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How to Sell a Used Mobile Phone on Ebay

How to Sell a Used Mobile Phone on Ebay


         Photo credit: IB Photography/Shutterstock

EBay is a tremendously popular platform in the UK with 24 million British citizens using the site every month. The market penetration of eBay in the UK is extraordinary, especially when compared to the US, where less than one in three users visit the site monthly. For someone wondering how to sell their used mobile phone, eBay provides an intuitive, easy to use platform which is also hugely populated with active users. Furthermore, because about three iPhone related items are sold on the site every minute, chances are the listing containing your old iPhone will be highly visible in the ‘recommended’ section. EBay generates a list of recommended items based on what the user has viewed, what they have purchased, and what items they have added to their wish list. This makes iPhones one of the most profitable items to sell on eBay due to the symbiotic relationship which exists between how sought after an item is and how visible it is to users of the platform.

If the above statistics were enough to convince you that eBay is a great platform for selling used electronics, and if your smartphone is past its prime, check out the following guide which teaches you how to sell your used mobile phone on eBay.


Registration and Set-Up:

Registering for and setting up an eBay account is the first step you need to take in order to sell your used mobile phone using the online marketplace. Registering a new account is a straightforward process:

·         Access the eBay site.

·         Click on the ‘Register’ button which can be found in the top left corner of the page.

·         Enter the required details on the site.

·         Confirm your identity. All eBay members are required to do this before they can start trading on the platform.

·         Set up a valid PayPal account. If you’re already PayPal verified, you should link your PayPal account to your newly registered eBay account after which you’ll be good to go in terms of listing your used mobile phone. In order to link these two accounts, go to My eBay and click the PayPal Account option on the Account tab. In case you didn’t already have a PayPal account, verifying it is a quick and easy process. All you need to do is enter your bank account information on the site and follow the instructions provided.

How Old do you Have to be to Have an EBay Account?

Remember, you must be at least 18 years old in order to legally register for and use an eBay account. Those under 18 can use someone else's account only upon being given permission to do so by the account holder.

Things to Note When Listing on eBay:

Once you’re all registered it’s time to start thinking about how to sell your used mobile phone on eBay.

In order to maximise your chances of closing a sale quickly, you should make sure to provide a fair evaluation of your phone’s condition. When doing so, keep in mind that the more information you provide about your phone’s state the better; ‘old’ just won’t be good enough. Let potential buyers know how long you’ve had the phone for but don’t stop here! It is important to note that a scale for grading the condition of used mobile phones does exist, and you would do well to correctly grade your phone  in the product description of your eBay listing.


               Photo credit: Rokas Tenys/Shutterstock

If there are obvious issues with the phone such as deep scratches or a cracked screen, you should first consider fixing your broken phone screen at home or taking it to a repair shop. Any blemishes, no matter how small, should be noted in the product description so that you don’t have any angry emails from the buyer once you have sold your old mobile phone on eBay.

We’ve already shed light on the high volume of sales taking place every day on eBay, as well as the huge number of active users on the platform daily. While this high exposure is obviously an advantage when you are looking to sell your old mobile phone on eBay, it can also work against you if you’re not putting enough thought and effort into your listing descriptions. In order to emerge victorious in the highly competitive world of eBay listings, you should engage in some market research beforehand. Check what the most sought-after second-hand phone features are, and include these in a well thought out, easy to read description (use bullet points where possible!). This will give your phone the best chances of beating other similar products and selling as fast as possible. 


How to Take Good Photos for eBay Listings:

The number and quality of pictures attached to your listing will also have a bearing on how quickly your mobile phone sells on eBay. The eBay selling techniques relating to photos are quite straightforward; make sure your pictures:

-          Make your mobile phone plainly visible from all significant angles.

-          Present any blemishes or imperfections which you have mentioned in the product description in separate photos; this way potential buyers will get a better idea of what quality of product they’re dealing with. 

-          Are taken with adequate lighting. There’s no need to go out and get professional lighting equipment. Using the light provided by the sun around midday will be just fine. Alternatively, shining one or two quality lamps on your product before snapping your photos should also deliver lighting which will attract buyers and allow you to quickly sell your old mobile phone on eBay. 

-          Are taken on a solid background, preferably white. This will again work towards providing your buyers with the best customer service. You want shoppers to be able to discern all the details and features of your mobile phone while not being encumbered by a distracting background.

Make sure you take at least 4 photos when you list your used mobile phone on eBay. Be mindful of the fact that your product description and photos are the only customisable mediums within your listing; they’re the only sections that you can use to set yourself apart from all the other users selling their used mobile phones on eBay. 



           Photo credit: chrisdorney/Shutterstock

Be sure to place your listing within the right category. EBay provides users with ready-made categories which they can choose from when listing. Your phone falls within the category tagged ‘Mobile & Smart Phones’. Using keywords in your product description which are relevant to your listing will go a long way to making you highly visible on the online platform and will boost your click through rate.  


Buy Now or Auction?

The final step you need to complete before listing your phone on eBay is deciding which of the two selling options are best for you. EBay allows users to either auction out their products or stipulate a buy now price. The best option for someone looking to sell their old mobile phone on eBay is listing it for a buy now price which is just slightly under the lowest price for a same model phone in a similar condition. This slight under-pricing will ensure that you will provide prospective buyers with the best offer on the market. After all, price might not be the only factor which someone takes into consideration when buying a phone. However, pricing along with condition are probably the two most important details which will allow you to sell your phone fast. Choosing to accept offers for your product which are under the asking price can also be good if you don’t mind selling it for a lower price and want to keep your options open.     


Best Time to Sell on eBay:

Another key facet of successfully selling your old mobile phone online has to do with figuring out when the best time to list items on eBay is. The best time to sell on eBay is when the most people are actively using the app. Most people use the world wide web during the evening between 6pm and 9pm, so make sure that your listing is active between these two times during the week. The best time to sell on eBay can be slightly more difficult to identify during the weekends since people are not constrained by their working hours. Even so, the data tells us that the best time to sell your old mobile phone on eBay during the weekends is Sunday evening between 4pm and 6pm.


What to do after your First Item has Sold:

If you’ve followed our tips on setting up your eBay account and listing your phone, then you’re on your way to closing a sale. After that perfect offer comes along and you complete the sale of your old mobile phone on eBay, you need to properly pack your phone and securely mail it to the buyer.

     Photo credit: ShutterStockStudio/Shutterstock

You can find the buyer’s mailing information by clicking on the ‘My eBay’ tab on your eBay profile and following the ‘Order Details’ link; the address of the buyer should then appear next to the item they’ve bought. It’s important to acknowledge that you can see their address even before they have sent the payment over. Make sure to check your PayPal account in order to make sure that your buyer has actually sent the payment over. If this is all OK, you can start getting your old mobile phone ready for the long journey ahead. 

If you still have the original box and packaging that the phone came in, use that! The original packaging is designed especially for your phone and will be best suited to protect it as it travels to your buyer. If you’ve thrown away or misplaced your original box, wrap your phone in bubble wrap and place it securely in a small box. Finding a box that is only slightly bigger than your phone would be best since it minimizes the space your mobile has to move around while being transported. The more it moves around in the box the higher the chances are that it could get damaged (even through wrapping) so make sure that you find a suitable box to package it in.

When considering how to sell your old mobile phone on eBay, the method of transport is also something to ponder over. You can either use Royal Mail or a courier service. We recommend using Royal Mail as they offer a service called Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed. By using this service, you are guaranteed the option of claiming compensation if your package is either damaged or lost while in transit. Other courier services will undoubtedly have similar services but most of them can’t beat Royal Mail on price.


Alternatives to Selling your Mobile Phone on eBay:

While eBay is a great platform, and while it’s quite lucrative to get rid of old mobile phones on eBay, one aspect which people perhaps don’t take into consideration as much as they should is the environmental impact that your phone will have in a few years once it can no longer be used or repaired. Those who are keenly environmentally aware know that the best way to sell your old mobile phone is to use a phone-recycling service. RecycleZone’s phone-recycling service allows you to sell your old mobile phone for a good price and be certain that it ends up in the hands of a company that will properly recycle it. It’s the best and most environmentally friendly way to sell your old phone!



                 Photo credit: vladdon/Shutterstock

The impact of old electronics, including mobile phones, on the environment is enjoying increasingly more exposure in the public arena. The discarding of old mobile phones poses a huge environmental threat as the number of phones as well as the rate of discard have both grown speedily in recent years. By using RecycleZone’s phone-recycling service you can get a better deal on your old phone than you would using eBay’s new automated service for selling smartphones (called eBay Instant Selling). You’ll probably get a slightly higher price when selling through a regular eBay listing. However, RecycleZone should be at the top of your list not only because it’s a hassle-free service, as opposed to eBay, but also since you’d be playing your part in our common struggle to ensure a safe and prosperous future on the planet we all share.