Zwipit wants old phones for cash - TechCentral

Zwipit wants old phones for cash

Felix Marin-Aguilar

Felix Martin-Aguilar

Spain’s Zwipit has been launched in South Africa, promising consumers cash for their old phones and tablets.

South Africa is the 10th country in which Zwipit, which was founded in 2011 and which is headquartered in Madrid, has been launched. Other markets where it operates include Spain, Italy, Chile and Turkey.

“We have seen a 20% growth in smartphone penetration [in South Africa]and the country is definitely mature enough for a service such as Zwipit,”  says local MD Felix Martin-Aguilar. Before joining Zwipit, Martin-Aguilar was head of business services at Cell C.

The “fully automated” service allows anyone with an old smartphone or tablet to sell it online, directly to Zwipit, knowing upfront what they can expect for it. The company will then have it couriered for free.

It will buy phones and tablets of any age that are still in demand, even feature phones. The full list of devices it will buy is available on its website.

There’s a business service, too, that allows companies to sell old devices in bulk. Payment takes up to 10 days, says Martin-Aguilar.

Zwipit pays a standard price for devices based on their condition. Categories are “working”, “not working” and “good as new”. A cracked screen is considered to be “not working”. Water-damaged phones are not accepted at all.

“Pricing is based on demand and it is set by Zwipit globally, which we convert into local currency,” says marketing and operations executive Nothando Moleketi.

Sellers must fill in a questionnaire explaining their device’s condition. Its IMEI number needs to be entered. They are assisted to delete all the information on their device and restore it to factory defaults.


Moleketi says IMEI numbers are checked against the network operators’ blacklists to ensure that no stolen devices are traded. Should someone attempt to sell a stolen device on Zwipit, the seller will immediately be reported to the police.

Zwipit expects to buy around 10 000 devices a month, says Martin-Aguilar. These will then be refurbished and sold worldwide. “For phase one, the devices we buy go to a central refurbishing facility in Madrid, where they get processed.”

Zwipit is the largest provider of refurbished devices for Carphone Warehouse, a European mobile phone retailer.

“The intention for phase two, when the volume is right, is to open a processing facility in South Africa so that we can be more competitive on price and achieve faster turnaround times on the entire process.”

The company also plans to start selling refurbished devices in South Africa at some point.  — © 2014 NewsMedia Central


  1. Graeme Donaldson on

    They offer R491 for my phone, which is going for R1,800 – R2,800 on gumtree. Nice try.

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