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The best ways to sell or shop on your iPhone


Sell your old iPhone to cover the cost of your new iPhone.

Angela Lang / CNET

With the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max now on the market many Apple enthusiasts are thinking about upgrade plans. You want one of the newer models, but you've probably already dropped a lot of cash in one of the old ones. One solution: Sell your current iPhone to subsidize the new one. Makes sense, but what's the best way to do it? Don't be scared – we've outlined all the best ways to sell your iPhone and maximize profits.

Read more: Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 | Best Options for Trading Mobile Phones for iPhones and Android Phones

How to Sell Your Old Phone, Option 1: Use a Service

Purchasing your device for cash, credit or gift cards is often the least profitable alternatives, but it is also more of a "safe thing." Unless the phone is not as you described it when you receive a quote, you should get your money without the risk of post-sale liability issues. Also, if your iPhone is in less than good condition, some companies will still charge the device – even if it doesn't turn on at all. Buying your iPhone instead of selling the device is a good option if you are willing to give up some profit for a quick and easy process, convenience and peace of mind.

There are traditional purchasing options such as those offered by Apple and Best Buy, and then there are buy / sell marketplaces (see below). However, before you spend a lot of time on quotation jumping, you can go to Flipsy, which compares comparison values ​​for about 20 repurchase stores. It shows the payment methods, the price lock time (that's how long you have before you have to send the phone in) and the price based on conditions. (Unfortunately, because every repurchase program and store is a little different in terms of "terms" definitions, Flipsy doesn't drill down beyond the phone model, carrier and storage.) SellCell is another price comparison service for anyone who wants to get top dollars for an old phone.

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Flipsy makes it very easy to compare buy-back prices on selected iPhone models. Here, for example, you can see what an unlocked iPhone 8 Plus can get you.

Screenshot of Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

If you would rather check out individual marketplaces yourself, these are worth a look:

How to sell your old phone, option 2: Buy it for credit against a new one

Do you want to cut out the intermediary so that say? You can also go back to the source: Apple's iPhone swapping program offers an easy way to better afford a new iPhone, as commerce exceeds Apple Store credit.

For example, here are the current estimated replacement values ​​for select models, all in "good" condition:

  • iPhone 6S Plus: $ 120
  • iPhone 8: $ 220
  • iPhone X: $ 400

These prices are on the down side, especially considering that Apple doesn't even let you specify how much storage your phone has. (An iPhone 8 with 256 GB should be worth a lot more than one with, say, 64 GB.) A locked-in iPhone 8 with 64 GB can actually net you as much as $ 292 from a repurchase service, according to Flipsy.

Best Buy also offers a hand-in program; at press time, a 64 GB iPhone 8 in good condition would fetch you $ 170, while a 256 GB iPhone 8 would net you $ 190 (oddly, though, Best Buy doesn't seem to accept locked trade, just those coming from one of the Big Four carriers ).

As with Apple, your Best Buy exchange results in a Best Buy gift card – good if you're a Best Buy fan or planning to buy your next iPhone there, but not perfect if you were hoping for cash.

The most important takeaway here: Shop around. There are many services that are willing to buy your old iPhone or trade it, but you can do better selling it yourself.

How to Sell Your Old Phone, Option 3: Sell It Yourself

Selling an iPhone yourself will usually make you the most profit, but it is not without risks and hassles.

Craigslist: Craigslist is the riskiest option but you may call hard cash for your device. The biggest challenge here is not finding customers – it makes them show up. Be prepared for cereal.

If you decide to use Craigslist or another personal alternative, make sure you meet your buyer in a well-lit, public place (many police departments offer their parking spaces as transaction sites ). For the smoothest transaction, make the agreement clear before the meeting – your customer should know the price, the phone and its wireless operator's price (especially if the phone is not unlocked) in advance.

eBay: If you don't mind putting in some work – listing, delivering and paying a small sales fee – eBay is a better place than Craigslist to sell a used iPhone. Because eBay offers its buyers purchase protection, people are more comfortable buying from strangers.

The disadvantage? Fees. eBay charges a sales fee for products sold through the site: 10% of the final value (sale price). If you accept payment via PayPal, it charges a 2.9% fee (4% if sold internationally) of the final value.

To price your unit, search for your model on eBay and check the "sold" lists. At the time of writing this article, these are the rates for various used (unlocked) iPhones on eBay:

If there is a downside to selling your iPhone on eBay, it is the potential risk of buyer regret. eBay offers protection for both the seller and the buyer, but tends to fold with the buyer in the event of a dispute. Scammers know how to take advantage of this. You can minimize your risk by documenting everything (including taking photos or screenshots of the phone's IMEI number) and ensuring you get signed proof of delivery.

When to sell your old iPhone: Right now

The latest round of iPhones has been on sale since September, which means your old phone is losing value for the day. In fact, within 24 hours of the unveiling of the iPhone 11 & # 39; s it is estimated that your old phone loses up to 30% of its purchase value according to a new report from phone renovator Decluttr. It jibes with numbers we've seen in previous years, as well as with a similar report from MusicMagpie on phone depreciation.

One concern is that if you sell your old phone immediately, you will be phoneless until the new one arrives. Thankfully, many of the aforementioned repurchase and purchasing services give you a deduction period (also known as a "price lock") up to 30 days after you ship your phone before you have to send it in – enough time to buy and receive your new phone and get everything moved over (including the SIM card – don't forget it!).

What to know before selling your old iPhone

Whether you are selling your iPhone yourself or purchasing it to a third party company, there are some things you should do to make sure your data is secure:

  • Back up them : Back up all your important data – including contacts, photos, videos and apps – with Apple's iCloud service or a third party cloud storage service.
  • Turn off Find My : Apple's Find My app (formerly known as Find My iPhone) is a security feature that must be turned off before selling your phone – – or no one else can use or restore it. To turn off Find My, open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to Settings> [Your username]> Find My and turn it off.
  • Wipe it off : Log out of all apps, services, and connected accounts (like your iCloud account). Then open the app Settings and go to General> Reset> Delete all content and settings to delete everything from your iPhone. When this is done, you can also go to General> Reset> Reset All Settings to reset the iPhone to factory settings, just in case.
  • Remove the SIM card: Don't forget to pop out your SIM card, which you will probably need for the new phone to keep your existing number and service.

You get the most money for your phone if it's in top shape, but you can still do well if it's in "good" condition: No cracks on the screen, no big dents or scratches in the housing, no water damage and everything works good (which means the phone is turned on, has a charge and so on).

If your phone is damaged, you can probably still get it, even if it is not turned on. It is not worth repairing a broken screen before selling, but if the screen is only slightly damaged – for example, a small hair bracket in the corner – you may want to sell it on your own instead of purchasing it. An individual may be willing to overlook superficial screen damage for a good price.

Have you already gone through this sell-old-to-buy-new process before? Which option did you choose and how was the experience? Tell us about it in the comments!

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This entry was previously published and has subsequently been updated with new information.

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