Reselling is one of the best ways to make a side income if you have no idea where to start because of the low barriers to entry and skills it can teach you. Within the reselling space, electronics are some of my favorite things to resell as the potential for profit is so high.
I started out in the reselling game four years ago reselling electronics that would go on clearance at the retail store I was working at, and still to this day it is my favorite niche because it is just what I know best, and can't complain about the profits either.
If you are still pondering a side hustle, or not sure what kind of side hustle you need, if you need one at all, I wrote a blog on that topic that you can check out by clicking here >>
But if you are already in the reselling game or are looking to get started in it, especially in terms of electronics, then stick around as these lessons have cost me thousands of dollars to learn. Don't get screwed over on electronics when you first start like I did way too many times before figuring out all of the different things to look out for.
Instead, stick around and learn to effectively buy a device so that you know everything you need to know about it in order to turn around and make a profit. We all like profits, right? Especially when they help us get out and see the world or even just have a couple extra date nights with the significant other.
Why Reselling is A Great Side Hustle to Start
More travel money never hurt anyone...
When you don't really have any skills or expertise knowledge in a field yet, reselling can be a great place to start as it can make you some side income, not take up that much of your time so that you can start to learn other niches and then act as a stepping stone for the next thing you do in life.
It is all about getting a little bit of momentum and having that ball start to move in your direction and that is exactly what reselling allows us to do. On top of making us some income on the side for traveling, dates, adventures or just to pay the bills, it can teach us sales and marketing skills which will help you transition to that next venture in life, a more long term one, more easily as sales and marketing are useful in every area of your life.
Just think about it, you can't have a company without being able to sell or market because even if you have an amazing product, nobody will know about it. Also, when you go out looking for a job, you have to be marketing yourself constantly and then be able to sell yourself to a potential employer, same goes for romantic relationships, if you can't sell yourself, you will never just on the opportunity when that potential partner comes into your life.
For more on why reselling is a great side hustle or if you want to check out some more options, say if you have more skills in an area, check this article out >>
Why Electronics Are Great To Resell
This was my first niche and still is my go to reselling niche.
Everybody has them, everyone has a phone now a days and almost everyone has some sort of electronic device in their house. Once that new one comes out, a lot of people go and buy that one and then try to get whatever they can for their old device, that is where we come in to buy and then resell it for a profit. Plus, electronics have been some of the highest profit margin devices I have found while reselling, which means more travel money!
On top of that, they are some of the quickest selling items on sites such as eBay, Mercari (another selling app) and essentially every other selling app out there becasue a lot of people want or need the devices but can't afford to pay retail prices for them.
This is much better than say a pair of shoes that you are not sure will sell or not and then they end up sitting around forever in your closet before you sell them. Usually, with electronics you can sell them within a few days or a week if you are able to buy it and then sell it at the right price.
All that being said, these are usually one of the most valuable possessions that people own, so if you aren't looking that hard for items and aren't constantly checking for deals or negotiating, you might not buy them at the best price possible as some people have a harder time letting them go for cheaper than others if they paid for it new.
What Electronics You Need to Watch Out For
As you might imagine, not all electronics are made the same and require the same level of research before buying. The list I am going to help you with below is mostly for those higher ticket, usually higher profit margin devices such as Apple Products (phones, tablets, watches), Android Products (phones, tablets, watches), and any other type of phone or tablet, especially the ones that use a cellular network or have to be connected to the person buying the device's cellular plan.
This is because there are so many potential locks from carriers or even from the manufacturers that make sure the product is not stolen. You don't want to end up with a potentially stolen device as that just causes you way too many headaches and you actually might come across more than you think while you are looking for devices to buy, there are some very shady people out in the world.
The below list is not for devices such as headphones, speakers, TVs, video players, DVD players, anything of that sort that doesn't require a cellular connection. For these items you just need to make sure that they work correctly and have no physical damage.
The list below I would stick to for ANY Apple or Android deices (even if they don't need a cellular connection) as well as tablets and smart watches.
Now, Here is What You Have to Check Before Buying Electronics to Resell
Always Check The IMEI
Alright, probably one of the most important things about a device is the IMEI number which is like the identification number for the device, every one unique to the device. This will tell you everything you need to know about the device, including if it is marked lost or stolen by the original owner.
To find this number, either look on the back of the original box for the device, and there should be a bar code with the IMEI number under that or you can even go into "about" in settings on the device and find the IMEI code there.
Once you have that number, go to a website like IMEIpro, Imei24, even Swappa, or just google "IMEI check" and type in that number of the device.
When you do this, it will give you the make and model of the device as well as if it is blacklisted (I'll talk about this later) and of it was marked lost or stolen by the original owner. If it is blacklisted or lost or stolen, obviously don't buy it, especially if it requires a cellular connection because the carrier won't be able to set it up on an account.
Check the iCloud or Android Account on the Device
Next, go to settings of the device and check if there is an iCloud or Android account set up on the device still, if there is ask them to take it off and if they aren't able to it is likely a stolen device.
Even if it is not a stolen device and they say "I just can't remember the password right now" don't buy it until it is unlocked. This is because even if the rest of the phone physically functions, there is no way to get around this "lock" as people call it and you essentially have a phone that you can't do anything with other than sell it for parts (which is not very much).
Plus, the original owner could use find my iPhone or similar apps to track their device to you if it was stolen and even if you bought it from someone, there is going to be a lot of problems and stress with that, just don't bother.
If you happen to have ended up with one of these "locked" devices there is a way to get rid of them. You can actually sell them as "icloud locked Bad IMEI" on eBay as there are some people who jailbreak the phones to get around this lock and they will buy them on there. This has happened to me a handful of times and it is a headache but there are buyers for the devices and if you don't believe me just go to eBay and search "bad IMEI ______ (enter device name)."
A handful of people actually make money flipping these bad IMEI phones, but not my niche or something I want to risk either way.
Check the Blacklist Status of The Device
This is bouncing off the section above where I was talking about the IMEI check on a phone, on those same websites you can check the blacklist status as well (usually at the bottom of the screen it will say "Blacklist check").
What the blacklist status is for is first off if the device has been lost or stolen or secondly if the device was bought through a carrier and the person has not paid off the device (or stopped making payments) but is trying to sell it any ways. This is mainly important for device that require a cellular connection, such as any type of phone or cellular Apple Watch.
Don't buy a device if it comes up as blacklisted because you won't be able to sell it to anyone because no carrier will be able to set it up on their network.
Check the Carrier of The Device
It is also important to check, or ask, what carrier the device was purchased under. This is because some carriers like Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T "lock" the devices to their network, meaning you can't use them on other networks. While you can sell these devices as T-Mobile only or Sprint only, they aren't worth as much as "unlocked" devices that can be used on any carrier and switched between carriers.
Unlocked devices are purchased through places like the Apple store, Best Buy, or anywhere other than the carrier themselves. There is one exception with devices purchased through Verizon though as they sell all of their devices "unlocked."
I like to check the carrier if there is no proof of purchase or if the person seems shady and you can do this through services such as imei24.com or DoctorUnlock. These services usually cost $1-3, because they have to gain access to Apple's database, and then they will send you an email with the details in anywhere from 2-60 minutes usually.
Why You Should Check These Before Buying Electronics to Resell
Not checking these things before you start to resell electronics is a costly mistake, especially because how easy it is to check these things, and has cost me thousands of dollars in the past.
You will likely end up with stolen phones, devices you can't sell, locked devices and blacklisted devices. While there is ways to sell these items on their own, they are just going to cause you too much stress, we don't want that with a side hustle.
Instead, just take the simple steps to check these things so you know exactly what you are selling and don't have any surprise messages from buyers that say "I can't activate this on my network" or anything along those lines. You have to know exactly what you are selling.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you were able to get some value out of this and help save yourself thousands of dollars in mistakes when you are reselling or flipping electronics. I really enjoyed this post because it was my first reselling niche and still my go-to reselling niche four years later!
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