Smart phones

This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dane Wilson 5 months ago.

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  • #3214


    Hey folks,

    I’m trying to get a small side business going, but I’m realizing that I have a lot to learn when it comes to phones. If the mods don’t mind, I’m looking for feedback and constructive criticism as well as advice on how to tackle the topic of smart phones.

    For old/dead cell phones, like flip phones, qwerty phones, etc., I’m offering $.50 per phone. It might seem really low, but by the time I get the phone to my local scrap yard (if you can call it local), I only make about $1.00 per phone. Do you think $.50 is a reasonable offer for an old, completely dead flip phone?

    As for smart phones, I’m a bit confused. In the sold listings on eBay, I see 16GB Apple iPhone 6 smart phones going for as little as $1.00 to as much as $180. There is even a listing where one iPhone went for one penny.

    I live in close to University Park in State College, PA., so I think I’m in a pretty good location with regard to smart phones. If some student’s phone goes dead, then I’m willing to buy it from them for $50, even if I re-sell it for only $70. I think that’s a win-win. But since they’re also going for super low prices, I’m not sure if getting my feet wet as a smart phone re-seller is a great way to go.

    If there’s anyone who has experience about selling smart phones on eBay, then please get in touch with me. Thanks!

  • #3215


    Don’t know how much help I can be but I will tell you what I know. I’ve been active selling online for around 5 years now on Amazon and 1 year ebay. I sell used/refurbished electronics, mostly computers and computer parts, but I’ve sold: PDA’s, DVD/VCR Decks, DVD Writers, Software, CPU’s, Motherboards, Power Supplies, and the list goes on and on.

    Amazon and ebay each draw a completely different set of customers. the majority of customers who shop Amazon will not go or never have been to ebay. They buy from Amazon and they don’t mind paying more for the item they want. loyal Amazon customers all the way!

    Ebay is a different story. Many of the ebay customers hate Amazon and their high prices. They want what they want and they want it for a ridiculous low price or they just will not buy it. If you list something on ebay at a fixed price with the “make an offer” option selected they will make you an offer so low it even embarrasses you.

    Example, I have a very nice HP Pro All-In-One computer listed on ebay. The current price for that same computer on Amazon is $245.00. I started my listing on ebay at $145.00 with “make an offer”. Someone made me an offer of $70.00 for it. i countered with $109.00 and they declined the offer. A few days passed and I lower my price to $129.99. Someone made an offer of $80.00 which I declined. A few days later the same person came back with an offer of $95.00 which I again declined. before I sell it that cheap I’ll pull the item, strip it for parts and sell those off.

    I know from experience that I can sell the CPU that’s in that computer for anywhere from $95.00 to $110.00, no questions asked.

    Ebay is a good market for small, low dollar items like computer parts but it sucks when it comes to selling computers. Amazon, on the other hand, is a fantastic market for selling used computers at a good price. In the last year I have sold close to 200 computers on Amazon for s good price and only 3 on ebay for a ridiculous low price. Ebay is great for parts and such, Amazon is great for functional items. Parts are fair on Amazon.

    There are some items you can sell on ebay that will never sell on Amazon and vise-verse. you just have to figure out what items on what site.

    The smart phone for a penny was a royal screw up on the sellers part. They thought that they could start the auction listing for a penny and everyone would get bitten by the”auction bug” and the prices would shoot through the roof and that they would profit. I made that same mistake one time on ebay. Started an auction listing for a penny on a $50.00 item. Guess what, i sold it for a penny and was pissed at myself!

    I never sell anything at auction on ebay, always fixed price with buy it now and make an offer. My buy it now price is the absolute lowest price I am willing to turn the item loos at.

    For used smart phone sales I personally think Amazon is a better forum for that item. You have more customers looking who don’t mind paying a fair price for the item. On ebay you will just get beat up over your price.

    If you are offering $0.50 for a dead phone you are definitely on the low end of the scale and I doubt you will be buying many phones for that price. Heck the owner of the phone can get more for it by using it as a trade in on a new phone.

    One very important point if you are considering selling on Amazon’s market. Make very sure before you sell anything there that you spend a lot of time reading, studying and fully understanding Amazon policies as they apply to sellers. This is very important. if you do not do this before selling on Amazon you will end up getting screwed by a customer or worse, by Amazon. Amazon i not a friendly or easy market to sell on but it can be very profitable as long as you know and follow ALL of their policies

    • #3219

      darkdky I see you are a moderator. I clicked on your link but I guess there is no way to send a message. My 9 year old abs I scrap for fun and I had a few questions about escrap. I have regular pick ups from some elctronic stores and guys who fix stuff. Do you have a email I could shoot it to?


    • #3226

      Dane Wilson

      I’m trying to find a place that will buy 70lbs of cell phones includes battery any suggestions and tips on getting biggest payout

  • #3228


    Dane, That’s a nice load of cell phones! First off, you need to remove all the batteries, no on will take them with the batteries installed, too dangerous. If the batteries are Lithium (which they should be) there are plenty of companies that will buy those as a stand alone item. Do a Google search and you should find plenty, maybe even some where you live.

    There are a few scrap yards that will buy the phones intact but you probably will not get the best price. There are also some online companies that will buy old cell phones depending on the make and model. Again search Goolge for those companies.

    If you want to get the best price you will need to break the phones down and remove the boards from them. Cell phone boards are considered premium boards for their gold content and there are many companies that will purchase the boards for recycling and refining of the gold

  • #3229


    Out of all fairness I must say this. There are many who will disagree with some of what I said earlier. Namely, that you get a better price if you break the phones down.

    Some believe that you get the best price selling the phones intact minus the batteries. I don’t see it that way, sorry

    You need to be your own judge.

  • #3231

    Dane Wilson

    Thanks darksky I found a company I actually heard of them from a forum on this site they will g give me $3.75 a pound and I have to pay for shipping which I packed all the phones in a box but it was going to cost me over $60 to ship it but I was able to fit it all in two flat rate boxes which saved me about $20 they also buy the batteries .60¢/lb. but I didn’t have any room in the box to fit them and it would cost just as much to ship them then it will be worth so I’ll just have to find some other way to get rid of them or wait till I collect some more

  • #3232


    Dane, I’m glad everything worked out for you! Not sure where you live but you might want to consider using a USPS Regional Box A to ship the batteries. if you live east of the Mississippi the Regional Box A will cost around $10.00(+-) or less to ship to broadsort.

    You have to get the Regional Boxes from the site. They are free, just look for “shipping supplies” or something like that on their site. Also, you have to buy the postage for the Regional Boxes from the site. Post offices don’t have the boxes and can’t (not suppose to) sell the mailing labels for the regional boxes. Regional boxes are cheaper in almost all cases than the medium flat rate boxes for postage.

    There is also a Regional Box B if the A is too small. Both A & B boxes come in two different sizes so order some of both and use whatever works for your batteries.

    • #3244

      Dane Wilson

      Any suggestions to better my payout I have many more I could strip out but these Nokia’s really have a lot of gold should I get a better price for these boards than a normal one?

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    • #3248

      Dane Wilson

      Here are some others I have

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  • #3233

    Dane Wilson

    Thanks that’s good to know I’m from Louisiana close to New Orleans

  • #3253


    Board quotes are an average that takes into account that some boards will be worth more than others AND some boards will not be all that valuable. I doubt if you are going to get your buyer to negotiate that price, but it does not hurt to ask.

    Go to and login to their forums, then ask that very question. I would suggest that you tell them the type of board (Nokia) and that they appear to be loaded with more PM’s than the other board and post some pictures. Also make sure to tell the how many and their combined weight and ask them if you can negotiate a better price for those boards.

    One think to consider, if you only have a few pounds you might not want to even go there. A few pounds is not worth pissing the buyer off over. If, on the other hand, you are talking 20 or more pounds of that style board you might actually have a little negotiating power. The more pounds of the Nokia’s you have, the better your chances of negotiating a better deal is.

    If they do agree to talk price with you don’t expect them to up the ante that much. There is a lot of work and time involved in the recovery of PM’s from e-scrap, not to mention the cost of the chemicals and special equipment they have to provide. I know you are getting “gold” fever and want to squeeze as much out of the deal as you can, but you always have to leave the buyer room to turn a profit or there will be no buyers.

    Greed as been the downfall to many persons opportunity to profit. Sometimes it’s better to take what you can get and establish a rapport with the buyer banking on future deals and their willingness to work with you the next time.

    Think about it and you decide what’s the best route to take.

    Good Luck!

  • #3255

    Dane Wilson

    Thanks bro yeah I’m going to save up on all the e scrap I can get and wait till I have at least a $500 or more payout I just started messing with this e-scrap stuff ever since I got my hands on about 60 pounds of old cell phones in figured I can flip it into something

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