In today’s world, there is about 80,000 to 100,000 used iPhones and Samsung are being recycled every single day. Where will these bulk iPhones and Samsung phones go? Bulk iPhones will go through the process of disassembly to refurbishment and also spare parts production, but how does this mature second-hand iPhone reprocessing chain work?

Second-hand cell phones usually come from large recycling companies in the United States and the European Union. These companies work with various operators and mobile phone companies. Every single day, through buyback or trade-in projects, these companies collect tens of thousands of used iPhones and Samsung phones. No one knows where these phones have gone.


Where did the recycled second-hand cell phones go?

A large number of used iPhones and Samsung phones flow towards the market in Hong Kong China after being recycled. This unofficial market has developed a mature system in conducting second-hand cell phones auction, classifying the product standards and their corresponding prices.

Amongst all, Hong Kong has the greatest number of second-hand cell phones auction houses. These so-called auction houses, their main business is to auction off the various recycled electronic gadgets like second-hand bulk iPhones and Samsung phones. The cell phone is certainly the most popular and favoured product category in the auction houses. Almost every day, the auction of second-hand cell phones will be held by at least one or two auction houses among those thirty auction houses in Hong Kong. The buyers are mostly cell phones wholesalers from Huaqiangbei Shenzen, who are planning either to buy iPhones in bulk or seeking wholesale cell phones Samsung. And at the same time, there are also bidders from all around the world who might be second-hand Apple iPhone wholesale store owners or second-hand Samsung wholesalers.

During the auction, second-hand cell phones will normally be graded into Grade A, B, C and D. The quality of the phones, their accessories, packaging and other factors will play a role in the process of subdividing the phones into those grades accordingly.

Apart from quality issues, cell phones collected from different countries and channels will have their disparities in grading. For example, cell phones collected from the United States will have a slightly lower grade compared to those cell phones collected from Japan and usually, they will be marked as Grade B. Differences in the grades will lead to a price difference around HKD100 to HKD 200 in the starting price and transaction price of the auction. However, the pricing fluctuates daily. This clearly explains the reason why the salesperson always checks on the price from a complicated price list, when you’re buying iPhones in bulk from an iPhone wholesale store. The price of iPhone wholesale or wholesale Samsung phones fluctuates daily.

Cell phone wholesalers from Shenzen will usually go to Hong Kong auction houses whenever auctions are held. They need to inspect the quality of the products on the site, select the required mobile phone, and fill in the bid form. These bids are confidential to each other, and finally, the auctioneer compares the prices and delivers them to the bidder with the highest price.


The difference between used cell phones and refurbished cell phones

Almost all of the buyers at the used cell phones auction come from Huaqiangbei. As the largest e-commerce wholesale distribution centre in the world, there are quite a lot of people in Huaqiangbei involves in the second-hand cell phones business like for example, wholesale iPhones.

They will buy iPhone in bulk in Hong Kong. The idea of wholesale iPhone is simple. The bulk iPhones bought from Hong Kong will undergo a transformation in Huaqiangbei. They will go through the process of sorting, repairing, cleaning, assembling, and flashing machines, and then be sorted out according to colour, model, and memory. Those with better quality and functions are either sold at a premium or refurbished, and discarded ones are resold to specialized mobile phone accessory vendors for dismantling. Huaqiangbei has a mature reprocessing chain of mobile phones that works from disassembly to refurbishment and also spare parts production. Mobile phones that have no direct use-value will be disassembled and parts will be sold again.

In addition, the recycling chains of iPhones around the world have shortened up the reprocessing industrial chains in which iPhones are refurbished and resold on the spot.


The reason behind the pricing difference between used cell phones wholesale and refurbished cell phone wholesale

The global market focuses more on appearance when it comes to refurbishment of used iPhones and Samsung. These cell phones used some of the repair parts that originated from defective products of an Apple component manufacturer. Some of the repair parts might come from high imitated products from ordinary factories and also discarded mobile phone parts that are recycled and disassembled. People could hardly tell the difference between the genuine parts and the fake ones. Especially when it comes to the internal components of a cell phone, even the professional engineer needs to disassemble and inspect to find out.

Aside from the appearance, not only can a used mobile phone be refurbished, but an iPhone XR mobile phone can be completely changed to iPhone11, iPhone12, iPhone13, iPhone13Pro. Similarly, a 64GB mobile phone can also be changed to 256GB or 512GB.

This technology is easy to implement. First, you need to remove the binding between the ID number and the mobile phone, refresh it to the new system, then remove the memory chip and processor matching code from the motherboard. Lastly, you just need to solder a new memory chip, and the memory can be replaced after the computer upgrades the firmware.

The question now is why there is a huge difference in the price of a second-hand mobile phone and a refurbished cell phone on the market? The reason being so is, people are seeking various types of cell phones quality in the market, and thus different quality suits different markets.



In this article, we only wrote about some of the circulation links in the huge market of used mobile phones. For more details, please feel free to contact us. UEEHPONE provides first-class solutions for used mobile phone wholesalers and retailers.