Wake Forest University student creates website to buy back iPhones

By Fran Daniel, Winston-Salem Journal The Office of Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship

LowdenOriginally Published in the Winston-Salem Journal on September 25, 2012.


Lee Lowden, a student at Wake Forest University, has found a way to cash in on the frenzy of Apple's latest phone.

"Business has been very good, especially since the iPhone 5 came out," he said. "I've been receiving a lot of buyback orders for  people trading in to get cash to buy their iPhone 5."

He said he has been receiving about 30 iPhones a week.

When he gets broken phones, he has them repaired locally or sells them to international buyers who tend to buy them unfixed."The new and used ones, we sell them on secondary markets like Amazon or eBay, or primarily we sell them to our international buyers who sell them in other countries," he said.

The amount of money he pays for iPhones depends on the generation of the devices. He is paying $175 on average for iPhone 4 models. He said he makes about 10 percent. For example, if he offers to pay people $200 for a phone, he would make $20.

Lowden is a student in the entrepreneurship program at Wake Forest.

Polly Black, the director of the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, said what Lowden has done with his company is exactly the kind of initiative the program tries to encourage in all of its students.

"One of the reasons that we housed our program in the liberal arts at Wake is because it's those critical problem-solving skills that a liberal arts education teaches that allows our students to view problems through a cross-disiplinary lens and come up with innovative solutions," Black said. "We're thrilled that he has found a problem, found a solution and is making it work."

Lee was also featured in an article by the Wake Forest University Newservice.  Click here to read the story.