As I have previous mentioned in passing, I tend to “rent” my gear. I’ll buy it, use it, and then right before the newest generation of that device comes out, I’ll use eBay to sell it. Now, thanks to eBay’s Simple Flow, selling couldn’t be easier.
I’m pretty good at setting up a sale on eBay and getting a good amount of money back for it, but I have to admit that it takes enough work that I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake with my last two devices. That’s why an iPhone 4S in pristine condition was still sitting on the kitchen counter weeks after the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C were released. That poor, lonely device was the last remaining 30-pin iOS device in our home, and the time had come for it to go.
eBay recently upgraded their selling interface for mobile phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and other electronics to make listing them easier than ever. Judie had used this eBay Simple Flow interface to sell her 64GB 4G AT&T iPad mini last month, and she found it to be as simple as simple can be. If she could turn an old iPad mini into cash, I figured I would do the same for the iPhone 4S; I’d finally have a Lightning connector-free home.
Here’s a look at how simple it was to go from “iPhone 4S paperweight” to “Cash In Pocket!”
The phone is an iPhone, so it obviously is an Apple product. Despite our frequent issues with AT&T coverage (without a micro-cell we get zero reception), we are still with them. So that detail was also obvious.
Since the iPhone 4S only came in black or white those were the only choices I was given. Back when we got our iPhone 4S’s, we were still in the “we only get black iOS device” stage so… black it was. I next indicated that it was just a 16GB phone and that it was is Excellent condition. It really is amazing how great iPhones can look even after significant use so long as you use a case and a screen protector!
eBay popped up a message that told me the phone was worth up to $250. That’s pretty awesome, since the phone initially cost just $199 plus a two-year commitment that I was going to make anyway. $250 meant that even after eBay’s fees, I would be getting back pretty much exactly what I had initially laid out when we bought the phone.
Another click of the mouse, and the auction was set up with a full description of the iPhone plus a stock picture of it. The full description of the iPhone 4S was great since, as Judie pointed out when she wrote up her experience selling her iPad mini, “the more information that you can provide in an auction, the less questions people will have about the particular item you are listing.” Very true and, best of all, since it is part of the eBay database you are pretty much guaranteed the information will be accurate.
I wasn’t ready to push the “List It” button quite yet though. First, I removed the stock picture and uploaded a few of my own. This way potential buyers would be able to see that not only is the phone in the amazing shape I indicated, but they could also see that I was including all the original packaging.
I normally add in lots of extras since it helps bump up the price, but I decided to try something a little different and just run the auction with the phone and origin packaging. While I realize it meant I was possibly leaving a bit of money on the table I wanted to see how close to the $250 indicated by eBay I would see.
I also decided I would go with the details regarding timing and shipping that eBay initial put into the Simple Flow template. I usually run auctions for just a day (I’m impatient like that), indicate 3 day shipping with a shipping fee (that all but guarantees I break even on the packaging and shipping), and begin the auction at the price I would be “happy enough” to get for the device being listed. That way I will always be satisfied if the item sells and will potentially make more than my hoped-for minimum. I also tend to avoid “Buy It Now”, since I never want to risk getting less than I might otherwise get. This time out, I did a three day auction with a $100 starting fee, low shipping costs, and a Buy It Now, although I increased that figure by a few dollars.
I looked everything over and… hit “List It” and the screen changed to say “Good Job!”. I appreciated the positive.
The listing was free and within seconds I received a confirmation email that my phone was up on eBay. I then realized I would be out of town when the auction ended. I really appreciate knowing that items I purchase are shipped promptly. I also like my perfect seller ranking on eBay. That meant I needed to find a way to make sure the phone was packed, ready to go and could be shipped by a friend when the time came. I packed the phone, packed for vacation, dropped the phone with a friend, and headed to the airport. I’ll be watching the auction run while I’m sipping a margarita on the beach in Aruba. Not a bad way to sell something that was just sitting on the kitchen counter collecting dust is it?
When I get home, I think I’ll use eBay’s new interface to sell a few other items. After all, cash in the pocket sure beats paperweights in a drawer!
If you have devices you aren’t using, why not turn them into cash? The sooner you do it the better, since electronics depreciate rather quickly over time. And thanks to eBay’s new Simple Flow Smartphone Selling Tool, getting started couldn’t be easier.
My blog post was written as part of our collaboration with eBay.