Trade-In Tech
by on March 6, 2023


Phone flipping is profitable for those looking to profit from the consumer electronics industry. It has a low capital requirement, and you only need to spend a few hours a week for it to become successful. This article will reveal all you need to know about phone flipping. It will also answer questions you may want to ask so you can make good money from this venture.

Keep reading to learn all the crucial steps to buying and reselling phones.

What is phone flipping?

Phone flipping is buying a phone at a price below its market value and reselling it at the market value or higher. Most phone resellers focus on used, broken, or unwanted phones. They then refurbish the phone for sale, sell it as it is, or sell it for parts. Whichever way they choose, the resale price is usually higher than the cost of the phone.

How do people make money from phone flipping?

Many people who want smartphones and similar devices cannot afford new models. So they look for cheaper alternatives such as used or refurbished phones. For instance, new iPhones are too expensive for many people to afford. So they look for cheaper alternatives.

Phone resellers make money by meeting the needs of these people. They offer quality phones at affordable prices to people who cannot afford new phones.

Others may need phone parts that are not available in stores so they need to remove those parts from broken phones. In some cases, buying parts from flip phones may be cheaper than buying from stores that sell phone parts.

Those who need urgent cash or want to get rid of their phones will sell them to phone resellers at a discounted price. The phone reseller will then make the necessary repairs to the phone and resell it to others.

What are the steps to flipping phones successfully?

The steps to successful phone flipping involve looking for the right phones that will give you a nice profit, buying the phone, and reselling it. Let's delve deeper into each step.

The research stage

The first step is deciding on the phone type you want to flip. The two popular models are Apple's iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. These phones are always in demand and have a high resale value. Even if the phone no longer works, you can sell the phone parts to people who need them.

When you find a phone worth flipping, you must make some findings. The essential things to find out are:

  • The IMEI number: You must ensure that the phone has a verifiable IMEI number.

  • Owner history: You must ensure the phone is not stolen, locked, or tied to a carrier.

  • Settings: Make sure the phone is reset to factory settings.

  • Condition: Ideally, the phone should be working fine. If it is damaged, ensure it is an issue you can fix it quickly. For severe damage, check if some parts, such as the screen, are salvageable.

  • Resale value: Consider the difference between the price the seller is asking and the price you can sell the phone. You want to use the lowest possible selling price to check the deal's profitability.

You can check Trade-in Tech for flippable phones. The platform members post used and refurbished phones that you can buy at a discount and sell for a profit.

The buying stage

Now that you are armed with all the information you need, it is time to enter the market to buy a phone. There are many great marketplaces where you can get good phones for flipping. Here are the most popular ones.

  • Trade-in Tech: Trade-in Tech is a verified online electronic trading platform. It has members worldwide buying and selling electronic products like phones, laptops, and accessories. The platform allows flipping. So you can buy a phone at a reasonable price on the platform and resell it at a markup by still using the platform. Unlike other markets, Trade-in Tech makes an extra effort to protect its members. All sellers must be verified to prevent scammers from joining the platform. Furthermore, they also make it easy for you to buy with the click of a button or community directly with the seller via the messaging feature.

  • Physical locations: Check thrift stores, garage sales, and home clearances for good phone deals.

Regardless of the platform, you must keep your eyes open, so you don't buy a phone that will cause you to lose money. Here are four considerations to make before finalizing a deal with a phone seller.

  • Phone condition: A good in good or near mint condition will sell faster and bring more profit than a phone in bad condition (i.e., cracks, broken glass, or faulty parts)

  • Phone features: Most people want phones with the latest features and capabilities. Features like internal memory, security features, camera setup, display type, and fast charging capacities will make the phone valuable to most buyers.

  • Phone color: People generally want black, gray, or white phones.

  • Network compatibility: An unlocked phone commands a better price than a locked phone since the buyer can use any network provider or carrier with the phone.

Here are some tips to make you get great profit margins

  • Wholesale purchase: Buying wholesale electronics reduces the cost of each unit. So if you can afford to purchase used or refurbished phones in bulk, don't hesitate.

  • Brands and models: Go for popular brands like iPhones. The iPhone 8 launched on September 22, 2017, and is still in demand. Still, you should aim for the latest versions because they sell better than old versions.

  • Buy and fix: Buying broken or cracked phones can raise profit margins. Many people will sell their phones at giveaway prices if the phones have broken or cracked screens. You can choose to fix the phones yourself (if you have the skill and time) or use the services of expert phone repair technicians.

The selling stage

At this point, you have bought a phone that you want to flip for profit. There are two options for selling used phones: private market (directly) and buyback vendors (indirectly).

Private Market

If you are selling the phones directly to users via a website, local sales, trading platform, or flea market, you are using the private market. Direct sales allow you to negotiate prices with the buyers directly. If you negotiate right, you can get the highest possible phone prices.

The downside to this approach is that you must look for buyers and protect yourself from scammers. The best way is to use a trusted platform like Trade-in Tech.

Trade-in Tech gives you access to ready buyers from around the world. The buyer can buy instantly or contact you to negotiate the deal. The support team also monitors all transactions to prevent fraudulent activities.

Buyback Vendors

Some websites buy used phones. These vendors already have a fixed price and have conditions you and your products must meet before the deal goes through. The upside is that you can sell to them anytime and get fast payments. The downside is that they are the ones deciding the price.

Phones you should not buy as a phone reseller

Flipping phones is a lucrative business, but you should avoid certain types of phones.

  • Damaged phones: If the phone is completely damaged, you should not buy it. No one will buy such a phone from you in that condition, and you will spend a fortune on repairs.

  • Stolen phones: Stay away from stolen phones. It is a risky and illegal move.

  • Locked phones: It is hard to sell them, especially if you are shipping them from another location.

  • Phones with no IMEI/ESN numbers: IMEI numbers help you authenticate the status of a phone. If someone offers you a phone without IMEI/ESN numbers, walk away from the deal.

How to calculate the profit before flipping

To know the profit you will make from flipping a phone, subtract the selling price from the cost.

Here is it expressed in the formulaic form: selling price – cost price = profit

The selling price is what you will get from selling the phone to an end user or buyback vendor, while the cost price is the amount you pay to acquire the phone. You should also include any additional cost associated with the phone. This includes repair costs, listing costs, shipping, etc.

The profit is what remains after you have subtracted the cost price from the selling price.

You make a profit if the selling price is more than the cost price and a loss if the cost price exceeds the selling price.

How much you can make flipping phones

The profit you earn from flipping phones depends on many factors, such as:

  • The phone model and brand – the latest versions of the iPhone will typically offer you better profit margins

  • The phone condition – a phone in mint condition sells well

  • The buyer – if you are selling end users, you can get better offers


Flipping phones is easy and lucrative. Just follow these steps, and you are on track to make an enormous profit. Don't forget to open an account with Trade-in Tech for the best phone deals

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