Trade-In Tech
by on August 2, 2021

Phone flipping is quickly becoming one of the most profitable ways to earn money online. If you’re thinking about flipping phones, you’ll have several major decisions to make. One of the most important decisions involves the condition of phones you want to work with.


In the world of phone flipping, there are brand new, like-new, used, and broken phones available to flip. If you’re new to buying phones, trying to decide what option is best can feel confusing and frustrating. With that in mind, let Trade-In Tech help you learn more about buying and reselling phones.


In this post, we’re going to cover:


  • The pros and cons of reselling new, used, and broken phones

  • How to determine what kinds of phones you should start buying

  • Where you can find cell phones for sale

  • How much money you can make selling smartphones

  • The most popular smartphone brands in the world


Brand New



If you’re wanting to make the most money from your phones, you’re going to want to buy brand-new devices. Here is more information about the pros of buying smartphones in brand new condition.


Pros of Buying Brand New Phones


If you’re thinking about buying brand new cell phones, there are several reasons why this can be a smart decision. Here are the benefits of buying phones in new condition.


An Incredible Level of Demand


One of the main benefits of selling phones that are in brand new condition is the level of customer demand. Some people want to save money by purchasing used electronics. However, other people with money to spare might only want brand new smartphones. Typically, the people or companies that only want new phones have the budgets to buy them.


Nothing to Fix


If you’re buying and reselling factory-sealed phones, you shouldn’t have to take these devices out of their original boxes. When you buy brand new phones, there’s no worrying about inspecting or fixing any potential issues. This can help ensure you’re focusing on other business matters besides repairing phones.


Potential to Make a Lot of Money


Another advantage of selling brand new phones is that you can usually charge fairly high prices for these devices. As long as your prices are lower than or comparable to retail, you should have a steady flow of customer demand.


Peace of Mind for Your Customers


It’s understandable for a new customer to not be sure if they can trust a company they’re doing business with for the first time. Fortunately, you can pass on as much peace of mind as possible by selling brand-new phones. Since this item basically comes straight from the manufacturer, a customer doesn’t have to wonder about your company’s repair skills.


Cons of Buying Brand New Phones


It’s also important to note that there are certain disadvantages associated with just buying brand new phones. Here’s a closer look at a few things to consider before making this decision.


Limited Selection


One drawback of buying brand new phones is that you’re limiting your potential selection of inventory. If you’re only going after new phones, it leaves used phones off of the table. This decision massively reduces the kinds of smartphones you can carry. Unfortunately, the phones you’re unable to carry could be the ones that your customers want the most.


Not the Best Profit Margin


On paper, it might look like your business is achieving growth by selling new phones. While this might be important, it’s often better to look at the profit margins your business is earning. Typically, only selling new phones doesn’t leave you with a lot of room to earn a major profit from each phone you sell. Because of this, you might need a lot of capital to buy the number of phones necessary to make a sizable overall profit.


Requires the Most Money


The final disadvantage of buying brand new phones is how much they cost. No seller wants to lose money selling brand new phones. Unless you come across an extremely rare deal, you’re going to be shelling out quite a bit of money to get your hands on a lot of brand-new smartphones. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option for new buyers without large budgets.


Like New



Somewhere between brand new and used devices are like new smartphones. As we’re sure you can guess, these phones get their name because they’re almost new. However, these phones might have one or two minor flaws. If you can find phones in like-new condition, these items can become best-sellers for your business.


Pros of Reselling Like New Phones


If you asked most phone resellers, they would say there’s nothing better than buying like-new phones. However, you might not be so convinced. Here’s why these types of phones are so popular in the electronics industry.


The Potential to Profit


One of the most evident reasons to buy phones in like-new condition is the potential profits these devices can bring you. Because like-new phones are in such great condition, you can start earning quite a lot of money after just a few sales.


Like-New Phones Don’t Require Much Repairing


If you don’t know how to perform phone repairs and don’t have a partner to help repair your devices, like-new phones are great. Because these phones shouldn’t require any repairs, they’re basically ready to sell as soon as they arrive. When you’re not scheduling phone repairs or doing them on your own, you have more free time available.


Cons of Reselling Like New Phones


As great as they are, there can be a few disadvantages associated with selling like-new phones. Here are a couple of disadvantages associated with selling phones that are in like-new condition.


Definitions of “Like New” Can Vary Wildly


It shouldn’t take too long to find electronics in like-new condition. As you begin seeing these items, you might notice that the condition of these products varies wildly. This is because people’s definitions of what like-new can vary from person to person.


Someone who inspects every part of a phone might list an item as like-new, and it looks perfect. On the other hand, a seller might also describe a like-new item that looks more like one that’s been extensively used. With that in mind, it’s imperative to closely research any like-new phones you come across.


High Customer Expectations


While we’re on the subject of expectations with like-new phones, it’s also important to think about your customers. If someone was buying a brand-new phone, they’d expect something in perfect condition. Someone buying a used phone in good condition would expect a few imperfections.


When it comes to reselling like-new devices, you might get potential customers who believe that your items aren’t truly in like-new condition. Other customers with more realistic standards might believe they’re getting a bargain by buying your company’s like-new smartphones.


Not Always Easy to Find


Due to the popularity of like-new phones, these devices can sometimes be difficult to find. Plus, when these phones are on the market, they tend to sell quickly. So, you’ll want to keep a close eye on listings for like-new phones.


Used Phones



It’s most likely that the vast majority of phones you’ll work with will fall under the category of used phones. These phones come in a wide range of conditions, depending on how much use they received. As you’re about to learn, there are several major advantages and disadvantages of reselling used smartphones.


Pros of Reselling Used Phones


There is a wide range of benefits associated with reselling used phones. These devices are usually available in a wide range of styles. But, that’s not where the benefits of buying and reselling used phones ends. Here are some reasons why resellers love getting their hands on used cell phones.


Finding a Wide Range of Phones for Sale


When you’re buying anything, you probably like to have a range of products to choose from. After all, a lack of selection can feel quite boring. Fortunately, you won’t have this problem if you’re buying and reselling used smartphones. There is an astounding range of used phones on the market from popular companies, such as Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, and many others.


As you continue buying used phones, you can pass on a lot of options to your customers.


Choosing Whether to Flip or Sell As-Is


Another great advantage of reselling used phones is that you can choose whether to flip them or sell them as they are. If you choose to repair them (or have someone else do it for you), it’s possible to resell your electronics for a higher amount of money and maximize your profits. If you want to sell your phones ASAP, you can ship them out right away.


Room to Make Lots of Money


When you’re buying and selling used phones, it’s always possible to sell these phones back for a higher price than what you bought them for. With these phones, you’re not worrying about the low profit margins associated with reselling brand-new phones. Because of this, selling used phones can put money in the pockets of your company fairly quickly.


Cons of Reselling Used Phones


Used phones are great purchases for electronics wholesalers. However, they’re not without a few disadvantages. Here are the cons of buying and reselling used smartphones.


Conditions Can Vary


By most people’s definition, any phone that isn’t brand new is considered used. So, don’t be surprised to find that used smartphones are available in a range of conditions. One seller might offer extremely used and worn smartphones for $200, while another one will offer this same phone in much better condition for only $100.


Some Will Need Repairs


Depending on what grade the phones you’re interested in fall under, you might need to repair your phones before selling them. Making this decision is likely going to mean splitting some profits with another party.


You’ll Need to Trust Your Seller


The final disadvantage of buying used phones has to do with trust. Before you buy used phones from another person or company, make sure to do your research on who you’re buying from. By doing this, you can avoid getting something you don’t want or can’t sell. When you find a reliable business partner to buy from, this could mean never having to worry about product shortages.


Broken Phones



While it might initially seem strange in this blog post, broken smartphones have more to offer than you might think. Considering that, it’s time to take a closer look at the pros of buying broken cell phones.


Pros of Reselling Broken Phones


Surprisingly, there are a few important reasons why reselling non-working phones can be a great idea. Here are a couple of reasons why people working in the electronics industry like working with broken phones.


Excellent Profit Margins


The main reason people like buying broken or non-working phones is because of the profits these devices can bring in. However, you won’t get to enjoy such sizable profits by selling back broken phones. Instead, you would want to either flip these phones or find someone that can do this for you.


Possible to Resell for Parts


It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to flip broken phones to get value from them. Instead, you can choose to sell your broken phones for parts. This is a similar strategy to what companies that scrap cars do. If you need to find companies interested in what you’re selling, make sure to check out Trade-In Tech.


Working With Eager Sellers


Sometimes, especially when buying new or like-new phones, it’s possible to encounter sellers that know the exact value of what they’re selling. This situation can sometimes make it hard for a buyer to get the smartphones they want at a fair price. When an electronics recycler or other type of seller needs to sell broken phones, they typically want to get these devices out fast.


Cons of Reselling Broken Phones


As you can imagine, there are a few disadvantages associated with buying broken phones. Here are some reasons why you might want to reconsider buying these types of devices.


They’re Going to Need Work


One of the most obvious disadvantages of buying and reselling broken phones is that they’re in a non-working state. This means you’re going to need to repair them before they have a real chance at making your business any money.


Misjudging How Broken Your Phones Are


While looking at listings for broken phones, it’s understandable if the person selling them doesn’t mention a lot of details about them. However, deciding to buy broken phones without knowing exactly what’s wrong with them can be a regrettable decision.

Imagine that you allocate $50 in your company’s budget to repair each smartphone you buy. If you bought phones with both external and internal issues, you could be spending much more than $50 to get each phone into functional and sellable condition. Depending on how many phones need repair work, your company could end up losing quite a bit of money.


Locked or Blacklisted Phones



We also wanted to give mention to locked and/or blacklisted phones. It’s smart to stay away from these types of phones at all costs. Locked or blacklisted phones are unlikely to bring your business any money. However, you might not understand why.


There are a few reasons why a phone can be either blocked or blacklisted. One reason why phones get locked is due to non-payment. Most major phone retailers will place locks on their devices until a customer fully pays them off. If the customer stops paying, the carrier will lock their phones until this situation changes.


Disadvantages of Locked or Blacklisted Phones


There is nothing but disadvantages associated with buying either locked or blacklisted phones. Here is more information about why you should avoid having these phones in your company’s inventory.


No Value


When one of your customers buys a phone from you, they understandably want to be able to use it. However, this won’t be the case if they’re buying locked phones. Considering that, it will be extremely difficult for you to find anyone that wants to buy a locked device.


Can Get Your Business in Trouble


It’s also advisable to avoid buying and reselling locked phones because it could get you in trouble. One reason why phones get locked or blacklisted is that they were either lost or stolen. And, the last thing you want is to run a company that gets accused of selling stolen merchandise.


What Kinds of Phones Should I Start Buying?



Deciding what types of phones you should be buying is an important decision. If you were going to make the decision that most resellers make, especially when starting out, your best bet is probably to start buying used phones.


If you either have skills repairing electronics or are in business with someone that has these skills, buying broken or otherwise heavily damaged smartphones might be your best bet.


What’s great about reselling electronics is that you have the freedom to buy the electronics that bring the best results for your company. You might think about buying a small number of new and used electronics to see what items sell the fastest. As your business continues to grow, you can expand the types of smartphones it purchases.


How Trade-In Tech Can Help Your Phone Flipping Business



Once you learn what types of phones will be best to start carrying, you’ll need a place to start finding these electronics. With that in mind, we’ve got you covered. If you need to start buying phones to resell, here’s more information about how Trade-In Tech can help you out.


Lots of Smartphones for Sale


As you’ve learned, there is a massive number of phones for sale. Whether you’re looking for new, used, or non-working phones, you can find what you need on Trade-In Tech. This is because, since 2012, we’ve been welcoming some of the electronic industry’s best-performing companies to our wholesale platform. Thanks to our awesome membership network, there are lots of phones for sale on Trade-In Tech.


We regularly have our members list phones from the world’s most popular brands, such as Apple, Samsung, LG, Google, and many others. You’ll also find a large network of international members, which is great if you’re looking for smartphones from companies like Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei.


When you’re ready to start buying phones, the vast range of smartphones you’ll find on Trade-In Tech can make purchasing inventory incredibly fast and easy.


No Fees


Another major benefit of becoming one of Trade-In Tech’s many members is not having to deal with transaction fees. Whether you’re trying to sell a few phones per month, transaction fees can seem like a small problem at first. However, things change as your company grows and you’re selling hundreds or thousands of smartphones each month.


As your sales numbers rise, those bothersome transaction fees continue taking away your hard-earned profits. Fortunately, you won’t be dealing with transaction fees while doing business on Trade-In Tech. We don’t believe in charging fees to our members every time one of them makes a transaction. Without having to factor in transaction fees, this means you can keep more of your company’s revenue for other matters.


Buyer’s Requests


We also wanted to mention another one of Trade-In Tech’s many stand-out features, which is the buyer’s request. This feature allows any of our members to create an exact request that specifies what they would like to buy.


Plus, creating a buyer’s request is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time to complete. All you need to do is specify what you would like to buy. After a few clicks, your buyer’s request will get sent out to our large network of members. This feature is a great way to buy whatever you might need.


How Much Money Can I Make From Flipping Phones?



If you’re thinking about starting a new business, figuring out how profitable this venture will be is incredibly important. 


To help you learn about pricing your company’s phones, it’s helpful to understand the pricing process. First, you’ll have the price you paid for a phone. This number is how much money you gave to a seller to purchase your new phones.


Second, you’ll need to determine the price you’re going to charge a customer. When you’re creating these prices, make sure you choose a number that allows you to profit. However, you don’t want to set your prices too high. You can also choose to markup your phones by setting a certain percentage.


Let’s say that you purchased a smartphone for $30. The $30 you spent is your purchase price. If you want to sell this phone for $57. In this case, you would be marking up your phone by 90%. If you sold this phone for $57, you would make a profit of $27 after each sale.


Buy Phones You Can Profit From


One of the greatest tips to keep in mind when buying phones is to only purchase items you’ll profit from. This tip might sound like common sense, but it’s easy for your emotions to take over when you think you’re getting a good deal. By checking the current market values of any smartphone you’re thinking about buying, you’ll always know which ones will be profitable.


The last thing you want to deal with is a phone that ends up costing you money to sell.


See How Much Your Competitors Are Charging


You might be wondering where you can find how much money phones are selling for. By doing this, you can help ensure you’re pricing your items accurately. When your prices are good, it becomes much more likely that someone will purchase phones from your company.


If you want to see how much your competitors charge for their phones, consider visiting their respective websites. Some companies will have price sheets available that you can research. By looking over what they’re selling that you also sell, you can help ensure that your pricing structure is a good one.


Another great source for pricing your company’s phones is by checking out eBay. Since this website is so popular, there should be plenty of previously sold listings you can check out to obtain pricing-related information.


Set Sales Goals


Pricing your company’s cell phones is the perfect time to start setting sales goals. Some companies meet their sales goals by setting goals based on a certain dollar amount. Other companies might set their goals by how many smartphones they sell during a specified period.


Putting your sales goals in place is a great way to set standards for your business. You can also set goals to determine exactly how many phones you need to sell to break even or become profitable.


What Phone Brands Are the Most Popular?



Another question we’re often asked by people who are new to this industry is: “what are the most popular phones to resell?” Fortunately, there are many popular phone brands around the world! If you’re wanting to have the easiest time selling smartphones, it’s a good idea to stick with popular brands and models.




If you’re looking for the most popular smartphones, you’re going to want to find Apple’s iPhone. For over a decade, the iPhone has remained the industry leader in terms of popularity. What’s great about iPhones being so popular is that they’re available in many places.


As you might know, Apple is a company with many die-hard fans. If you have lots of Apple’s brand fans shopping with you, consider carrying other popular items from this company. A few other types of electronics from Apple that could also sell well for you include iPads and MacBooks.




Another popular company in the smartphone industry is Samsung. Year-over-year, both Apple and Samsung remain in close competition with one another. Samsung’s smartphones are versatile and popular with people that don’t want or need an iPhone. Samsung’s most popular line of smartphones remains those under the Galaxy product line.




If you live in the United States, you might not have heard of Xiaomi before. With that said, this is an incredibly popular smartphone company in other parts of the world. This company recently reported being the most popular smartphone vendor in India. Xiaomi is also popular throughout much of Europe.


Considering that this company’s phones have yet to gain the popularity that Apple and Samsung have, it can be hard to find Xiaomi smartphones in the United States. Fortunately, you might be able to find many smartphones by Xiaomi by checking out Trade-In Tech. Because we have an international network of members, it’s much easier than normal to find Xiaomi’s electronics.




Another incredibly popular smartphone company throughout Asia and parts of Europe is Oppo. This company is based out of China and remains one of the smartphone industry’s leading companies. Oppo is an incredibly fast-growing company that continues to expand its reach throughout the world.




When creating a list of the most popular smartphone brands, it’s also important to include Huawei. Another smartphone company with international popularity, one of the reasons Huawei remains so popular is due to its low prices. It’s not uncommon to find Huawei smartphones selling for half the price of Samsung and Apple smartphones, which is great for your company’s budget-conscious customers.




You can also find some of the world’s most popular smartphones by purchasing ones made by LG. This company is a powerhouse in the electronics industry, selling items like smartphones, televisions, and other products. By finding LG phones, your business can definitely start increasing the number of sales it makes.


To summarize, deciding which kinds of cell phones to start reselling is an important decision. If you have a sizable budget, new phones are always popular. Many companies enjoy the flexibility that reselling used phones provide. There are also many companies making money by flipping broken phones. For more information about how to succeed in this industry, don’t miss many more helpful guides for electronics wholesalers at

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