables, that the company started up its own retail chain. It didn't get better for most of us until outlets like Best Buy backed off and sometimes made it a point to advertise commission-free staff. Today, while it's tough to completely escape personal bias and the occasional exception to the rule, it's more likely than not that a modern general electronics store will give you a decent shot at buying what you really want.
But just try buying a cellphone at a carrier store today.
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