How To Make Money Flipping Phones

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how to make money flipping phones

How To Make Money Flipping Phones is going over a very specific way of flipping phones.  And it is to find phones that are working perfectly but with cracked screens.  By replacing the cracked screen yourself, you can make hundreds with every flip. 

This step-by-step guide goes over everything you need to do and goes over the 5 steps you need to take to make a successful flip.  

Why Phones?

Come on do you really need to ask?  The majority of readers of Flipping Income are on their phones and no doubt smartphones are the preferred device the mass majority of people use to browse the internet today.  It’s amazing to think only 11 years ago, there were no iPhones or any smart phones at all.  Remember the Moto Razr and how cool that was when it came out?  To be honest it still is but the capabilities of that phone compared to what we have today is laughable.  I am willing to bet our phones today are more powerful than the supercomputers available 20 years ago.  

Because of how important phones are to society today, changing your iPhone or Android is no longer a hassle like it was before.  Carriers no longer lock you into a 2-year contract and you can change your phone pretty much anytime you wish.  So what’s the catch?  The extremely high cost.  New iPhones and Androids can go upwards of $1000 dollars and even if one chooses to go the leased route, it still means paying $30-40 dollars a month.  

How to Make Money Flipping Phones

I think by now you know where I’m heading.  Due to the high cost of switching out phones, there are many people that simply live with what they have as long as possible.  This includes when their phone breaks or have their screens cracked.  

How to make money by flipping phones concentrates on you buying phones at below market value and reselling them a market value.  There are a couple of ways you can accomplish this.  First is to convince someone who absolutely has no clue on how much their phone is worth to sell you there phone.  Second is to buy an “off the truck” phone from Craigslist.  And third is to buy phones with cracked screens.

The first two options I listed above are options you should avoid but the third option is viable and can generate a consistent flow of profit if done correctly.

Step 1: Search for below market value phones on eBay

eBay to me would be the best place to start searching for below market value phones.  There is an endless supply out there so you got to be smart about it.  

  • Identify auctions where the screen is the only thing wrong with the phone.  Avoid ones where buttons are broken, speakers don’t work and ones certainly that do not power on.
  • Make sure you do not buy phones that are locked out.  This can be an iTunes password.
  • Make sure you do not buy a phone listed with a BAD ESN (CDMA phones) or BAD IMEI (GSM phones).   This means that phone cannot be used on a certain carrier.
  • Make sure you read the titles correctly.

Step 2: Search for replacement screens

I recommend Amazon first due to their return policy and fast 2-day prime shipping (sometimes even same day or next day)!  You can also find replacement screens on eBay as well.  

Replacement screens on Amazon – iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 PlusiPhone 6s / iPhone 6s Plus / iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus / iPhone 8 / iPhone 8 Plus / iPhone X /

Replacement screens for iPhone Xs / iPhone Xr / iPhone Xs Max are not out yet.  

Step 3:  Calculate the profit before buying anything

After you eliminate the above things, now you got to identify phones that are below market value.  Sort the listings by lowest price and see which ones will net you a healthy profit after replacement parts, auction fees, and shipping are all subtracted off.

This is an example of how to calculate profit

Buy price for cracked screen phone – iPhone 6s for $200 dollars

Sell price for a good working phone – Average buy it now price for iPhone 6s is around $425 dollars

Doing the math

  • $425
  • -$200 for cost of phone
  • -$50 for replacement screen
  • -$42.50 for eBay Fees (10%)
  • -$12.75 for Paypal Fees (3%)
  • -$15 shipping fees

Total Profit = $104.75

This is a prime example of a great flip.  Of course, you won’t always find cracked screen phones at such a bargain price.  This where you have to scour and pay attention to the listings on eBay to make sure you stay on top of things.

Step 4: Learn how to fix cracked screens

Your next step is actually learning how easy or hard it is to replace the cracked screen.  Luckily for you, that’s where Google comes in.  Here are some sample searches I found.

I found these within minutes and there are thousands of guides out there along with thousands of YouTube videos.  

Step 5: Selling your newly repaired phone

Try to sell your phone first on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.  It is local and you can get cash.  And a big bonus is you don’t have to pay any listing fees or fees of any kind.  However, the buyers are limited and if you can’t sell it locally then look at online marketplaces.

eBay is your best bet for selling your newly repaired phone for top dollar.  Make sure you take great pictures, write up a good description and title and price it correctly.  If you’ve done all three, you should sell your phone within a day or two.  Another place to sell used or in this case a fixed phone is on Amazon.

Another place to sell your phone is on Amazon.  To be frank your not going to make as much as eBay but it is hassle-free.  Amazon has a trade-in center that gives a set price for phones, tablets, game systems and more.  Amazon offers you a set price, pays for shipping and handles everything else.  No need to deal with third parties.

In Conclusion

If you’re the handy type, this article was definitely for you.  There is big money to be made by replacing cracked screens.  Before getting started, I encourage you to read up on DIY articles as much as possible and watch YouTube videos.  Sometimes replacing a screen takes no more than 15 mins.  Now get out there and make some money!  

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12 Replies to “How To Make Money Flipping Phones”

  1. does it matter what replacement screens you get? I’m assuming you can’t get the same quality that Apple provides, or can you?

    1. Quality of screens is a difficult one to answer but generally the ones I’ve gotten from Amazon and eBay have been high quality. But even if they aren’t the same as the factory Apple ones, if you plan on flipping for profit it ultimately doesn’t really matter. But if you plan on keeping it, it might be worth your time to investigate and purchase the higher quality screens.

      1. Thanks, I think your post needs a bit of clarification on the bad ESN or bad IMEI part. most titles say (Verizon) or (Sprint) are these ones good for flips or do they need to be available for all carriers?

        1. Hey Bryan,

          Thanks for the comment, ESN is the unique identifier for CDMA phones (Verizon/Sprint) and IMEI is the unique identifier for GSM phones (AT&T/Tmobile). The listing should list if the ESN or IMEI is bad. You can generally tell based on the price of the phone. Newer phones like iPhones can now handle both technologies but generally you can’t use GSM phones on CDMA networks or vice versa.

      2. So we are not worried about quality materials and repeat business, that is unless you plan on keeping the phone.

        1. Hey Marty! Since you still want to maintain a good feedback, therefore, you don’t want to use parts that are too cheap. But then again since you are selling the phone, you don’t want to use the best parts either. I recommend looking for something in the middle and pay special attention to the reviews of the parts you buy. For example, something you find on Amazon that has 1000+ reviews and rated at 4.5 stars being sold for $29.99, in my opinion, is more trustworthy than a part with only 20 reviews rated at 4.5 stars that is being sold for $49.99.

  2. Hi There

    I loved reading your article, it is very inspiring.

    I see many sellers are offering 1 year warranties on phones that have been refurbished? How is this possible when the phone is often an older model?

    How do you handle the issue of Warranties with the phones you buy and ultimately sell on?

    Kind Regards

    1. Mark, some of the bigger guys go with a 3rd party and some of the smaller guys do because they can just fix it again if it breaks. I would not recommend offering them, it’s just more headaches you have to deal with.

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