So, you want to start a cell phone repair business…

With each passing day, more and more smart phones are sold. From young teenagers with their first phone, to adults getting upgrade after upgrade. Each phone sale has one thing in common. All phones are fragile pieces of electronic equipment; and they break easily. Squaretradeblog.com estimates that 30% of iPhone users have damaged their phone in the last 12 months. That’s 3 out of every 10 people crack their screen EVERY YEAR!! But what is sad news for them is happy news to the cell phone repair guy.

Even if you know nothing about cell phone repair, you can find everything you need on YouTube. I personally have hundreds of cell phone repair videos posted on my YouTube Channel JerryRigEverything. (Other popular cell phone repair channels are Le55ons and iFixityourself.) With a small investment in tools, you can soon become the neighborhood tech guru. Whether you repair phones locally, online, for friends, family, or for profit, there are some essential tools you need for the job.

Here are the links for the tools that I personally have in my arsenal:

A Universal Smart Phone tool kit. Ive used this exact tool kit for over a year now with zero issues. The little pry tools that come with it are pretty much useless, but the actual screw driver bits themselves, work great with android phones as well as iPhones. (The tool kit even comes with the special pentalobe screw driver that is needed to open up any iPhone.)

Isopropyl Alcohol  This is the magic solution that helps restore water damaged phones. The first step to repair ANY liquid damaged phone is to throw the powered down phone into a container of rice for 48 hours or more to absorb the water out of the device. Anyone can do that. If a customer brings their wet phone into your work place, the best thing you can do is open it up and use your anti static brush to clean all the connections with Isopropyl Alcohol. This helps dissipate the water and make sure no corrosion forms on any of the electronic components. Isopropyl alcohol is non conductive and evaporates extremely fast. (If the phone will still not power on, sometimes a simple battery replacement is all that it needs to turn on again.)

Anti Static Brush. Normal brushes create static electricity. This build up can short out many electronic components. It is important to have a brush that can clean dirt out of charging ports without damaging the phone itself.  This is also important when you are cleaning up corrosion inside phones that have gotten wet.

Suction cup. This is super important for the new iPhone 5’s. (Also the 5c, and the 5s) Apple got smart and allowed the screens to be pulled up and away from the top of the phone allowing the screen to be swapped from the device in 3 Minutes flat. It is better to have the right tools the first time around; so skip any of the dinky little suction cups that come with any ‘free repair tool kit’. If you plan on doing more than one screen repair, Id spend a few extra bucks and get a decent suction cup. I pulled mine off of an old cell phone car mount; the kind that suctions to your windshield. I cant seem to find a decent one to link to. The screen width of an iphone 5 is about 2 inches, so make sure the suction cup is smaller than that or it wont fit. (If you find one that works well for you, leave a comment below and ill link it here.)

Tweezers. You’ll be working with SUPER small screws. And not all of them will be magnetized. It is important to have a decent pair of tweezers within your reach. I personally use this pair every day.  They are solid.  You’ll thank me each time that you use them.

Digitizer Separator Here is where things get complicated. Anyone who can work a screw driver can swap the screen on a device. But replacing just the glass on a phone is where the ‘art’ comes into play. It takes real skill to swap a shattered glass with a replacement screen. This is where the MOST risk is, but also the most profit. Having a special machine that does the job for you is the easiest route, but plan on paying upwards of 200 to 400 dollars. I have linked kits that comes WITH the UV glue, wire, and molds that make it easier to swap devices.  Ive found that getting the machine anywhere from 75-85 degrees Celsius works best. (167 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.)  Too cold and the glass wont separate, but if you are too hot the LCD might burn, and become discolored. HERE is the UV light I use (It has a crappy review on Amazon due to slow shipping, which is dumb, but you can use any UV light that works with cell phones, or woman fake nails. It’ll be the same.)

If you are going BIG TIME and want a fully automated process you can check this guy out Vacumm Screen Separator I personally have not used a machine like this… But if you have the volume… this would be worth the purchase.

You CAN swap the glass of a phone with just a heat gun, wire (or just use a deck of playing cards, as seen in some of my videos), and temperature gun . It does take more time and effort this way. You’ll just have to figure out personally if it is worth your time to buy the machine that does most of the work for you. It mostly depends on how many screens you plan on doing. And how fast the machine will pay for itself if you end up buying one.

As far as repair parts go (Screens, charging ports, glass) I usually get all of my stuff from either Amazon, or Ebay.  Just make sure to buy from highly rated sellers, as the replacement parts from china are not always super reliable.  ALSO make sure you harvest whatever working parts you can off of old cell phones before you recycle them. Parts like charging ports, screens, LCDS, antenna cables… This will save you tons of money down the road.

 

If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave them in the comments below.  Good Luck!

99 responses

  1. Hi Jerry,

    I wanted to ask, if I can use or link my website to your repair videos on you tube or whether I could purchase the videos from you? to help my customers do repairs as I quite like your videos and it would help our customer base? please come back to me.

  2. I watched your video on how to replace the charging port, earphone and microphone module. I am not sure how to install the microphone into the rubber cover. My phone works now (except for the home button) but when I call someone they tell me that they can barely hear me and my voice sounds muffled. I am sure I probably installed the microphone in the rubber cover improperly. There is a slot in the rubber cover. Can you tell me the proper way to install the microphone back into the rubber cover so that it works properly? Thank you very much for your help and your video.

  3. Hi Jerry,
    I wonder if u can help, I have followed your video to take apart a Samsung s4 mini as the volume button had become damaged and thus placed the phone into ‘safe’ mode. I was able to successfully remove and repair the button however since completing this procedure the wifi reception has dramatically reduced. This is not the normal Samsung wifi issue as I am familiar with that. Now the phone will not connect unless the phone is several feet away from the router and it still shows poor signal. This fault is definitely with the phone and not the router as all other devices connect correctly and I have also tried routers in families addresses. Is this a problem that u are familiar with or can u provide me with any advice. Many thanks Andy

    • The only thing I can think of is to make sure that all of the cables are connected securely. Especially the wire cables. (Sorry about my late response. Hopefully I already responded to your YouTube comment. As I remember answering this one before…)

  4. I have replaced complete lcd digitizer assembly on a few iPhones and a nexus tablet. I have recently got I,inquiries about several galaxy s series phones that just need glass repaired,therefore I am considering purchasing a hot plate. I was curious on which hot plates are best. Also I am skeptical of using the using the wire is it possible to heat it and use a razor blade as I feel like I have more control with that?

  5. Left a comment on your youtube video. I know it’s late, but my phone is taken apart very carefully as you directed. Got to the last step, #9 removing the bracket where the grounding tape attached to ribbon cable was. Really confused or am I over thinking? After removal of the bracket, how do you get the broken glass off? The replacement cover that was sent to me is flush. How in the world do I affix it to where I removed the bracket? That step was left out, unless I’m really missing the boat. I’m tired, it’s possible I still don’t have a clue as sometimes I over think to a point of missing the point. Plz enlighten me.

    • Sorry about my late response, I am sure you already have a solution, or I responded already on a youtube comment. It sounds to me like you bought ‘just the glass’ which is a very difficult repair, and much harder than what is shown in my video. You’ll need to buy a new part. It’ll be more expensive, but it is exactly what is replaced in this video.

  6. Hi there, i have seen one of your videos on how to repair an iphone 4s screen i was looking on your website for the link for the phone mat to keep you organised when repairning a phone
    Please get back to me ASAP

  7. Hi Jerry, congratulations! what a awesome page!!!
    I want to start a business repairing cell phone from my house … And I just want to ark what is online advertising that recommend? ¿Facebook? Google?

    Thanks in advance

  8. Hi Jerry.
    Thank you for all these very useful information. I sell Cell Phone Accessories in the mall in Houston, and trying to get into cell phone repair business (demand is huge). Anyways, do you have or use any particular machine to remove the LCD screens and digitizers on the phones. Even if you don’t, do you, personally, recommend some of them (brand name, reliability, compatible to all phones, etc)? I’d appreciate if you answer my email. Thank you and have a good day,

    • Removing the glass on cell phones is one of the hardest repairs. I did link one in the blog you commented on, and I have a few videos showing how to use it. (Galaxy s4, s5, note 2) Mostly samsung phones. Once you get a hang of the process though, it can be pretty lucrative.

  9. Is it good a idea to open a ‘Cell Phone Repair Store’ in strip centers, or should I stay in the mall? I always have that idea to do it in a small store in strip centers. If you have any knowledge or experience about the matter, can you please share your ideas with me? Thank you again.
    Tim

  10. Love your videos. Talking about just replacing the glass, what machine are you referencing that costs $200-$400 that does the job for you? If you have a link, that and video on using it, that would be helpful. Thanks!

  11. Very helpful info! I really appreciate the time you took to write this because I was thinking about getting into the cell phone game as well. My thought was to open a repair shop and also sell unlocked and no contract phones. Do you have any experience with selling phones at all? Any input you may have would be very appreciated. Thanks in advance, man.

  12. Hello Jerry,

    I’m thinking about getting into the cell phone repair business and i have a couple questions to ask you: 1) Do you use the same or different repair method for an old water damage phone ( Weeks, or Months ago) and Same day Water Damage? ..2) Does the phone service provider (T-Mobile,Sprint, etc.) matter when purchasing parts?

    • 1) If the phone is still wet… Drying it is the first priority. Usually leaving it for 24 hours in rice, or opening it up and manually drying it out. If the phone has been wet for a while… you can take some isopropyl alcohol and clean out any residue or corrosion inside the phone. 2) It depends on what phone you are buying parts for. If its the iphone 4 or 4s, the carrier does matter. If it is the iPhone 5 or 6, the carrier does not matter. You just have to check with each model of phone.

  13. I am just getting into Cell Phone Repair. I didn’t know which brand of LOCA glue I should use and what type of light I should get to cure it. Some are nice in the $100 range but then I see people using $20 salon lights lol. Some recommendations would be super helpful. Also, is the glue non toxic? Do you wear gloves and mask when using it or? Do you wear goggles for UV light curing? Thanks!

  14. Jerry, I want to thank you for making it so easy for me to start my repair business!!!
    Nothing is worth having if you can’t or don’t share it!!! (except your Harley, or your woman!!) LOL
    Anyway, Thank You ! I have learned so much from you and Le55ons but I really need to step up my game.
    I have 0 problems with your playing card method of screen separation. (thanks for that!) My cash cow there is the Samsung Galaxy’s. I can do a screen removal very quick. For replacement screens I have a great supplier that can have parts to me within 48hours of my ordering them and for literally pennies per screen !

    OK now, for my true dilemma, I can buy cracked HD RAZR MAXX’s and RAZR MAXX’s for a decent price (ebay) but, is there a supplier you would be willing to share with me that I can get replacement LCD’s for these phones that do not cost $93.00 each?

    $20.00- $45.00 for the broken phones
    $90.00-$100.00 for new LCD/screen assembly
    The resale price for the repaired phones is $150.00 – 225.00
    Then, I have to be a Wording/Marketing/Presentation expert to get top dollar on Ebay for the fixed phone…. If I could only cut the LCD price ??? !!!
    So, Am I trying to focus on the wrong phones that I repair for resale?
    Do I just need the right wholesaler for my parts?
    Is there a less expensive wholesaler for these LCD’s?
    Or, am I asking you for trade secrets that you had to pay for thru the school of hard knocks?
    (please don’t say “all of the above” ) LOL !

    Jerry, I thank you again for your You Tube Videos ! They are a great asset !

    Regards, JimmyCrown

  15. Where’s a good place to buy android screens.. IPhone digitizer/assembly & tablet screens for quality price ($25-$40)?

  16. hey jerry just wanted to say you suck at fixing stuff cause your not doing it in my garage converted clean room lol …….but really thanks for the vids you post buddy it helps me out a lot since I don’t have the cash to buy new things I simply have to refab broken stuff and your channel has helpd me out a lot and has gave me somthing to do with my son he enjoys playing with electronics keep up the vids best wishes to you and your family.

  17. Thanks Mr jerry for everything you helped us. my employers android phone droped into a bucket full of water and it is now three years. is it possible to her phone can be repaired and works again? she kept it for 3 yrs.

  18. Hi jerry,
    I have been subscribed to your youtube channel. I love your content. I want to create a local home based repair business but don’t know whether to do strictly online orders or local? Also how do I compete with established companies in the area? Example: CPR Cell Phone Repair

  19. Hello, Jerry can you tell me the ideal amount of heat should be coming out of heat gun onto the glass and how long to stay heating up a point on the gorilla glass.

    Thanks alot for your blog.

  20. hey Jerry i would like to thank you for videos and this post great work.
    I just started setting up my own business when i came home from active duty and found the 3 major towns in my area don’t have a cell phone repair store. i was a electronics technician in the military so this type of work is great for my skill sets.
    everything is coming to together great, have all the right tools, location, and everything set up with the county. only problem i’m having is inventory. my question is, what screens to you keep in stock and which do you have to order? who do you purchase screens and parts from?

    • When I started gaining traction with my business, I kept all of the iphone screens in stock. (From iphone 4 and after.) The iphone 6 screens are still dropping in price, so I just buy those on an ‘as needed’ basis. Same with the Samsung screens. They are expensive. Never throw anything away that you might be able to use again later. Thats a huge way to save money in the long run. I purchase parts from Amazon or Ebay. If I find a seller that is consistently good, I will contact them outside of Amazon or Ebay and try to get a cheaper rate. (Its a little more dangerous that way, since you dont have amazon or ebay protecting your money.) But its worked out well so far. I still bounce around with suppliers though, prices always fluctuate.

      • Jerry,
        that sounds like the way to go and is similar to what i was thinking. im planning on keeping most of the popular phone screens in stock. and the newer ones , tablets , and also the other inner parts like power connectors as needed. will want to have some of those in stock later but for now i won’t.
        i did a little googleing and found some ebay seller and dhgate have great prices on a lot of the screens in lots of 10 to 100 or more. also from watching your you tube videos (awesome stuff) i found R.U. . i sent them an email about wholesales prices but havent heard back from them. like that they have everything in one site.
        another question to you and other readers here. is it worth selling tempered glass and protectors and chargers and such or do they mostly just sit collecting dust.
        thanks for all your advice, im excited to open my shop/store soon.

        • Screen protectors have a huge profit margin. So definitely get some of those in for your shop. They are cheap to buy and easy to put on. And most people are willing to pay 5-10-20 dollars for a product you spend 50 cents on.

  21. Hi, I read some of the stuff you had on reddit and saw your youtube channel and so on. I’ve been thinking of setting up a business at my boarding school and I have a few questions.
    For one, do you have a list of prices you charge for various repairs on various devices, that would be a great source of guidance if you do. Also, how can I practice on repairing so I don’t mess up the phones I’m doing for people? You said on reddit that you buy broken phones and keep screens that you replace if they still work, but how broken are the phones that you buy?
    thanks

  22. I have a iPHONE 4s that got a little wet. It works except it says searching all the time and wont connect to network nor WiFi wheel by hotspot spinning. Never have used the hotspot. Did factory reset on with the hello screen up it says searching in toP corner. Battery drains fast. What can I do?

  23. Hello Jerry,
    Thank you so much for your posts.
    I recently graduated college without being hired by any company.
    I was very desperate and I have been searching online looking for ways to open up a small business. After reading your posts I am inspired to open a business but I don’t know where to start. I am afraid that after opening up a business I may bump into promblems that you have not described or showed in any of your videos…
    1. In order to protect this from happening, do you recommend taking cell phone repair class?
    2. How much money do you think I should have to start up a business?
    3. How did you advertise your business?

    I am very sorry to ask questions that are not strictly pertaining to repairing cell phones.
    Again, thank you so much for your generosity.

    Respectfully,

    Hannah

  24. Gday Jerry,
    My name is nick and Iam about to start a business repairing electronics in my small outback town of Australia the other person that does i phones is ripping off ppl same with other devices so i thought id open one at better rates is there any way i could download all your videos or anything that might help me out. cheers mate

  25. Hi there, Im glad I stumbled onto your stuff, thanks a million!

    My question is about motherboard replacement and ESN/IMEI. Are there any issues with purchasing phones with bad ESN/IMEI #, and swapping out the motherboard with an unlocked motherboard? The lots of phones selling on ebay right now from reputable sellers cant all be stolen. For the most part it is from previous owners and carriers not communicating very well. Is there any money refurbing the locked phones and reselling them. Im just starting out and want to practice taking a few apart, why not make a little while I learn the handsets.

    • Sorry about the late response. But ya,it just depends on if it is cost effective enough. Ive gotten a few of those locked phones, and it ended up being better to just use them for parts.

  26. Hi!, I just thought about opening my own business fixing phones at home and still take care of my children. I just want to ask you what the most popular screens are, because I would like to have a couple in stock to start.

  27. Hi Jerry,
    Im thinking of getting a screen seperator but cant decide on which to get. I want to make sure I am getting a reliable device. Can you show me the link to the video where you are using yours so I an get the one you have? Or can you just tell me which one is best?

  28. I’m looking to start fixing phones on the side. I haven’t started yet though. Are there any books or websites you would recommend to learn more? You’re videos are very helpful btw. thanks

  29. Hi im looking at starting a small repair business on the side. The hard part is doing the first couple of phones and not messing them up. Also can you recommend a good place to buy the screen and parts for repair

  30. Hello sir, just found this post, and glad i did, as i have had this same idea recently , i live in an extremley rural area and no one within 40 minute drive does this yet, so i saw some videos on youtube, tried to repair an iphone 4s lcd and did it on my first try. So now im getting numerous requests from friends. I was curious, is there a particular seller you prefer to buy your parts from? Just curious if maybe there was one that would work out a deal on getting parts at a little discount if you just bought directly from them and no one else ? thanks a ton for the info and videos! Are you still doing this by the way?

    John

      • Hi i have done approx 10 cellphone repairs and have had 3 cell phone screens crack on me while repairing them. Brought the part/s on eBay. Wondering if the screen/s are just cheap and/or I need to be a bit more careful. Anyway i have not been able to find a screen/Lcd assembly for a “Posh Mobile S580A” and had hard time finding parts for “Samsung Core S820L”. I plan to continue to repair cell phones and hope to expand this endeavor. Thanks for your very knowledgeable info. and videos.

    • Hi friend i repaired my own cracked iPhone 4s screen no problem but the new screen cracked after a few days then i repaired a LG realm and the same thing happened again. Recently i repaired a cellphone and the new screen cracked while i was replacing it. Please note i have a few successful repairs under my belt and want to continue to repair cellphones and possibly make a decent profit.

  31. Jerry,

    Hi, loved everything you posted and appreciate all the great info and links you made available to all us novice and experienced techs. I myself have always been fascinated with electronics and worked as a sales rep selling phones. I’m looking into starting my own phone/tablet repair business here in Southern California. My question for you is, what tips might you recommend for me starting up? I plan on purchasing the universal phone repair kit you listed unless there is a newer more efficient kit, heat gun, and tweezers. I thank you for your time and look forward to your response.
    Frankie

  32. Hi Jerry,

    Big fan of your videos.

    I was interested in getting phone repair/phone part sales.

    Do you have a particular wholesale supplier from China?

    And the confusion with different grades on phone parts. Wondering if you could elaborate on that?

    Thanks Jerry

      • I heard Original Apple products aren’t available for sale to private business. Is this true?

        With screens are you referring to outer glass only or lcd as well?

        Have you ever dealt with wholesale suppliers from China?

  33. Hi,
    I’ve used various loca glues and i have had trouble with a few. I wanted to seek advice on which ones are the best and what type do you use.

    TP-1000: this type of loca goes on easy and comes of easy when a customer returns for another repair when their glass cracks again or if you mess up and want to remove the glass again. However, when this loca leaks through the LCD, it would cause the digitizer touch function to become unresponsive.

    TP-2500F: this one also goes on easy and comes off just as easy. However, this one tends to start lifting in a few days on some phones and I would have to do the job all over again.

    TP-1000N: i just got this loca glue a few days ago and it works great when you put it on so far. It goes on easy and dries up hard. I haven’t needed to remove a screen after applying this glue yet but because of it’s hardness and tackiness when removing excess glue off of the sides, it feels like this is a glue that you would need to cut with a wire and a hotplate machine to redo the next repair and attempting to use a playing card will break the LCD.
    Can you please advise whether the tp1000n is easy to remove with a playing card or am I correct in my assumptions? Also, what brand and type of loca glue do you prefer to use that won’t damage LCDs nor lift or recede, as well as be easy enough to re-repair a broken glass on. What are your thoughts or experience with APS346 and xfactor glue? Thank you in advance.

  34. Hello, Jerry
    First off, I enjoyed watching a lot of your videos. I like that your are very thorough in them in every step. I have a couple of questions. Starting a home based business of cell phone repair, do I need a license? Do I need to register a name for my business? How does this work? I don’t want to do anything illegal. Thank you

    • Every state is a bit different on how much money you can earn before needing a licence. I would start repairing your own devices, and then branch out into friends and family…. if you still like the occupation at that point, you can jump in and get a business licence, and an LLC so that you are protected when working on customers phones.

  35. hi Jerry . first off i want to say that your videos were incredibly helpful and very simple and very easy to understand just so you know my wife likes your tone of your voice and that way you talk lol she has little crush on you haha. JK, anyways i am a server at local restaurant 2 kids and wife she is a serve as well so recently i just noticed that everyone has cellphone so i was like why dont i learn how to fix it start my small my small biz. so went to cali and got my license . 90% of the classmates somehow involved in cellphone repairs business so i am 100% new to this thing and english is my second language as well so i wasnt able understand everything but before i attend the class i cleared that am i gonna be able to understand and the teacher said you will be fine on the phone. class was 1500$ plus airfare hotel staying etc , its been couple months since then bought small inventory and all tools i need including microsoldering telescope you name it i have all the tools in fact moved into small office share building and got myself a desk that costs me 350$ a month still working as a server beacause i cant quit untill i open up my small shop and start making enough profit. but sometimes i really get frustrated with myself that i diidnt learn enough and that class 90% talking writing notes 10% on hand practice so and my second language didint help and i dont wnat to be rude ask millions of things from teacher during class . i fixed my wifes lcd and her friends i phone 5 wasnt charging just cleaned the port it worked i ahve bunch of glasses but i feel so nervous to change ppls phone glass if i mess it up it will be really bad and i am sure that costumer will make scene at my office .

    currently working on my website social media marketing , business card etc but i really need to make sure that i will be ready in couple months !

    what would you suggest ? what should i do next

    • Thanks man! Its really important that you get your hands on some broken phones and star fixing things! Get some iPhone 4 and 4s repairs done. Those are cheap to buy and cheap to work on. The replacement screens only cost about 20 bucks right now on amazon. Start with cheap phones and work your way up as you get more confident with the more expensive ones. Ruining a customers 700 dollar device will break the bank if you dont know what you are doing. Good luck man! It is a rewarding occupation.

  36. Do you ever have to solder anything? I’m pretty sure I can fix anything on a phone unless it requires something to be soldered.

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