4 tips to start a business at the used smartphone market

consejos para iniciar un negocio en el mercado de teléfonos inteligentes usados

The cell phone market could be simply explained just a few years ago. Consumers from developed countries were eager for all new iPhones, mostly. The situation is much more complicated today, especially after the emergence of the used smartphone market. Why did that happen? And what should companies do to succeed in the used smartphone market?

What are the current trends in the refurbished smartphone market?

In recent years, smartphones have been evolving from fancy gadget to powerful portable computers. It comes as no surprise that cutting-edged Samsung Galaxy Note10+ equipped with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max features a screen resolution of 1242x2688 pixels, which is slightly higher than in the 2006 24-inch iMac (and it is a huge improvement in terms of ppi). Eventually, technical development has changed the consumer behavior.

No, the average consumer has not become an outstanding photographer or an advanced gamer, but the average lifespan of the gadget increases constantly. Moreover, consumers use smartphone carefully, that is why even 4-years old gadgets have a high residual value now. That explains why we can see such brands as Apple and Samsung at the used smartphone market. Big corporations as well as local businesses are interested in reselling gadgets.

What are the current trends in the refurbished smartphone market?

What should a businessman do starting own business? First of all, he or she should not underestimate of the used smartphone market potential. It will be worth around $30 billion growing to 222 million units by 2020, according to the IDC report. Moreover, analytics forecast that the total market value will be an estimated $52.7 billion in 2022. Sounds promising.

Secondly, market participants have to precisely craft their own reputation. It’s not enough to say: “We sell iPhone”. No matter what you sell, you should specify how good smartphones you sell. Visible defects are easy to identify. The real issue is determination of invisible flaws. Companies may check all smartphones manually, but it is an expensive and unnecessary process. A more effective solution is a mobile diagnostic tool for iPhone and Android. There are 4 reasons to newcomers to use professional diagnostic solution, if they want to succeed in the used smartphone market.

1. Reputation is a bedrock

Historians of the future would have called our era the Twitter Age. Even a big brands good reputation was demolished after one inappropriate post on the Internet. Small companies should be extremely sensitive to customer evaluation. Especially, if companies run business in such a competitive environment as the used smartphone market is.

Resellers have to check the phone hardware if their suppliers don’t provide an adequate report about delivered units. Back Market CCO Vianney Vaute pointed, that home buttons or Wi-Fi connectivity issues are between the most popular flaws after the broken displays and dead batteries. Repair of home button is not a big deal to reseller, but for customers it is a headache. Disappointed customer would write an angry tweet or negative review. It is easy to avoid such consequences by checking the iPhone or Android device with NSYS Tools before the trade.

Reputation is a bedrock

Using mobile diagnostic solution lets companies build customer loyalty in the used smartphone market. When a reseller is sure of a smartphone quality, it offers longer warranty. It is extremely important, because customers prefer to buy a used iPhone and high-end Android gadgets from companies, which provide better conditions.

2. Estimation of battery health

It is not that simple, as it sounds. Mobile phone battery condition depends heavily on the user behavior. In some cases, even old batteries can maintain 90% of their original capacity. Apple weighs the battery issue. The company designs iPhone battery to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles.

NSYS Tools provide information about battery health and quantity of completed charge cycles. After testing reseller may decide how to deal with particular unit. Change a battery or offer an iPhone as “like new” unit.

Google’s OS hasn’t similar intrinsic feature. Developers of the NSYS software found a proper solution to assist participants of the used smartphone market. Firstly, NSYS Tools provides an overall grade of battery health in used Android devices. Secondly, the software lets to perform battery stress test at the iPhone and Android smartphones alike. We recommend to perform test for 5 minutes. If a battery discharges at 10% or less, its energy capacity is satisfactory.

3. Detect blacklisted and locked phones

What people mean when they say “blacklisted phone” or “bad ESN”? Does it even matter at the used smartphone market? ESN stands for Electronic Serial Number. It is a unique code any CDMA device has. Its analogue for GSM phones is an IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity). Bad ESN means that a phone is reported stolen, or a contract account has been left unpaid. Both scenarios occur rare today. However, companies have to check “bad ESN” status, if suppliers don’t provide such information.

Are consumers ready to buy used smartphones
NSYS Tools History page with ESN / SIM data

Locked phones means that gadget is designed to use with the particular mobile carrier. It is a rare practice nowadays, but locked iPhone, Samsung and Pixel are still available at the refurbished market, especially in the US. Checking ESN and SIM are a part of the basic NSYS Tools test. That type of information is crucial for companies running business at the second hand phone market, because it is an industry standard.

4. Get more profit

As we’ve already mentioned, refurbished and used mobile phone market is a competitive environment. Some resellers set ultra-low prices to beat competitors. The intention is clear, but a price war can hardly be described as a winning strategy. Anyone may cut the prices no matter how low price anchor is. The only way to succeed at the market is to offer a high quality used phones at the highest prices. It may sound counterintuitive, but it would make sense in retrospect.

Get more profit

When a consumer buys a high-quality refurbished phone at a bargain price, he or she becomes a loyal customer. It is easy for the reseller to convince buyers to leave positive reviews. The more positive reviews reseller gets the better its reputation. Finally, the price becomes an irrelevant point for new customers. They intend to buy a used iPhone considering a good reputation of a seller.

Bonus tip for those who is going to enter at used mobile phone market in 2019

Folded smartphones became commercially available this year. New models have not affected the consumer behavior yet, but implementing of new technologies pushed the prices higher. Manufacturers will launch new flagship models in the months to come. Probably, new gadgets would be more expensive than current lineup. Sales of new iPhones and high-end Android smartphones would likely remain the same. For example, sales volume of iPhone stays at the same level for three years in a row. However, even if consumers would not intend to buy factory-new smartphones, they would still interested in acquiring “like new” devices. So, the refurbished mobiles would have finally become a global phenomenon.

Get more profit
Image by Marco Verch via

Our bonus tip is just an advice. Start your business now. Perfect condition has been created. Consumers aware about used smartphones, and the market is developed enough to find a source to buy and marketplaces to sell gadgets in one day or, say, in a few hours.

Solicitar Demo
Lea también
consumo sostenible en el mercado de teléfonos inteligentes usados
How sustainable consumption may affect the used smartphone market?
martes 12 noviembre 2019
NSYS Group Team
Hype around new smartphones has recently been declining. Contrariwise, consumer attention shifted from ideas about new features to ecological issues related to gadget production. Why sustainability does matter, and what the lesson we should learn from the latest research data?
15 min de lectura
Why you should start selling used phones in 2019
viernes 03 mayo 2019
NSYS Group Team
In 2018 the used phone market was worth an estimated $29.85 billion with a 7 per cent rise YoY. Read why to start selling used phones in 2019 is a good idea.
10 min de lectura
Solicitar Demo
Nuestros especialistas se comunicarán con usted para programar una demostración gratuita en español.
  • Este campo es obligatorio
    Este campo es obligatorio
    Este campo es obligatorio
    Número no válido
    Este campo es obligatorio
  • Para que la demostración sea más personalizada, por favor, responda a las siguientes preguntas:
    ¿Cuál es el tipo de su negocio?
    Por favor elija al menos uno
    ¿Cómo se enteró de nuestra empresa?
    ¿Cómo llegamos a contactarle?
    ¿Cuántos teléfonos maneja
    al mes?
    Por favor, seleccione uno