SELL YOUR MOBILE AND MAKE BIG BUCKS!
PLANNING TO SELL YOUR OLD PHONE? YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW THE MARKET WORKS FOR YOU TO GET THE BEST BARGAIN.
Blame it on peer pressure or call it flamboyance, but the truth is that over 100 million users in India give in to the temptation of buying a new smart mobile handset every year. If you are not afraid of burning a hole in your pocket every time a new smart phone hits the market, chances are either you own more than five handsets or you sell your old phone to fund the new purchase.
The bitter question, however, isn’t how much you are willing to sell your phone for, but how much the shopkeeper is willing to pay you for your old device? The dynamics change—it is a buyers’ market.
If you are new to hawking your old handsets, be prepared to be shocked. The resale market is all grim for the customers. We uncover the harsh truths of the understated second-hand phone market and share a few tips on how to know your phone’s worth.
Capacitive touchscreens, Android operating system, applications, good cameras—these are in great demand in the resale space. Honey Singh, a small dealer in used phones at the bustling Gaffar Market in New Delhi, reveals: “The QWERTY keypad is not in demand anymore. Those buying secondhand phones ask for touch phones. Android-based phones are very popular and we receive a lot of queries for them as well.”
But what if you want to sell that Indian mobile brand you are tired of using? Says Mohit Wadhwa, owner, Mobi Phone Network Pvt Ltd, Delhi: “The resale value of brands like Lava and Karbonn is not very high in big cities. These phones are comparatively cheaper and have a shorter lifecycle. But they still have a huge demand in the suburbs and smaller towns and villages.”
Our experience proved their words. We tried selling some old Micromax and Lemon phones with QWERTY keypad and Wi-Fi. While most of the shopkeepers refused at the mention of the brands, some asked, “Is it the Micromax Bling 2? Is your Lemon phone Android based?” Phone sellers at Gaffar Market, one of India’s largest resale markets for mobile phones, were mostly circumspect about these phones. “We don’t deal in such small or Chinese brands. If you have a Nokia or a Samsung, show us,” said one.
In the end, we managed to find someone who evaluated the cost of these phones at 800 apiece. (The actual retail price of the two handsets was around 5,000 each). Because the phones looked brand new and worked perfectly, we were able to raise the price to 1,000 per device.
But be warned, if phones have scratches on them or the original packaging and accessories are missing, they are just more debris on the e-waste heap. The landscape of the ever thriving used mobile handset market has changed drastically. Remember when selling an old phone was simple? A popular Nokia model used to fetch roughly 60 per cent of its market price while the ‘lesser brands’ resold at 40 per cent fo the original tag.
This doesn’t work any longer as now instead of brands, it is the operating system and the actual model that rule the resale market. Among all the popular platforms, it is Android and iOS that are in great demand in the second-hand market. But again, this is restricted to certain phones only. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note have good resale value. Adn then one can happily negotiate over an old Apple iPhone 4S or iPhone 4. But try selling your HTC Incredible S, Evo 3D or Sony Ericsson Arc S or even the Xperia Arc and the amount offered will be way less than what you had planned for.
Nokia has taken a severe beating in this the resale mart. From being the in-demand brand, it is now the least favoured among buyers. A Nokia phone running on a Symbian platform will only get you 30 per cent of the current market price. In case of a discontinued phone, this is 30 per cent of the last selling price before the model was discontinued. The value evaluated for the Nokia E7 (without any scratches on the body and screen) which exited the market at 19,500 was only between 7,000 and
9,000. The Nokia N8, a slightly popular
` phone, can be sold for 8,000.
The situation isn’t any different for the newly launched Windows Phone from Nokia or other brands. In this case, expect 50 per cent of the current price, even if the phone is just 10 days or a month old. The cost is further reduced if the body has scratches.
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is not popular either. While there isn’t much that you can expect, only the BlackBerry 8520 can still fetch you between 3,000 and
3,500, that too if you have the original
` bill and the box. This is decent considering the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 retails at 32,000 and its resale value is a mere
` Manish, owner of Mahesh Telecom in Mumbai, says, “Those who are buying second hand cell phones seem to be looking for more features at a lesser price. Even they ask for the best selling models such as Samsung Galaxy SII or Apple iPhone 4/4S.”
By now you must have got a fair idea that getting a good price for your old phone is not a piece of cake. You will have to work a little hard to crack a good deal.
If you have realised that you are better off selling your old phones lying in your cupboard before they get discontinued, here are a few tips. (See box)