Let’s face it, everyone needs to get rid of an old phone sooner or later (even an iPhone). And although you may want to hand it over to a friend or keep it as a backup just in case, doesn’t a little cash back sound so much better? Luckily, there are plenty of avenues for selling your used phone — all it takes is a few clicks and a bit of patience.
Sell it to the streets
Craigslist, eBay, and other online classifieds are a great way to sell your phone and will give you the most control regarding your iPhone’s selling price. If you are willing to deal with the spams, scams, and subpar emails, there are troves of eager Apple fanatics waiting to scoop up your old iOS device at a moment’s notice, regardless of the smartphone’s condition. Craigslist and eBay will allow you to set your asking price – as opposed to other online websites that will offer you a fixed amount of money – and often prove the quickest and most lucrative avenues for discarding your device in the local area or otherwise.
Craigslist prices always tend to fluctuate depending on timing and availability, but many people are willing to pay a bit more to avoid the hassle of shipping and waiting.
Trade it in for credit
If you’re willing to accept store credit opposed to cash, there are several retailers that will offer you gift certificates in lieu of traditional payments. You essentially go through an appraisal process and then they will make you an offer in the form of credit toward a new phone or other items they sell. Online retailers such as Amazon and Apple offer trade-in programs through their websites, while many stores (i.e. RadioShack, Gamestop, Verizon, and Best Buy) offer in-store trade-ins. Keep in mind the amount of credit will vary depending on you iPhone’s age and condition, as well as when and where you turn it in.
Sell it to a company
There are also plenty of online companies willing to pay you top-dollar for your old phone should you decide to forgo the hassle associated with Craigslist and the like. The majority of the online services work in the same manner and require you to submit the necessary information (i.e. the carrier, memory, physical condition) before you receive any sort of quote. After filling the blanks, the websites will make you an offer and – should you accept – you can print out a shipping label for the service’s central address. Then just ship out the phone and you should receive the payment via check or PayPal within a week or so. Below are a list of some of the more painless services out there.
Case in point
Just to give you a side-by-side comparison, we choose to look up what we could feasibly get for a black, 16GB iPhone 4 on AT&T with minor cosmetic damage and the charger included. Craigslist and eBay seemed to have the best going rates in terms of cash, but Amazon offered the most when it comes to sheer numbers (credit only though). Take a look a the chart below for the specifics. Note: results are current as of January 2013.
|Amazon||$172 e-card||BuyMyTronics||$146 cash|
|Best Buy||$140 e-card||eBay’s Instant Sale||$164 cash|
|Gazelle||$155 cash||eBay||$150+ cash|
|NextWorth||$155 cash||Apple||$90 e-card|
- Sell soon: The longer you hold on to your iPhone, the less money you’re likely to get for it. Whenever a new iPhone model is announced, many websites get bombarded with trade-ins from people looking to upgrade to the latest-and-greatest. It’s based on supply and demand, but prices are sure to drop as time goes on.
- Do your homework: Shop around all the virtual pawnshops for the best offer available – don’t settle until you know you’re getting the best deal in town. If you’re already planning to purchase something from one of the retailers that offers give cards instead of cash, it might be worth it to opt for the store credit since it is typically higher than the cash value you’re likely to receive.
- Completely wipe your iPhone before you sell it: You don’t want all of your precious data falling into the wrong hands. The option to “Erase All Content and Settings” can be found under “General” in your smartphone’s settings.