With me, the iPhone is like the water cycle, a never ending circular flow, that just keeps on repeating itself. What do I mean?

Well, my theory is like this: Buy an iPhone once, and never pay the full price for one again. How so? Here are 5 easy tips that will help you sell your iPhone for top dollar, so that you can turn around and buy a new one for free, or close to it.

Tip 5: Get a screen protector for the front (and the back)!

I know, I know, for some of you, that’s like pulling teeth, but the purpose of this article is to show you how to maximize your profit at the end of your usage, hence sacrifices need to be made. There are a few screen protectors out there that work great, and won’t break the bank. A screen protector will keep your iPhone looking like it did on day one. The less scratches you have to report, the higher your resale value.

Tip 4: Get a case.

Another, “well, duh,” moment, and another unpopular request. Face it though, you will drop your phone, and you will drop it more than once over the length of your usage. Slap it in a case if you value your iPhone’s resale-ability. I understand it looks and feels so much better without a bulky case, but this step goes without saying.

Personally I like the Incipio dermaSHOT. Not only is it a great minimalistic case, it includes a free screen protector, and microfiber wipe. Also, don’t forget to take the phone out of the case once and a while, and clean any debris that may be stuck in there; that can scratch your phone as well.

Tip 3: Keep your box, “Finger Tips”, everything.

Do not throw that box away! That’s one of the biggest keys to resale value — having the complete package. With this in mind, you probably already have a spare iPhone charger, USB cable, and headphones lying around somewhere as well. Why not keep the fresh ones as they are in the box, and use the ones you already have? Come sale time, you’ll have a nice fresh package to show off.

Tip 2: Avoid eBay if possible.

Sell it to someone you know, or on Craigslist. That way you get your cash instantly with no ridiculous transaction fees or holds. If you have no choice but to sell it on eBay that’s okay, you can still rack in some nice coinage, but you can probably maximize your profit elsewhere.

Tip 1: Jailbreak your phone, and preserve your unlock!

If you don’t strictly adhere to any other tip, follow this one. I can’t stress this enough. Preserve your unlock capabilities. Let me repeat it again. Preserve. Your. Unlock capabilities. An unlocked phone can fetch significantly more money than a locked phone. If you jailbreak your phone and unlock it for the buyer in advance, you will be able to charge a justifiable higher premium.

…In other words, keep reading iDB for tips and subscribe to our RSS feed if you haven’t done so already. That way, you can stay up to date with the latest and best ways to jailbreak, unlock, and maintain your iPhone!

Those were my tips to keep the iPhone water cycle flowing, now what about you? Got any additional tips to add to the list? Let us know.