Cell Phones Selling Guide
Find Out What's Hot in Cell Phones
Find Out What's Hot in Cell Phones
Buyers are on the lookout for all sorts of Cell Phones, PDAs and Cell Phone Accessories on eBay, from hands-free car kits to cell phone charms. The following provides just a small sampling of the myriad things that you could sell on eBay. To get a real-time view of what’s in demand, what buyers are searching for, and what items are selling the most, visit Cell Phones & PDAs Seller Central.
Service plans and options:
Phones with service plans: Some phones can be sold on eBay with a service plan attached—popular with buyers who are looking for a new contract. Phones can also be sold with a prepaid phone service. Be very clear when listing your cell phone on whether a service plan is included and if the phone is only compatible with certain wireless service providers.
Locked phones: Most major service providers such as Alltell, AT&T Wireless/Cingular, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, Sprint PCS, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon carry their own versions of popular cell phone models. For the most part, these phones are locked by the service and can only be used on their networks. Since most nationwide services have millions of subscribers, buyers who already hold service contracts search eBay for phones compatible with their providers.
Unlocked phones: Unlocked cell phones and PDAs are phones which are not restricted to one wireless carrier. They are usually activated by inserting a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card issued by carrier. Buyers who plan on using their phone for a longer time look for unlocked cell phones so they are not restricted to one carrier. Some unlocked cell phones can also be used internationally by inserting an international SIM card, making unlocked phones very popular with travelers and international buyers.
Capabilities and connectivity:
MP3, video and camera phones: Newer cell phones can come equipped with technologies to play MP3s, record and playback video, and take pictures with built in cameras, perfect for the tech savvy buyer. Built in cameras can come in a variety of capabilities, including 1-2 and 3+ megapixels. Phones can also come equipped with other technologies such as e-mail, speakerphone, web browsing, calendar, text messaging capabilities, and even GPS navigation.
Smartphones: Different types of smartphones are popular with different buyers. Some, like the Palm Treo and Blackberry, are popular with buyers looking to stay connected to the office, while others, like the T-Mobile Sidekick 3, appeal to buyers who enjoy mobile messaging, and still others, like the Samsung Blackjack, Motorola Q, and Apple iPhone, give buyers ultimate multimedia mobility.
Connectivity: Most phones use GSM technology to connect to wireless networks and it is the current standard network type utilized around the world. In addition, more cell phones are being built with additional Bluetooth connectivity—allowing users to sync their phones wirelessly to other electronics and accessories such as computers and headsets. Also becoming popular are phones with built in WiFi connectability. Other technologies such as AMPS, CDMA and TDMA are used in certain areas—and are in demand because or their rarity.
Back to top
Get Top Dollar for Your Cell Phones
Get Top Dollar for Your Cell Phones
Once you know what you’re going to sell, it’s time to think about how to attract
Cell Phone buyers. Here are the top tips from eBay’s most successful sellers.
Use Catalog to Easily List Your Cell Phones
eBay has made it even easier to list your Cell Phone and accessories. Use the “Find Your Product” option when creating your listing. The eBay catalog will pre-fill in information for you—including a good listing title, item specifications, a stock photo, and technical information about your Cell Phone in the listing description. You have the option of editing any of the pre-fills, and you can still add details to your description and self-shot photos.
Help Buyers Find Your Items with Keywords
Keywords are a great way to attract buyers to your listing, especially when used correctly in your Listing Title. Listing titles are used by eBay’s search engine to pull up listings during a search. Use your 55 characters wisely, and try to anticipate what buyers will be searching for. Find out what is being searched right now with our list of Top Cell Phones & PDAs Searches. State important characteristics of your item—brand, carrier, model, condition, and color. Of course, you should only include keywords that are relevant to the item you are selling. You can also search current and completed eBay listings to see what other sellers include in their titles.
In your Listing Description, make sure to include both basic information and details about your item. A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists, and be sure to restate the information featured in your title plus more details such as size, materials, built in technology, compatible phones or carriers. Always clearly state what is included in the listing—what’s “in the box”—such as chargers, instruction manual, SIM card, battery, and any accessories. Think about your listing from the buyer's perspective. The more information you provide, the more likely the buyer will be to place a bid on your item.
Here are some terms and abbreviations commonly used by other sellers to describe their Cell Phones. Make sure you only use a term when you are sure it applies to your item.
No Longer Available (NLA): Phones and equipment that are no longer available cannot be found in stores or bought from the manufacturer.
New In Box (NIB): A Cell Phone, PDA, or Accessory is new in box if it remains in the original packaging from the time of purchase and has not been opened.
Gently Used (GU): A product is gently used if it shows slight signs of wear such as scratches. Wear should be superficial, and should have no effect on the item's capabilities.
Poor: A cell phone or PDA in poor condition may no longer be working and has considerable signs of wear. However, poor equipment may have valuable parts or usable components. Make sure when you list a poor item that your description accurately describes the item and its condition.
Do Your Research
When selling your Cell Phones, PDAs and Cell Phone Accessories, try to research compatibility and features. Try to find out what carriers can be used with your phone or what phones fit with your accessories. Look on your cell phone for a wireless carrier brand. Most large wireless service providers—such as AT&T Wireless/Cingular, Sprint/Nextel, T-Mobile, Sprint PCS, and Verizon—have their logos printed on phones. If you are afraid that carrier restrictions could limit the number of buyers interested in your phone, you can pay to have your cell phone unlocked. Also be aware of what technology your phone uses to connect to networks—GSM is the most popular worldwide but your phone may be running on CDMA or TDMA. Also research what capabilities your phone has—camera, text messaging, speakerphone, MP3 player, etc. Try searching your phone model online or looking through your instruction manual for more specifications. For accessories, check original packaging for compatibility information or try searching for your product online.
Showcase Your Cell Phones with Great Photos
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words! Photos are the closest you can get to putting your Cell Phone equipment in the hands of potential buyers. Here are some tips on how to best represent your item:
Choose the Right Background: Use a contrasting, solid backdrop. By placing your Cell Phone or equipment on a solid black or white backdrop, you draw a buyer’s immediate attention onto the item. This is easily achieved by hanging a bed sheet or placing poster board behind and under the item. Use a plain, colored fabric backdrop to make your item stand out. Most importantly, avoid background clutter that can distract buyers or confuse them regarding what you are selling.
Cover All Angles: Take pictures from multiple angles and distances, zooming in on important details. Take a picture of the front, back and sides of your Cell Phones. Make sure you photograph any scratches or flaws to give buyers a clear idea of what they are bidding on. If your selling more than one item in your listing (such as a cell phone with a charger, battery, instruction manual, and earbud headset), take photos of all the items together and individually.
Use Proper Lighting: Natural light tends to give the best representation of color—however direct sunlight can have the nasty effect of unwanted shadows. Find an area that receives indirect sunlight. Try taking your item out on a sunny day and photograph it in a shady area. If you can't seem to find an area like this, or would prefer to use indoor lighting, try surrounding your item with desk, overhead, or floor lamps. Above all, avoid using your camera's flash which causes distortion and shadows.
Add Gallery: Including a Gallery photo with your listing is extremely important for success. You can attract attention to your item with a photo next to your listings in search results. In addition, when a buyer uses “Picture Gallery” to look at search results, your listing will be shown. Your Gallery picture should be a very clear, uncluttered view of your item. Since it is the only photo visible on search pages, make sure it provides a good representation of your item.
Use Stock Photos Wisely: If you’re selling an item contained within packaging, it may be more useful to the buyer if you include a photo of a similar item, such as a stock photo. Be aware that most photos are protected by copyright laws and require you to obtain permission and/or pay a fee for use. So don’t just use a photo you find on the internet unless you have been given permission from the copyright holder to use it. A good way to get a free stock photo is to use the eBay catalog when creating your listing (see above).
Maximize Profits with Low Priced, No Reserve Listings
Auction style listings are a great way to create excitement around Cell Phones and accessories, which in turn can develop into a bidding frenzy among buyers—which could result in a higher selling price for you. The keys to a successful auction style listing are to get your first bid and encourage bidders to continue bidding.
Low Starting Price: Getting that first bid is critical, as other buyers are generally more likely to jump in if they see there are already bids on an item. To do this, many sellers prefer to set an opening bid below what the item is actually worth. Try beginning with a low starting price—such as 99 cents—to jumpstart bidding activity.
No Reserve: Be careful when setting a reserve price. Buyers may lose interest in an item if they place a bid and find it doesn't meet the reserve. Because they do not know the reserve price, they may assume the seller is simply asking too much for the item. To prevent this from happening, try listing your item with "No Reserve." Items sold with "No Reserve" typically attract more buyer interest, as buyers know that they will actually win the item if they are the high bidder.
Accept PayPal: Buyers want to know that they can pay securely when making a purchase on eBay. By accepting PayPal payments, you can build buyer confidence and help protect yourself. PayPal transfers payments to a bank account of your choice and notifies you when a payment has been received. Best of all, PayPal offers free online tools to make managing your payments easier. You can even print shipping labels and track your shipments.
Back to top
Ship Your Cell Phones
Ship Your Cell Phones
Specifying reasonable shipping and handling costs in your listing is essential for smart selling—and it improves your search ranking when buyers sort by total cost. Never leave a buyer wondering how much shipping will cost.
Calculate Shipping Costs
Often times, shipping costs will vary by distance. To make sure your shipping charges reflect this, incorporate a shipping calculator into your listing. With the shipping calculator, eBay can automatically calculate the shipping cost for your buyers based on the size and weight of your item and the buyer’s location. You can also program the calculator to add in the cost of packaging materials and your handling fee, if any.
Select a Service Option
To protect both you and your buyer against loss or damage during shipping, consider purchasing shipping insurance for your package—especially for higher priced cell phones and PDAs. Shipping insurance is available through most shipping companies, and can be purchased while you pay for shipping. You can factor in the cost of shipping insurance into your shipping cost—but make sure you state in your description that you are doing so. Buyers want to know that they are paying extra for shipping for a good reason.
Package Your Equipment Securely
After your item sells, you are ready to ship it off to its new home. Make sure you package your item safely and securely. Use bubble wrap, foam, or other packaging materials to make sure your item is not damaged during its move. If you take an item apart to ship it, include a list of pieces and instructions on how to put it back together. Here are a few steps to think about:
Wrap It: Individually wrap items and provide lots of cushioning (bubble wrap, peanuts, foam, corrugated dividers, or crumpled paper). Be careful if you choose to reuse newspaper—the ink can rub off and damage your items. Bundle any wires, fasten them with a twisty-tie, and place them into Ziploc bags. Try to wrap your phone first in plastic to avoid scratches and then tightly in packaging material. If you use foam peanuts, be aware that they shift easily, so overfill your box. If any pieces could be damaged by water, make sure you wrap them with a layer of sealed plastic. Remember, wrap and pack firmly—you don’t want to hear any rattling!
Box It: Most Cell Phones and cell phone accessories will fit in a free USPS Priority Mail box, which you can order right here on eBay—the United States Postal Service will even deliver them right to your door for free! For larger items, use a corrugated box with rigid sides, intact flaps, and plenty of room for cushioning on all sides. Don't exceed the maximum gross weight of the box (usually printed on bottom flap).
Seal It: Use strong tape designed for shipping, rather than masking tape, cellophane tape, string or paper over-wrap. Once you’ve sealed up your package, you can pay for shipping and print shipping labels right from your PayPal account. You can even request a pickup from USPS or UPS, saving you a trip to the Post Office or UPS location.
Back to top
Build Your Reputation
Build Your Reputation
Communication is the key to a successful transaction. Make sure you’re available before, during, and after the sale. Answer any questions about your item promptly. Include a thank you note in your package—it’s a great way to surprise and delight your buyer and encourage them to leave you positive feedback.
Always Leave Feedback
Feedback is extremely important for all eBay users. Consistent positive feedback lets buyers know that you manage transactions well and that you care about your reputation. One way to help ensure good feedback is to communicate well, represent your item truthfully in your listing, and be polite. Also remember your buyer’s feedback score is as important to them as yours is to you—so be courteous, thoughtful, and truthful when leaving feedback.
Be more than just a username to your buyers. Introduce yourself through your About Me page and MyWorld. Add pictures, keep track of your favorite buyers, and tell the community about your interests and collections. Show your expertise by writing Reviews & Guides. Connect with other
sellers on the Seller Central Discussion Board. Remember, be yourself—and have fun!
Sell for a Cause
Support your favorite cause and enhance buyer trust and loyalty at the same time. eBay Giving Works listings tend to sell at higher final prices, because buyers are more willing to purchase, and often pay more for, items that benefit a nonprofit. Get more exposure and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donations!
Back to top
Ready to share your thoughts with the eBay community? Write a guide!