In a previous article, wrote a guide on how to make a living buying and selling used cell phones. Yes, it is possible to earn a full-time salary from flipping phones. If you’re less ambitious, you can still earn some side income from flipping used cell phones.
You can find great deals to buy and sell phones on Ebay, Craigslist, and Swappa. These three sources will create the best arbitrage opportunities for your business. However, at some point you may want to open up to new markets and increase your sales.
Many businesses already do this. For example, look at some of the top online buyback websites such as Gazelle, Technollo, and BuybackWorld. These businesses are setup to offer consumers cash for their used cell phones. The consumer mails in their phone, and the business sends them a check after they inspect it.
Building a website allows you to expand your brand and gain trust as well as online recognition. Even if you are still conducting most of your business on eBay and Craigslist, by labeling your ads with your brand name and a website, consumers are more likely to trust you. Lets face it, a stranger on Craigslist will be more comfortable selling you their cell phone and meeting up with you if you have a website explaining who you are and your services. This guide is meant for anyone with zero website building knowledge to setup a simple website for your business. In fact, these are the exact steps I used to create CellSolo.
Build A Brand – Earn Trust
The first step is to think of a name for your company. If you are flipping used cell phones full time, then you should have already done this as well as incorporated your business.
Now that you have a name for your business, you’ll need to create a web presence. The first step is to buy a domain name which is what users will type in their web browser to get to your website. There are a lot of domain names already taken, but hopefully your business name is still available. If not, feel free to slightly modify it by shortening or abbreviating the name. You can also choose something other than .com at the end of it such as .co. For example, you may want phonecashback.co.
There are a number of websites where you can buy a domain name. I use GoDaddy for my businesses. Head over and snatch yours before someone else gets it. It costs less than $15 per year.
Find A Great Host For Your Site
Now that you have a domain name for your business, the next step is to setup a hosting account. A host is where your content is stored for your website. It is linked to your domain name, so that whenever someone goes to your website, they will see all the pages. Every website has a host. Think of it like a folder for all the files, just like your computer.
I use BlueHost for CellSolo as well as all of my other websites, and I highly recommend using them for your business. It is important to find a host that keeps your website up and available to your visitors all the time. A bad host will have downtime and will cause you to lose business and traffic. BlueHost offers several different plans. The more traffic you get, the bigger the server and technical specs you will need. Since you’re just starting off, go with the Starter plan, which currently costs $3.95 per month.
After you signup with BlueHost, you will receive an email with all of your login details. You’ll need to link your domain name to your BlueHost account, which you can find directions for here.
WordPress For Content Management
You might be wondering how to you actually make the pages for a website? Well, that isn’t very difficult at all because of a free and very user-friendly tool called WordPress. WordPress is a blogging platform that allows you to make and manage pages for your website. It can handle anything from a very simple site such as a personal blog to a very complex site such as an auction hub like Ebay.
Most hosts make it very simple to install the WordPress software. BlueHost allows you to do this with just one click, which you can find directions for here. Once you have WordPress installed, you can customize your site with pages, posts, graphics, color themes, and many more options. To help build your brand, you should create a logo or hire a designer to do it for you.
After you’ve explored the tools available to you in WordPress, you should install a theme. (If you are uncomfortable using WordPress, check out the official guide as well as a third-party site with tutorials.) There are many free themes which are available in the appearance section of your WordPress dashboard. But if you’re looking for more unique themes or something that is specifically for cell phones, head over to Themeforest which has themes you can buy for specific types of businesses. Here are some additional free themes also.
WordPress also allows you to install plugins, which are extra features. Many of them are free, but some of them you will have to pay for. Below are some of the plugins I recommend:
Contact Form – This will allow your customers to get in contact with you directly from your website. (free)
Google Analytics for WordPress – you should signup for Google Analytics to track your customers and website traffic. You can see where your customers are coming from and what they are doing on your website. Use these analytics to make improvements to your website. (free)
Simple Social Icons – Allow viewers to share your website and pages on their social accounts. You should setup a Facebook page and Twitter account to help get new customers. See the bottom of this page for an example. (free)
Tablepress – Setup tables to keep all of your content on your website organized. You can use this to show which phones you are interested in buying and prices that you offer. (free)
WP Super Cache – This is a nifty plugin that keeps your website running fast. You don’t want to have a website that takes several minutes to load. (free)
Gravity Forms – Are you allowing customers to directly submit their used cell phones on your site for you to buy form them? You can use gravity forms to make custom forms that allow you to sell your services. (you have to pay for this plugin)
WordPress SEO – This plugin will keep all your pages organized and optimized so that search engines will find them when people are searching for used cell phones. (free)
That is it, simple right? Now you just have to write all of your content. If you combine the skills learned from How To Make A Living Flipping Phones, and this tutorial, you will have all the tools you need to get your business started. Don’t forget to checkout other phone buyback websites to get some ideas on how to setup your own. After you website it setup, you’ll need to tell everyone you know about it, share it on social networks, and get other websites to link to you. For some more advanced tools, see the list below:
Squarespace – If you don’t want to use WordPress or worry about hosting, you can use a simpler platform called Squarespace. However, it is more limited in features but is meant to make the setup process easier.
Mailchimp – this tool allows you to collect emails for interested customers. You can then use newsletters and special offers to draw in those customers to make a sale.
Google Drive – Keep all of your documents organized and on the cloud. All of yore spreadsheets for your business can be stored here and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection after you login.
Paypal – Send your customers their cash in exchange for their cell phones via PayPal.
Elance – Hire a web designer and programmer to take care of all this for you. Elance is a great website to find overseas freelancers that will build a website for you for a lot cheaper that in the US.