As a new wireless dealer, knowing where to buy cell phones wholesale is one of the most important parts of running your business. While sourcing high quality cell phones at the lowest possible prices is critical for you to earn a profit, making the wrong purchase (ie. Entrusting an unknown source) can set you back substantially. Therefore, consider that there are many different possible sources for your inventory. One such source is through a Wireless Master Agent and another one is through wholesale cell phone suppliers. Let’s cover the Wireless Master Agent route first.


Buying cell phones in bulk through a Wireless Master Agent

business man on phone

If you are not familiar with what a Wireless Master Agent is, you can click here for a more in-depth explanation. In short, a Wireless Master Agent (like Empower) is a company that forms a partnership with you in order to facilitate relations between you (the wireless dealer) and several carriers and suppliers of wireless (and other) products and services. Wireless Master Agents can assist you in many ways, including helping you become an authorized wireless dealer for the carriers they work with, sourcing marketing materials to you, selling you phones, sim cards, accessories, etc. Additionally, they tend to offer exclusive benefits such as special promotions you won’t find elsewhere and also, they can help you get cell phones for your store at great prices. This is because Wireless Master Agents source their phones from an array of trusted & previously vetted carriers, manufacturers, and large wholesalers . They can leverage their existing relationships to order larger quantities and get better deals on phones. Then they can pass those savings on to you as a dealer.

Often, Wireless Master Agents have marketplaces where they list their phone options; however, many of them won’t show you their phone stock and pricing until you have become one of their wireless dealers.

In contrast, at Empower we like to be transparent with our dealers. For this reason, you are free to browse our marketplace with full details available without requiring you to sign up until the moment you have decided to purchase. This way you can see what we have to offer before making a commitment. If you want to see the phones we have available for our dealers right now, check out our Retailer Marketplace here. Our dealers are also welcome to request any phones they need and we always do our best to find and source that inventory for them.

Purchasing phones for wholesale from Wireless Master Agents is the recommended option. Not just because of the great prices and the option to request help to source certain phones, but also thanks to their support to become authorized to sell large carrier brands, the technology they provide to activate SIMs and pay commissions, and the time you save talking to carriers and suppliers; which you can instead invest in your business. You also get the peace of mind of knowing that you have an established ally in the mobile business. Handling situations such as returns, RMAs, or device swaps is much, much easier through your Wireless Master Agent due to your established relationship and the Wireless Master Agent’s ability to be flexible.

As mentioned, there is another option where you can get cell phones for wholesale and that is wholesale cell phone suppliers. Let’s look at what this other option can provide.


Buying cell phones in bulk through Wholesale Cell Phone Suppliers

wholesale cellphone supplier

There are many companies out there that are dedicated cell phone suppliers. A quick Google search will show you a few of them. Wholesale suppliers also source their phones directly from manufacturers, carriers, and big box retailers (same as Wireless Master Agents), so their benefit to the wireless dealer is that they can have a very large selection since they are brand agnostic, whereas Wireless Master Agents cater towards brands they work with. Some of these phone supplier companies often work with Wireless Master Agents already as well, but you can try to contact suppliers directly if you don’t mind investing the time.

Some of the downsides to wholesale cell phone suppliers are that many of them won’t let you see detailed information on their stock and pricing before you become a member. This means you will have to pay an annual fee just to see their inventory details and purchase from them. There may also be larger order minimums. Aside from that you don’t get the added benefits that a Wireless Master Agent would give you, such as helping you become authorized by large carriers. Cell phone suppliers are concerned with providing dealers with cell phones and that’s it. While Wireless Master Agents have a vested interest in helping your business succeed through added value services and constant contact with the dealer. Finally, consider that wholesale cell phone suppliers are often very strict with their return policies which can set you back if you do not like the phone quality. Often times large cell phone wholesalers have very relaxed standards of quality. For example, you may be told you are getting a “like new” phone only to open the package and find scratches on the screen. This would typically be a “B stock” phone but, due to the wholesaler’s strict return policies, you may have no recourse. If you decide to go this route, please be sure to do research on the prospective cell phone supplier. Check their online reviews, look for trade references, etc.


Choosing stock quality level when buying wholesale phones

Once you have found where you want to source your inventory you will need to know a few more things about choosing the phones you want to purchase. Namely, the different levels of stock quality.

Cell phone stock quality classifications:

  • Brand New
    • This pretty much speaks for itself. Brand new phones have never been used and usually come in original packaging. They are the most expensive as they are in the best shape.
  • Refurbished
    • These are pre-owned phones that have been sent back due to a fault and restored to factory standard condition by the carrier or manufacturer for re-sale. They are thoroughly checked and tested before being re-distributed to ensure they are in full working order. These are usually fully kitted (meaning they come with chargers, headphones, and USB cables).
  • A-Stock
    • Phones that fall under A-Stock are lightly used. They may have small nicks or scratches but are in perfect working condition and have been repackaged and re-kitted (with chargers, headphones, and USB cables).
  • B-Stock
    • B-Stock phones have medium nicks and scratches, are also in full working order and come repackaged and re-kitted as well.
      There are other quality designations beyond this, but in general, these are the main ones. As a dealer you will probably not be interested in going beyond B-Stock phones as those will include phones with more damage, which makes them difficult to sell. Also note that some of these phones may come in original packaging while others may come in a different packaging.

We hope this post has been helpful to give you some guidance on where to get cell phones wholesale. As mentioned, thanks to the added benefits of working with a Wireless Master Agent, we recommend this option, but you are free to explore all of your options and see what works best for you.

If you are interested in learning more about how Empower can help you get cell phones wholesale in the USA, fill out the contact form below and a representative will reach out to you directly.


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