Thinking of starting a wholesale phone business? You’ll be pleased to learn that the initial costs required by a warehouse are manageable. Once you’ve found a warehouse with reasonable rent and adequate space, the interior build-out is simple. The following warehouse items are must-haves:
- Tables and desks. Amazon famously economized in the early days by buying doors to use as desks. While you may not go that far, there’s no need to spend big on basic furniture. Ikea-level flat-pack tables will get the job done.
- Storage and shelving. Much as with desks, these can be flat-pack furniture that you build yourself. The goal here is to have enough storage space to clearly organize your inventory.
- Office computers. You’ll be using computers to manage inventory and communicate with customers and vendors. Processing power and memory requirements will be modest, so consider economizing in this area.
- An inventory-tracking system. You have the choice of using generic spreadsheets to manage your inventory or opting for dedicated inventory-management software. The advantage of spreadsheets is that they are inexpensive and highly customizable, but require constant manual updating. On the other hand, inventory software costs more and offers more features, potentially saving you time and energy.
- Shipping supplies. One of the most frequent activities at the warehouse will be packaging devices for shipment. Be sure to keep on hand all the necessities, such as cardboard boxes, packaging tape, packing material, and shipping labels.
- A reliable source of used phones. The health of your business as a phone reseller depends on the quality and quantity of devices you can stock. Find a device supplier that has high-quality grading and the latest iPhone models.
Business growth will reveal the limitations of your basic warehouse build-out. As you move more products, it will pay to invest in efficiency.
- Business shipping accounts with logistics companies. Companies like FedEx and UPS offer better rates to high-volume customers.
- Specialized boxes and packaging materials. You may want to purchase branded boxes to increase your perceived quality, or molded cardboard packing materials that are precisely shaped to keep phones secure during transit.
- A purpose-built selling system. A growing business benefits from the enhanced feature set of selling software customized to the used device resale industry.
- Label printing. You’ll want a dedicated machine to print shipping labels.
- Testing, grading, and repair equipment. You can add a lot of value to your merchandise by accurately grading devices and making basic repairs. This will translate into higher resale prices and better margins.
Consider this your shopping list for a proper warehouse build-out. Economize where you can when starting out and upgrade equipment as your business grows. Remember that one of the most important decisions you face as a phone wholesaler is choosing your device supplier. It pays to do your research and select a supplier based on reputation and quality.