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

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…


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.


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.


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.


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?