Selling Mobile Phones on eBay

Selling Mobile Phones on eBay

Just before Christmas we had question asked via our site that needed more than a quick email reply. The lady in question had been viewing these iPhone 4S listings and was intrigued at the bids? Could selling my mobile phone on eBay earn her more cash than selling it to a phone recycling website?

In a nutshell the answer is YES IT CAN! But if this is true, why do phone recycling companies exist and why should we use them? After all, some mobile phones recycling companies re-sell your phone afterwards via eBay and make a profit anyhow. For some companies it's a fundamental part of their business model. Here are a few things to consider if you decide to sell your phone on eBay.

Use Checkmend

It is illegal to sell stolen goods on eBay and this also means handsets or SIM cards un-blocked without the phone manufacturer's authorisation. If you are caught in breach of their policy your advertisement will be removed probably along with your account. A reason eBay is so popular is because of the huge amount of page views your ads will get. Bidders are not clueless though and the majority of bidders will want to have proof the phone is legitimate. It is recommended you get a checkMEND certification which verifies your handset as not stolen. There is a small fee for this service but it could be just the trick for attracting those extra wary bidders and the small investment could easily pay for itself.

Find the IMEI

Many bidders will also ask for the mobile phones serial or IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Number). They can search the checkMEND database using this number to check the validity of the phone if you have not provided it yourself. This unique serial number can be found by typing *#606# on your handset or in the back of the handset near where the SIM card is located.

A photo says a 1000 words

Try and get a good photo of your actual phone and make sure to detail any scratches, dents or damage. No one expects your device to be like new, but highlighting and explain any damage occurred over your ownership is important in building trust with bidders. Look at these eBay iPhone 4S listings and guess why some have more bidders than others. Good honest, factual ads initiate trust and bidder confidence everytime.

Also be ready to answer lots of questions. Bidders like to ask lots of questions and if you provide clear honest answers it will build their trust and trust among future bidders. We advise answering at least all the below questions in your eBay listing.

  • Why you are selling the phone?
  • What is the phones IMEI number?
  • What mobile network the phone is locked to?
  • How exactly you will post the item? i.e. Royal Mail recorded delivery, private courier, in person?
  • Do not list your item too cheap and then charge a ridiculous delivery cost. Nobody falls for that any more. It's not 2001!
  • What accessories if any come with the device? Battery, Charger, case, headphones, USB cable
  • What software the device is running? It the device running the latest iOS or Android OS release?

Be realistic

It is important to remember that all this will take time and effort and comes with no price guarantee unlike selling to a phone recycling company. To decide which route to take we recommend checking out past eBay auctions for your mobile model and comparing the average winning bid. If it looks like a safe bet then eBay could be the best choice for you. If not a phone recycling company is a guaranteed, relatively hassle free and time saving approach to take.

Happy phone selling and phone recycling.


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