Businesses of all stripes will find it hard to be all things to all people. It’s difficult to build a reputation when you sell anything and everything, and everyone is in your target market. You are likely to spread yourself too thin, with ineffective marketing and a weak brand. It’s strategic to create a niche: an area of expertise or a defined territory in which you’re the best at what you do. Cell phone wholesalers can find niches in multiple ways.
Seven Ways to Find Your Niche
1. Be a country- or region-specific wholesaler.
Rather than targeting the entire world, focus on a single-country market, or go even more specific and target a region within a country. For instance, if you’re in the US, you might try to be the leading wholesaler for New England or the Southwest.
Targeting a geographical area means you can tailor your inventory to the taste of your market by primarily or exclusively stocking phones that you know will move in your region. As you get better at satisfying the needs of your market, you’ll develop a strong regional brand.
2. Corner the retailer market in a smaller region.
Related to the previous strategy, you can target retailers in a smaller area. You could, for example, become the leading supplier of phones to retail stores in the Chicago area. A strong regional focus lets you focus on efficient delivery logistics and build a local reputation. Once you’ve cornered the market, you’ll also have a degree of pricing power, allowing you to maintain a slightly better profit margin.
3. Operate an online store (focus on one marketplace).
You can carve out a well-defined niche in the online space by stocking particular brands and serving a certain marketplace. For example, you could become a leading Samsung phone supplier on eBay.
When calculating your potential profits with this approach, remember to account for marketplace fees and shipping costs—they add up quickly.
4. Sell to large companies like insurance providers, enterprise companies, governments, and MNVOs.
Large companies often have policies on the type of devices they issue to employees, specifying certain brands or models. If you can meet their requirements, supplying corporations and governments can be a profitable niche. A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) can also be a lucrative customer, if you have the volume and device quality to meet their demands.
5. Reprogram phones and sell to schools, businesses, and other types of organizations that need phones with a specific interface or operating system.
Organizations sometimes require that all phones on their network use a certain operating system, such as the latest version of iOS. Supplying such a buyer in bulk with phones that meet their specification(s) is an excellent business opportunity. Note that this may require extra processing on your part, or even complete reprogramming of devices.
6. Specialize in certain brands.
One way to build a reputation is by differentiating your business based on phone brand. You could become a dedicated iPhone wholesaler, for example. To go this route, you need a reliable supply of iPhones. Specializing by device manufacturer allows you to build expertise in device grading and repair and a reputation with retailers and resellers that seek out particular brands.
7. Find a value add like regrading, repairing, or refurbishing.
Finally, a great way to build a wholesale business is to become a value-added wholesaler. This means you improve the quality of your devices. The potential spectrum of work runs from simple regrading to minor repairs, major repairs, and total refurbishment. The more value you add to a phone, the higher the price you can sell it for, making this an excellent strategy to increase your profit margin.
Test and Adapt
We’ve examined seven effective strategies for finding a profitable niche as a cell phone wholesaler, but this list is not exhaustive or mutually exclusive. You can combine these strategies. For example, you can add a brand specialization to your regional focus, like being the No. 1 Samsung supplier in Colorado.
It’s worth exploring the options for your business with an open mind and closely examining how your competitors have positioned themselves. Is there a gap in the market you can exploit? Don’t be afraid to make trial runs, and put up dedicated landing pages (linked to marketing campaigns like Google Ads) that test consumers’ appetite for a niche strategy.