More often than not buying from a third party online forces you into a sub-contract, which you do not want to mess with to cover the additional expense if you had to break or leave your contract.

Head to a brick and mortar retailer like best buy, who is also certified to handle Verizon upgrades. In some areas Sam's Club/Wal Mart/Costco offer at least some of the Verizon smartphones.

Keep in mind that now all Verizon smartphones require data plans. There's no way around that one, even with an online e-tailer reselling their service & branded handsets. If you do not currently have a smartphone or data plan then you should expect to be paying for one now. There's more helpful info @ howardforums.com on your options w/ Verizon.