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iPhone repair business tips- parts, equipment, profits

Hi

fpr the past 18 months I have been fixing iPhones, by buying them broken off eBay, fixing them and selling them for a profit. It seems like there is a lot of competition when buying these broken phones and eBay selling fees take up a lot of the profits. I have also done a few screen replacements for people my dad works with - he is is construction so knows a lot of people with broken phones - I can buy screens for the phones for between £15 for a 5s and 25-30 for a 6s or 7, I haven’t done any newer phones than that. I charge usually £50 for the screen replacement but I can do pretty much any repair.

i would like to know from anyone out there who does this kind of thing if they find it profitable to buy and sell phones off eBay, or to fix phones for customers without a repair shop. I would like to know if people that do this use refurbished screens, as I used one on my sisters phone which was excellent but cost about £35 which makes profits a lot less. Where to buy screens in uk, especially in bulk?

should I buy and sell on eBay or is there better places?

i was also looking into buying custom chassis from AliExpress and buying a cracked phone from eBay, and making a custom phone but at not sure if that is profitable either.

another thing, is it easy to get into logic board repairs, and if so, how much would I need to spend on a microscope and soldering equipment, providing that it is profitable enough and you can either buy broken phones or get customers to send you them.

Also for some background I don’t have a shop or a very large space, just a bedroom. I currently know iPhone 5-7 like the back of my hand and also have don’t a couple galaxy s8 repairs, which I made £90 on one of them.

I know this is an unusually complicated question but any help would be appreciated, even if it just answers one part of my question

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I apologize if I won’t answer all your questions, too many, but since you seem to be young and full of good will I’ll share my 2c. worth opinions on the matter. Smartphones booming era is past, that’s clear. I read a couple of days ago a report from https://www.bankmycell.com/ on smartphones value loss and the numbers are impressive, we’re living a deflationary time never seen before when phones value decreases a percentage point every 3/4 days with iPhones, much worse for Samsung and other cheaper Android alternatives.

eBay is essential for spares and repairs parts and there’s a huge offer..as you can see for yourself here in Europe at any given time there are up for sale >1500 devices. Most are just dreamers who hope a broken old phone is still worth something close to what big chinese sellers ask for a working one..heaven only knows why. Then you have rubbish diggers, they pick phones from anywhere and never tell you what you are going to buy, you may pick a bargain but often the only one making a good deal is the seller. Finally you have scammers, they are usually the worst as they are well aware of what they are selling cause they’re in the business one way or the other but just tell you what you want to hear. These are often local resellers and repair shops and labs dropping on ebay phones in very bad conditions and rubbish they already half destroyed trying to hopelessly learn microsoldering basics. If you leave out all these bad deals, you’re left with a handful of sellers of phones that are truly fixable with a profit, private owners and a few serious sellers in the whole Europe, representing maybe 5 to 10% of the listings. Can you make a regular and profitable business out of that ? Consider carefully time involved in searching good deals, finding spares, repairing, finding buyers and deal with your own mistakes and then give yourself an honest answer.

Take also into account the fact that for the last couple of years we have had in EU very big chinese second hand phones dealers who seem to have no trouble to undercut prices for an iPhone 7 128GB down close to 200€ when they need to..do you expect you can you compete with them and make a profit ?

Last but not least, repairing iPhones has changed quite a bit. I’ve started with iPhones 5, done some 4 and 4s, and enjoyed relatively easy repairs until the 6s. From iPhone 7 onwards things have become seriously steeper. Circuit complexity has increased dramatically and faults have become more difficult to spot as many simple issues just cause bootloops. iPhone X increased difficulty further and again, as it needs special expensive tools just to start with. Is it worth to get into all this right now ? Not sure I’d recommend that to my son honestly but as I said, it’s just my 2c.

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Thanks so much for such an in depth answer, it may not be the one I wanted but it seems like the truth and pretty much the same as the conclusion I reached. It’s sad how the phone repair business has turned out, as I love repairing these devices and this community is really helpful, as your answer showed. Just a shame it seems I can’t make a profit out of it too.

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Consider developing contacts that can get you entire lots of traded-in phones, such as stores. That way you have better control over who you buy from.

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@refectio Don't know how it works in North America, but in EU most phones sales go through operators or their franchise shops and a few bigger electronics chains. UK, the biggest EU market for Apple products is even more tied to operators than others and most part of iPhones is network locked. Trade ins are centralized and so far I have no clear info on where exactly phones end up.

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@arbaman Very interesting. While the carrier stores are the big player here too, large, big-box electronics stores also sell tons of phones and plans and take in trade-in devices.

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Shay Mitchell zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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