Four ways to sell your iPhone before upgrading to a newer model

By , Sep 7, 2013

iPhone 5S vs 5C casing videoNext Tuesday, Sept. 10, Apple is holding an event where, presumably, a new model of iPhone will be announced. While it may not be ready to hit store shelves immediately, it is likely that the next generation of iPhone will ship within the next following weeks.

If you are planning on upgrading, there are a few ways you can make a buck or two off of your current “gently used iPhone” to make the strain on your pocketbook a bit easier…

eBay

Sell your old iPhone 4

The world’s largest auction house is a great place to find just about anything you could ever want. From the mundane vintage purses to the most unusual pieces of toast with images of Jesus in them, you’ll find a plethora of goods and services.

Selling your iPhone this way can generate a lot of cash if you are willing to ship it overseas. In the U.S., there are not as many people still willing to buy an iPhone 3GS. But on eBay, you can make between $50 and $200 on one. If you have all of the original parts, including the box it came in, and your device still works, someone will buy it. If you offer a case and free shipping, you’ll get even more out of bidders.

Currently, a 16GB iPhone 4S is selling for around an average of $300 and a 16GB iPhone 5 is selling for about $350.

Some suggestions for getting a high price for your eBay auction include:

  • Offer free shipping (unless it is overseas)
  • Take good, close up pictures of your device, include pictures of the cables and box if you have them
  • If you are using a Buy It Now option, check competing prices and list yours accordingly
  • Only ship to confirmed addresses.
  • It may not be a bad idea to only accept PayPal

It is important to keep in mind that there are some people who will try to scam you. Speaking from personal experience, you should set buyer requirements when selling electronics on eBay. For example, you may not want to sell to someone who has only been a member for a few days. Additionally, low feedback scores can be a red flag. If you ship something overseas, it is worth it to send it through FedEx or UPS so you can pay extra for tracking.

Craigslist

Sell your old iPhone 1

If you don’t want to hassle with the likes of eBay, you could sell your device locally through Craigslist. Sometimes, the peer-based website is the best way to buy and sell used goods. The only problem is that there won’t ever be a bidding war for your iPhone.

There are hundreds of dealers looking to buy your old iPhone. Many of them are willing to pay good money for your broken, cracked, and damaged devices. If your older model iPhone is a wreck, it may not be a bad idea to find one of these dealers to sell to.

Currently, a 16GB iPhone 4S is selling for around $250 and a 16GB iPhone 5 is selling for an average of $300 on Craigslist in my town. That may be slightly lower than eBay, but you don’t have to deal with the hassle of shipping costs or seller fees.

Some suggestions for getting the most money for your iPhone on Craigslist include:

  • Price your device comparatively. If you want to make a decent dollar from your iPhone, don’t sell it too cheaply. If your model is less than two years old, you can still get pretty good money for it
  • Include good quality pictures with close-ups of any marks, scrapes, or scratches
  • Write a detailed description of the quality of the device. Be sure to describe any flaws in the cosmetics
  • Give a cell phone number and state that you do receive text messages
  • Add your email address and mention that you check it regularly throughout the day (and then do so)

Avoid scams by being smart. If someone offers an unreasonably large amount of money if you’d be willing to ship it to him or her instead, it might be a trick. Basically, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.

Gazelle

Sell your old iPhone 3

The online electronics-purchasing store has been in business since 2008 and is reliable, convenient, and pays decent money, even for a broken device. If you are just trying to get rid of your phone and want some amount of money for your loss, but don’t want any hassle whatsoever you should look into Gazelle. They will tell you right away what your iPhone is worth. They will send you a box to ship it in if you don’t have one. They even pay the shipping cost.

The best part about Gazelle is that you can lock in your selling price today. If you’ve ever tried to sell your iPhone before, you know that those high prices you see on eBay and Craigslist go away pretty fast when a new model is announced. Gazelle will buy your phone a month from now for what they think it is worth today. That way, you can still use your device until you buy a new one and get the value you were quoted before Apple announced the new iPhone.

Additionally, Gazelle just launched an extended price lock guarantee this year. You can lock in the current price of your iPhone today and be able to keep it until Oct. 15.

Currently, Gazelle is offering between $100 (broken device) and $190 (flawless device) for a 16GB iPhone 4S and between $125 and $310 for a 16GB iPhone 5.

NextWorth

Sell your old iPhone 2

Another online electronics buying store is NextWorth. This company offers a similar package as Gazelle. They will take devices that are in great shape or terrible shape and pay you a decent price accordingly. However, NextWorth’s buying price is a little bit different. They offer you a price that is comparative to the current market trend.

Like Gazelle, you can lock in your price for 30 days. So, even after Apple announces the next generation iPhone on Sept. 10, you will still be able to get the price quoted to you today.

In addition to having an online presence, NextWorth is working with Target to offer walk-in buyouts of your iPhone. In more than 1,500 participating stores nationwide, NextWorth has a kiosk where you can get the same price for your device as you would online. The only difference is that you’ll get the money in Target store credit.

Currently, NextWorth is offering between $59. 09 (cracked screen and does not power on) and $197 (powers on and no cracked screen) for a 16GB iPhone 4S and between $97. 87 and $340 for a 16GB iPhone 5.

Check out NextWorth website here.

Are you planning on upgrading to the next generation iPhone this fall? If so, what are you planning on doing with your old phone?

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  • Jeremy

    Actually I’m using this other site called Elegreen, their office is in Irvine, CA and I’m actually lucky it’s only a few miles away from me but if you check their website out you’d get offered more money than other sites offer. The site is the same at the name of the business and of course it ends with .com but check it out if you want. :)

  • The_Rise_Of_The_Shrimp

    NextWorth’s website doesn’t work for me.

  • Yujin

    I actually upgrade someone in my family plan so I don’t have to worry about selling the old one. I just pass the almost new iPhone to my dad and everyone is happy.

  • Tom

    Just sold my iPhone 5 32 Gig for 822 dollars :333

    • Maxim∑

      how?!?

      • Greyhound Mom

        He’s full of crap. A brand-new iPhone from any carrier off the shelf doesn’t even cost that much. Why would someone pay that much for a used one?

      • Palmer Paul

        In other countries the import tax more than doubles the price of the phone…which would bring a brand new unlocked iPhone 5 32GB to close to $1500. This is especially true in Israel. Since they are overseas, they can’t use the carriers that have contracts for the iPhone, and therefore NEED to buy it unlocked (unless they want an expensive paperweight).

      • Canchume

        actually its that the price in my country lol for a used one

      • Tom

        I live in Israel, where everything is very overpriced, so I succeeded selling my iphone for 822 dollars :)

      • Canchume

        jajaja in mexico you can sell an iphone 5 for 850 with out any problems :3

      • Krixtian

        I’ll sell you mine for $750 lol

    • felixtaf

      Tom, You cheated that poor little Jerry…

      • bigzjoseph

        Cheese wasn’t even included when he did that

    • ULTIMATEXFIGHTER

      Yeah right you did! I call bullshit on that. LOL! Can you show us proof that you did? I agree with greyhound mom. No one in their right mind would spend that much money on a USED iPhone when you can buy it brand new cheaper from any carrier at full price. Everyone get their waders on because the bullshit is getting deep in here! HA HA. that’s the best post I’ve heard all day.

      • Tom

        I live in Israel, where everything is ultra overpriced, so I succeeded selling my iphone for 822 dollars :)

      • Gal916

        He is damn right i m from israel too and this is the costs of iphone 5 32gb and even more! Good luck tom !

      • Palmer Paul

        שלום גל

      • Gal916

        היי

      • Palmer Paul

        חג שמח

      • Jonathan

        If I have something to sell, I think I’ll consider Israel as my targeted audience..

      • quitcherbichinn

        you are going by what an iPhone costs in the United States….we are extremely spoiled in this country dude. the price of an iPhone in other countries is much different than it is here….some countries it costs well over a grand ++ for a 16gb iPhone. don’t judge everything based on the narrow view of what we in the U.S. accept as the only possible reality!

    • Hoang Nguyen

      Want to make money? I will sell you 100 of them for $700 a piece.

  • http://proedgebiker.com/ PROEDGEBIKER.COM

    eBay or Craigslist

  • n0ahcruz3

    You failed to mention that unlocked phones fetch higher price than locked phones. ;)

  • noecuhh

    my at&t unlocked iphone 5 16gb sold for 400 a week ago, in los angeles.. (with a chip on the corner) don’t settle! haha

    this website is pretty accurate for me, so i’ve always sold a couple weeks before the “announcement”, blackberry life for now :(

  • chris

    I’m pretty sure that I’ll upgrade to the new iPhone.
    But what I miss in your article is a part about how to remove your personal data safe and sustainable from your device.
    Any hints?

  • Fanboyofapple

    I sell iPhones on eBay exclusively. A higher price depends on how you market the iPhone. Those eBay prices you quote are very low. I’ve sold four iPhone 5′s on there in the last 2 weeks and gotten no less than $475 for them. The best way to sell to buyers overseas is by using eBay’s Global Shipping Program. Offering free shipping and paying Fedex and UPS for tracking, you won’t be making much money.