By: Revanche

Side Money Experiment: selling on Swappa

June 26, 2017

Selling old phones on SwappaAfter spending an astronomical amount on my phone replacement last year, and PiC’s third replacement trying to crap out, it was way past time to recoup any of our cost possible.

Note: this review is months after my actual sale experience so it’s a little dusty, but you’ll see the reason for that below!

I first signed up for Gazelle but they offered a whole $8 for one of our old phones which is absurd. The phone works well enough if you’re not a power user, which I am.

After poking around good ole Google for a while, Swappa looked promising, so I gave it a try with one of our Androids.

This process is a little bit less straightforward than selling on Poshmark, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Useful tips

  • The buyer pays for shipping – you have to build into your selling price.
  • The buyer pays the Swappa fee – you don’t need to build in your price.
  • Sellers are expected to ship within two business days of receiving payment.
  • Swappa’s return policy: Sellers define their own return policies on their listing pages.
    All seller return policies are based on the pre-condition that the device is received as advertised and in accordance with Swappa policies. No seller may deny a return / refund when a device is not as advertised.

To list and sell your phone

  1. Factory reset your phone. You could do this later, but it’s best to do it before you take the photos so buyers can see that it’s reset and turns on.
  2. Supply photos of your phone that show it can turn on, along with the sale code they provide you.
  3. Supply the ESN (which was incredibly hard to read on our phones because it was printed so tiny) so that the Swappa staff can verify that your phone is in good order.
  4. Write an accurate description of your phone and what it comes with. I’m still using my charging cord and wall plug for the Kindle, so I only listed the phone for sale with the protective screen cover and the phone case.
  5. Set your price. I used the current listing prices of the other equivalent phones as a baseline, plus a fee for shipping.

After several weeks of renewing my listing, I had a buyer!

I was notified first of the Paypal payment, then the instructions to ship arrived. I gave the phone one last going over to shine it up nicely, wrapped it securely, and took myself off to the post office where I decided to send it USPS flat rate for the tracking and the confirmation.

The buyer was a bit weird though.

I updated the sale when I shipped and provided the tracking number but there was no reply. Swappa sent him a comment asking him to confirm receipt and formally complete the sale – still no response. The buyer had a week to do so, but didn’t, and didn’t leave feedback either, so Swappa formally completed the sale for me.

A MONTH later, he emailed saying that the phone didn’t work, even though it was in working order when I shipped it.

Since it’d been 5 weeks since I sent him the phone and it was in good condition when it left my hands, as advertised, I offered some basic troubleshooting options and left it at that. He could have attempted to charge it back through Paypal, so I kept the money on the side to wait and see. It’s now been six months with no further communication so it might be safe to say that this one has been put to bed. I think.

Final verdict: My listing sold for $63 less the $7 paid for shipping flat rate with insurance. $56 blows the Gazelle offer out of the water, even with the minor inconveniences and irritations.

:: Do you sell your old tech or recycle it? Do you have a favorite site or store for resale or buying used?

3 Responses to “Side Money Experiment: selling on Swappa”

  1. This is good to know! So far, we’ve only ever traded in our iPhones for credits toward new ones. But now that we’re moving to a low-cost carrier, I’m not sure they’ll do upgrades like that.

    I would have definitely kept the money to the side, too. So glad it worked out!

  2. […] Side Money Experiment: Selling on Swappa […]

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