Many service providers today use trade-in and mobile phone buy backs strategies to incentivize customers financially or encourage them to donate their old phones to worthy causes.
One of the main challenges to programs like these, is being able to quickly answer a customer’s question—"how much?".
It’s especially difficult when the customer is standing right in front of one of your retail reps and a line is forming behind them.
While buyback pricing can vary, it is always dependent on the condition of the device in question. A 16GB iPhone 5S, valued at $100, won’t be worth that if it isn’t in good working condition.
Clearly, being able to quickly assess the current condition of a used device is an essential step to deciding what it’s worth.
Here are 5 great tips to get you started with evaluating the current condition of your phone.
5 Essential Steps for Evaluating a Phone’s Condition
Your customers want to get the most money possible for their phones, but their personal evaluation of what it’s worth often conflicts with the retailer. The incorrect evaluation could result in excess of $100 million in lost value per year for service providers. Here are the biggest contributing factors to identify when assessing the condition of a mobile device:
- What is the model of the device?
This is simple to verify, but in more than 20% of the trade-in transactions, the wrong model is selected.
- Does the LCD screen work?
Retailers should make sure the screen functions as it’s supposed to. Press the touchscreen a few times and make sure everything works. This is another simple step that 12% of trade-ins miss.
- Does the device turn on?
This question is objective, and extremely simple. However, another 10% of trade-ins fail this test when the get back to the assessment lab. Missing this question results in the largest average trade-in price adjustment.
- Is the battery in the phone?
Again, this is just a quick eye test, but some employees do forget to check. Without a battery, this significantly adjusts the value of the phone.
- How old is the phone?
Outside of cosmetics, the age of the device is also a major factor for trade-in value. Similar to leasing a car, as soon as you take the device out of the store, its value starts to depreciate. When a mobile device reaches the 18 month or 2 year mark, it will start to depreciate much faster.
To ensure the model is worth as much as expected, it’s important for consumers to understand that they need to upgrade in a timely fashion if they want to get the full value of their trade-in.
The Ultimate Question About Mobile Buy Backs
No matter how you look at it, the 5 biggest factors for assessing a phone boil down to one question —has the phone been protected with a case or not?
Subscribers need to know that investing in a $40 protective case for a device can save them massive amounts of money in adjustments down the road. For example, consumers will lose at least an average of $70 if the device won’t turn on.
However, the power button often doesn’t work because of dirt and grime blocking the button from the wiring inside. With a case, consumers can protect their phone from grime, scratches, and dents while also protecting their trade-in value.
Bringing Automated Diagnostic Tools to the POS
If service providers want to deliver quick and accurate condition reports for phones at the time of trade-in, they need automated diagnostic tools that are dedicated to the mobile phone buy backs program. With automation, service providers can speed up the trade-in process while determining consistent and fair values for consumer devices.