How to sell your iPhone X, iPhone XS, or 11 series (without getting ripped off)

Buying a new iPhone? Here's how to sell your old one without getting ripped off

If you’re in the market for the latest generation of iPhone or you’re just looking to buy a new phone from a different brand, you’ll probably want to raise a little extra to put toward your new purchase by selling your current device. Thankfully, iPhones tend to retain their resale value fairly well compared to leading Android brands, so selling your old one when the time comes is always a solid plan.

Before you sell your iPhone, there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself and not get scammed. Here’s our guide to selling your iPhone.

If you have one of the newer models of iPhone like the iPhone 11 and want to upgrade, then you could lose a chunk of change if you drag your feet. That’s because the newest devices, just like cars, tend to depreciate steeply in value in the first year or two. In the past, selling an iPhone that was about to be phased out in the newest version of iOS was a major concern for depreciation. However, it seems for the time being Apple has put a pause to this and has confirmed iOS 14 will continue to support the iPhone 6S and newer, just as iOS 13 does now. If you’ve decided to sell, the next big challenge is finding the best price. Here’s how to sell your iPhone and get the best possible price for it.

Sell it to others directly on Craigslist, eBay, etc.

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 spam, 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.

You might also consider a dedicated mobile device marketplace like Swappa. It’s free to list your iPhone. You’ll take verification photos, and each ad is approved by Swappa staff. The sale fee is added to the price for potential buyers, and you should include shipping costs, so it won’t cost you anything extra to sell. Once you accept an offer, you’ll need to ship within two days.

Trade it in for credit

If you’re willing to accept store credit instead of 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 and carriers, including Walmart, GameStop, Verizon, and Best Buy, offer in-store trade-ins. Keep in mind the amount of credit will vary depending on your 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 online services work in the same manner and require you to submit the necessary information, such as the carrier, memory, and physical condition before you receive any sort of quote. After filling in 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 is a list of some of the more painless services out there.

Alternative options

You can cut down on some of your research time by using the Flipsy website or SellCell, which aggregate some of the seller offers and show you the best options at a glance, but they don’t cover every place you might want to sell.

Another option is the Orchard app. Install the app on your iPhone and it will give you an offer price. The nice thing about this is that it does some tests on your iPhone and walks you through the valuation process, so there’s less chance the offer amount will change upon receipt of the phone. This service offers free shipping, but you only get paid when a buyer is found. It’s actually an iPhone marketplace, meaning you’ll connect with people who actually want to buy what you’re selling.

How much is your old iPhone worth?

We decided to check out how much you can get right now, today (April 16, 2020), for an unlocked iPhone X 64GB on AT&T, an unlocked iPhone XS 256GB, and an iPhone 11 128GB on Verizon so we can give you a side-by-side comparison. These prices are based on a fully working phone in good condition with the charger and cable. We found some of the highest prices on eBay, and they can go higher than the averages we’ve posted, but auctions fluctuate so they can go lower too, and you will have to pay fees and organize postage and packing. There are some decent trade-in prices being offered by Amazon, but you’ll have to spend the money you make with them. These are cash offers unless otherwise stated.

The eBay prices listed here are averages based on data collected by Average Finder. Bear in mind that you’ll have to factor in fees and postage and packing costs.

Used 64GB iPhone X for AT&T in good condition

iPhone X
  • Best Buy: $230 (gift card)
  • eBay: $330
  • UpTrade: $306
  • Apple: $220 (gift card)
  • Decluttr: $318
  • uSell: $265
  • Glyde: $187 (trade-in value)
  • Gazelle: $203
  • BuybackBoss: $265
  • Amazon $215 (gift card)

Used 256GB iPhone XS unlocked in good condition

  • Best Buy: $290 (gift card)
  • eBay: $543
  • UpTrade: $426
  • Apple: $310 (gift card)
  • Decluttr: $391
  • uSell: $461
  • Glyde: $323 (trade-in value)
  • Gazelle: $203
  • BuybackBoss: $400
  • Amazon $310 (gift card)

Used 128GB iPhone 11 on Verizon in good condition

iPhone 11
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Best Buy: $375 (gift card)
  • eBay: $617
  • UpTrade: $438
  • Apple: Not yet accepting iPhone 11
  • Decluttr: $501
  • uSell: Not yet accepting iPhone 11
  • Glyde: Not yet accepting iPhone 11
  • Gazelle: $293
  • BuybackBoss: $410
  • Amazon $430 (gift card)

Tips to take away

  • 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. It’s worth noting that some of the websites will lock in your price, but still give you 30 days to send the iPhone in.
  • 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 offer gift cards instead of cash, it might be worth opting for the store credit since it is sometimes higher than any 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. Or follow our simple guide to factory resetting an iPhone.

To get the best price on your new purchase, make sure you check out our buying guides. Good luck with your sale, and enjoy your sparkly new phone when it arrives!

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