Trade-In Tech
by on May 9, 2021

Are you looking for a new career? If not, maybe you want a fun way to make a little extra money? If either of these is true, you might want to strongly consider flipping phones. Essentially, flipping phones means buying these items and selling them.


However, there are things you’ll need to know before starting a phone reselling company. If not, you could wind up making lots of avoidable mistakes. By reading this guide, you’ll be learning tips that have helped countless others launch successful phone flipping businesses.


In this guide, you’ll learn about:


  • Why it’s a good idea to start flipping phones

  • How to get your business started

  • The best places to find phones to flip

  • Whether or not you should partner with an electronics refurbisher

  • How to start buying phones to flip

  • Tips for avoiding common scams in the phone flipping industry

  • Helpful tips to start winning over your company’s new customers

  • PLUS, a bonus video with an hour of phone flipping tips!


Here is the complete guide to starting a phone flipping business.


Why Should I Start a Phone Flipping Business?



You don’t have to look far to learn that there are many ways to make money. Thanks to the popularity of the internet, people everywhere are earning a full-time income (and then some) by working from home.


With so many potential ways to make money, why should you be interested in starting a phone flipping business? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why starting a phone flipping business is a wise and profitable idea. Here are a few beneficial reasons to start flipping phones.


The Potential to Make Lots of Money


Most likely, you’re going to be more excited about starting a new business that brings in a lot of money. After all, it’s much more exciting to run a business that’s profitable than one that isn’t. While we can’t guarantee how much you’ll make, you don’t have to look far to see many successful business owners in the phone flipping industry.


Phone flipping is a type of business where you get what you put in. If you’re willing to spend the time it takes to find and buy smartphones, it becomes much easier to start selling these items for a nice profit. The more phones you’re buying and selling, the more money you stand to make as a phone flipper.


At Trade-In Tech, many of our members are earning great income by buying and reselling smartphones to customers, other companies, and organizations.


Smartphones Are Popular


In business, it’s always helpful to sell something that’s popular. If not, it’s going to be hard to get other people or companies excited about what you have to offer. This might mean waiting a while before your business starts profiting. Fortunately, you won’t have this concern when you start a phone flipping business.


Take a moment to think about how popular smartphones are. Most people use their smartphones to talk to other people, access their social media accounts, access the internet, and enjoy a wide range of apps.


Adults aren’t the only people using smartphones. Many younger people use their smartphones to play various games. While they might not be the most tech-savvy people, many senior citizens now know how to access the basic functions of their smartphones.


If you don’t believe us, consider the results of a recent study. According to Pew Research Center, about 85% of adults in the United States reported owning a smartphone in 2021. It’s difficult to find lots of products that are this popular with so many people.


By flipping cell phones wholesale, you have a potentially massive audience to start selling your products to. Best of all, almost all of them will understand the product they’re buying.


Easy To Get Started on a Small Budget


One of the most common hurdles that people wanting to start a new business deal with is having enough money. In most cases, it can cost quite a bit of money to start a new business. However, this doesn’t have to be the case when you start a phone flipping company. Even with a few hundred dollars, it’s possible to buy a few smartphones that you can start flipping.


If you do have a large budget, you’ll likely get more revenue in the early stages of your company. But, don’t get discouraged if you’re working with a small budget. The beauty of phone flipping is that it’s always possible to scale up your efforts. Many people have started flipping phones on a small budget. Soon, some of these people end up owning large phone flipping companies!


No Need To Lease or Buy a Commercial Property


Another perk of flipping phones is that you’re not required to put in all of the work associated with finding a commercial property. Doing this can take a lot of time, energy, and money. First, you would need to look for commercial properties available to either lease or buy in your area. 


Unfortunately, many people who are looking for properties might not find any that suit their preferences or budgets. If you’re starting a company that flips phones, you don’t have to find a commercial property. Many people who are new to phone flipping can set up shop in the privacy of their homes.


You Don’t Need a Lot of Space


Certain people starting companies have to spend money on places to store their inventory. Depending on what you’re selling, you might need to rent out a storage unit. Companies selling lots of large items often have to lease large warehouses. With that said, you won’t have to worry about needing lots of space while flipping phones.


Because you don’t need a ton of space to get started, many successful phone flippers began doing this out of their homes. As your company’s profits start increasing, you can determine whether or not you need more storage space.


Getting Ready To Start a Business Flipping Cell Phones



Flipping phones for profit is something that can be done as part-time or full-time work. It can be a very lucrative business idea to make money flipping phones if you’re looking to start up a profitable business. However, there are some things you’ll want to learn before starting up a phone reselling company.


Raising Capital


One problem all resellers face is cash flow. Every business needs funding before it can officially begin. With that said, there are several ways to get the money you need. First, you’ll need to decide if you plan on self-funding your business or getting the capital you need from someone else.


Considering the low operating costs of a phone flipping business, it’s possible to fund this venture with your own money. If you don’t have the money on hand to launch a business, that’s okay!


You can raise money through private investors, bank loans, and collateralized loans. But, getting a loan will require that you meet certain requirements set forth by a lender. These guidelines can include your credit score, company revenue, and how long you’ve been in business. So, be prepared to present certain income statements or tax returns before applying for a loan.


Another option to obtain business funding is by asking your friends and family. You never know who might decide to use some of their money to invest in your company. It’s also possible to find that asking friends and family about capital could lead to you gaining a few new business partners.


Certain business owners obtained the money they need by launching crowdfunding campaigns. Through a crowdfunding campaign, a company accepts donations from others. There’s no guarantee that crowdfunding will give your business the money it needs to get started. However, there’s no harm in launching this type of campaign to start your new business.


It’s also possible to use credit cards to leverage cash, but make sure to pay the principal off before the due date to avoid paying interest.


Choose Your Location (Online, In-Store, or Both)


The next step to take is deciding where you’ll operate your new company. You can decide to open a business that operates remotely or online. Another option would be to open a business that only accepts in-store customers. Finally, there’s also the option of operating a business that works with both online and in-store customers.


If you’re like most people, you’ll want to start by operating an online-only business. This helps to save you the money you’d spend to either lease or buy retail space. With that said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with having a stream of in-store customers and profits.


Set Up a Business Structure


It’s also important to properly structure your business. You’ll want to carefully consider the type of business you want to start. Your options include a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership, or corporation. To help make this decision a little easier than normal, here’s a closer look at each of your options.


Sole Proprietorship


If you want to operate a business on your own, you can choose to form a sole proprietorship. This can be a good option if you want complete control over your company. However, operating a sole proprietorship does have its disadvantages. 


Under this type of business, your personal and business liabilities become one. This means that your personal assets could be at stake if your company needs money. Plus, operating a sole proprietorship means including both company expenses and your personal income on your tax returns.


Limited Liability Company


Otherwise known as a limited liability company, an LLC is another common way to form a business. This formation is known as a flexible business structure, and it allows you to separate your personal and business liabilities. Under an LLC, you shouldn’t have to worry about your personal assets being at stake regarding business matters.


By forming an LLC, you also won’t have to worry about double taxation. With that said, certain states allow a company to be an LLC for a limited time. So, make sure you understand your state’s law before you officially form an LLC. If you don’t want your personal and business assets mixing together, forming an LLC can be a great option. 




Understandably, some people find the thought of solely operating a business to be a bit daunting. If you have other people helping you in the formation of a business, you might want to structure it as a partnership.


There are two main types of business partnerships: general or limited. Most business partnerships have general partners. General partners share equal stakes of profits and losses in a company. Most companies with partnerships in place have general partners.


Limited partners, on the other hand, typically invest in a company. In most cases, a limited partner doesn’t or isn’t allowed to make decisions that affect the future of a business. An example of a limited partner would be someone that invests in your company without technically working for it.




You can also choose to form your new company as a corporation. If you decide to take this route, much like a partnership, you’ll have two options. You can choose to either form your new company as either a C or S corporation.


Forming a C corporation can be a good option if you want to avoid mixing your personal and business assets together. That being said, it’s also more difficult to form a corporation than it is to form a limited liability company. You’ll also need to comply with a larger amount of tax requirements and regulations.


By forming an S corporation, your company’s profits and losses go through your personal income. Also, an S corporation can’t have over 100 shareholders. If you don’t mind more regulations and more complicated tax filings, it might be in your best interest to consider forming a corporation.


Name Your Business


After understanding how to form your business, it now needs a name. Unfortunately, certain business owners neglect the importance of this step. Instead of sticking with the first thing that comes to mind, follow the tips you’re about to read to come up with a great business name.


The first tip is to avoid a business name that’s confusing or hard-to-spell. Chances are, you will spend lots of time writing the name of your business down or typing it out. As your business grows, lots of other people will be wanting to learn more about your new company. When they’re ready to learn more, having a business name that’s easy to understand makes this easy for them to do.


To avoid any concerns about copying the name of another company, it’s also wise to do a web search for the business name you come up with. The last thing you want is to unknowingly copy the name of another company, which can result in potential legal trouble. If you don’t see other companies coming up during your search, you’ve likely found a business name that no one else has.


Once you find an original business name you’re happy with, make sure to register your company right away. It’s also a good idea to buy a domain name for your business. This prevents another company from buying a domain name and claiming to be your company.


Secure a Place to Store Your Inventory


Inventory management is the number one problem business owners face when reselling. If you don’t have a proper inventory system, you will eventually lose money by not tracking your revenue properly.


Before you start finding smartphones, you’ll need a place to store them. Depending on the size of where you live, storing inventory might not be that much of a problem. However, it’s understandable if you don’t have enough space or simply don’t want lots of electronics cluttering up your home. If you live in a small apartment or have a roommate, you might also need a place to store your phone inventory.


If you’re wanting another option for storing inventory, there are many inexpensive options. Most storage facilities only charge a small amount of money per month to store items for customers. Considering the value of what you’re storing, it’s wise to research reviews to find a facility you trust. Also, make sure you factor in storage fees into your business costs.


You’ll also want to make a note of the storage fees in order to add them to the cost of selling the phones. If not, these expenses could wind up confusing you in the long run.


There are many inventory management systems available. It's up to you to find the correct platform that integrates with your ecommerce channels, accounting, and shipping department.


Decide Your Selling Platforms


After you purchase your phones, you’ll need places to start reselling electronics. While it's possible to sell phones to private buyers and local stores, it's highly recommended that you consider selling them on websites.


Thanks to the popularity of the internet, you can find plenty of places to resale phones on eCommerce websites. These are websites that allow the selling (and sometimes purchasing) of goods.


Sure, you could try to resell items locally. However, this often means spending lots of money towards having physical retail space and getting your company's name out there. To save time and effort on those tasks, it's much wiser to do all of this online.


To do this, most people navigate towards two of the largest places to sell used electronics: Amazon or eBay. However, these websites will charge their sellers a bit of money for selling products on their site, so deduct those charges from any profit that you’ll make flipping the phones.


Also, listing phones you’re looking to resell on too many sites can get confusing as you need to keep on top of your inventory. For instance, if you sell a phone on eBay, you’ll need to remove the listing from Amazon as soon as possible.


If you are flipping phones full time, tracking sales may not be a huge issue. However, if you are also working a 9 to 5 job, you may find it difficult to keep up with your phone inventory and might need outside help. 


Expand by Engaging in Various Types of Marketing


After starting any type of business, it's important to make sure that it effectively expands. One of the best ways to do this is by expanding through multiple channels. In the world of marketing, a channel is simply a term for an approach you take to get your business noticed.


A few popular types of channels for companies include marketing through their websites, email lists, social media pages, and other methods. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, NewEgg, and Trade-In Tech are also great platforms to start marketing your business.


Imagine that you're looking for a place to purchase a new car. To do this, you begin using search engines and social media for research purposes. During this process, you see one company that seems to show up everywhere. They have social media pages, a great-looking website, and they're showing up in almost every search you make. 


Most likely, this is going to convince you that this company is more of an authority in their field over the competition. This is multi-channel marketing at its best. The main benefit of multi-channel marketing is that your company stays visible in the minds of the public, especially your target audience.


One of the best ways to start a multi-channel marketing strategy is by embracing the importance of being mobile-friendly. After all, 80% of smartphone owners use it to access the internet. You can do this by making sure that your website loads well on mobile devices, meaning it's fast and easy to navigate.


Finding Phones to Flip



Before you can start flipping phones, you’ll need a way to find these devices. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places to buy phones. Here is a look at some of the best ways to find phones to flip.


1. Trade-In Tech


One of the easiest ways to work with businesses directly is through Trade-In Tech’s platform. We run a global network that connects buyers and sellers in the electronics industry. Our service is very easy to use. Plus, we take several steps to reduce fraud and make transactions as smooth as possible. 


Thanks to our worldwide reach, there is no shortage of business owners to work with on Trade-In Tech. You’ll find companies of all sizes buying and selling electronics from the world’s most popular businesses, including Apple, Samsung, Google, and many others.


When you’re not buying or selling electronics on our platform, we also offer lots of exclusive training for those wanting to see their wholesale electronics companies succeed. We also understand that opening a new business can be confusing, which is why we proudly offer 24/7 support. If you have a question or concern, you can reach us at any time.


Something else that’s great about Trade-In Tech is that we offer no fees when you’re buying and selling electronics. This policy allows your company’s revenue to grow without worrying about fees eating up all of your profits.


2. Craigslist


The first place we started buying electronics was on Craigslist. If you are brand new to the industry, this is a great place to start. You can post “Want To Buy Electronics” ads on Craigslist and have people contact you directly to sell their devices.


When you meet up sellers, you will have to verify the condition, model, and current activation policy of each device. Make sure to meet in a safe and public location and have them sign a bill of sale.


There’s also the issue of availability. Craigslist categorizes all sellers by location. If you don’t live in a popular city, you either might not find the items you need or spend lots of hours driving to get them. But these types of local classified websites can be decent ways to get a few phones at good prices.


3. Repair Stores


Once you understand how to buy electronics from consumers, you can start buying them from repair stores. The great thing about buying from repair stores is they will always bring you repeat business. Once you establish a relationship with repair store owners, they should be almost constantly selling to you.


Electronics repair shops always need smartphones. These shops utilize smartphones from the secondary market for replacement parts. Unfortunately, most of the components in modern smartphones aren't readily available to the masses. This is especially true for popular brands like Apple.


Without access to lots of spare parts, repair shops have to tear down other phones and collect components. Why is this beneficial for you? Because you can often unload smartphones to repair shops that you couldn't otherwise sell.


Alternatively, they can choose to make investments and repair smartphones themselves. Whatever the case may be, you're still making a sale. Unlike single consumers, repair shops can be a great continuing source of revenue.


You're not always going to get a shop owner that's willing to strike up a deal. But, when you find someone ready to partner with you, it can mean that you'll have plenty of phones to flip.


4. Corporations


Ready to play in the big leagues? If so, you’re ready for corporation buybacks. Many large companies are fighting for the top position to buy directly from carriers, insurance companies, and large retailers. Buying electronics from carrier auctions, school districts, and large corporations are great ways to boost your sales.


What’s also great about buying phones from such large corporations is that you can get a lot of inventory for low prices.


5. Pawn Shops 


Looking for a place where you can both buy & sell smartphones? Take a look around your local pawn shop. Pawn shops are a great source of inventory. While not all shops will take damaged phones, some offer them for very low prices. Not only that, but you may be able to catch a good deal if you choose to buy in bulk.


The great thing about selling to pawn shops is that you can work closely to get a fair price on individual phones. With that said, don't expect to get much beyond the fair market value. After all, pawn shops are looking to make a profit. However, you can get the upper hand in negotiations if you're buying or selling a lot of stock.


6. R2 Recyclers


The Environmental Protection Agency started to develop programs to address electronic waste in 2008. One of these programs was the R2 certification. The program was established to handle the growing electronics market and reduce its impact on the planet.


Basically, R2 recyclers are companies that go to greater lengths to ensure that electronics are recycled safely and efficiently. The program is overseen by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee, also known as TAC.


There are hundreds of R2 recyclers in the United States alone. Each one has a large collection of used smartphones up for grabs. You can often buy directly from these recyclers at very low costs.


One unique thing about this inventory source is that the hardware is handled very carefully. To become an R2 recycler, businesses have to meet certain standards. They also must go through regular audits to ensure that all required standards are met.


Not only do the recyclers work to meet health, environmental, and safety standards, but they also have to keep data secure. All data is wiped from the phones, making it easy to flip the hardware for resale.


Applying to become an R2 certified recycler will get you access to carrier and insurance auctions like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Asurion. It takes time and money to officially receive an R2 certification. However, being a company with this distinction can open up your company to many new buying markets.


7. BuyBack Websites


There is no shortage of buyback websites out there. Most buyback websites work the same way. All you have to do is answer a few questions about what you’re selling. You then receive preliminary offers. If you accept the offers, you’ll send in your electronics for inspection. After a detailed review, the buyback company will pay you.


Like pawn shops, buyback websites are focused on making a profit. So, sale rates may be on the lower side. 


However, these sites are a great source for getting high-quality gear. All of the smartphones these companies sell go through a strict inspection process. In most cases, they have that "certified" stamp of approval to ensure buyers that the phone is in good working condition. That's less work for you, making it easier to turn a profit quickly.


8. Facebook Groups


Last, but not least, you can always go to Facebook Groups or other marketplace sites. Buying and selling groups are a dime a dozen on Facebook. According to statistics published by Facebook in 2018, roughly 800 million people use Facebook Marketplace every month.


Creating a listing on Facebook Marketplace is easy and will put your post in front of a large audience. You can find groups designed for business owners or groups focused on business hardware.


Best of all, Facebook Marketplace is free to use. Unlike other sites, there's no charge to create a listing for Facebook Groups. You can also respond to business owners trying to get rid of their smartphones to get more stock.


When you buy and sell smartphones, you can handle every piece of the transaction directly on Facebook. This is great for someone that hates jumping back and forth through multiple platforms just to make a sale.


9. Partner With Wholesalers


Another great source for finding phones to flip is by partnering with wholesalers. These types of partnerships are usually struck up through in-person or online channels. Depending on what type of merchandise and conditions they specialize in buying, this is a great potential way to find lots of phones in the condition you're seeking. These types of people and companies should have access to phones in all sorts of conditions.


An unfortunate aspect of almost any industry is the presence of scammers. We can’t lie, there are shady websites out there. The best way to avoid scammers is by only purchasing items from reputable sellers.


Fortunately, Trade-In Tech has many reputable and honest wholesalers. So, you can rest assured that your purchasing transactions will be of the utmost quality. To start connecting with these sellers, become a member of Trade-In Tech.


Will You Refurbish or Partner With an Electronics Refurbisher?



As you start looking for phones to flip, you’ll come across items in all sorts of conditions. Several factors that affect a phone’s value include the condition of its screen, buttons, and battery. By keeping a close eye on phone features (or lack thereof), you won't make the mistake of reselling a phone for less than it's worth.


If you want to make extra money flipping phones, it’s worth learning how to repair phones or partnering with someone who can. What's great about being able to recondition phones is that it's an excellent way to increase the profitability of your new business.


To practice your newly learned repair skills, it's best to do this with smaller lots or by purchasing a few damaged phones at a time. As your skills and the number of smartphone problems you can solve increases, you can purchase even more lots of phones.


A key aspect of flipping phones is being able to increase the value of these items. There are many ways to accomplish this goal. But, you'll want to start by reconditioning phones using the skills you already have. Several common phone reconditioning methods include repairing screens, headphone jacks, phone buttons, and solving battery-related issues.


Why Should I Learn to Repair Electronics?


What's great about being able to recondition phones is that it's an excellent way to make money. As you learn various types of repair skills, you're also increasing the types of phones you're able to flip. There are a few general features that affect a smartphone's resale value. By keeping a close eye on phone features, you won't make the mistake of reselling a phone for less than it's worth.


When you know how to repair phones, you can also help your company grow by partnering with other businesses as their repair person. You could find that your new repair skills bring in a lot of extra income!


Why Should I Partner With an Electronics Refurbisher?


It’s beneficial to partner with an electronics refurbisher if you don’t want to learn how to repair electronic devices. By hiring one of these professionals, you won’t have to spend lots of time learning about repairing electronics. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, an electronics refurbisher is an incredibly valuable addition to your team.


Partnering with an electronics refurbisher means losing out on a bit of profit. However, it’s also going to expand the reach of what you can buy and resell. Just make sure you’re purchasing phones that you or who you’re working with can repair.


How to Buy Wholesale Cell Phones to Flip for Profit



By this point, you are almost ready to start buying phones. Before doing this, you’ll want to check out this section with lots of helpful buying tips. Let’s take a closer look at how to start buying phones to flip.


Become a Trade-In Tech Member


When you’re ready to buy phones, two things matter. These things are having trustworthy partners and access to lots of inventory. At Trade-In Tech, we take care of both these matters for you. If you don’t want to deal with fees, join Trade-In Tech. We’re proud to offer zero fees to our network of members whether they’re buying or selling.


You can also lower your chance of dealing with scammers by finding the electronics you're looking for on the Trade-In Tech’s Marketplace. Before becoming a member, we ensure each person completes our verification process and provides industry references.


When you’re ready to sell your items, we’re the perfect place to do it. Our large platform for electronics wholesalers gives you many ways to sell your phones and leave plenty of room for profit. We even guarantee that each of our members receives 75+ quality leads each month! 


To Flip Phones for Profit, Buy in Bulk 


As you might be able to tell, we’re quite big fans of wholesaling. This is because wholesaling can be extremely profitable. To start this process, it’s best to start buying phones in bulk. Buying in bulk is also helpful for selling lots of items at once.


If you choose to purchase large quantities of smartphones, make sure you have a per-unit price in mind. This is how much you’re willing to spend on one phone. Take that price and multiply it by the size of a lot and you’ll have this important price. For example, if a lot has 125 units and costs $10,000, the per-unit price is $80. ($10,000 / 125 = $80)


Places like Trade-In Tech have sellers who are willing to sell working phones in bulk. Purchasing the phones in bulk can save you time versus having to purchase each phone individually. Saving time can equate to making more profit quicker. 


Plus, Trade-In Tech has many reputable, honest sellers, so you can rest assured that your purchasing transactions will be of the utmost quality. You can purchase in bulk online through our website at


Keep a Close Eye on Your Budget


When you’re buying cell phones wholesale, the last thing you want to do is to go over budget. You can avoid going over budget by having an accurate list of your expenses. Your exact expenses depend on how you run your business. However, there are general expenses that come with owning a business.


One of the most important expenses to keep an eye on has to do with your inventory. To accurately track your inventory costs, always note how much you spend on your electronics. This includes shipping, taxes, and any other expense you pay to receive your items. It’s also important to include any fees you pay in your product costs.


For example, let’s say that you want to make a $40 profit on each of your smartphones. One of the smartphones you’re selling costs you $100. You’ll also need to spend $5 on fees and $10 on shipping before selling this smartphone. 


To make $40 profit, you would need to sell this item for at least $155. ($100 + $5 + $10 = $115) ($115 + $40 = $155).


Check Out Liquidation and Return Smartphones


If you want to have success with buying phones to flip, it’s helpful to look in many places. We’ve spent some time teaching you about new and used smartphones. With that in mind, it’s also wise to gain access to liquidation and return electronics.


While it might sound difficult, getting access to these types of smartphones doesn’t have to be impossible. If you’ve established your company with a resale license, you should be all set. After doing that, you only need to find places offering liquidation and return pallets.


What makes buying liquidation and return smartphones so beneficial? The first benefit is that these devices often cost far less than normal. That’s because most companies can’t sell return or liquidated goods at full price. Therefore, these companies place returned or liquidated items on pallets of electronics to sell all at once.


Another benefit of working with liquidation and return electronics is finding a new source of inventory. You might soon find that purchasing these types of items provides major profits for your business.


Popular Brands Sell Well


The final tip we want to share about buying smartphones is that items from popular brands tend to sell the fastest. Yes, you might spend more money than you want on name-brand smartphones from companies like Apple and Samsung. However, this cost is well worth it when you consider the popularity of name-brand smartphones.


If you don’t follow this rule, you might end up buying lots of smartphones at a low cost. However, you’ll soon find that the demand for smartphones from unknown companies isn’t going to be high. Considering that, you could be sitting around with lots of inventory that no one wants.


Shipping Your Flipped Phones



After you’ve found and purchased your cell phones, you’ll need to ship them. You don’t want to be the business owner that neglects how to save money on shipping. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you ship your flipped phones the smart way.


Free Shipping Is Enticing


With so many companies aiming to gain you as a customer, you’ll often see these businesses offering sales or free shipping. After looking at how much packages cost to ship, free shipping can be a powerful motivator to get someone to buy something.


You might be asking yourself: “Won’t offering free shipping cost me more money?” It doesn’t have to. Many sellers determine how much it will cost to ship their items and then add that to their selling price. If you’re shipping internationally, this might not be possible.


Insure What You Ship


The average smartphone isn’t a cheap or inexpensive item. Considering that, it’s a good idea to always insure the items you’re selling. Yes, it’s true that adding insurance for packages means they’ll cost more to ship. However, paying for this insurance is much cheaper than losing a smartphone worth $500 or $1,000. Most mail carriers should offer shipping insurance of some sort. The peace of mind that shipping insured items gives you far outweighs its costs.


Signature Confirmation


Something else to think about when shipping items is whether or not you’ll require a signature confirmation. A signature confirmation requires a mail deliverer to get the signature of a recipient before dropping off the item.


Like insurance, choosing signature confirmation will add on a little more to your shipping bill. Getting a signature provides peace of mind for both shippers and receivers. With a confirmed signature, you know the right person received what they ordered.


Protecting Your Packages


Calculating shipping costs is important. What’s also just as important is protecting anything you ship. If the smartphones you’re buying and selling came in their original packages, you’re off to a great start. However, it’s sometimes not always possible to have these packages laying around.


To get started, you’ll want to have some bubble wrap and tape handy. Most sellers like bubble wrap because it’s lightweight, which helps to avoid weighing down a package and paying more to ship it. Bubble wrap is also popular because the many air bubbles they contain provide an effective way to protect something during the shipping process.


Another tip for safely shipping phones is to place items in sandwich bags. By doing this, you can help avoid any of your electronics collecting outside moisture while they’re getting shipped.


How to Avoid the Most Common Scams in the World of Phone Flipping



One of the best skills you can have as a new seller is being cautious. While there are many beneficial reasons to start buying and selling electronics, you’ll also want to stay aware of scammers. Unfortunately, you can find scammers in almost every industry.


If It’s Possible, Test Phones Before Buying Them


The used electronics industry has many quality control issues and smartphones are some of the most common items to have defects. After purchasing phones, it’s a good idea to make sure they work properly. This is also known as the process of testing phones. Understandably, this isn’t always a possibility for people who aren’t buying and selling in person.


These tests are simple to perform, meaning you don’t need to be a technical expert to do them. You can perform these tests by checking that the device’s touchscreen works in all areas as well as its buttons, charging capabilities, cameras, and headphone jacks. For a simpler solution, consider using diagnostics software like PhoneCheck to properly test all smartphones and tablets.


Testing a smartphone is simple but can be time-consuming, especially for wholesalers with lots of devices to test and process. If you don’t want to do this yourself, we recommend visiting PhoneCheck. This company tests smartphones in every way possible and even performs data wiping services, ensuring your devices are ready to sell.


If you want to test your skills at practicing new repair skills you've recently learned, it's best to do this with smaller lots or by purchasing a few damaged phones at a time. As your skills and the number of smartphone problems you can solve increases, you can purchase even more lots of phones to flip.


You can lower your chance of dealing with scammers by finding the electronics you're looking for on the Trade-In Tech Marketplace. Before becoming a member, we ensure each person completes our verification process and provides industry references.


Watch Out for Bad or Unclean ESN and IMEIs


Both ESNs and IMEIs are a series of numbers or letters that give a phone a unique value. Think of them in a similar manner to how people in the United States each have unique social security numbers to identify them. Any phone you want to purchase for your phone flipping business should have a clean ESN or IMEI.


Before purchasing anything, it’s essential to ensure you’re buying phones that aren’t blacklisted. Blacklisted phones, in most cases, are either lost, stolen, or the owner is behind on payments. A bad ESN makes a phone unusable. It’s also impossible for someone to sell any blacklisted phone.


Selling stolen or otherwise blacklisted goods can get you in a lot of legal trouble. Considering that, you can keep away from blacklisted phones by learning about ESNs and IMEIs.


Don't let the thought of blacklisted phones discourage you from entering this industry. Many safeguards in place on major online platforms prevent blacklisted phones from being sold. To further avoid blacklisted phones, keep an eye out for seller/buyer reviews and ratings. 


There are many ways to verify that the ESN is good before purchase. It can be as simple as entering a few digits on a phone or even verifying the ESN through a website. If the seller cannot provide you with the ESN to verify its authenticity, you will want to pass on the purchase.


Avoid Jailbroken Devices


While browsing listings for smartphones, you might come across some that are jailbroken. A jailbroken smartphone is one that utilizes customized software to bypass restrictions set forth by its manufacturer. People typically jailbreak smartphones to have access to unauthorized programs or apps.


Whether you want to do this to your personal device is your choice. However, you don’t want to buy and sell jailbroken smartphones. Doing this can land your company in a lot of legal trouble. Smartphone companies like Apple and Google don’t want people modifying their devices. Unless they’re extremely tech-savvy, your customers are unlikely to know what to do with jailbroken smartphones.


A Seller Doesn’t Respond To You


Understandably, buying smartphones for your new business is extremely important. With that in mind, you’re likely going to have questions or concerns while getting inventory for your business. Considering that, you’ll only want to work with sellers that take time to be responsive.


If a potential seller isn’t answering your questions, it might be because they’re hiding something. Sometimes, a seller might be extremely busy. But, generally speaking, a non-responsive seller isn’t going to be very helpful when you have questions or concerns.


Lacking a History of Past Buys or Sales


Another way you can potentially avoid getting scammed is by looking at a seller’s transaction history. Depending on the platform you’re using, this information might not always be available. But, if you can find it, looking at a seller’s review or transaction history can tell you a lot about them.


Ideally, you’ll only want to buy smartphones from a seller that has a history of completed transactions and satisfied customers. On Trade-In Tech, we utilize a rating system to ensure that everyone on our platform doesn’t have to worry about scammers.


No Photos and a Lack of Listing Information


If someone is eager to sell their smartphones, they’ll tend to have listings with full descriptions and pictures of their electronics. While it’s not always an indicator of honesty, it’s best to buy from sellers that share lots of information concerning their products.


Unfortunately, some sellers might try to use vague descriptions or not have any pictures of what they’re selling. If you come across bare-bones listings, it’s probably best to look elsewhere for the electronics you need.


Interacting With Potential and Current Customers



Another aspect of running a business is speaking with people. This doesn’t have to mean meeting with customers and business partners in person. However, it’s almost impossible to avoid interacting with customers in one way or another while running a company. If you want to get your new business launched in the best way possible, follow these tips to properly interact with your company’s customers.


Be Responsive (Even When They’re Unhappy)


As mentioned earlier, one of the best things you can do to start flipping phones is to be responsive. Hopefully, you’ve been reading our many blogs. If so, you’ve been learning lots of things about the wholesale electronics industry. With that said, the average buyer probably doesn’t know a lot about buying electronics.


Regardless of your potential buyer’s knowledge level, you’re going to get questions and comments from past, present, and potential customers. When they start showing up, make sure you (or one of your trusted employees) is there to respond to them.


More often than not, any question you receive should be fairly easy to handle. But, what about when they’re not? If, for whatever reason, a customer had a bad experience with your business, they might take to the internet to let the world know.


It’s human nature to feel your skin get hot and your anger rise as you read something negative about your business. Instead of firing back an angry response, remember that anything you type might be around forever. So, it’s best to do what other successful companies do and use your response message as a way to resolve the situation.


Have the person leaving a negative review privately send you information about this matter. Most companies ask for an order number or another way to verify this person’s order in its system. If a legitimate issue took place, offer to make the issue right. More often than not, this person will quickly do whatever possible to change or update a negative review with a much more positive response.


Follow Up Whenever Possible


Another important thing to take care of regarding your business is following up with your customers. You can follow up through email, text message, direct phone call, or social media. It’s even possible to use programs or tools that automatically follow up with your customers.


But, why is following up with your customers such a big deal? Because it helps to build strong relationships with your customers. When you don’t follow up, it can make customers think that all you care about is making a sale.


Plus, following up allows you to learn about any problems a customer might have had. Some customers aren’t willing to go through the trouble of reaching out to let you know something’s wrong. Even worse, they might immediately take to social media to let others know about the issues they had with your business.


When you follow up with customers, you can be the first to know of something that went wrong. You can also use follow-ups to learn about what your business is doing right.


Whether it’s positive, negative, or mixed, it’s important to know how customers feel about your company. By receiving and acting on feedback (both good and bad), you’re building a stronger and more profitable business.


Ask for Reviews


As you continue getting comfortable with customer interactions, why not take a moment to ask them for a review? We understand that asking for something like this might feel uncomfortable. But, to be honest, most customers are now used to these requests. Chances are, you can recall getting an email or message asking you for a review of something you recently purchased online.


As they say, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” With so many other companies asking for reviews, it makes sense that you should start doing this too.


Honest reviews customers leave about your business are some of the best exposure your company can receive. Numerous SEO experts continue finding that companies getting lots of good reviews to get more prominent rankings than those with little to no reviews.


Plus, reviews play on that part of the human brain that values other people’s opinions. If you need help from a plumber, you would probably call the business with a lot of good reviews. The same rule applies when people are searching for a phone flipper to work with.


Check Out This BONUS Video for One Hour of Phone Flipping Tips


We recently hosted a live training for anyone interested in learning how to buy and sell phones with business owners. 110 attendees showed up for the one-hour training taught by Hayden Howard, the owner of Trade-In Tech.


Throughout the training, we answer questions on topics like accounting, inventory management, quality control, sales, and marketing. Watch the video below to learn some of the advanced strategies we use to acquire customers on LinkedIn, Marketermagic, and various other sources.



With this guide, you should have everything needed to start a phone flipping business. If you understand how to effectively flip phones, where to purchase them, and how to sell them, it's likely that your phone flipping business will be a successful one. For more help with starting your own phone flipping business, we highly recommend visiting Trade-In Tech's blog. We keep this updated with lots of resources, interviews with industry professionals, and lots of other content you don't want to miss.

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