iPhone Resale – How to Prep Your iPhone for sale

How to Prep Your iPhone for Resale

iPhone Resale

iPhone resale and preparing your iPhone for trade in or sale to third party can be done quickly and easily with our guide. Whether you’re anticipating the fall release of the newest iPhone or just upgrading from your current model, you can often benefit by trading in your old iPhone when you pick up the new one.  If you’re choosing to trade in or sell your Apple phone, though, you want to be sure to thoroughly wipe its contents before you put it in someone else’s hands!

Security Issues

Prior to preparing to sell your iPhone we should look at securing your most valuable information. Most of us use our smart phones for everything.  We participate in social media, send business email, check our online accounts, move money with virtual banking and PayPal, interact with our doctors’ offices, order prescriptions, renew our drivers’ licenses or gun permits, change mailing addresses, check credit reports, map travel routes, make payments, shop online… The list is practically endless, and we’re so accustomed to the conveniences that we don’t think twice about the security issues inherent in our reliance on a cell-phone-as-computer.

Take a quick look at that list, add your own smart phone activities, and take a second to imagine the destructive potential of having that phone (with all of its accounts, contacts, and history) in someone else’s hands.

Right now you’re probably not worried because you’ve set up a fingerprint ID and/or lock screen pass code, and maybe you’ve even set up the “find my iPhone” app to be able to wipe it remotely if you should lose it. But when it comes to resale, you’re talking about unlocking the phone and handing it to someone else, so you want to be darn sure you’ve wiped everything!

Backing Up Your Data

Prior to iphone resale you will want to secure your data. Assuming you don’t want to re-enter absolutely everything into your new phone, you’ll want to start by backing up your existing data before wiping your current phone clean. Fortunately, backing up the phone is easy, thanks to iCloud.

From your Settings menu, simply select “iCloud,” make sure the iCloud Backup is turned on, and then tap “Back up Now” while connected to a wi-fi network.  Ta-da! That was easy.

If you’d like to be extra sure of your backup, connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.  On the computer, highlight your phone, opt for “Backups,” select “This Computer,” and then click on “Back Up Now.”

 Wiping Your Phone

Now that you’ve backed up all your content, information, and settings for your own use, you’re ready to return your phone to its original condition prior to iphone resale.

  1. Disconnect Your Devices. If you have paired any devices, like an Apple Watch, with your iPhone, start by unpairing those devices.
  2. Sign Yourself Out. First, go to “iCloud” in your Settings and tap either “Sign Out” or “Delete Account,” depending on what model you are clearing. Second, go to the iTunes & App Store, select “Apple ID” and sign yourself out there.
  3. Erase Settings and Content. This is another easy step. Go to “General” in your settings and select “Erase All Content and Settings,” then tap the “Erase iPhone” button that will pop up, and enter your password.
  4. Wipe your Fingerprints and Apple Pay. If you’re on an iPhone 6 or higher, the previous step will take care of this too. For an older phone, go from Settings to “Touch ID & Passcode” to erase your fingerprint sign-in, and go to “Passbook & Apple Pay” (if you’re using iOS 8) or “Wallet & Apple Pay” (if you’re on iOS 9) to erase your credit card information. You should also go to Safari, select “AutoFill” and erase any credit cards stored there.

iphone resale

Once you’ve followed these steps, your phone will be ready to return to the store for resale! Repair Sharks can help prepare you for iphone resale of your current model. We also buy out of contract phones so feel free to give us or stop in our shop for a purchase quote. Typically third party phone buyers will offer more than carriers and Apple on trade-in so be sure to check around before trading in or selling your phone back to your carrier!


Best Smartphone Cases for iPhone and Android

Best Smartphone Cases for iPhone and Android

Best Smartphone Cases

Which models are the best smartphone cases on the market currently? Repair Sharks has been repairing phones for 10 years now and over that time we have seen thousands of broken screens, water damaged iphones, scratches, dents, and bends on just about every mainstream phone out there.  So what can you do to better protect yourself from a bad drop or cracking your expensive OLED screens? The answer is simple, protect your device with a case that actually works.

In this post we will discuss a few brands of cases that actually work and how they fair up against the competition. We have done a repair frequency comparison to major case brand models to find out what we think are the best smartphone cases. We will be reviewing brands such as Ballistic, Incipio, LifeProof, OtterBox, PureGear, RhinoShield, Speck, Spigen, and Tech21.

Each category is rated between 1-5 points for each brand. Highest score is 30 being the best case and 5 points being the lowest quality. Pricing is 1 star being most expensive, 5 stars being least expensive. Repair Frequency is 1 being most repaired and 5 being least repaired.

Reviews of each brand are broken down under the graph.

5-10 points = low quality case

11-20 points = Fair Quality

21-25 points = Good Quality

26-30 points – Best Quality

Best Smartphone Cases Comparison

Drop Protection533445334
Size / Footprint444235445
Repair Frequency533335134
Variety / Colors544544544


Rhino Shield wins Best Case

Rhino Shield Crashguard

Rhino Shield – Coming in 1st place and one of the best smartphone cases we have found, Rhino Shield Crashguard. Rhino Shield provides a perfect balance between price, superior drop protection, durability, and variety. Pricing wise Rhino Shield is one of the cheapest out there coming in about $10 cheaper than Apple’s bumper design  and cheaper than our next favorite case Ballistic. Cases range from $25-$30 retail.

Rhino Shield cases have also shown to reduce repair frequency significantly. From the 200 or so cases we have sold we have had not one customer come back with a broken screen in the months following. They are drop tested to 11.5 feet but our staff decided to put this to the test. Additionally this is one of the smallest cases available being only a bumper style case. Their honeycomb technology seems to do an amazing job of protecting the phone. Unfortunately they only make these cases for a select number of phones. From what we were told by their engineers the case design doesn’t work well with larger heavier devices such as an iPad.

Test 1 – Thrown in air in street about 25feet. Amazingly there was no break on the glass after watching our test phone bounce across the concrete.

Test 2 through 2500 – Yeah we pummeled this case about 2500 times on a variety of different materials including our wood desk (busted the desk but not the phone), metal door frame, metal staircase, wood staircase, wood floor, concrete floor, and tile floor. We couldn’t break the glass. Actually we smashed the phone so many times that the glass fell off the phone since the internal frame mount for the glass couldn’t handle being smashed that many times nor could the adhesive that Apple uses to bond the frame to the glass hold up. The case held together better than the phone itself.

Customer feedback – the few customers we actually got to see again have thanked us for this case and have all since enjoyed it.

Ballistic comes in a close 2nd

Ballistic Smartphone Case

Ballistic – In a close 2nd place for the best smartphone case award we have Ballistic. A long time favorite of Repair Sharks, Ballistic has been a tried and true case since the beginning. These guys got it right with providing maximum protection for a phone.  They build each of their cases with oversized corner protection, one of the major keys to a quality case. A feature most case manufacturers actually miss. We see 9 out of 10 of the breaks on these devices being caused by corner damage. The glass on the iPhone is actually rather durable however when you hit the phone on an edge the glass will crack much easier than a direct impact. Ballistic protects these corners much better than any other case.

Ballistic also offers a wide variety of cases, more so than Rhino Shield although slightly less than Speck. We still gave it 5 stars due to having a few variations of their cases from minimalist to extreme protection. They offer a variety of colors for each product line including their Jewel single piece design, SG multi-part design, and Maxx models. Cases range from $20-50 on average.

Ballistic also offers one of the best iPad cases on the market we have found.

Customer Feedback – “I threw my phone against a brick wall and it bounced back at me, I was trying to break my phone and I couldn’t”. We’ve actually seen this happen.

Another customer said “my phone flew off my car after I left it on my roof pumping gas and went back to get it after I realized I didn’t have it. I found the phone in the street and it didn’t have a crack on it”

Tech21 scores 3rd Place

Tech21 Smartphone Case

Tech21 –  A terrific overall case that provides decent drop protection, small footprint, and a variety of colors. Their cases provide impact protection using their own design. They are able to keep the case slim and clean. We have noticed some of their clear versions of cases do fade over time or become yellowish however this can be common with any clear type case over time. The case itself however holds up fine over time as they are single piece designs. Cases range from $30-40

Tied for 4th place in our best smartphone cases comparison – Incipio, OtterBox, and Puregear, Spigen

These three brands are good, not amazing or ground breaking. They are decent cases but for the price and protection level you do have other options to consider. For one, we have seen a steady stream of OtterBox repairs in our shops especially with their older designs. We think they had it backwards for a while and this is why we reduced their score. Originally many of the OtterBox cases did the opposite of cases such as Ballistic. They put the rubber on the outside of the 2 part shell whereas Ballistic puts the rubber on the inside and the plastic shell on the outside. Having this reverse design we think has caused many of the breaks. Think “plastic on glass” with no buffer. The rubber buffer was on the outside so if a hard enough drop occurred and the force was transfered through the outside rubber layer it would result in the plastic smashing the glass. These cases typically range from $30-50

Puregear – They make some simpler designed cases, they don’t always look for superior drop protection over design and usability aspects such as a kickstand or holster. Cases range from $25-40

Puregear Smartphone Case

Incipio – Although they make some handy cases such as card holding cases, or dualpro they don’t provide superior drop protection. They are focused on features similar to PureGear. Cases range from $25-40

Incipio Smartphone Cases

Spigen – These are quality cases but some of the newer models we have tested especially for the S6 edge and S7 edge have not held up well and in fact do not offer great protection. The cases and designs do look nice though and they have a decent track record for protection just not the highest. Cases range from $25-40

Spigen Smartphone Cases


The bottom two – Lifeproof and Speck      

These are probably the two of the most common cases on the market today. We have some qualms about both of these designs.

Lifeproof – We call Lifeproof the “jack of all trades, ace of none” amongst our case comparison. It’s ok for dropping, ok for water, but not great at either. The phone will break if dropped hard and they are also prone to leaking. Once the case has been installed it is highly advisable to not open the case again unless you want to risk ruining your water seal. We have seen this happen a number of times with water damaged iPhones in LifeProof cases. Their phone replacement warranty is very hard to qualify for and we have seen a few legitimately failing cases not actually qualify for a replacement. They do however provide one important feature that very few cases offer and that is some sort of water protection for occasional mishaps. We don’t advise going swimming with this case but if you get thrown in the pool by your friends than it should hold up. Most expensive cases in our comparison, roughly $60-90

If you insist on taking your phone into the water then there are alternate options such as DryCase that offer up to 100ft depth of water protection. This is not an actual case but more so a bag that can be vacuum sealed to prevent pressure leaks at deep water levels.

Lifeproof Smartphone Cases

Speck – Great designs, and colors that appeal to a large audience but that’s where we stop. We have seen some improvements over their earlier designs but Speck is by far the most frequent case we see in our shops. They don’t seem to hold up well to drops at all although we have heard some of their more recent changes have helped a bit. They seem to still be trying to catch up to the far superior designs. Cases range from $20-40

Speck Smartphone Cases

Overall, we feel both Evolutive Labs Rhino Shield and Ballistic provide superior drop protection to just about anything available on the market. These are the two best smartphone cases we have currently found.  We are sure there are some other brands out there that offer great protection but these are our mainstream brands that we see and deal with the most.  Although we mostly tested iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones we believe that for these models Rhino Shield and Ballistic were the best smartphone cases available and offer a great protective case to prevent cracks, frame damage, and normal wear and tear.

Feel free to comment and add your input to our best smartphone cases writeup. We love hearing from our readers and customers and want to know your take on the best cases out on the market. We will also follow up with some of the specific models we recommend for each brand.

This is an impartial review and although we are vendors of all the major brands we strive to offer our customers the best advice possible. We love getting to know and meet you but we would rather you leave our shop knowing you got the best advice the first time than come back telling us we recommended something that doesn’t work well for you.

If you are interested in any of the brands mentioned above or have recommendations for new brands please contact us.

Best Protection for your Smartphones and Tablets

Most people have smartphones because of the luxury, but a growing trend of mixing business and work information on a personal phone is leaving many people exposed. Not only is there a risk of dropping and damaging your phone, which could remove all unsaved data, but there is also the problem of malware and other viruses.

The following article is a comprehensive guide that will help you to learn the best protection for your smartphones and tablets. This way you don’t have to worry about the hardware or software of your device again. If you follow the steps we outline in this article, you’ll have a lot more peace of mind so that you don’t feel as stressed.

Hardware Solutions for Smartphones and Tablets

The hardware problems are some of the easiest to prevent. Most of the time, it just comes down to protecting the phone from all of the different potentially damaging things that could happen. You’d be surprised how many people love their phones and do not want to drop it, but happen to shatter their screen anyway! Not only is it costly, but it can also be deadly for the items on the hard drive.

In just about any store that sells phone accessories you will find tablet and smartphone cases that should provide some measure of protection. The vast majority of people who are trying to protect their phones should start with a basic case that is not too fancy, but functional instead. There are plenty of brands of cases, but Otterbox is largely considered one of the best.

Software to Help Protect Your Device

The real danger when you have either a smartphone or tablet is to make sure there is no virus or malware that destroys the system. It can be difficult to fix if you have any kind of virus and in many cases, it is also possible to lose a lot of data. One of the most important things that you can do if you are trying to improve the collection of images on your phone is to use security and antivirus apps.

Android Smartphone and Tablet Protection

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, you need to be even more careful. There are a lot of different malware issues that come with Android devices and here are a few of the solutions.

360 Security – this free app is useful for protecting your smart phone if you are using the Android platform. Even though it is made in China, the develop (Qihu) is one of the highest quality, which yielded a 99.9% detection rate for malware. This is above the industry average and is actually one of the highest in the world. The design is quite simple for anyone to use and it is a free app.

Avast Mobile Security – For anyone who has been in the anti-virus space, Avast is the brand to use. You’ll find that this brand is one of the most trusted in the computer and smart phone defense game. Avast has an option that allows you to control the phone using SMS. With this feature, you can remotely lock and locate your phone and even wipe it clean. This allows you to not only prevent sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands, but also using siren sounds to make sure any would-be thief is deterred.

There are many other options you can choose from as well. The Android marketplace for these kinds of smartphone apps has shown 18 out of 31 apps could detect virtually all viruses. This is a huge benefit to someone who is trying to protect their phone now that you realize there are plenty of good smart phone and tablet apps.

iPhone and iPad Security

Looking for the best protection for your iPhone and iPad? The good thing about the software of Apple products is that it is extremely resilient. This means that you will have fewer problems with the iPad or iPhone than the Android counterparts. The software for Apple products is very rarely created into a virus so the platform users are fairly safe.

While it does happen, it is not a common issue that you have to worry about. Most of the time, it is possible for you to avoid any software issue altogether, but it does happen. With the iPhone and iPad, the only problem about actually contracting some type of malware is that you need to speak to a professional more cases than with the Android. While it is possible to detect and remove the Android problems, a specialist is more often needed for Apple products.

Steps to Protect and Fix Smart Phones and Tablets

The best method to protect your smart phone or your tablet is to simply practice as much prevention as possible. This comes in different ways for different people, but one thing you might do is use the apps we have mentioned for your smart phone. If you have a tablet or smart phone that you want to protect from hardware damage, such as moisture or dropping, it is a good idea to find a basic and practical case as well.
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