Even Apple is aware of the need for cheaper phones. The iPhone SE it debuted earlier this year gets you the same hardware as last year’s iPhone 11 for just $400. Whether you’re in the market for an SE or dreaming of the new iPhone 12 line, don’t just toss your aging phone in a drawer when you upgrade. Sell your iPhone! That old hunk of glass is more valuable than you might think.
There are quite a few services that will give you cash or store credit for a used iPhone. We’ve compared some popular services for trading in an old device. Most of these services accept Samsung and Google devices too, and all of them take iPhones.
Updated October 2020: We’ve tweaked phones and pricing.
Tips to Get a High Resale Price
Comparing prices on all these services highlights to maximize the resale value of your phone. First and foremost, take care of your phone. Buy a good case (check out our guide on picking a good phone case) and consider a screen protector (AmFilm protectors work well). They’ll keep your device looking new, which is the best way to ensure you get the most money possible when you sell.
Always buy an unlocked phone. That will maximize your resale value. Unlocked phones work on any wireless network that they have the antenna to support. There’s no reason to chain yourself to one carrier. Generally, unless a carrier tells you a phone is unlocked, it probably isn’t, especially if you buy it on a payment plan.
The last thing to do before you run off to cash in your old phone is to back up all your data using iCloud. Be sure to check the option to backup your Messages so iCloud will store your text messages, which sometimes include photos and videos you haven’t saved to your Camera Roll. Remember to unpair your Apple Watch if you have one, and wipe your phone’s data as well.
1. Best for Pristine iPhones
An eBay clone of sorts, Swappa seeks to eliminate some of the problems associated with eBay: high seller fees, poor seller-buyer communication tools, and too many poor-quality devices. You won’t be able to sell your iPhone here unless it’s in good shape, fully functional, and undamaged.
So long as your phone meets Swappa’s listing criteria and you’re willing to put in a little effort, this is where you’ll get the most money for your old device. As you would on eBay, you’ll need to put together a listing with photos. Be sure to take the case off your phone, and be honest about the condition. Remember to factor in shipping when setting your sale price.
Currently, a 64-gigabyte iPhone XS sells for around $450. An iPhone 11 is somewhere between $550 and $675, depending on the storage capacity and condition.
2. Best for Reliable Cash
Gazelle is the old hand in the world of used phones. The company has been buying phones since 2006, and it has the (simplest) process.