It is easy to waste valuable time and money when purchasing replacement parts and tools for a mobile phone repair. Although mobile phones can be relatively simple to repair, the pace of their development can lead to compatibility issues between parts from seemingly identical models. Because of this, it is a good idea for anyone who is a novice to the phone repair business to familiarise themselves with some of the pitfalls that can trap the unwary. A basic knowledge of the methods used by professional repairers can help ensure that the fix applied to the mobile phone is both successful and long lasting.
Committing to an Uneconomical Phone Repair
Commercial phone repairers will usually spend some time assessing a phone's financial viability before committing resources to its repair. Spending time and money on a device which cannot return a rewarding profit is an activity which is best avoided. Although an amateur repairer does not need to look at the bottom line when assessing their phone, it is still wise to price up the parts and tools required and set these against the cost of a comparable replacement handset. Remember that the outgoing device can be sold for spares to offset the cost of its replacement, or it can also be kept as a potential future source of spares and accessories if replaced with an identical model. Where the sums appear to indicate that a repair will make good financial sense, the repairer should remember that they may also need to commit to the purchase of some mobile phone tools to allow them to complete the job.
Wasting Money on an Unsuitable Donor Phone
When costing the repair of a mobile phone, it may be worth considering buying a donor phone. A donor phone is a second hand mobile phone, of the same make and model, which has itself developed a different fault and is being offered for sale as spare parts. When considering a donor phone, it is important to establish that the parts required from the donor phone will be not just compatible, but also in good working order. This can sometimes be difficult to ascertain with any degree of certainty, which makes it easy to make an expensive mistake. However, for harder-to-find parts, donor phones can be an invaluable source of compatible components and accessories. The novice mobile phone repairer should treat such phones with caution, as few vendors offer their devices with any guarantee of satisfaction. As mentioned above, it can sometimes make more sense to buy a compatible working replacement and then keep the older device as a potential donor device should the new phone encounter any future problems. Components which appear interchangeable can sometimes turn out to be incompatible. Over the course of several production runs of a particular mobile phone, parts and components may be sourced from several different manufacturers. Occasionally, small modifications may be required to accommodate differences between these components. Because of this, it is quite possible for a touchscreen from a donor phone to fail to work correctly when placed in an identical model. It is almost impossible to discover in advance when donor components might prove to be incompatible, but anyone considering the purchase of a donor phone should be aware that this can happen.
Purchasing the Wrong Replacement Parts
Because of the variations in mobile phone design, even between identical models, it is always a good idea to order replacement parts using the actual part number whenever possible. It can be a mistake to rely solely on a phone's make and model when ordering replacement parts. Where the part number cannot be found, without completely dismantling the phone, it may be possible for a parts dealer to identify the component required from the serial number of the phone. This can normally be found underneath one or more of the components found in the battery compartment. It is always a good idea to communicate as much information as possible about the phone when contacting a dealer with a query about parts. Most phone parts suppliers will need at least the make, model, and serial number to have a chance of identifying the parts that are required. For the most reliable repair, it is usually a good idea to consider using only genuine replacement parts whenever possible. It is a common mistake among people engaging in their first mobile phone repair to buy the cheapest possible parts. Genuine replacements may cost a little more, but they are often so much easier to fit that this alone makes them worth the extra money. If the outgoing part has any security markings, be sure to check that the genuine replacements supplied also have matching ones.
Not Using the Proper Mobile Phone Repair Tools
Many mobile phone parts vendors handily offer their replacement components with all the tools required to effect the repair, thrown in free of charge. For someone who is unlikely to engage in repairing phones on anything other than an ad hoc basis, these implements can be a great way to complete the job. However, these tools are often more difficult to use than a set of properly designed precision implements. As these tools can actually make the repair job harder, it can sometimes be a mistake to rely on them. A dedicated mobile phone repair toolkit can be bought very cheaply. It often therefore makes more sense to buy one of these with the purchase of the replacement components. Even if the toolkit is never used again, it will likely pay for itself if the phone is properly repaired, without any damage being caused by poorly manufactured tools.
Paying too Much for the Replacement Parts and Tools
The market for mobile phone replacement parts and tools is very competitive, with a large number of vendors all chasing a relatively small number of potential customers. Because of this, it is always a good idea to shop around for the best deal. Parts are often offered with free tools and postage, but in some cases it is even possible to also get a free accessory such a stylus or screen guard. However, the important thing to focus on with mobile phone parts is their quality. It is hardly a good outcome to have a freebie worth pennies, if the replacement part its purchase helped to influence is an unreliable or a poor fit.
Finding Mobile Phone Replacement Parts and Tools on eBay
Locating the required mobile phone parts and tools on eBay is usually a quick and easy process. The eBay website offers a fast and reliable search facility and also a huge number of contextual links. Searching for a particular mobile phone part usually just requires the input of a few of its relevant details into the search bar. For example, when looking for a replacement LCD screen for a Nokia Lumia 800, simply type in "Nokia 800 screen". Browsing the huge inventory of replacement parts is also easy. Next to the search bar is the All Categories menu, from which can be selected Mobile Phones & Communication and then Replacement Parts & Tools. The left hand panel of options form the most convenient method of interrogating the vat eBay stock of phone parts and tools. For example, checking the relevant options can highlight where replacement Blackberry buttons can be found in silver and gold or black and white can be found.
Purchasing replacement parts and tools requires a little thought and care, even for a professional mobile phone repair specialist. A novice repairer must be prepared to double-check the items they are buying will definitely be compatible with the handset they have. It is usually fairly easy to repair a modern mobile phone, but the work must be carried out methodically. However, anyone with a good eye for detail, who is prepared to work slowly and carefully, should find that most mobile phone repair jobs are easily within their reach.