Making Moves: The Transition from Repair to Retail

The following is a guest blog from Michael Oberdick, the CEO and Founder of iOutlet. 

In today’s rapidly growing repair industry, the focus seems to be shifting from solely repair to repair plus devices and accessories. Consumers are looking for trustworthy brick-and-mortar locations they can visit to get the retail experience and shop; they want the entire experience in one stop.

This is a good trend for repair shop owners to recognize and make the most of. I first noticed this emerging phenomenon a few years ahead of the curve when opening my retail stores, iOutlet. Selling devices and accessories is a much easier task to hire and train for, as compared to the art of device repair. This may be why some, if not many, repair shop owners aren’t jumping at the chance to add accessory sales to their operations.

Specializing in selling these types of products helps you set yourself apart from other locations who may only focus on repair. Overall, in my near 15 years in retail and repair, I believe having a business more focused on used devices and accessories — alongside your exceptional repair offering — is a much more scalable business. And don’t forget, it’s also what customers are beginning to expect.

But how can you reap the rewards of these new revenue streams? Let’s break it down to the basic keys that, if used correctly, can unlock the door to continued success.

Displaying Products

A vital piece to becoming successful at up-selling products from a repair and transitioning into more of a retail experience is having proper and approachable displays for the products you’d like customers to recognize. Allowing customers to interact with their potential purchase is helpful in making the sale. There are a bunch of good companies who sell retail fixtures, or you can get creative like we did and build them from scratch. Either way, making sure you have phones, tablets, computers, accessories, & more display is a sure way to increase product sales.


A little extra nudge never hurts. Utilizing wall space for posters and digital signage can help remind consumers about all inventory available; even if your entire product catalog isn’t on display. Bundle upsells are a great way to get the conversation started (when a customer comes in to pick up their recently repaired phone, think about asking to help prevent this from happening again, would you like to take a look at our protective cases?”). Signage also gives your sales team visual clues to remind them to engage with customers and tell them all there is to know about your extended offering.

Web Presences

With the rocket launch of mobile commerce, it’s likely true that thousands of consumers are browsing your website every day. But, if they are unable to see the products you sell or know that you do indeed offer them, they may not ever make it in your door. This means that your nicely displayed products and your eye-catching sales signage is going to waste. I know online product libraries may seem like a hard, tedious platform to maintain with ever-changing inventory counts and added or removed product offerings, however listing your complete product catalog on your website can be a game-changer for device and accessory sales. Trust me.

Facebook Marketplace

One of the bigger avenues I have found useful in the last few years is Facebook Marketplace. If you’re not familiar, it’s common that device postings are moving from Craigslist to this newer, arguably more social platform. My team has incentives attached to sales and this means they are usually looking for all kinds of avenues to find more clients. For us, Facebook Marketplace seems to be a gold mine as of late.

Team Trust

Nothing helps build trust in your products like getting them in the hands of your team. Everyone’s business is different so I cannot tell you exactly what will work best for you. What I can tell you is that by helping your team get the devices and accessories you sell in their hands or on their devices can really help build trust in what they are selling. It allows them to know the product inside and out, and speak truthfully when promoting a product you sell in-store. My team has seen that confidence is contagious and when the team member is confident in the product they’re selling, the shopper can be confident in purchasing it. It’s a win-win!

Inventory Systems

Let’s be honest, we all know the hard part of selling more product is the ability to have the capital to buy the product in the first place. Making sure you have an accurate system with a checks/​balances process in place can make sure you are buying the right product. What does buying the right product mean? Well, not only does it satisfy the needs of your clientele, but it also helps product move off your shelves and prevent theft (since less product in-store means less product available for the taking — literally — it’s a no-brainer).

Believe it or not, this list is just the beginning! I am sure I could carry on for days about what your team can be doing to sell more alongside your all-star repair services. But with these quick tips, you’ll be on the right track to secure closed up-sells like never before.

Happy selling!