I had a great experience recently selling an Android smartphone on Swappa. If you have never heard of Swappa, it is a website which gives folks the ability to sell their Android devices (phones and tablets) to other enthusiasts. The website also provides a place where interested parties can buy used Android devices with confidence.
When I first decided to sell my HTC One S, I was not sure what I should do. The thought of listing the phone on Craig’s List really didn’t appeal to me. I had also heard horror stories from people who had tried to sell their phones or tablets on Ebay. I knew Swappa existed, but I had never bought or sold anything using their website. So I decided to put a post on Google+ asking folks if they had ever sold a device on Swappa. I also asked if they had a good or bad experience. I received many responses, including several which linked Swappa founder Ben Edwards by name. Ben Edwards was extremely helpful and asked people in his circles if they could relay their experiences to me. I was impressed that Ben took the time to make sure I had heard from people who had used his website to sell devices.
So how does Swappa work? A seller logs on to Swappa’s website either through Facebook or Open ID. The site then takes the seller through filling out the description of their device. Sellers are asked to upload pictures, which include their Swappa listing code (a Swappa requirement).
Swappa requires that all listings meet the follow criteria:
- All devices are fully functional
- All devices have clean ESN/MEIDs and are ready for activation
- All devices are free of water damage and screen cracks
The Swappa site and staff give sellers and buyers every resource they need to be successful. I found it handy that the Swappa site lists recently sold devices with the final price on the device page, which helps sellers and buyers see how much similar devices sold for. The key to being successful as a seller on Swappa is proper pricing. No matter how much you think your device is worth (i.e. don’t go crazy with pricing), it really is only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it. If devices which are in similar shape to the one you are selling have sold for $75 less than you are asking, you are probably over-pricing and may need to rethink your selling strategy.
Sellers need to make sure they leave enough of a cushion between their asking price and the lowest bid they are willing to accept. There are a lot of savvy buyers on Swappa and many folks will look to negotiate on the price. The seller needs to be prepared to negotiate the price if they want a quick sale. If a seller is in for the “long haul”, they can roll the dice and see if they can sell their device without negotiating.
Including accessories in your sale will certainly “sweeten the pot” and make your listing more attractive. If you have batteries or cases to add, this should make a buyer happy as these are accessories they will not have to purchase separately. A seller may also want to look at purchasing an inexpensive case to add to their listing to differentiate their listing from others which are similar.
Swappa’s popularity should continue to rise as the carriers move towards shared data plans. Given the high cost of unsubsidized devices, many customers, looking to keep unlimited data plans, will look for gently used devices at a smaller cost. Customers in this category will rely on Swappa and other similar venues as a valuable resource for purchasing an up-to-date-device. Swappa will also serve as a valuable resource for those folk who are looking to sell their Android device so that they can turn around and put it towards a new device of their own.
What are your thoughts on Swappa.com? Have you ever used Swappa to buy or sell an Android device? Let us know how your experience was by leaving a comment below.