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Any tips/things to look out for when selling phones online?


digiblur
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I have a few Sprint phones I need to sell to free up some tech storage space.  I've never sold any online as I've always hear about the scammers out there.  I hear the Swappa seems to do a decent job on things but before I take the plunge and I wanted to hear some tips from the pros that have purchased and sold phones online before. 

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Sell...phones? What does that mean? I've never done such a thing. Why would someone get rid of their phones? They are MiN3!! alL m!Ne!!!!! Yeeaargh!!!!

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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Swappa is great.  I have bought/sold several phones on there with no issues.  I don't use Ebay anymore since swappa came along because it is cheaper and just seems safer.  Use PayPal and you do have some seller protection, but I would not 100% count on it.  Just be sure to follow the rules like only send to the verified address and get tracking info.  Take good pictures and honestly disclose any defects or other issues.  But selling online is always going to come with the risk of a chargeback, but I think it is pretty rare.  Just use your instincts.  I have personally refused to complete a couple of deals because things just did not feel right.  Mainly had to do with being asked to ship to an address other than what was in PayPal or real slow communications. 

 

Craigslist is also not bad for local deals.  Just meet the person at a carrier store or inside a starbucks and you should have no problems.  With that you get cash and no worries of chargebacks. 

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Haven't used swappa, but I have countless ebay transaction under my belt.

 

Tips:

 

I see what the going rates are of the particular device to see if its even worth my time, if not then I would just donate it.

 

When listing a device, I try to include all original accessories as well as original box it came in, that usually gets you a few extra dollars compared to similar listings.

 

Have a really good accurate description of the device and have a lot of clear and detailed pictures.

 

I list the item so that it ends(if going with an auction versus buy it now) on an evening early in the week like a monday night or tuesday night.

 

If I go with the buy it now option I usually price a little bit high and give buyer an option to make an offer.

 

Its good to offer free shipping, just keep that in mind when pricing the device.

 

Most importantly, always make sure that you use paypal no exceptions and make sure you ship any and every item with tracking, delivery and signature confirmation to a confirmed paypal address.  This will protect you from getting scammed 99.999999% of the time.

 

If I don't have time for all this and I don't want to donate it then craiglist is the way to go, just make sure you meet in a safe place.

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If you're satisfied with the offer and don't want any hassling or funny business, Gazelle.com is the way to go. It's just your decision on if that's enough money for you.

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Well I've bought both from EBay, and craigslist. I always activated the phone before leaving. Swappa is great from what I hear. Always give the most accurate description, pictures of any defects, and use paypal like others have said. Free shipping helps, and have the price slightly lower than other comparable auctions/sales helps go a long way.

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Sell...phones? What does that mean? I've never done such a thing. Why would someone get rid of their phones? They are MiN3!! alL m!Ne!!!!! Yeeaargh!!!!

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

 

Yeah, just like the old Samsung Epics I have sitting in my stash that I said I was going to use for wifi only music listening when mowing the grass.  Think I used one of them once for that.  Hate to see them just go to waste.

 

Craigslist is also not bad for local deals.  Just meet the person at a carrier store or inside a starbucks and you should have no problems.  With that you get cash and no worries of chargebacks. 

 

Online will be the only way, as I don't have the blessing of a positive Sprint market..aka..I won't get much.

 

What are you selling?

 

EVO LTE, S3, and Note2 with otterbox cases and few extra batteries.  (Not trying to turn this into a selling thread as I'm not sure on the rules on that one)

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I use eBay a lot.  The only thing I'd really recommend if you go the eBay route is to be sure you are very strict to doing everything over eBay.  Some scammers are very crafty... they will ask you over the official eBay channels to email them more photos of the device--- they do this just to get your email address.  Once they have that they'll will place the winning bid or buy it now price for your item and you will get an email from eBay@info.com (or something similar) telling you that the buyer has paid for the item and you should now ship it.

This happened to me once and I gave them hell.  When all was said and done I told the user I was reporting them to eBay (not that they did anything... they actually wanted me to leave them good feedback) and got a beautifully worded email back from the fake eBay domain about how the buyer's cash was being held by eBay while they were waiting on me to ship the item and that if I did not comply I would be subjected to a stiff monetary penalty.  It was kind of laughable when I experienced it, but I know they were creative enough that they probably probably get a lot of people who aren't careful caught up in that scam.

Stick to doing everything through eBay's communications and always wait for the PayPal to confirm payment and you should almost always be good.

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Stick to doing everything through eBay's communications and always wait for the PayPal to confirm payment and you should almost always be good.

You didn't actually fall for it did you?

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(Not trying to turn this into a selling thread as I'm not sure on the rules on that one)

 

You are correct on this one as buying/selling is not authorized on S4GRU for multiple of reasons. One of many being Buyer/Seller protection.

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I'm a Swappa guy myself. Its worked well for me. The biggest thing you can do is take ample amounts of high res pictures and market you phones' strengths over other sellers (show that extra batteries are included in the listing title, tell them the phone is rooted and ready for whatever rom they could want).

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I recently switched from Ebay buying/selling for phones to Swappa. I tend to troll around the internet to flip phones now and then. Sprint phones are an easy target as they generally sell for less than the other carriers. I find I can buy them cheaper and if I am patient I can unload them for a decent profit.

 

Anyways my reasons for liking Swappa are:

1) I tend to get slightly higher prices from Swappa

2) The process is much better for buyers AND sellers

3) The quality of the phones tend to be higher

4) They do the ESN/IMEI/ETC checks for free as part of the process.

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Sell...phones? What does that mean? I've never done such a thing. Why would someone get rid of their phones?

 

The Robert M. Herron Museum of Modern Cellphones is appalled.  And the Andrew J. Shepherd Memorial wing of the museum is now lacking in artifacts.

 

AJ

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+1 for Swappa. I sold 2 phones on there. They were sold in about 2 days each and was pretty easy overall.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

 

I've never heard of Swappa before this thread. The prices seem to be a little better than eBay average -- would you say that the transactions were fairly straightforward? eBay makes things so easy from the seller's perspective, so I'm just a little curious...

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You didn't actually fall for it did you?

Nah, but I'm sure they have probably gotten a lot of others like that. That one was probably one of the better put together scams I've seen so far.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

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I recently switched from Ebay buying/selling for phones to Swappa. I tend to troll around the internet to flip phones now and then. Sprint phones are an easy target as they generally sell for less than the other carriers. I find I can buy them cheaper and if I am patient I can unload them for a decent profit.

 

Anyways my reasons for liking Swappa are:

1) I tend to get slightly higher prices from Swappa

2) The process is much better for buyers AND sellers

3) The quality of the phones tend to be higher

4) They do the ESN/IMEI/ETC checks for free as part of the process.

 

I'm probably going to stick to the Swappa thing.  Heard too many people selling Sprint phones and the idiots request the phone serial and activate on their account holding it ransom. I'm hoping you don't have to post the number with Swappa.

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I've never heard of Swappa before this thread. The prices seem to be a little better than eBay average -- would you say that the transactions were fairly straightforward? eBay makes things so easy from the seller's perspective, so I'm just a little curious...

 

I love swappa.  Very Straightforward.  I have sold a couple of phones on there and if you price them right they usually sell within a day or two on average.  Cheaper then eBay also.  Normal listing is free.  You just pay the PayPal fees.

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I'm probably going to stick to the Swappa thing.  Heard too many people selling Sprint phones and the idiots request the phone serial and activate on their account holding it ransom. I'm hoping you don't have to post the number with Swappa.

 

Nope.  You give them the ESN as part of the listing and they check it before approving the listing.  They do not publish the ESN in the listing and only provide to the buyer after the sale.

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I've never heard of Swappa before this thread. The prices seem to be a little better than eBay average -- would you say that the transactions were fairly straightforward? eBay makes things so easy from the seller's perspective, so I'm just a little curious...

 

I'd say the selling process is about as easy as it is possible to make it on Swappa. It's very much designed as a marketplace for phones only, since the very first step is verifying your ESN is clear and ready to activate.

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I've done all three and will share my thoughts 

 

1)Craigslist: Preferred if you're an in area that is large enough to produce real interest.  Make the add as professional as you would an ebay ad and be sure to price it with the expectation that people will make offers, but also negotiate lower as you're not paying paypal or ebay fees.   Probably the hardest way to sell a very valuable device.  The older, less valuable stuff is easier. 

 

2)Swappa.  I've had a transaction as buyer and a transaction as seller.  Swappa's interface is a little less familiar; it also does not get traffic volume ebay gets.  However, its savings on listing and seller fees are real and worth your time.  My buying experience was perfect on here.  My selling experience resulted in an item being returned. The device had been purchased brand new, no defects, mint condition. Sold it 6 months later.  The buyer was a programmer who received it and after using it , decided the GPS on the device (a samsung) was inferior to his Moto RAZR and therefore reported it "internally damaged".  I graciously refunded his money, but what i'll tell is that the dispute/return process on swappa is less evolved or re-assuring for buyer or seller.  I got the device back and despite testing, could not replicate GPS problems.  Who knows. 

 

3)Ebay.  I've sold 7 phones on ebay.  A properly priced device on ebay is all but guaranteed to sell; most of mine sell for their "buy it now" price.  I feel robbed every time I get my listing/selling invoice however.  I've seen a $350 device hit with a $32 listing bill because ebay sets its pricing based on the type of listing and knows phones are a hot commodity.

 

Anyway, I suggest you go all out with the listing format.  Plenty of pictures, excessive documentation and disclosure.  If the device is used, always list it as "used".  Don't try "new without box".  Don't embellish.  Say things like "Here are photos; I do not notice any scratches cracks or defects".  Or , if there is a scuff on a corner, say "There is scuff on the corner" or "Hairline scratch on the screen".  There is an underground of nasty, trolling , crayon eating ebay buyers who will buy devices and then open claims for the most minor thing they feel wasn't disclosed on the listing.  I've got a buddy who lost two devices sold together AND his proceeds because a buyer opened a claim based on lack of description, won the claim and got his money back, and then disappeared and never returned them. My buddy didn't even report them stolen (I know, idiot) but this can happen.  For that reason, you really cannot be too thorough.  

 

I've had 2 ebay claims opened on me.  Why?  Well, one buyer claimed I had sold her an Sprint Iphone 5 with a bad ESN.  Well, I did not. Since I kept the ESN on hand and photos of it (there's another recommendation), I was able to show her via an ESN Checker it was clear.  When she didn't believe me, I did an online chat with sprint, they agreed it was clear, and all of these photos were posted in the ebay dispute.  She then changed her story and said that Sprint wanted a deposit and she wanted her money back because she needed a device to use with Straight Talk.  I refused because the device was not advertised to work with anyone but sprint.  She then claimed that Sprint customer service was bad and that I didn't tell her what to expect.  In the end, ebay sided with me. However, it was ugly and she was an idiot.  In the end, she told me I was mean and helpless.  So goes the story.  

Second story is worse.  Sold a guy a mint condition Note 2 on Sprint.  Well, when he got it, he immediately opened a claim and said that he was not satisfied with the voice quality and signal .  Not the LTE ; he actually said that was perfect.  He claimed that the voice coverage was less reliable than his wife's new Sprint/samsung flip phone.  Well guess what?  S4GRU showed his area with active SMR Voice at that time.  History and threads here had plenty of documentation about the Note 2's issues with SMR voice and the special PRL's that did not include it.   I tried to explain to him that not all sprint devices would produce the same coverage.  In the end, he was convinced that I was lying but closed his claim.  I always felt bad for the guy, but even Sprint checked the device and told him it was not malfunctioning. 

 

Now, when I sell on ebay, I always include a disclaimer something like this:

This sale is strictly as-is. The sale is also final.  Absolutely no refunds will be issued. The seller cannot warrant that the networks the purchaser may use perform to purchaser's specific expectations of the network, whether based on advertising,  coverage maps, or the advice of any  person, either in the locations where purchaser resides or intends to use the device.  Purchaser accepts that a carrier's network performance may vary based on the specific caveats on the device as built by the manufacturer and cannot warrant that the device will meet or exceed the purchaser's specific expectations  based on the purchaser's usage of other devices authorized to function on the network including but not limited to smartphones or non-smartphones.  Purchaser agrees to rely on the remaining manufacturer's warranty for the resolution of defects and hold the seller harmless from any claims against the device. Seller cannot warrant the quality of customer service or interaction of any carrier, manufacturer or affiliate. 

 

Oh, and always offer free shipping the US for ebay and no international shipping.  People seem to pay more when shipping is free. 

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I've done all three and will share my thoughts

:goodpost:

 

Most excellent write up. Thanks!

 

Robert via Samsung Note 8.0 using Tapatalk Pro

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