If you’re planning to start a home-based cell phone recycling business but don’t know how, here are few tips on how to start a cell phone recycling business
Many people are interested in starting a cell phone recycling business but don’t have enough information about the venture and are consequently afraid to start one. Here are a few tips on how to start a profitable cell phone recycling business.
Know your cell phones
Just like in any business, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the product that you’re going to be dealing with. You don’t need to be an expert and memorize the thousands of mobile phone models out there, but you must have a strong working knowledge of cell phones to readily ascertain which units are valuable and which ones are not. Recyclers and used cell phone buyers will pay as much as $100 for newer models of well-known brands, but there’s very little value in very old models and broken or water-logged cell phones.
Plan your logistics
Map out your service area and make a good estimate of the amount of old mobile units you’re going to collect. If you have a car or a truck, then you can cover a larger service area and will be able to collect more units, potentially. If you don’t have any means of transportation, but live in a well-populated compact neighborhood, you can probably collect the same number of phones by making your collection rounds on foot and covering just a few blocks at a time. Based on your estimate, you can now allocate a portion of your garage, or storage room, for storing your collected phones. You can purchase a few bins, but old cardboard boxes will do. The object is to make your initial startup costs as low as possible.
Talk to the cell phone buyer
Cell phone recyclers and buyers do most of their transactions online. Send an email or give them a call, introduce yourself and your business. Download their price list (for the used phones) and ask for favorable deals, if possible. Definitely, ask for support with the collection boxes and posters, online cell phone buyers are only too willing to provide you with support materials since you’re an important partner who is essential to their business.
Identify collection points
Get a map of your service area, or print one from Google maps. Identify the key point where people bring in their recyclables. Those are the places that you can also place your own collection boxes. Talk to business owners in the area, and ask if you can leave a collection box in their establishment. Target cell phone retailers who are not running buy-back, trade-in, or recycling programs of their own and offer your services. Make friends and make important business contacts, this is essential for the long-term success of your cell phone recycling business.
Treat it like a business
Register your business with your local business office even if, at the start, you’re just planning a part-time operation. When you have that L.L.C. (limited liability company), affixed after your company name, people will know that you’re in the business for the long haul and not some fly-by-night operator just out to make a quick buck. Maintain your books and track all your business-related expenses. Only by tracking your cash flow can you determine if the business is actually making or losing money for you.
Market your cell phone recycling business
Tell people about your business. Send out flyers, distribute business cards, and make use of whatever advertising you can afford that’s targeted to the people in your business area. Use Craigslist to advertise your services, or start a website, or a blog. Network on Facebook. All these online places and services don’t have to cost anything, except a little bit of time investment.
Plan for success
Pay yourself or your business first. Make it a rule to set aside a small percentage of your income and plow it back to your business. A working capital, that’s separate from your own personal funds, is good for your business. You’re going to need that capital later on to expand your business. You’ll probably need some capital right at the start of your business, by the way – you’ll be doing a good amount of buying and selling used cell phones, especially with the newer models.
As we pointed out in our previous post, used mobile phones are far more profitable than any other material to collect, if you’re a startup recycling business. Cell phone recycling, after you get past the initial hurdles, can be a very lucrative home-based business for you.
Start a cell phone recycling business today.