how to make money flipping phones

This was one of my very first blog posts I’ve written on FlippingIncome but unfortunately back then there were few who actually read it.  I’ve decided to update and retweak everything I’ve written before.  How To Make Money Flipping Phones is going over a very specific niche of flipping phones and it is very doable and relevant in today’s mobile age.  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

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.

Here are some convenient links for you to use that searches on eBay.  These are sorted with Buy It Now enabled and sorted by lowest price. Of course, you can search for anything else not listed here.

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

eBay again is your friend 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.

**Optional** For people who don’t want skip screen replacements themselves

For people who are simply unsure about the hassle or their own capabilities of replacing cracked screens themselves, there is another way to flip phones.  Cellsavers is a service that you can utilize so that you can stay hands-free.  Cellsavers allows you to find local repair people in your area and schedule a time for them to come out to your home to replace your broken screen.  They offer this service literally in every state and you schedule based on your convenience.  Their web page tells you exactly how much the replacement will be so there are no surprises.

Of course, the cost of having someone come out and replace your screen is higher than if you purchased a replacement screen yourself but this is an alternative option for those who simply want to keep their hands free of repair and concentrate on buying and selling phones.

In Conclusion

If you follow the 5 easy steps I laid out, you now know how to make money flipping phones.  For someone who’ve not familiar with buying and selling, my 5 steps might sound scary.  But I promise you that if you do your homework, there is very little chance that you’ll screw up.  Also for people who’ve never replaced a screen before, 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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