Critical Secrets to Adding Device Trade-In in Your Repair Shop Software

by Nosherwan Khan
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Offering to fix phones may be your primary business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do more. Because cell phone repair shops often need to diversify to increase revenue. So, adding device trade-in to your list of services can really pump up your revenue.

Device trade-ins are very closely associated with repair jobs anyway, so it’s a good idea to offer them at your repair shop. But what’s the best way to go about it? Why do you need it in the first place? Is it going to be feasible for you or not? We answer all these questions in this article.

Check out our podcast with Sayed Ahmed, co-owner of iTechshark and, where he explains why he got into the buyback business and what really goes into setting up a good trade-in service.

Why Offer Device Trade-In?

Your repair business is doing okay as it is, so why would you need to take on another service? Well, believe it or not, but trade-ins and buybacks make very good money.

The secondary device market has been going pretty strong in recent years. Despite the global pandemic of 2020, the market saw a major increase in cash flow. More than $2 billion traded hands from mobile device trade-ins in 2020 and showed strong growth overall.

HYLA Mobile‘s executive vice-president and president of global trade-in and upgrades, Biju Nair shed light on the matter in a press statement.

2020 was a year that no one could have ever predicted, and it has been difficult for operators, retailers, and OEMs to find their footing amongst the ever-changing normal. But given the impact of the pandemic on the smartphone market, the secondary device market has been strong […] Not only did we register a 175% increase of contactless trade-in transactions in 2020 over 2019, but we are seeing trade-in values staying strong as consumers look to get their hands on the latest devices.

Device trade-ins mean you can get devices that can be easily refurbished by you and then sold for a greater value. With it, you’ll offer your customers more value and variety.

Device buyback also lets you establish better customer relations with the people that come in to sell their devices or buy used ones. You can offer them great trade-in deals and motivate them to visit you again for future business. Your customer service will really get a chance to shine here and make all the difference when turning a one-time visitor into a loyal customer.

It’s evident that the secondary device market is ripe for business right now. With many more people looking to upgrade their phones, adding device buybacks to your repair store’s offerings can have great results. You’ll not only have more phones to refurbish and sell but will also build better customer relations and gain strong leads.

The Secrets To A Good Device Trade-In System

Bringing device trade-in to your store requires a couple of things to set up. You’ll need repair shop software like RepairDesk that supports buyback, of course, but there are also some critical points to include in whatever setup you create.

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Here are some of the secrets that will make your trade-in program a success.

Make the Price Easy to Find

One of the first things customers will look at when perusing your buy-back service is the price of devices. It’s the major motivating factor that catches their eye and gets them interested.

In order to really capitalize on device trade-ins, you need to put the price front and center. Make it easy to find and more accessible for your customers, and you’ll start getting good leads from it.

Our recommendation would be to incorporate a price calculator into your buy-back system. You can have it within your repair shop management software itself or online so customers can easily get what they’re looking for.

Here’s how One Bite Technology uses the price calculator on their website.

Offer Quick Solutions

On the topic of making it easier for customers, be sure to offer quick solutions to them. The process of trading in devices should be as smooth and streamlined as possible. The more roadblocks there are, the more your customer will be frustrated, which will hinder your sales.

Sayed Ahmed, co-owner of iTechshark, places great importance on smooth processes in our conversation with him on the topic.

There’s nothing worse than someone trying to sell a product [to] you, and they go to the website and all they see is, like, “Fill up the form; leave your email; we’ll get back to you.” We just wanted to find a right solution for that.

For in-store device trade-ins, having a repair shop software that has self check-in can be quite helpful. It lets customers actively input information to see whatever is relevant to them.

If you’re offering trade-ins online, your portal should be clear, concise, and free of distractions. Get them to the point and make their experience with you a pleasant one.

Disclose all Terms in your Repair Shop Software

It’s always a good idea to keep the customer informed on the terms of your service. That way, they know what sort of value you’re providing, such as shipping charges and applicable taxes. You can also avoid any chargebacks and litigation. This makes it so that your risk when doing business is minimal, while also informing the customer at the same time.

Additional details relating to the sale should be clearly visible so that the customer does not miss them. Highlighting them in a different color or formatting is a good way to go about it.

As for terms and conditions, we recommend having a customer-facing display that shows them your store’s terms. You can also take digital signatures from your display and get documented authorization in the process, which always helps.

Reach Out as Far as Possible

This one relates to marketing your cell phone repair shop. If you want more customers to come to you for device trade-ins, you need to put the word out. Reaching out as far and wide as you can will help your buy-back business flourish in the long run. Because you’ll be offering people a way to upgrade their phones or sell off their existing devices for cash, they will remember you better.

Sue Kirchner, a brand strategy and marketing coach, puts the importance of being memorable quite eloquently.

To get noticed and considered, you need to tell people not only the value you deliver, but how that is different from any other alternative solutions. Even if they listen to how your brand is different, most likely they won’t hand you money the first time they meet you so you need your brand to be memorable as well, so they remember you when it’s time to pull the trigger and buy.

Improve your marketing to reach out better to potential customers by optimizing your website with relevant keywords and creating profiles in public directories. Services like Google My Business and Bing Places for Business will be considerably helpful. They allow your cell phone repair shop to show up on people’s maps and searches in your area.

Also, use the marketing features in your repair shop software and create email & SMS campaigns.

Lastly, be sure to advertise and engage people on social media so they know the value you’re offering.

Focus on Communication

Communicating actively with your customers nets better results overall. You’ll be able to explain to them about the offer, lay down the services offered, respond to their queries and even up-sell. You can tailor their experience in real-time based on their requirements.

Suppose if someone wants to trade in their iPhone 7 for a new phone; you can let them know that you also have a phone case for a few more dollars for them.

To establish good communication, make sure your customers always know where to find you. For physical stores, you can have your sales reps ask them what they would like and explain the device trade-in offers.

You can use a chat program like Intercom or Zendesk on your website, or use your social media platforms to actively message them. Whatever channel you choose, make sure your customer is talking to someone who is knowledgeable and has good people skills.


Growing your cell phone repair shop can be easy once you know what a device trade-in service should have. Customers will want convenience and ease, and it’s important to create a system that gives them just that. But most of all, they want to know they’re going for something that’s worth it – they want value.

By catering to the customers and providing them with a great device trade-in experience, you can capitalize on this business model and really boost your revenue. All you have to do is make it worth their while.

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