Badili takes your old phone and gives you cash, So I tried out the service

Kenyans don’t have many options when it comes to what to do with their devices once they’re old, or whenever they want to upgrade to a newer device. Badili is a service promising you cash for your old device. They also sell phones they have refurbished. I tried them out and documented the whole process on a Twitter thread.

The Badili Process:

On the Badili.africa website, you go to the sell option, select the device you have from their list (which means if your device isn’t listed, you probably cannot sell it to them). You then choose the specs of your model, including RAM and Storage. After that, you’re given the maximum quotation they’re willing to accept for your device.

You then answer questions to verify the status of the phone: Does it switch on, does it make calls, do you have the box, the accessories, is the display cracked/scratched etc.

Once all that information is collected, you’re then given the final quotation based on the status of the device. If you accept the amount, you then have the option of checking out. Here you can choose to have an agent from the company pick up the device from your residence, or you can choose to take it to their offices.

I went to their offices myself.

A technician then took the device, checked it out and said what parts they believed had issues. The issues were then keyed in again on the system and a final fee was arrived at.

You then sign a couple of documents including an affidavit to confirm you’re the owner, and that you accept the terms of the sale. After that you’re paid via M-Pesa.

Is it fair?

So you’re wondering if you’ll get the right amount of money for your device. Say you got an OPPO Reno 5 for KES 42,000. Even if it’s still in perfect condition, the most Badili offers for it is KES 14,742. So of course not, this isn’t a fair process.

As a business, Badili is working on drawing a profit. They’ll take your phone and sell it to another person. And given they’re promising “phones as good as new for half the price“, that 14k for a 42k phone means they’ll probably sell it for around 20k.

The maximum Badili can give you for an iPhone 12 with 64GB storage is KES 43,435. However, they sell it for KES 70,000. You’ll see it down below.

Badili however doesn’t take your phone and re-sell it immediately. They say they work on it before listing it.

What do they do to the phones they receive?

Badili says they do the following things to all the devices you give them:

  • They replace the battery for every phone.
  • They fix dents, scratches, and cracks for every device
  • They include an original charger and cable for every device.
  • They repackage the phone into their own Badili-branded box.
  • They then sell the phone at a markup.

So, if you’re buying a device from them, you’re supposed to be assured that it has been re-worked to be as good as new, but at a fair price than if you get it brand new. Which is also the reason, their process doesn’t sound fair as addressed above.

Which means if you want to sell your phone to them, you need to:

  • At least have used it for a long while to draw its full value.
  • Consider re-selling it to other people who may offer more money for it than Badili does
  • Companies like Infinix now offer trade-in options, so check their offer to compare the best deal.
  • Ensure you keep everything – box, receipt, cables etc. – so that you get maximum value when selling to them.
  • Also, have a case and screen protector to avoid scratches, dents, or cracks that will significantly reduce the amount you can get when selling.

How Badili packages a refurb for sale:

Below, is the packaging for the iPhone 12 they’re selling. They say they’ve changed the battery, they’ve fixed any dents or scratches on the screens and that it is good as new. They have it in their own packaging, and they also include a charger (which Apple doesn’t). They also offer warranty:

Should you buy their refurbs?

Yes, if you can trust their process of re-working a phone to make it as good as new, then go ahead and buy from them. There’s a problem though: only iPhones show battery health allowing you to know for sure that’s a new battery you’re working with. Many Android devices on the other hand don’t. So, knowing for sure the phone has a replaced battery is a challenge.

However, you can say that since they can be trusted with iPhones, they must be working on all other devices they receive.

What are your thoughts? Would you sell your phone to them?




  1. Hey guys, it’s a business so I don’t see any problem with their pricing. Any used item-car, cell phone etc depreciates in both actual and intrinsic value. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most expensive high-end iPhone or Samsung phone- someone else has used it- period. Badili is offering an alternative market for a vast majority who can’t afford Kenya’s exorbitant (extortionist?) prices for good, reliable affordable mobile phones. Continue the excellent work you’re doing. Bravo!

  2. I get it that they are a business and must hence work on profits, plus having a legit brick and mortar store comes with other overheads, so it’s more reasonable buying from them, refurb or not. As for selling yours, it’s still fair, depending on how long you’ve used your phone, even if it was in mint condition like my Samsung A70 in Nov last year bought at 49k, I only got max of 24k from it, but since was topping up to get a S10+ for 40k I agreed. But decided in keeping my charger so they could pack their “original” for the next client. It was on sale for 30k and only thing that was done in my presence was remove the case and screen protector, and wipe the screen clean! 6k kwa mfuko. Verdict, it serves well the buyer not the seller. Always

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