5 Questions to Ask Your Cell Phone Repair Shop

When you need to get your phone fixed fast, finding a reliable cell phone repair shop can be tricky. Depending on your location, you might have several options or just one – but either way, it’s important to know how to spot a trustworthy and reliable repair shop.

You can learn a lot about any repair shop by asking the right questions – and knowing what answers you’re looking for will help you choose the right repair shop for you.



1. What kind of warranty do you offer – and what does it cover?

6 months is the average warranty period offered by wireless repair shops in the US. The minimum warranty is typically 30-days. These warranties generally cover parts and service only – so in the case of parts failure or low quality workmanship, you’re covered.

This warranty most likely won’t cover accidental damage – so if you drop your phone and it breaks again, you’re probably not covered. However, many repair shops offer discounts for returning customers, so don’t hesitate to ask and see how they can help.


2. How do you ensure the contents of my device remain private and protected?

Protecting the privacy of your data is an important priority for repair shop owners. Cell phones are where we keep a lot of important data and a majority of our personal information. Ensuring your repair shop has a solid privacy policy and practices transparency in all aspects of business plays a huge role in preventing your data from getting lost or compromised during a repair.


3. Where do you get your replacement parts?

Not all cell phone repair parts are created equal; there’s aftermarket, OEM-equivalent, and a mix of both in between. Parts are assembled in China before arriving in the US, where repair shop owners purchase them online from trading companies or wholesale distributors (like eTech Parts).

Which vendor your repair shop chooses is less important than finding out if they have a relationship with any vendor at all. A reliable vendor will typically offer an extended warranty, which in turn makes it easier for a repair shop owner to pass that warranty on to you, the end user. This is why purchasing parts from eBay and Amazon is not recommended, as returns are generally not accepted.

NOTE: Unless you’re at the Genius Bar, proceed with caution if a repair shop tells you they use “Original Apple parts.” Apple does not supply third-party repair shops with original parts, so these parts are either counterfeit, misrepresented by the vendor, or the shop owner isn’t being completely honest with you.


4. Why are you cheaper (or more expensive) than other repair shops in town?

You can learn a lot about a repair shop by how they speak (and what they know) about their competition. If they’re more expensive than the shop down the street, ask them why and you might find out the other shop isn’t licensed, is using lower quality repair parts, or simply undercutting the local market. Ask a shop why their repairs are cheaper than the competition and you’ll likely get an even more interesting response.


5. What happens if my phone is further damaged after leaving it with you?

Most reputable wireless repair shops will give you a waiver form to fill out and sign, detailing their policies and what they will be responsible for in the case of further damage. An honest business owner knows the right thing to do in case this happens, but every repair shop has a different policy.

If you’re asked to read and fill out the repair waiver form, read the document carefully (and ask for a copy). If there’s nothing in the fine print addressing damage on behalf of the technician, ask them what their procedure is if they damage the logic board or rip a flex cable. If they don’t promise – in writing – to fix any damage they might cause to your device, proceed at your own risk.


When you’re looking for a reliable cell phone repair shop, begin by asking these 5 questions. They’ll help kickstart a conversation between you and the repair shop owner, so you can get the info you need to make an informed decision, while giving the shop owner an opportunity to ease any concerns you may have.




This piece was created for cell phone repair shops to share with customers in an effort to educate and inform consumers on the growing cell phone repair industry.

SHARE this article with your customers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, your website or wherever your customers will see it. Spread the word and help us show YOUR customers how wireless repair can benefit them. Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Your last chance to win $500!

If you haven’t taken our 2015 repair pricing survey, now’s your last chance to get FREE Ground Shipping (US only) and enter to win $500 store credit at eTech Parts! Thank you to everyone who’s completed our survey so far – the response has been outstanding. If you haven’t taken the survey yet you can find it here.

We encourage you to contribute to our annual repair market price check, a 5-minute survey to help us discover the trends and pricing averages of the cell phone repair industry. This information will help us help you see where you stand in your local market and nationwide.

eTech Parts Wireless Repair Price Check

We’re really excited to see the final results – and just to give you a preview, here’s what we’ve found out so far…


Average price to fix an iPhone 6 : $148

Average price to fix an iPhone 5c : $92

Average price to fix an iPhone 5 : $88


The winner of $500 store credit will be chosen (using Random.org) and announced on Monday, June 29th. The market price survey results will be published soon after.

NOTE: multiple entries will be omitted from the drawing and from the final results. Please refrain from submitting the survey if you’ve already taken it. Thank you!

The Woman Behind the Wireless Repair EXPO

With over 15 years’ experience in marketing, retail and wireless, Michelle James is no stranger to building things from the ground up – in fact, it might be what she’s best at. After 9 years spent creating innovative sales solutions and in-store campaigns as Marketing Director for Levi Strauss & Co., Michelle lived “a marketer’s dream” as an essential part of the team that helped mobile phone company Nokia climb to #1 global market share.

Since then, Michelle has supported wireless retailers nationwide as CMO of Wireless Dealer Magazine and now, the Wireless Repair EXPO. eTech Parts got a chance to chat with Michelle for an exclusive interview about how her former role as Marketing Director at Nokia sparked her passion for helping entrepreneurs, her thoughts on the future of wireless repair, and what you can expect from the 2nd annual Wireless Repair EXPO at CTIA Super Mobility 2015.


Michelle James.2

As CMO of Wireless Dealer Magazine and the leading force behind the Wireless Repair EXPO, Michelle James is blazing the trail for independent wireless retailers nationwide.


Tell us about your history and background. Where are you from?

Dallas, born and raised – I moved to NYC in 1999, then outside Philly, then in London for 2 years, Singapore for 3 years, and now I reside in sunny South Florida. I attended the University of Texas at Dallas, double majored with a BA Economics & Finance. That’s probably when the left brain marketer in me turned on, now that I look back – which I don’t do often.


How did you get started in the wireless industry?

For Levi Strauss & Co., I spent the better part of 8.5 years in San Francisco every other week. The next logical step was to move west – but one day delayed in fog for my flight home, I read a week-old Dallas newspaper about a mobile phone company called Nokia that just moved to Dallas to set up their new US headquarters.

I cold called their marketing department, got an interview, gave a mock presentation then was hired on the spot. Nokia was smart and hired a full team of 8 marketers from different brand backgrounds like me: Coca Cola, Philip Morris, Dr Pepper, Siemens, one from an entertainment production company and a couple from the ad agency side.


Tell us about your position at Nokia. What did your team accomplish during this time?

First day on the job, I was handed 8 plane tickets to visit regional carriers and instructed to sell them product. But first, I had to convince my sales guys I was worthy even of attending the meetings. Nokia executive management decided that Field Marketing – the 8 newbies sent out to the fields – would be deemed more important than brand marketing (at least briefly). After all, the company tagline said we were about “connecting people,” not connecting national media buys.

My colleagues were each assigned ONE sales guy – I was assigned FIVE to manage! One by one I was able to win them over and they let me tag along on sales calls… soon they wanted me at every meeting. Sales and marketing go together! One is better at messaging and the other is better at closing. Ameritech in Chicago bought their first digital product from me and my sales guy; it was so important as it was literally in Motorola’s backyard. So big. I still remember the day vividly.

I was promoted to Marketing Director and touched every TDMA and GSM carrier business over the course of a few years, lived through loads of carrier mergers and acquisitions, watched a lot of carriers grow up. Racked up over 100K domestic frequent flyer miles in a single year. Managed national programs and approved local efforts, daily.

Not much sleep for a few years for that core group of us who rallied together, but we went from a distant #4 global market share when no one could say our name (or thought Nokia was Japanese) to #1 during that time. A marketers dream to be part of it, really.


“Everyone should find the ‘something’ they can be best at and go for it – no matter how big or small. In our industry, the sky is the limit.”


What sparked your passion for helping wireless retailers? How does this apply to your current role as CMO at Wireless Dealer Magazine?

Nokia moved me to NYC in 1999 for Regional Sales Manager position, covering the indirect wireless retail channel for what would become T-Mobile – which is where I really started to understand the independent entrepreneur in a very real way. Talk about deals on wheels, there are some super smart business people on main street! I feel this is an under-served community of business owners still today, which is why I have dedicated so much of my career to find ways to help them continue to be successful.

At Wireless Dealer Magazine, I am CMO – but really I am chief connector. Our reader relies on our magazine as a catalog of all things they need to be successful at retail. My job is to make sure we cover every category in detail and as broadly as possible by making sure we have the right relationships with trusted suppliers, giving retailers guidance in operating successful storefronts.


Michelle James.1


How did your team at Wireless Dealer Magazine get involved in promoting wireless repair?

At the magazine, we’re constantly talking with and thinking about the independent wireless retailer. Sustainable growth is paramount. We have the luxury to look at the big ecosystem perhaps a little more often than a store owner who is dealing with big and small issues in front of them every day – we look out on the horizon to see what is coming.

We try to be in front of it and create a meaningful path for our readers – or at least help them understand the path the market is on. We saw repair up and coming a little over two years ago.

According to consumer surveys, independent retailers are more trusted than big box retailers for wireless products. So where were people going to get their phone that cost them $500-700 fixed, the phone that has their kids’ pictures in it and all their contacts? Somewhere they trust. Our readers’ stores. We needed to help them build that business model; so we started writing about it, well before the Wireless Repair EXPO was launched.


Why do you think wireless repair is important?

Consumers need it. Retailers need the revenue stream. Plus, because it’s a service it literally has the legs to create customer loyalty. Getting your phone repaired is personal; repair is a people business. No one wants to ship their phone off and hope it comes back – they want to talk to someone about what’s wrong, how will it get fixed and how much will it cost to fix it. Consumers need to talk to a person, in person.


What do you believe to be the biggest challenge facing the wireless repair industry?

For repair, it’s about quality. Technicians need to be trained. And, its not just one time training as devices change – it’s a challenge but the winners in this category stay on top of the changes and are able to keep their skills fresh with ongoing training. Hands-on training is the best! Videos are great for reinforcement or general knowledge, but you cannot learn to repair solely from a video. Also, having trusted resources for reliable parts and tools is key.


“Getting your phone repaired is personal. No one wants to ship their phone off and hope it comes back – they want to talk to someone about what’s wrong, how will it get fixed and how much will it cost to fix it. Consumers need to talk to a person, in person.


Tell us more about the creation and growth of the Wireless Repair EXPO. Who helped bring it to life?

As a publisher, we believe strongly in creating a community where business can grow. We have always had a ‘dealer’ show or event to create an experience for our readers and our advertising partners to network together. As we saw repair grow and the needs of the Repair Community grow even faster, we took the idea of a Wireless Repair EXPO to CTIA. We felt like it needed to be physically present among the bigger wireless ecosystem.

CTIA fully embraced the idea and asked us to become a pavilion partner last year. Build it, they will come….and they came. 1700 people registered to attend the 2014 Wireless Repair EXPO, and 900 business owners attended onsite training and seminar workshops. 120 people were trained in hands-on micro soldering. 27 exhibitors and sponsors networked with the Repair Community inside 3600 square feet. And of course last year the eTech Parts VIP suite meetings were jam-packed! CTIA deemed it a huge success and invited us back for 2015.


Michelle James.3


What can people expect at the 2015 Wireless Repair EXPO?

We’ve grown the square footage of the EXPO exhibit area by 46%, and are working on another stellar lineup of speakers and workshop sessions for attendees. We are very proud eTech Parts is with us again this year as premier partner. You guys have great credibility in the repair marketplace and having you both as a sponsor and exhibitor this year is an asset for the attendees!

We will announce in the coming months an exciting lineup of business owners workshop content the Repair Community can attend for FREE, which will be offered every hour on the hour during the show, starting at 11am each day.

Plus, an opportunity to attend technical hands-on training courses in micro soldering, where students can get certified on a specific aspect of board repair. There’s a small fee for this course, as we will be bringing in the equipment. Last year the micro soldering course sold out in 10 days!


How can people sign up to attend this year’s Wireless Repair EXPO?

You can sign up for a free pass at WirelessRepairEXPO.com. We will be opening registration soon for the workshops – for now we are open for badge registration at WirelessRepairEXPO.com. Once attendees register there, they become eligible to receive a free badge to the entire CTIA Super Mobility show floor including the Wireless Repair EXPO area.


“I don’t really do failure – even when things turn out really badly or spin out of control, there is always something good that can come from it. I also firmly believe very few things in life are not ‘fixable’ even if they turn out looking completely different in the end.”


What advice would you share with someone aspiring to be as successful as you?

My meaning of success is creating something at the end of the day that I can be proud of, that is bigger than myself, serving a bigger audience who can take what they need from it and grow their own success. Where I sit today – part of the publishing team at Wireless Dealer Magazine – success looks like a community of healthy wireless retail business owners who have access to all the information they need to be successful, and where consumers get to be the benefactor of a knowledgeable retail store owner.


Finally, who inspires you? What have you learned from them?

I am inspired by entrepreneurship. Sheer determination. People, brands and business models that, while flexible and dance with calculated risk – stay strong in their goals. Women who break the ceiling in any industry and are still nice people at the end of the day inspire me. Business owners willing to risk it all, even in bankruptcy but still never give up.

Hershey went bankrupt twice, Disney went bankrupt 7 times, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he created. JK Rowling became the first billionaire author, written as a single parent in a terrible financial situation. None of them gave up. Yes, they all built legacies in the end – but they all started out as just regular people with a goal to be the best at something, then gave the world something that lives beyond them.

Everyone should find the ‘something’ they can be best at and go for it – no matter how big or small. In our industry, the sky is the limit.

Last chance to get your free repair shop poster!

Have you received your repair shop poster yet? The final prints are almost gone – now’s your last chance to claim this FREE phone values poster for your repair shop!

You can enter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or you can email us at marketing@etechpartsdotcom too. Just tag us in a picture showing where you’ll hang the poster in your repair shop, send us your shipping address and you’re all set!


How Much Does Your Phone Cost


Last month our team at eTech Parts released the digital infographic, How Much Does Your Phone Really Cost? as a way to help you educate and inform your repair shop clients. We created this piece in digital format as well as this poster in hopes it would become a relevant resource for wireless repair shop owners across the country.

So far we’ve given away over 100 posters to repair shop customers, franchises, and members of the online Repair Community as our way of thanking you for your support over the past 7 years.


If you entered to win but haven’t received anything yet, leave a comment and let us know. We shipped the posters via USPS and will be happy to look up the tracking information for you.

The iPad 2 is the most frequently fixed iPad

After asking the Repair Community what iPhone models they fix the most, we had no choice but to ask the same about iPads. The team at eTech Parts is always curious to hear what our customers are up to and what they’re seeing in their wireless repair shops. When we asked the Facebook community what iPad models they fix most frequently, there was a very clear winner.


Most Popular iPad Repairs

1. iPad 2

2. iPad Mini

3. iPad 3/4



The iPad 2 was the clear winner here, receiving a majority of the votes. The iPad Mini came next as the 2nd most frequently repaired iPad model according to the Repair Community. Coming in 3rd on the list is the iPad 3/4, with both models receiving a handful of votes each. This is a pretty interesting outcome – especially when compared to the list of most popular iPhone repairs.


According to data compiled from the Repair Community, the iPhone 5c is currently the most frequently fixed iPhone model, with the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 following close behind. The iPhone 5c and 5s were both released in September 2013, just a little over 1 1/2 years ago. The iPhone 5 was released in September 2012, making it just under 3 years old.

The iPad 2 was released in March 2011, meaning it just celebrated its 4th birthday last month. Though the iPad 2 was discontinued in March 2014, this clearly hasn’t affected the consumer’s need for iPad 2 repairs. In comparison to the ranking of most popular iPhone repairs, the iPhone 4s – which was released shortly after the iPad 2 in October 2011 –  is #4 on the list behind 3 much newer devices.

While the sample size of responses may be too small to make any concrete conclusions based on the data, personally I think it says a lot about how people value their wireless devices. We all know how subsidized contracts affect the perceived value of expensive smartphones. A device sold at a subsidized rate of $199 is likely to be perceived as less valuable than a device that costs at least $399 right out of the box – like the iPad. This perception in turn can affect the life cycle and repair cycle of any given wireless device.


What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

Your free repair shop poster is on its way!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win our free repair shop poster giveaway! After getting such an overwhelming response from the Repair Community, we couldn’t bear the thought of disappointing anyone. So we extended our giveaway and printed more posters to offer for free to repair shops.

Which means your How Much Does Your Phone Really Cost? poster will soon be on its snail-mail way to your repair shop! Jen and Jay have been hard at work this afternoon, filling poster tubes, printing shipping labels and making sure every one of you gets your free poster.


Jen and Jay


  • If you already entered to win, your poster will ship by the end of the day tomorrow (April 3rd). Everyone who entered will receive their very own poster by way of snail mail.
  • And if you haven’t entered to win… why not? Just post a picture on social media showing where you’ll hang your new poster, tag @etechparts in your post, and we’ll send you a poster for free! Check out our blog for details and claim your poster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Google+


Our team at eTech Parts is all about helping the independent wireless repair shop. This includes creating professional-quality marketing content to help you educate your customers and promote the growth of the repair industry. If there’s anything our team can create to help your repair shop – whether to educate, promote, or add value to your services – please let us know how we can help you.

This is our ultimate goal at eTech Parts – because at the end of the day, we’re just happy we could help.

iPhone 5c tops list of most popular iPhone repairs

At eTech Parts we’re always curious about the lives and work of our friends in the cell phone repair industry. So we asked members of the Repair Community which iPhone models they fix the most at their cell phone repair shop. According to the Community, the iPhone 5c tops the list as the most frequently repaired iPhone, with screen replacement being the #1 fix.


Most Popular iPhone Repairs

  1. iPhone 5c
  2. iPhone 5s
  3. iPhone 5
  4. iPhone 4 & iPhone 4S
  5. iPhone 3GS & iPhone 6



#2 on the list of most popular iPhone repairs is the iPhone 5s, which was released alongside the iPhone 5c in September 2013. Following closely behind at #3 is the iPhone 5, with a difference of only 2 votes overall.

The oft forgotten iPhone 4/4S models have reportedly made a comeback in the world of repair. Both models scored #4 on the list, with the ancient iPhone 3GS and the most recently released iPhone 6 getting some honorable mentions.


Now.. what about iPads? We want to know which iPad models are the most popular fix at your repair shop. Find us on Facebook and join the conversation to share which iPad models you fix the most and see what everyone in the community has to say – or share your thoughts in the COMMENTS below!