Trade-In Tech
by on August 18, 2021

Many people and companies in the electronics industry make money by buying and reselling phones. However, before you can start doing this, it’s helpful to learn about erasing data from electronics. At first, it can seem like erasing data from electronics is difficult. However, after a little time and effort, almost anyone can safely and effectively erase data from electronics.


Considering that, Trade-In Tech is here to make this entire process much easier than normal. By reading the following post, you’re going to find out:


  • What kinds of data are on smartphones

  • Why you should strongly consider wiping phones before selling them

  • How to properly erase all data from iPhones, Android, and Windows phones

  • Other follow-up steps to get your phones ready for resale

  • Tips for erasing data from multiple phones to help you save time

  • Where you can easily start finding phones to flip


What Types of Data Are on Smartphones?



There are many types of data on a smartphone. Some of the information you can find on a smartphone include videos and photos. If you’re like most people, you have more than a few videos and photos stored on your phone.


Other types of data on most smartphones are call and text message logs. Unless a phone is brand new, it’s going to contain data from previously sent or received texts and calls. Chances are, you wouldn’t want some random person having access to your previously sent and received messages. You also probably wouldn’t want them looking through the contacts in your phone.


As cell phones became smartphones, these devices became flooded with lots of new applications (or apps, for short). While apps are convenient, they’re also other places on a phone that contain personal data. Fortunately, performing a factory reset should remove apps and the personal log-in information they might contain.


There is also data that resides within cloud storage. While this data itself might not be stored in a phone, it only takes one login for someone to access information stored in “the cloud.” Therefore, it’s a good idea to sign out of any cloud-based accounts if you can before reselling any phones.


Why Should I Erase Data From Smartphones?



It’s also important to learn about the benefits of getting personal data off of smartphones before selling them. In most cases, sellers will wipe all data from cell phones before placing them on the market. However, this won’t always be the case. Whether you’re removing your own data or data from previous owners, here are the main benefits of wiping phones before you sell them.


Peace of Mind


One of the main reasons to wipe data from any electronics you sell is to obtain peace of mind. When you’re properly erasing data from smartphones, you’re not having to worry about what your customer might find on these devices.


Whether you’re trying to sell your own phone or ones you purchased online, removing data on them is incredibly beneficial for providing you with peace of mind. With this peace of mind, you can continue running your business without worrying about anyone’s sensitive data getting out. 


Protecting Other People’s Private Information


It’s also important to erase data from a smartphone to protect the previous owner’s information. While the device’s previous owner might be a total stranger, you don’t want to give out their personal information to someone who might have bad intentions with it.


It only takes one person with bad intentions to find and take advantage of data that gets left behind on a smartphone. Imagine what this person could do if they found financial information, photos, and other types of personal data.


Fortunately, wiping data from smartphones helps ensure that your customers get clean devices.


Not Giving Your Customers More Work to Do


It’s also wise to think about your customers after they receive phones purchased from your company. If these phones weren’t wiped, they’ll likely have personal data on them. Understandably, most of your customers won’t want data from other people on their new phones.


Left with no choice, your customers will now have to learn how to wipe data from their smartphones. They’ll also have to go through the steps to clean these devices. If someone has to do this every time they buy smartphones from you, they might enjoy having to do all of this extra work. Eventually, some of these people or companies could end up going with another company that sells wiped phones.


Showing Others That Your Company Cares


If your smartphone was resold, but you forgot to remove data from it, you would likely hope the person selling your phone performs this step. When you’re taking the time to make sure you’re selling wiped and cleaned smartphones, this is something that your customers and business partners will appreciate.


Potentially Getting More Positive Reviews From Customers


Because you’re saving your customers time with cleaned and wiped phones, you could find your business getting an influx of favorable reviews. As you continue providing your customers with high-quality, pre-wiped, and cleaned phones, these reviews can really start adding up.


Plus, having lots of positive and natural reviews can even help boost your company’s website rankings in search engines and bring your business more leads!


How to Properly Erase Data From Any Smartphone



It’s now time to learn how to effectively wipe data from smartphones. As you begin to learn about this subject, you’ll soon realize that there are many types of smartphones out there. To make things easier, we have information about how to erase data from the most popular smartphone operating systems.




If you need to wipe all data from an iPhone, you’ll need to complete the following steps:


  • Access the Settings app.

  • Once you’ve completed that step, you’ll want to tap on the General option.

  • Scroll to the bottom of this screen. Near the bottom, you’ll find and tap the option named Reset. 

  • Next, select the Erase All Content and Settings option. 

  • Lastly, select the Erase Now option.


Smartphones Using Android


You might also need to eventually wipe data from phones running the Android operating system. One of the most common types of smartphones that use this operating system is the Samsung Galaxy. When you’re ready to wipe data from Android phones, follow these steps:


  • From the home screen, find your phone’s Settings app.

  • Find the search magnifying glass icon (in the upper-right hand corner of your device).

  • Type “Factory Data Reset” into your phone’s search bar.

  • Select the Factory Data Reset option.

  • Tap the Reset option.

  • Let the phone walk you through the next steps.

  • Eventually, you will need to find and tap on the Delete All option.

  • Your phone should automatically reset.


Windows Phones


Many people and companies depend on smartphones that use the Windows operating system. If you have these types of smartphones, we have tips to help you restore both responsive and unresponsive Windows phones.


Resetting a responsive Windows phone


  • On your phone, go to the System option. 

  • Next, select the About option and choose Reset Your Phone.

  • Confirm your selection to reset your phone.

  • Your Windows phone should start the reset process.


Resetting an unresponsive Windows phone


Unfortunately, you might be dealing with phones that aren’t responsive. If this is the case, complete these steps to reset an unresponsive Windows phone:


  • Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons for about 15 seconds, or until you feel the phone itself vibrate.

  • After feeling your phone vibrate, let go of all buttons.

  • Press and hold only the Volume Down button. A large exclamation point should appear on the screen of your Windows phone.

  • Lastly, press these buttons in this order: Volume Up, Volume Down, Power, and Volume Down. If you followed all steps correctly, your unresponsive phone should now begin the factory reset process.


Other Important Steps to Prepare Cell Phones for Resale



We’ve touched on how to perform factory resets for some of the most popular types of smartphones. However, there are typically other steps you’ll want to perform to make sure that your devices have absolutely no traces of personal data on them.


Sign Out of All Accounts


In some cases, a factory reset might not get rid of every bit of information on a phone. Or, you might prefer to sign out of your accounts before resetting your smartphones. If you find any Google, Facebook, or other types of accounts that are currently logged in, log out of them. 


Experts recommend signing out of the Google account last since it might be tied to accounts on other apps. Signing out of any accounts that are active helps to ensure that nothing gets left behind as you remove data from your or other people’s phones.


Remove the SIM Card


Another step to remove data from smartphones is to take out the SIM card inside of these devices. Do you absolutely have to remove a SIM card? No, since it’s basically only tied to a phone number and a carrier. However, removing the SIM card is a quick step that can provide you with additional peace of mind.


How to Remove a SIM Card from an iPhone


Before you can officially find your phone’s SIM card, you’ll need to learn what type of iPhone you have. For newer iPhones, the SIM card will often be on the left side of your device. Most older iPhone models will have the SIM card on the right side.


Once you find the SIM card tray, you’ll need to carefully insert either a paper clip or a specially made tool that comes with your phone for this purpose. It’s important that you don’t try and force the paper clip or tool into your SIM tray’s eject hole. If done properly, the tray should open, and you can then remove the SIM card from your phone.


How to Remove a SIM Card from an Android Phone


Android phones can feature SIM cards in a wide range of locations. Sometimes, you’ll find your Android device’s SIM card on the side. In other cases, Android phones will contain SIM card trays on the top of these devices. It’s also possible to find your phone’s SIM card hiding underneath a battery.


Fortunately, the method to remove a SIM card from an Android phone is relatively similar to how you would complete this task with an iPhone. As long as you have a paperclip, SIM card removal tool, or something similar, you should be able to remove this item from your Android phone.


Formatting Memory Cards


While this won’t always be the case, some smartphones pull data from information stored on memory cards. These items can store a wealth of information. However, none of this information should be anything that your phone essentially needs to function. If you want even more peace of mind before selling smartphones, follow these steps to properly format their memory cards.


Formatting an SD Card on a PC


If you want an additional way to ensure that your data remains secure, you might need to re-format the SD card that’s inside of it. Fortunately, this step is easy to complete. Here’s how to format an SD card by using a Windows PC:


  1. Take the SD card out of your phone.

  2. Insert the SD card into a Windows computer if it has an internal card reader.

  3. If you don’t have an SD card reader, you’ll need an external reader.

  4. After inserting your SD card, get to your computer’s File Explorer.

  5. Click on My Computer.

  6. Find and click on your SD card as it appears in the device list.

  7. Click Manage at the top of the File Explorer window.

  8. Next, click the Format option in this same drop-down menu.

  9. You should see a new menu appear, including a tab that says File System.

  10. Under the File System tab, select FAT32.

  11. If you’re formatting a brand-new SD card, you’ll need to check the checkbox by the Quick Format option. If this isn’t the case, don’t check this option.

  12. Click Start to begin formatting your card.

  13. Once the formatting process is complete, you can safely eject your newly formatted SD card from your computer.


Formatting an SD Card on a Mac


Not everyone uses Windows to format SD cards. You might not be aware that you can also complete this process on a Mac. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Insert your SD card into your Mac’s SD card reader.

  2. Turn on your Mac.

  3. Find and select Finder and then click the Go option.

  4. Next, select the Utilities option, and a new window should appear.

  5. In this new window, double-click the Disk Utility option. Another new window will appear.

  6. In this additional window, find and click on the icon of your SD card.

  7. At the top center section of the Disk Utility window, you should see an option that says Erase.

  8. Next, click on the Format option. You should then see a drop-down menu appear.

  9. From there, either select ExFAT if your card stores 64GB or more of information. If your SD card stores less than 64GB, choose the MS-DOS option.

  10. Click on the Erase option, and the formatting process should begin.


Physically Cleaning a Phone


While it might be a little off-track, it’s also worth mentioning that now is a great time to physically wipe down your smartphones. By doing this, you’ll be selling devices that look and perform extremely well.


Consider that smartphones are electronic devices, there is a certain way you’ll want to carefully clean them. When you’re ready to physically clean your smartphones, follow these steps:


  1. Turn your phone off and make sure it’s not connected to a computer or other power source.

  2. Apply a small amount of Lysol or a mixture of distilled water and at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to a microfiber cloth.

  3. Taking care to avoid any ports, gently wipe down your phones.

  4. Let your phones air dry for at least five minutes.

  5. If necessary, perform an additional wipe-down with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any leftover liquid.


Note: You can also repeat this process with phone cases. To do this, simply repeat steps two through five, and you’ll also have clean cases to pair with your smartphones.


How Can I Erase Data From Phones as Fast as Possible?



For someone that’s trying to sell their older personal smartphone, it doesn’t take long to wipe data from it. However, this situation can become much more time-consuming if your business depends on you erasing data from multiple smartphones at a time. 


Fortunately, there are a few strategies that you can utilize to avoid spending all of your time and energy cleaning cell phones.


Use a Service Like Phonecheck


If you need to wipe data from more than one smartphone, it could be extremely beneficial to check out a company that provides this service. One of the most popular companies that can test and wipe data from phones is Phonecheck.


This company provides a service for people in the electronics industry that need to clean and wipe data from many phones. By becoming one of Phonecheck’s customers, you won’t have to deal with all of the lost time that comes from wiping phones yourself.


Phonecheck even certifies the device that this company checks, ensuring you have a way to pass the peace of mind to your customers that they’re receiving properly cleaned devices. 


What’s also great about Phonecheck is that it can operate on both Windows and Mac operating systems. After using this company’s service, you can also receive official certification that you’re selling Phonecheck certified phones. These certifications can help increase a potential customer’s confidence in purchasing smartphones from your company.


Find Local Electronics Refurbishers


Another potential way to flip phones for profit is by finding local electronic repair companies. With that said, the amount of refurbishers you’ll find depends on where you live. If you live in a big city, it could be easy to find the help you need. However, it’s also possible that you live miles and miles away from any electronic repair professionals.


Before deciding who to potentially partner with, it’s imperative to make sure that you’re partnering with a refurbisher you can trust. If you’re researching electronics repair professionals and find lots of negative reviews, you might be better off finding someone else to work with.


Where Can I Find Unlocked Phones for Sale?



Before your phone flipping business officially launches, it’s good to have inventory that you can start working with. But, first, you’ll need to know where you can find phones that are ready to flip. With that in mind, we have several great sources for you to check out.


Trade-In Tech


If you’re just getting started in the phone flipping process, you might not have any devices to start working with. When you’re ready to start finding smartphones for sale online, there are several great reasons to start (and end) your buying journey by joining Trade-In Tech. Here’s more information about the many benefits of becoming a Trade-In Tech member.


A Massive Network of Members


One of the most important things to consider when choosing a platform for your business is how many other members it has. Obviously, you don’t want to spend any of your hard-earned money on a platform without a lot of members. This could leave you with nothing but lots of wasted time and money. Fortunately, you won’t have these problems after joining Trade-In Tech.


Since 2012, we’ve spent a lot of time and energy building up our platform to become a one-stop-shop for all of our members. We have members from all around the world, including the United States, Hong Kong, India, England, and other popular destinations for electronics.


Instantly Network With Data Wiping and Refurbishment Professionals


Our members aren’t only buyers and sellers. We also have lots of electronics refurbishers on our platform who are always looking to make new connections within this industry. If you don’t want to repair electronics by yourself, Trade-In Tech can help you connect with professional refurbishers and electronics recyclers.


We offer several great ways to do this. You can start networking with our members by creating your own page. Whether you’re operating a business, side-hustle, or personal venture, making a member page on Trade-In Tech is incredibly easy. Plus, other members can use information from your page to get in touch with you.


Another great way to potentially network with refurbishers is by taking part in Trade-In Tech’s chat rooms. We have a wide range of chat rooms dedicated to topics within the electronics industry.


If you prefer, you can also send a private message to someone you’re interested in working with. In a matter of moments, you can directly message any member that can help you scale up your company.


Checking Out a Wide Range of Unlocked Phones


When you’re looking for smartphones for sale, it’s important to find unlocked phones. These types of smartphones aren’t locked by a carrier or customer. Locked devices are ones that are essentially non-functional.


If you’re buying locked phones, flipping them will be nearly impossible because you won’t have their passcodes. Without knowing the passcode, it will be extremely difficult to properly factory reset your phones.


Fortunately, there are many types of unlocked phones for sale on Trade-In Tech. By finding and buying these phones, you won’t have to deal with the stress of trying to unlock a locked phone. This allows you to quickly buy and resell phones that your customers will be able to use.


Since Trade-In Tech has so many members, you can regularly find the world’s most popular smartphones for sale on our platform. Some of our most popular smartphones include iPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, and many others.


No Fees for Buyers or Sellers


When you begin to flip phones, you’re going to be making lots of purchases. Considering that, you’re not going to want your leftover funds to go towards paying lots of fees. After joining Trade-In Tech, you won’t have to worry about bothersome fees. Whether you’re buying or selling electronics on Trade-In Tech, we don’t charge you fees for these transactions.


Have a Great Place to Start Selling Your Flipped Phones


We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to find and flip cell phones. With that said, you’ll reach a time when you need to sell the phones that you flipped. When this time arrives, you’ll be glad to know that Trade-In Tech is a great place to sell your electronics.


You can take a look at the many types of electronics our members are buying and selling by checking out Trade-In Tech’s marketplace. Using Trade-In Tech’s marketplace is extremely easy. All you have to do is enter information about what you’re selling. After doing that, you can instantly post your listing and get it seen by our large network of members.




You can also see what types of phones eBay has to offer. On eBay, you can choose to buy phones that are in auction or buy-it-now formats. Being that eBay is such a popular website, there tends to be a lot of electronics on this platform.


However, a major drawback of buying cell phones on eBay is the fees this platform charges. At first, you’ll have a limited number of free listings that you can create. However, after reaching a certain number of listings, you will get charged for each listing you make. eBay also takes a fee from whatever you’re selling. This is known as a final value fee.


Over time, paying eBay’s fees can add up rather quickly. If you want to avoid all of those bothersome fees, consider becoming a member of Trade-In Tech.


Facebook and Other Social Media Marketplaces


Another possible option for finding phones that you can start flipping is by checking out social media websites. Throughout the internet, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and similar websites are some of the most popular online destinations in the world. Considering that, it makes sense that many of these platforms offer their own ways to buy and sell electronics.


One of the most popular ways to buy and sell electronics online is by checking out Facebook Marketplace. This marketplace lists goods for sale from its wide range of users. The catch with these types of services is that you’ll be meeting people in person. Understandably, that’s not something everyone wants to do.


Another popular online marketing is Instagram Shopping. This marketplace is on Instagram and can be another avenue to find phones to start flipping.


Networking With Electronics Companies


You might also think about finding phones by networking with electronic repair companies in your area. Sometimes, this isn’t always possible if you’re not in a densely populated area. But it can be worth contacting or visiting these businesses if they’re nearby.


Some people find that meeting with electronics repair companies gives them a way to buy attractively priced phones. As you continue networking with local companies, you can find yourself having a nice stream of electronics coming your way.


To wrap things up, erasing data from cell phones is an important part of the phone flipping process. By cleaning and wiping data from smartphones you plan to sell, you’ll have peace of mind as a business owner. You also won’t have to worry about a person’s or company’s data getting into the wrong hands. If you need to find more information about flipping phones, don’t forget to visit the Trade-In Tech blog.


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