[00:00:00] Andy: That's just an additional stream of income. If the guy working the counter, the owner, the manager, whoever can say, well, send me, he'll send me a text real quick. What do you pay for this phone? With a crack back? I'm like, you know, I could give you 300 bucks. Well, the shop owners there, they offer the person 150, 200, I don't know what margins they work off of but, just giving them that avenue to move that, it's definitely opened some doors and it's something I'm definitely gonna continue doing here.
[00:00:38] Justin: Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the Phones2Freedom podcast. I'm your host, Justin Frye, and on this show. I, along with the people I interview share tips, tricks and strategies. To help you start and grow your phone flipping business. I phone flip full-time. And I interview people from all over the phone [00:01:00] niche, like flippers, mobile repair, shop owners, wholesalers, and everything in between.
[00:01:17] We have Andy Zimmerman here today. He's a fellow phone flipper like myself and, you know, he's been doing it for a while. I feel like he's got some good information for us. And so really Andy, I just want to jump in and kind of see how long you've been in the space how you got in it. You know, what you were doing beforehand, things like that.
[00:01:41] Andy: Yeah. So definitely excited to be on. Thanks for having. As far as starting phone flipping think a lot of people have the same similar story where you find a YouTube video and it kind of just makes sense. There's a lot to learn, but at the bare bones of it, it's just buy low, sell high. So it made sense to me [00:02:00] started, bought my first phone in December, 2017 and did this part-time up until 2020. Pandemic hit. And then I went full-time with it and been around with it ever since. Before, before, before phones, I kind of was doing like the sneaker thing, the thrift shop thing driving all over to garage sales, just kind of fighting people for, you know, a $5 item that's going to sell for 50. So the phone avenue definitely made a lot more sense because. You're negotiating with one person really, you know, they're, they're looking to sell their motivated sellers. So it's kind of, it made a lot more sense than driving all over the city, just hoping to get lucky to find stuff.
[00:02:46] Justin: So is that your biggest issue with the sneaker thing was or sneaker or whatever else you were selling was the fact that you just had to go out there and, and hunt and, you know, dive through a bunch of stuff?
[00:02:58] Andy: Yeah, essentially. So [00:03:00] I actually, I made not like full-time money thrifting, but when I was in college I would go to thrift stores and I went to this one store where it was in a nicer neighborhood and they would always have video games, like, and they priced them at like two bucks. So I would go in there everyday and get probably five to 10 video games, you know, 20 bucks out the door. Maybe sell the whole lot for a hundred, hundred fifty. And so one day I was checking out and the guy there was like a younger guy doing the cash register. And he was like, oh, is this stuff popular again? And I, I messed up and I was like, yeah, you know, it's coming back in style. And he was like, oh, okay. Okay. And so from then on, I, every time I went, I never saw another video game on the. He was just pulling them in the back. So yeah, just stuff like that, where you.
[00:03:54] Justin: He was getting them before anybody else could see them.
[00:03:57] Andy: Yeah, absolutely. So stuff like that, you know, [00:04:00] it's out of your control really, but the phone industry, you kind of definitely determine your own income with this. So that's what made me stick with the phone.
[00:04:09] Justin: Definitely. So you said you started back in 2017. So what was, what was the first phone you bought? What model was it and what was the newest model at the time?
[00:04:22] Andy: Yeah, so I, my first phone was a rose gold seven plus 256 gig, AT&T. And so whenever I get one, now it's kinda like, you know, that's, that's my baby. So. I bought it. I put up an ad on, LetGo put up an ad on, LetGo. Walked like 10 minutes to the nearest gas station. Cause I didn't have a car at college walk there, bought the phone. Didn't check anything on it. Didn't look at anything. Just gave the person 300 cash. I got lucky on that one because you know, it was like [00:05:00] one of the, like those golden sellers, where, the phone was paid off and they decided that everything. So I got lucky on my first one and sold it, but I got burned on the ones after that, but buying that first seven plus for 300 and flipping it for 500, you know, that's the light bulb goes off. You realize I'm not, you know, this works. So I just need to put in the legwork behind the scenes to get more phones on a consistent basis.
[00:05:29] Justin: Yeah. Yeah, that sounds a lot like how I started the first phone I bought, I had no idea what to look for. I've I actually had an Android phone was my personal phone. And so I had no idea what to even look at on apple. I stumbled across it and. Kind of guessed at it. And it was the same thing. It was a, it was a really good seller who had just upgraded and was trying to get rid of their old phone. And so I got really lucky, but then like you, I [00:06:00] got burned on my next couple phones from people that were not cool. And but yeah, so that I understand, you know, definitely where you're coming from there. So you, you said you bought it for how much, 300?
[00:06:14] Andy: Yeah. So it was 300 and I, I think I messed up that was 2018. It was like December, 2018. So the seven plus I believe, I think it's seven plus I think the 10 had just come out. I can't remember the timeline, but I bought it for 300.
[00:06:34] Justin: Sounds about right.
[00:06:35] Andy: I put it on eBay for 500 and it's sold like within five minutes. So, you know, I kind of looked at what the other ones were going for. I needed the cash back really quick. So I kind of just undercut everyone and was that guy at the time, but got the money and you know, that first cha ching when you hear it on your phone and you see 500 bucks just pop up. [00:07:00] It's, it's definitely an eyeopening expense.
[00:07:02] Justin: Yeah, it's definitely cool. That that first experience in my opinion is just, is super cool. The first one I bought was an eight plus and it had a cracked screen. I bought it for a hundred bucks and then I put like a, I think it was like a 35 or $36 screen on it. And then turn around and sold it, I think for 375 or something. So once that happened, I was like, boom. This was too easy. This is amazing. And this is it.
[00:07:33] So so tell us a bit kind of you know, the journey from when you started to where you are now, you know what I mean? Maybe, maybe hit some of the highs and some of the lows.
[00:07:46] Andy: Yeah. So, like I said, I started when I was in college kind of just look looking for some side money. Just make money on my own time type of thing. So I started in college you know, [00:08:00] junior, senior year comes around and start looking for jobs. You know, that seems like that's the only path people want you to do at this point. You know, that you go to school, you get a job, you play it safe type of thing. So I was doing phone flipping and I was making three to 4,000 profit a month while going to school. And I just never even considered, like when I grew up, like, I didn't even consider, oh, when you graduate, just do this full time. I was so focused on like everyone in society, family, friends, it's just kind of the, oh, how has that little phone thing going? But it's like, you know, this, isn't just a little phone thing. This is a, you know, full-time operation.
[00:08:42] Justin: Yeah. And so it's funny how the it's just funny how. You know, society does that exactly. Like what you said, it's, it's, you know, how's that little phone business going, or how's that little phone thing you got going on and it's like, dude, I made more yesterday than you made [00:09:00] in the last two weeks, you know? And, and I did it in sweat pants and I, I drove three minutes to the gas station, met two people and drove home. And you spent 80 hours at work. So, you know, you go somewhere with that little phone thing.
[00:09:19] Andy: Yeah, definitely heard that one a few times. So had a job out of college, doing sales, did that for about a year, the pandemic kit. And so I lost that job. And that was kind of when I was just like, you know, if a disease outbreak can happen, you can get fired, laid off at any time. Just kind of bet on myself and doubled down. And at that point I was like, you know, I can make much more money doing my own thing that really concerned with anyone's input or opinions on it.
[00:09:50] So I went full-time in March of 2020 and been riding ever since.
[00:09:55] Justin: Awesome. So you said that you were doing some sales? Well, first off [00:10:00] let's let's rewind a little bit and go back to college. So what did you go to college for and did you graduate?
[00:10:06] Andy: Yeah. So I went to Ohio university down in Athens, got a degree in marketing and a social media analytics certificate. So that was, it's not really a minor, it's kind of just in between a minor, but I did graduate in 2019, so have the degree you know, some people, you know, they get a degree in something and they don't really use it. With a marketing degree and a lot of classes were sales. So I kind of feel like I use my degree to a sense, but you know, a lot of people don't, it doesn't really matter. It's just a piece of paper, but it did graduate and looking back, I can't say college is for everyone. I think I did need to go just to figure out what I wanted to do. So that was an expensive expensive lesson to figure out what I wanted. Yeah. That's a good time. You know, a lot of people [00:11:00] say, oh, you don't need college or builder. Elon Musk or whoever didn't go, but you know, I think it's, it's got pros and cons and the, you know, the start a business when you're 15 and ride it until you're 60, that might not be for everyone. So I would say just if you're considering it, don't just kick it to the side. Cause the billionaire said so, so. Yeah, good time enjoying it.
[00:11:27] Justin: Yeah. And you know, the fact that you went to college and you did get your degrees and then you went out into the field and it sounds like you went out and got a job utilizing what you learned in sales. Is that correct?
[00:11:41] Andy: Yeah. So it was entry-level sales, just kind of where you start in the corporate world. But I was, I had always been interested in. I did marketing it Ohio because I wanted to get into like advertising you know, like commercials and stuff like that. So I guess with the Facebook ads and [00:12:00] stuff, using that daily, so it's paying off.
[00:12:04] Justin: Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you took the path that a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners go through is not everybody Just decides to just start a business. You know, there's a lot of people, myself included that, you know, say maybe in your teenage years or, or early twenties where you've kind of dabbled in some side hustles, but for whatever reason, you know, probably society, friends, family, you've got it in your head that, Hey, you know, it's, it's just a little side hustle and. So you don't really pursue it as a business. And then you get out in the real world and you start working a job or multiple jobs, and, and then you, you really start to realize you're like, man, these, my bosses are idiots. My management is idiots. I don't know how this [00:13:00] business is still running. And then a lot bulb goes off and you're like, I'm not supposed to be here. Like. I'm not supposed to be here with these people. And then once, once that mind shift starts shifting, man, it's, it's crazy because then you start looking at, okay, well, if I, if I go to work and I make, you know, $800 a week, I just made that in two days, flipping a handful of phones and then it starts clicking. You're like, Hey man, this is like, this is a real thing. And so I think, a lot of people struggle with that. And I think a lot of people get hung up on the fact that, okay, now they're in their thirties or now they're in their forties or fifties. And so time has passed for them. And that couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, I've I see people that are as young as 12, 13 years old. That just have that entrepreneurial mindset and spirit and they're making money. [00:14:00] And now I think since the pandemic, we're starting to see a lot of people that are, you know, forties, fifties, 60 years old that are leaving the workforce, leaving corporate world because they figured out that, you know, they can sell shirts at home or they can flip phones or they can repair phones. I mean, there's just so many things that you can do. And I think it's time that we start gearing some of that conversation towards, you don't necessarily have to go to college and spend a hundred grand for a piece of paper for something you might use and you might not use, you know what I mean?
[00:14:40] Yeah, absolutely. It's kind of at this point, it's a fallback plan. Know I have the degree, but like you said, it's just a piece of paper. Out of all the interviews I went to, you know, out of college, no one ever asked to see the piece of paper. It was just so it's like, you know, they trust that you have it, but it's [00:15:00] like, it's not some big, important document that you carry around to prove that, you know, you went to college or whatever. So, yeah, like I said, just a lot of people myself included, you just have that it's instilled from a young age that you go to school, get a job, you stay loyal to the job and you work there until you're 65, you take two weeks or four weeks off a year and you know, that's life. And when I was working, it got to the point where I was doing the phones, you know, phone flipping still the whole time while I was working sales. And it got to the point where I was like, man, this it's costing me money to go here every day because I'm missing out on deals. I can't meet up with people. I can't respond right away. So I was mathematically losing money because what I was making there and what I could have been making phone flipping, I was you know, I realized I'm losing money going into the office everyday.
[00:15:58] Yeah. So let's talk about that for a [00:16:00] minute. What, you know, you, you briefly touched on it, but what kind of things really started, you know, dinging in your head of holy crap, man, I'm, I'm losing money today. And I'm losing business. What, what kind of things were being affected, you said you know, you couldn't respond to leads or you couldn't do meetups or something like that. So let's, let's talk about that point where you started realizing I need to make a change. I need to leave what I'm doing and do this full time.
[00:16:31] Andy: Yeah. So I guess, you know, when it gets to the point where you're leaving the office, going on your lunch break to meet people and, you know, just putting more focus on the phone flipping that's when I kind of decided that, well, the pandemic is what really made me decide, but cause I was teetering and then the pandemic started. So that kicked me in the right direction for myself personally. But yeah, you know, at work you can only be on your phone so much. I've [00:17:00] never been, you know, a lot of my leads are messages, texts, so I'm not, you know, on the phone closing people. But when you work for someone else, you can't just sit on your phone all day and close deals and reach out and edit your ads and stuff. So it was kind of like, you know, a little bit of responding throughout the day. Lunch comes, try to close everyone for 5:30, till nine o'clock drive all around, you know, meet them and do it all again. But I'd say just nothing able to respond to the leads and having people would be like, you know, Two iPhone Xs, Verizon, how much? And then, you know, they're sending a question, mark, they're sending, is this a scam? This guy's not responding. So just the,
[00:17:48] Justin: Are you there?
[00:17:49] Andy: Yeah. Like, so you can sense the urgency from the sellers and that's, you know, that's a big thing in our, our industry is the urgency of the sale. Cause there's a lot of [00:18:00] times I would be at work. I'd close somebody at one o'clock. So. And be like, all right, great. You know, when we eat at five at the Starbucks, well, between one and five a lot can happen, they talked to the wife, they changed their mind. A big thing is the money from somewhere else, somewhere else, or their aunt Becky breaks her phone and she needs a phone now, so we're not going to sell it. So just not having that immediacy of being able to not, you know, can't meet up immediately every time. The quicker, the better. And so that was definitely the main hindrance for my business at that point.
[00:18:37] Justin: I got ya. Yeah. That's, that's definitely struggles. And I definitely know what you mean whenever you talk about from close time until pickup time needing it to be quick. I mean, how many times do you close a deal and then say, you know, when are you available to meat? And they're like, oh, I'm on my way now I'll be there in like four minutes. And it's like, holy cow, [00:19:00] we didn't even set up a time yet. And now you're already on the way. And so now you're scrambling of, can you even go make this deal happen right now? Especially if you're at work, you know I struggle with the ability to do that. And you know, I do this full time. So you know, I have more time to dedicate to it, but I also have a family. You know, kids and, and everything else that goes on in life. So just being able to drop what you're doing right there and be able to go, you know, that is important to be able to do to close those deals sometimes.
[00:19:34] You know, it, are you like an introvert? Are you an extrovert? And how do you think that that plays a part in the phone business?
[00:19:43] Andy: Yeah, that's actually a pretty solid question. So I'd say I'm more introverted based on my personal, you know, reflection on myself and just kind of what people tell me more introverted. I'm not really, you know, I don't have difficulty conversing with people, but I kind [00:20:00] of just stick to myself, you know, you know, I'm not the loudest person in the room. I'm not the guy jumping off the table at the party type of thing. So more introverted, I'd say I'd say that kind of comes into play with the phone business because a lot of times, the, a lot of times the sellers just kind of, you know, they just want it like a smooth transaction. And if you're trying to be too like buddy, buddy, or you can definitely do this as an extrovert, don't get me wrong. But from what I've noticed is when you know, you're too buddy, buddy, or you're trying to be friends, you know, they kind of feel like something might be pulled on them or you're trying to pull a fast one or so I dunno, I just, I just keep it simple, small talk. Not really. I've, like I said, I've, don't close many deals on the phone. So when I do get someone on the phone, I'm like that introverted part comes out where it's just a lot of silence and ums and AHS. And so, yeah, definitely more introverted. [00:21:00] I guess it comes into handy just because you know, people just kind of want that smooth experience.
[00:21:06] Justin: Yeah. I've, you know, when somebody, when I meet a seller and they're just super chatty, you know what I mean? I feel like they're trying to take my eyes away from what we're doing here. Take my mind away from what we're doing here. So I try to be extra vigilant with, you know, the person, especially for, you know, obviously for safety, but you know, also the phone too, you know, is there a little bitty crack somewhere that they're hoping you don't see? You know, or, or something like that. And so I understand definitely what you're saying there.
[00:21:38] So if you don't mind, I'm just gonna ask, you know, what is, what has been your biggest failure or your biggest obstacle or moment or something, and, you know, how did you get past it? What did you learn from it? You know, what are you going to do differently because of that?
[00:21:59] Andy: Yeah, I [00:22:00] guess the biggest failure a moment was so I used, I started out selling a lot on eBay, still sell some damaged stuff on eBay, eBay's good. I know people feel differently about it, but it has its place in the phone industry. Definitely. So my biggest failure, I guess, was I sold it. Must've been. Pretty recently after I started, I sold like a new, a new in the box, iPhone 10. So, you know, I sold a brand new phone in the box as clean, clear, good to go. E-bay so it was not clean, clear and good to go. Got blocked for non-payment or whatever. So I sold that as clean, you know, that's mistake. You're going to lose money on the return, the shipping. I ended up getting a message from the seller. And so the cell, it was a Verizon phone, the seller, you know, it stopped working seller, takes it to Verizon. Verizon tells her it's lost or [00:23:00] stolen. So I freak out because she's like I'm filing a police report, this, that, and the other. And so I look and I called the Verizon myself and they were like, no, we don't have a, you know, it's not lost or stolen. All the checkers just showed blocked for non-payment. So I'm freaking out. And so what I did was I just refunded $800 before I even got the phone back because the lady was like threatening me. I sent 800 bucks back, never got the phone back. There was no police report nobody's seen. So out of the phone, out of the money, They I don't know if they were trying to scam me, but you know, I think once I've presented the, the, you know, I just had victim written out all over myself in that situation. So, the [00:24:00] ladies blowing up my phones, you know, the phone didn't work. It said blocked. I was going to take it back. And then she said, she's filing a police report. So I just jumped in and just send 800 bucks back. And I'm like, you know, please send the phone back. Never heard anything again, still nothing. I have the IMEI, and it's unlocked now and it's got an iCloud on it. So someone's using it somewhere. So yes, starting out losing 800 it's it's not easy. And that was just, you know, that's looking back just a rookie mistake, but definitely the biggest loss I ever took in the.
[00:24:41] Justin: Yeah, that's definitely, that's definitely a big loss. And so I'm assuming that was pretty early on?
[00:24:47] Andy: Yeah. I've been doing it for about six months and it was like one of the first times I got a brand new in the box phone. At the time I, you know, buying [00:25:00] those no problem now, not so much really. But yeah, it was new guy hit me up, bill of sale, did everything the right way. You know, he just didn't pay on it gets blocked.
[00:25:12] But yeah, I got home. I was so excited. I think I paid him 500 for it and that sold for 800 and I was like, this is gravy. This is good. This is great.
[00:25:22] Justin: It's a killer deal.
[00:25:23] Andy: And so so yeah, he didn't pay it. It gets blocked. I freaked out panicked. Wasn't really thinking a level-headed, and cost me 800.
[00:25:34] Justin: Mm. So let everybody know you know, in the future moving forward, what did you do to fix that? What kind of advice can you give to somebody that's listening? You know, because a lot of people do use eBay. I figured that's probably a pretty early sale in your eBay career. And so you kind of got a fumble your way, you know, learning it. So what can you tell you know, the listeners, exactly what you did to change that, [00:26:00] to prevent it from happening in the future?
[00:26:02] Andy: Yeah, definitely. So as far as selling on eBay, I only sell damaged stuff on there now, mainly. And so, you know, if you do buy a sealed stuff or you do buy, you know, if you're buying the current phone, you know, the 13 series, the odds of that being paid off are slim to none. So those ones have the highest risk of getting blocked for non-payment. So you could sell those as bad ESN on, on eBay. You know, say for parts only can't activate and you might be good, but the phones that you're going to get scammed on the most on eBay are the 800, 13. You know, the $800 13 pro max is not the, the eight plus you bought for a hundred and flip for 200. You might get scammed, not guaranteeing anything, but yeah, scammers are more likely to scam you out of the 13 series, you know, the $800 phones, things like that. So. [00:27:00] As far as what I did to correct that I just only sold damaged stuff on eBay. Everything I listed is for parts only. And so, especially when you're starting out, a lot of people can't afford to, you know, I, that $800 hit had me thinking, packing up shop and move it on. And so you have essentially, so from there, I just kind of decided, all right, all the high end stuff, all the stuff that's new, all the stuff, that's, you know, a 13 pro max, they used for six months, that all goes to a direct buyer. I know I'm not going to get scammed. There may be issues with the grading, but not, you know, once you figure out the grading scale and there's not really going to be scamming issues with the direct buyer. So I started selling all my anything 500 plus really went to a direct buyer, damaged stuff stayed on eBay and [00:28:00] never really had any issues from there. Just kind of move the expensive stuff to a direct buyer because Ebay has its place, but it definitely, you definitely have the ability to be scammed or in my case, you know, you could set yourself up to have a situation like that. Just sending all that expensive stuff to a direct buyer definitely alleviated. And you know, you don't have the risk of things like that happening.
[00:28:30] Justin: Yeah. You know, you know, I know a lot of people are not keen on using the eBay. I'm one of those people just because you know, of all the scams and you know, you gotta be, you do have to be careful. I know a lot of people that. You know, slaying this business on eBay. And so you know, I hope to get somebody on, in the future that's just absolutely just killing the game with, you know, primarily nothing but eBay and, you know, hopefully we can pull some, some good information out of that [00:29:00] person and you know, help everybody.
[00:29:02] So if you had to pick one, you know, major pet peeve or something about flipping phones that just bugs the piss out of ya. What would that one thing be?
[00:29:16] Andy: Oh man, you just want one? I'd say the biggest thing.
[00:29:19] Justin: Yeah, let's, let's dial it into just one biggest one.
[00:29:24] Andy: The biggest pet peeve is gotta be other people's lack of respect for your time. And so it's just amazing. Like I am shocked that some people can put their shoes on in the morning and get to work everyday. Cause like the, just the lack of respect for people's time, you know, you say we're going to meet at six. Here's the address I'm on my way. You hear nothing. You know, life happens, stuff happens, but just the, you know, the lack of respect for [00:30:00] someone's time, if something comes up and you have a meeting common courtesy. Even if, even if you decided to change your mind and you sold it somewhere else, just lie to me and say the dog got sick or something. I don't know. But to say, yeah, I'm on my way. I'm 10 minutes away. And then 40 minutes later, you roll in or you don't roll in at all. It's just, you know, it's frustrating. It's part of the business and it was not something I expected coming into the business. Just the common respect for people's time. It was like, man, these, these people just don't. I don't know. Maybe that nobody history that's like that, but yeah, it was an eye opener.
[00:30:42] Justin: Yeah. I would say that was probably the biggest thing. That was unexpected for me as well. And also my biggest pet peeve, you know, is exactly what you said is just these people do not care about your time. They will lie to you, you know? You know, I'm, I'm right [00:31:00] down here, you know, I'm passing such and such. I'm like, okay, well that's a quarter mile from here. And 10 minutes later, it's like, well, now I'm passing this and talk. Well, you're further away now than you were before.
[00:31:10] Andy: Exactly. Exactly.
[00:31:13] Justin: If you had the chance, if you were in my shoes and you were, you were interviewing yourself, what's the one question that you would ask, maybe something I forgot about and I thought about,
[00:31:24] Andy: I'd say a good question will be, what are you doing to grow your business? You know, we kind of get stuck in the post ads, reach out to people and just, you know, coast with that. But there's definitely, you know, different avenues now to definitely grow your business and expand your reach. Not, not necessarily making a price sheet and paying top dollar and getting everything shipped to you. But how are you growing your business locally?
[00:31:49] Justin: Okay. Let's, let's hit on that. What are, what are you doing locally? To, to help out, you know, to make yourself grow?
[00:31:57] Andy: Yeah. So I think something I've kind [00:32:00] of, now that I was trying to do this before Corona or COVID and then everything shut down. So it was kind of tricky, but just maintaining relationships with like local repair shops, pawn shops. I know you mentioned a boost store. So just kind of get getting those relationships maintained or established with places that currently buy phones. Or places like a boost store where you would think they buy phones, but they don't have, for whatever reason they don't corporate or whatever. But I'm definitely trying to hit the pavement, shake some hands, talk to people locally that have shops. See if we can work out something where, you know, they might, they might, you know, a lot of these shops, they might only sell on eBay. They may only buy, you know, there's some shops around here that they only buy stuff they can sell in the store. So they, you know, I walked in, the guy was like, yeah, we buy phones, but you have to have a receipt showing it's paid off. And I was like, you know, I get that because if you're going to put it on the glass case, they want to make [00:33:00] sure there's no chance of it, or very little chance of it coming back. So, you know, I kind of presented the avenue of, well, you know, if somebody comes in with a phone that's not paid off, no, not lost or stolen, not iCloud lock, but just not paid off. Could we work something out to, you know, create an additional stream of income for your store, where you didn't have an avenue to move this phones before and now, you know, just kind of solving a problem for some store owners. I'd say that's the biggest thing I'm doing right now to grow my own business.
[00:33:32] Justin: Yeah. Those are, those are definitely just great things especially that I've found they just, they just work well, you know, like you said, you hit it right there on the head at the end is you're solving a problem, you know, that people have. And you know, w what you mentioned earlier about the boosts store was you know, I actually had somebody reached out to one of my ads. He's sitting in a boost store, he's a sales rep at a boost [00:34:00] mobile store. And he's like, Hey, I just bought this 13 promax. I'm trying to get rid of my 11, you know, how much you give me for it? So we talked back and forth and, you know, trying to figure out you know, when and where we can meet. And he says, you know, I work tomorrow from you know, like nine to two or something at the boost mobile store and, and told me where it was at. And I was like, oh, okay, well, you know what, just to make it easier for you, I'll just come to your store. You know, cause it's really no further for me. I didn't tell him that, but you know, it's really no further for me. So, Hey, I'll just come to your store and you know, I'll just buy it there. And so what that did was said, Hey, you know, I respect your time. Let me do something. You know, let me do this deal while you're at work. So you don't have to take any extra time to do that. And then while I was there, you know, I asked him if people come in looking to sell phones, or how often do they, and he's like, man, they come in here all the [00:35:00] time, but we don't buy phones here. So, you know, we don't, we don't, we don't really do anything with them. And then at that point it was like a light bulb that went off for him. He was like, it is kind of crazy that we don't buy phones or anything. And, and I said, yeah. So, you know, if you want to send them my way, I'll buy the phones, you know, put money in their pocket and then they can come back and, and buy a phone from you. So you know, with a lot of those places, you know, a lot of them don't have financing or you know, it's, it's a pay as you go deal. So there's no contracts. And so a lot of times you need the cash up front. And so you know, if I can put money in their pocket after he sent them to me, and then I send them back to him and he's getting that commission check, you know, from every device, he sells every plan, he sells and you know, I left from [00:36:00] there and within 15 minutes he had already sent me two leads and I'm actually supposed to go pick one up here in a little bit. So, you know, it was just, it was that quick. It was that easy. And you know, as soon as he sees a couple of those people come back you know, with money in their pocket, he told me like, holy crap, this actually works. And now they're coming in here and buying a phone for me and I'm getting paid for it. So I'm going to send, you know, I'm going to send him more more people, more leads and you know, it should work out really well.
[00:36:34] Andy: Yeah. That's, I mean, that's probably the best example of it. It's, you know, you're, you solve someone else's problem. You know, you definitely got to focus on your own business and try to, you know, be as selfish as possible with, you know, this is my business. I need to, you know, grow it, but I think definitely, I scratch your back, you scratch my back type of thing. Like what can, how can I help you type of thing? Definitely. [00:37:00] Definitely takes you to the next level on the phone flipping space.
[00:37:03] Justin: Exactly.
[00:37:04] Andy: You know, it's not, it's not something you do on your first month of phone flipping. You kind of have to, you have to learn to negotiate with the common Bob with one phone. Or, you know, you have to learn to negotiate and spec things, but once you get some tools on your belt, you can go into a shop and have a conversation. You might not, you know, they might sell to, they might export, you know, they, they might have that already figured out. But I found out that a lot of shops here don't buy phones. Cause they don't know how to check them. They don't have an avenue to move them. And so just kind of presenting that. Well, if you get these in, you know, you could sell them to me, it's an additional stream of income. So if you get, you know, if someone's selling something, just shoot me a text. If you get the serial or IMEI number, I can give you like, you know, a dead accurate [00:38:00] quote and just kind of motivating them, you know, not just going in there, sell me stuff so I can get my sales up. But you know, like you said, the guys, the guy at your Boost store, he's motivated to send you leads. It comes back to his commission check looking better and better because you're putting cash in people's hands, they can get devices where before they may have taken that phone and went to a shop that did buy them or traded them in. So he's, he's maintaining that business for sure.
[00:38:32] Justin: Yeah. And you, you know, you mentioned something, another thing that really, really surprised me when I got in this business is the fact that, there's a lot of, you know, cell phone store owners that have zero clue about phones. And, and I, I say that respectfully, but they, they really don't know that much about the phones themselves. And, and so a lot of them [00:39:00] are just buying them from, you know, wholesalers that are, you know, with, with a guaranteed IMEI or they're buying you know, new stock. And they're, they're basically just putting it in their shelves. And where they Excel is selling that phone plan, you know, sell that phone plan so they can get that residual income. And then, you know, selling cases, you know, accessories, things like that. But when it comes down to the actual phone, they really don't know that much about it. And I found that very surprising, and I think that's one of those avenues that you know, a lot of people find valuable is, is hooking up with these, you know, these owners and and saying, Hey, I know you don't really deal with used inventory that much because it doesn't fit into your business model, but I do. So, you know, let's find something that works out best for both of us. And I think a lot of people sleep on that.
[00:39:59] Andy: Yeah, [00:40:00] absolutely. I think, you know, if you're listening to this and you start, you know, go into pawn shops or phone stores, you'll walk in and, yeah, no, you'll, you'll realize very quickly that a lot of pawn shops, they buy guns, but they don't buy phones. And you know, that never made sense to me in my head. And a lot of times you walk in and the manager comes back with a big box plop. Everything's iCloud, you know, they used to buy phones in 2012 or whatever. They've got a big box of iCloud lock stuff, and he's like, this is why I stopped buying phones. You know, they had 30 returns in a month. Everything got locked. And so maybe you, maybe you show the pawn shop owner how to take the iCloud or not remove the iCloud like how to sign out with the seller, how to check a phone, you know, you might have to put in some work and show them. We know if somebody comes in, make sure they're signed out, check this number on this website type of thing.
[00:40:59] Justin: Yeah. If, [00:41:00] and if it's clean after, after you teach them how to do that, if it's clean, Hey, buy that for your shop and resale that. But if it comes back that it is still financed or, you know, it is damaged or something like that, Hey, I'm your guy and I'll come, I'll come by that. And you, like you said, it's a, it's a mutual benefit.
[00:41:22] Andy: Yeah. And some stores, they only buy, like I said, I found some stores that only buy with. Some stores they'll buy phones, but it can't have any damage. So, you know, they're not going to buy a phone with a crack back, but that's just an additional stream of income, if the guy working the counter, the owner, or the manager, whoever can say, well, you know, send me, he'll send me a text real quick. What do you pay for this phone? With a crack back? I'm like, you know, I could give you 300 bucks. Well, the shop owners there. They offer the person 150, 200, I don't know what margins they [00:42:00] work off of, but just giving them that avenue to move that it's definitely opened some doors and it's something I'm definitely going to continue doing here.
[00:42:08] Justin: Yeah. And, and so that, I mean, that just makes it so easy for them. You're, you're almost being a direct buyer for your local people. You know, just like we have direct buyers that we can check a sheet and check boxes and say, okay, I can sell this phone for $300. And so that tells me I need to buy it, you know, for $200 or 250 or whatever margin you want. You're, you're essentially just doing that for the shop owners and making it stupid, easy to where they can, all they have to do is say, okay, well, if I'd give this dude a hundred dollars, Andy's already told me he's going to give me $200 for it. So I'm literally going to take a hundred dollars out of the drawer. I'm going to give a hundred dollars to this note. He's going to give me his phone. I'm going to call Andy. And he's going to show up in 20 minutes with $200 [00:43:00] boom, and I'm going to take everybody to lunch because that was just too easy. That was, that was stupid. It was so easy.
[00:43:07] Andy: Yeah. The convenience of, if somebody has a store, just being able to drive there and pick it up easy for them. I like it cause it's public, it's nothing shady going on. It's a legitimate business. So it's, it's definitely a good thing.
[00:43:23] Justin: It's easy for you.
[00:43:25] Andy: Yeah, absolutely. Because in those cases, when the customer takes an hour to sign out of iCloud or something else happens, or, you know, anything, the customer is late to the pawn shop, it doesn't reflect it, or it doesn't impact you really. You just wait for the manager or the employee, the salesperson to say, Hey, I've got the four phones we talked about. When can you stop in? Five? Cool. You'll go in with the cash. It's smooth. Everyone gets to what they want out of the transaction from the street seller to the [00:44:00] employee, to you. So it's, it's definitely something I think people should look into.
[00:44:04] Justin: Definitely you're solving problems, man. You dropping some, you dropping some good bombs in here. I appreciate it. So two, two last questions or not, well, one last question and then something else. So if you were starting over or if somebody is listening that has never flipped a phone before what kind of advice can you get them to, or can you offer them to help get them started?
[00:44:30] Andy: Yeah. So I'd definitely say utilize the free resources that are out there. There's enough information to get your feet wet and start when you want to, when you want to scale, you know, you might look at a course or you might look at different avenues, but definitely get your feet wet with the free content. There's a lot of it. And I'd say that if I had to restart the biggest thing I would do is generate repeat business from your [00:45:00] sellers. So I'm not necessarily talking about, you know, meeting up with a guy for 10 sealed phones and those kinds of suppliers. But when I started, I was so introverted. I wanted the, you know, I checked out the phone, we're standing there in silence. Here's the cash goodbye. But you already have that person in front of you. So you need to, as long as they're, you know, maybe you don't want to do repeat business with them. Maybe they're kind of shady. I don't know. But if, if it's a good transaction and you've already paid for the lead or you've already, you know, you're in front of them, let them know.
[00:45:36] I buy iPads, Mac books, I buy damaged phones. I buy it. This that, if you have anything, please give me, please give me a text or a call. I can get you a price. And meet up with same-day cash, you know, I'm legit. So I wasn't getting repeat business for like six months to a year because I would just go, Hey, how's it going? Check out the phone, do my [00:46:00] little sickw check here's the cash, get in the car, and that was it. No repeat business, nothing, but just putting it in people's heads. You don't necessarily need business cards. I've used business cards, they work, but just saying once or twice during the transaction, even if you don't do this full time, you can say, you know, I buy these for a living. I try to buy five phones a day or five devices a day. So if you get anything or you guys upgrade shoot me a text, you know, I'd love to do business again and just kind of leave it at that. Yeah.
[00:46:32] Justin: You know, like you said, the repeat definitely a game changer, especially when it comes to scaling. And I think a lot of people make that mistake when they begin. I did as well. I did not realize the importance of that repeat business because it is, it is huge because not only do they come back, but when they come back, it didn't cost you anything. They already trust you. You already, you know, I say [00:47:00] trust loosely, but you've already done a transaction with them. You roughly know what to expect. You know, if. You know, they told you that they had a good condition phone last time, and they showed up with, you know, something that has keys dug into it and stuff. Then you, you, you pretty much know that next time they reach out and they're like, Hey, I got a good condition phone, you can go ahead and start tailoring and your offer towards a lower grade device, because, you know, from the last two phones that you've bought, that they raped their phone with their keys daily. And so it makes that a little bit easier so that whenever you get there, you already know, Hey, it's going to look, you know, it's going to look awful and, and your, your offer, it's already closer to what it needs to be to finish closing once you get there. So, you know, that's definitely something that I think people should focus on, you know, a [00:48:00] ton. You know, and like you said, utilizing free resources just a quick shameless plug here, but I actually have a, a completely free mini course. It's at phones2freedom.com. You can literally just jump in there, watch the videos and you could start making money today. If you follow it you know, no credit card or anything like that completely free just to get you started.
[00:48:30] So last thing you got to leave us. I want to hear a dad joke. It's gotta, it's gotta be, it's gotta be a good dad. Joke. Let's hear it.
[00:48:41] Andy: Alrighty. So why should you never wear glasses when playing football?
[00:48:51] Justin: No idea.
[00:48:53] Andy: Because it's a contact sport.[00:49:00]
[00:49:00] Justin: Oh man, I can, I can already tell this is going to be my favorite part of the show. I love, I love, love, love dad jokes. I love giving them to my kids. And so I'm going to write down everything that everybody brings to the show because this is going to happen every single show. So You know, do you, do you have anything else? If not, you know, we can wrap it up. I do greatly appreciate your time coming in here. Dropping some major bombs. Those are, those are some really, really good tips and hopefully we can have you back on and you know, the future to see what has changed. And yeah, go from there.
[00:49:48] Andy: Yeah, definitely. It was a good time. I appreciate you having me on, last piece that I really kind of leave people with is educate yourself to an extent, but don't the circumstances are never going to be perfect. [00:50:00] You're going to make mistakes. So don't try to watch YouTube videos from now until December and, and then, and eight months decide, okay, I'm ready to flip phones. Put in some work, do some magic, you know, get educated on it, but you kind of just got to learn baptism by fire, I think is the phrase you just got to jump in with two feet after you've done some research and education. But definitely you'll learn the most in the field. And so just get out there and go after it.
[00:50:30] Justin: Absolutely. You can definitely research yourself to death and never get started. I mean, it's easy to sit here and watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts just like this, and just wait till you have every stitch of information you can possibly have. And then you go out there and you buy a phone. You scrolled through the cameras and you seen all the cameras work, but you didn't look at the zoom and then you get home and you realize a portrait mode doesn't work in two X zoom because the zoom is broke [00:51:00] and, you know, you're, those things are always going to happen. So it's important, like Andy said to, don't get stuck getting started, I guess, would be the best way to put it, getting stuck trying to get started. Don't don't do that. You know, you can, you can take that free course I just told you about jump on YouTube, learn some of the basics, get your feet wet and then dabble in some cheaper phones. Don't go out there and try to buy a thousand dollars pro max for your first phone, because that is going to sting if you get burned and lose a ton of money, just like Andy said, he lost $800 and he almost quit. You know, start with some of those, those cheaper phones to get started, build some capital which gives you some cushion to maybe get burned here and there while you're learning.
[00:51:51] Andy: Absolutely, I couldn't have put it better myself.
[00:51:53] Justin: Cool. Cool. Well again, I appreciate it. And we'll we'll check you later.
[00:51:59] Andy: Sounds [00:52:00] good, man. Thanks for having me on and I'll look forward to listening to future episodes of this one.
[00:52:04] Justin: For sure, thanks.
[00:52:10] Thank you for listening to this week's episode of the Phones2Freedom podcast with me your host, Justin Frye, for free resources and materials, head on over to phones2freedom.com. And if you enjoyed the show, I would love to see you subscribe to our podcast on whatever platform it is that you prefer to listen on.
[00:52:37] Thanks again. And I'll catch you guys on the next one. .