How to Start a Phone-Flipping Business
Selling used phones is becoming a more lucrative market. Here are some tips on how to succeed and grow with the trend.
How many old mobile phones do you have sitting around in drawers or cupboards, never to be used again? Like many people, you have traded up to a newer model or different brand over the years and simply put the old one aside. Consider how many relatively new smartphones are gathering dust, and then consider this: People want to buy them.
The reasons many people don’t bother putting older phones on sale include damage to the screen or simply the hassle of doing so. Yet, there’s money to be made when users sell old phones for cash, and the effort is worth it. In fact, just as with early personal computers, people are now collecting vintage mobile phones for nostalgia’s sake. Let's take a look at some of these old phones and how you can make a business flipping them.
Set up a simple website
Many people get a new phone and simply put their old model aside. They could offer it up for sale on an auction site, but there’s time to be spent taking photos, posting the listing, monitoring it, packing it and shipping it. These factors can be deterrents for selling a used phone. Removing these obstacles for sellers and buyers is where your business begins.
To start with, you need a simple website. It doesn’t have to be complex, just a WordPress site will do, and they are easy to set up. The idea is that you advertise your intention by asking people to sell old phones for cash to you. They see a simple way of doing it, you cover the post postage, and so on. But as people see this as a simple way of making some extra cash, you get their old phones at a knock-down price. Then you sell them to people who want them at market value.
You’re making it easy for people to sell phones and easier for collectors or people wanting a new handset to buy them. One question remains: How do you find the phones?
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Use social media
Social media platforms are among the best marketing tools you will ever have access to. Start by asking your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other platforms you may use to like or review your page. Then, ask them to share your post which offers good money for mobile phones. It costs nothing to share, and they simply have to press a button. That way, you get access to potentially thousands of people, many of whom will have old phones sitting around. Before you do this, you need to know which phones are going to sell.
Research the market
The mobile phone market — even for used models — is a very busy one, and you need to know what you’re looking at. However, if you’re reading this, chances are you are interested in tech and perhaps in phones, so you’ll have a good idea of what will sell and what will not.
For example, if someone is looking for a handset to use daily, they will be more interested in a relatively recent iPhone than in a lesser-known brand. In addition, users on iPhone contracts tend to upgrade every so often; hence, there will be many iPhone 8 models and newer sitting around.
Also, look for early phones. Remember the iconic Nokia 3310? The simple, stylish design that set the mobile phone world on fire? How many of those are sitting around in dark cupboards? These originals are now valuable collector’s items, and people are buying them readily. The same goes for early iPhones and the original Blackberry models.
If you search thoroughly, you’ll find the correct prices to buy and sell mobile phones. We also suggest looking for unusual colors or limited editions as these are becoming sought after.
There is a genuine business opportunity to buy and sell unused and vintage mobile phones, and as the collector’s market becomes more stable, there will be more potential sales. The simple fact is there are hundreds of thousands of phones collecting dust, and even the less desirable models are worth a small amount of money.
Take some time to research the models that will sell the easiest and get started with your social media pages. You’ll soon find people who are happy to unload their old phones on you for next to nothing. Then, all you have to do is start selling and you have a business.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor