If you’re planning to buy one of Apple’s new iPhones, then you’re probably thinking about selling your old handset to raise some funds. Sales of secondhand iPhones are buoyant, and compared with devices from other manufacturers, iPhones hold their value really well, so you should be able to get a great price. Delay too long, however, and you run the risk of losing out.
As soon as new iPhones are announced older iPhone models depreciate in value and the amount you can potentially get drops quickly. It’s always a good idea to sell your iPhone before iPhone events rather than after them. Before Apple’s September 12 event where it announced the iPhone XS and iPhone XR, Decluttr estimated that you could get up to 25% more for your phone than you could after the event. This chart shows the average trade-in values of different iPhone models over time.
If you’ve got an iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or an iPhone X and want to upgrade, then you could lose a chunk of change if you drag your feet. But the biggest drops are for older models that won’t get the latest iOS update, so if you have an iPhone 6, for example, which won’t get the iOS 13 update, then you should sell immediately because the value will drop off a cliff when iOS 13 rolls out in September. 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.
You can cut down on some of your research time by using the Flipsy website which aggregates some of the seller offers and shows you the best one at a glance, but it doesn’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 (August 23, 2019), for an unlocked iPhone 7 32GB, an iPhone X 64GB on AT&T, and an iPhone XS Max 64GB 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 Bidvoy. Bear in mind that you’ll have to factor in fees and postage and packing costs.
Used 32GB iPhone 7 unlocked in good condition
- eBay: $213
- Gazelle: $158
- Blazing Electronics: $156
- UpTrade: $155
- Decluttr: $148
- uSell: $146
- Apple: $140 (gift card)
- Best Buy: $125 (gift card)
- Amazon $100 (gift card)
Used 64GB iPhone X on AT&T in good condition
- eBay: $472
- UpTrade: $455
- Decluttr: $432
- Blazing Electronics: $421
- Apple: $400 (gift card)
- uSell: $365
- Best Buy: $350 (gift card)
- Gazelle: $343
- Amazon: $315 (gift card)
Used 64GB iPhone XS Max on Verizon in good condition
- eBay: $817
- Decluttr: $661
- Blazing Electronics: $631
- UpTrade: $605
- uSell: $585
- Best Buy: $550 (gift card)
- Gazelle: $486
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!