Buy a Phone Number (& What You Need to Know) [2024]

December 14, 2023 | By Sam Pelton
Cartoon representation of someone picking out a phone number

Let’s say you want to buy a phone number.

Maybe it’s for a business purpose—you want a certain kind of phone number to help promote yourself, maybe something that’s easy to remember or something that you can use to communicate with customers and prospects.

After all, phone numbers are a big deal. Examples: There are 8.65 billion mobile phone numbers in the world, and the VoIP market alone is valued at over $129 million.

But whatever the reason that you want a phone number, how can you actually buy a phone number? And what should you know before you do?

We’ll walk you through how to buy a phone number, what types of phone numbers you can buy and other questions.

Let’s jump right in!

Buy a Phone Number Now

Don’t need all the explanations? Just looking to buy a phone number right now?

Don’t worry!

All plans at Mobile Text Alerts come with a free phone number you can use for business texting, and you can add more phone numbers to your plan for as little as $5 per month.

Get a free trial account now (no credit card needed) to get a feel for how it works. Once you upgrade, you’ll be able to buy a phone number anytime from within your online dashboard.

What Types of Phone Numbers Can You Buy?

What Types of Phone Numbers Can You Buy with the subheadings listed below

There are several different types of phone numbers that you can use for business texting. A brief description of each is below, and you can check out more info on the pros and cons of each here.

Toll-Free Numbers ($5/Month)

Toll-free phone numbers are 10-digit numbers that have a “toll-free” 800 area code. These are $5/month within the Mobile Text Alerts platform.

Local 10-Digit Numbers ($15/Month)

Local 10-digit numbers are 10-digit numbers that have a “local” area code. These are $15/month within the Mobile Text Alerts platform.

Short Codes (5-Digit Numbers; Contact for Pricing)

Short codes are numbers shorter than normal 10-digit numbers. You can access a “shared” short code for free or you can lease your own short code. (Contact sales for a quote.)

The number you choose to buy depends on your preferences, needs, and budget. Toll-free numbers will likely be the least desirable option but also the least expensive. Leasing a short code will give you the best delivery for your text messages but is the costliest option. You’ll need to decide what’s important to you and how much you’re willing to spend.

What Is a Vanity Phone Number?

You may also hear the term “vanity phone number” thrown around.

A vanity phone number isn't a particular type of phone number but rather simply refers to a phone number in which you can choose the digits. You may want a phone number with digits corresponding to letters on the keypad that spell a word relevant to your business. Or you may simply want a phone number with digits that are easy to remember.

In the Mobile Text Alerts dashboard, you can choose from a list of available phone numbers. If choosing a local 10-digit number you can enter your requested area code. You can always contact sales to request vanity phone number options as well.

How to Get a Phone Number Online

You can get a phone number online using an online portal like the one provided by Mobile Text Alerts. From the portal, you’re able to select the phone number you want.

Get a Free 14-Day Trial with Mobile Text Alerts

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List of toll free numbers

Once you select your number and check out, you’re able to start using it right away, although it’s recommended to submit registration forms at some point (provided within your online portal), so that your messaging traffic can be pre-approved by the mobile carriers.

In the Mobile Text Alerts online portal, if you choose a local phone number, you’ll be able to select a desired area code. If you want more customization over the digits in your phone number, you can contact sales to request a “vanity” phone number (see the “What Is a Vanity Phone Number?” section above).

You can use whatever number you choose to send or receive text messages from people via the online Mobile Text Alerts dashboard or mobile app. You can use it for both 1-on-1 messaging as well as mass texting.

How to Get a Phone Number on iPhone or iPad

As a bit of a side note, a common question people have is: what if you want to get a phone number on an iPhone or an iPad?

As long as you have a device capable of cellular communication (all iPhones and iPads that have cellular enabled) and you have an active service provider, you’ll already have a phone number for your device and you’ll be able to use that phone number.

There are services that allow you to use a phone number from an iPhone or an iPad even without a typical service provider (such as Verizon or T-Mobile). For example, Mobile Text Alerts has a mobile app that you can access from your iPhone or iPad, and you can send and receive text messages on your device via that app.

Buying a Phone Number: FAQ

Here are a few questions you may be asking in regards to buying a phone number…

How Much Does It Cost?

Costs of buying a phone number will vary greatly depending on the type of phone number you want, how customized you want to make it, and what service provider you use to buy your number.

At Mobile Text Alerts, the lowest subscription level is $20 per month giving you 1 phone number, and you can purchase additional phone numbers for as little as $5 per month. On the other hand, if you choose to purchase a vanity phone number or lease a short code it could run you several hundred dollars per month.

How Quickly Can I Use the New Number?

If you’re using an external service such as Mobile Text Alerts, you should be able to start using the new number in some capacity right away. (For business texting, registration with the mobile carriers is recommended via a form that’s provided to you within the online platform. This form can take a few days to fully process, but limited functionality with your number is still available in the meantime.)

If you’re wanting to transfer a new number to an existing device (to be used as your cell phone’s new primary number), you’ll need to go through the phone number porting process. This process can take several days in some cases.

How to Port a New Phone Number?

To port a new phone number that you’ve bought online for use on your own personal cell phone, you’ll just need to follow the instructions provided by the service provider from which you bought the number. Just contact your provider and tell them you’re wanting to port your number to a new service, and they will likely send you some forms to fill out in order to get your port processed.

Buy a Phone Number with Mobile Text Alerts

You can get a phone number set up for online business texting with Mobile Text Alerts right away. Get a free test account now to see how it works.

Get a Free 14-Day Trial Account

Start sending mass text messages to your entire list today!