The 3 Best Places to Sell Your Used iPhone

Sep 5, 2012 - 8 Comments

Sell a Used iPhone

With a new iPhone just around the corner, plenty of us will be looking to sell our current models to upgrade to the latest and greatest. If you’re in the same boat, or you just want to sell your iPhone for another reason, there are three particularly good places to do so: Amazon, Apple, and Craigslist. We’ll discuss each and why some options may be better than the other for you.

1: Amazon

For top dollar, Amazon is where it’s at. The iPhone 4S fetches up to $500, and even the iPhone 4 16GB model will get a hefty $270 through Amazon’s trade-in service. The only potential caveat with Amazon’s trade-in program is you’ll end up with the value in Amazon store credit, which could be good or bad depending on how often you shop at Amazon.

2: Apple Trade-In

Apple accepts trade-ins through their recycling program, and in return you’ll get an Apple gift card. If you’re looking to buy a new Apple product this is undoubtedly the most convenient option, but Apple pays quite a bit less than Amazon and you’ll get more cash by throwing it on Craigslist. Sometimes you pay for convenience though, and Apple makes it very easy so there’s something to be said for that.

3: Craigslist

To get the most cold hard cash for your iPhone, it’s hard to beat Craigslist. Sure there are a lot of tire-kickers and you’ll get some junky emails while you sort through buyers, but there is no better way to get immediate cash than Craigslist. The prices of used iPhones vary on Craigslist by region and by model number, your best bet is to search for the phone you’d like to sell in your area and price it accordingly. If you want to sell it faster, price a bit lower than everyone else and it’ll go quick. In any major city, you should be able to get cash within the same day of posting the ad. Just remember to meet in a public place like a Starbucks to avoid any potential weird situations.

Other Selling Options

There’s also eBay but the prices tend to be lower after you factor in fees, BestBuy has a trade-in program but it isn’t too generous either, and both Verizon and AT&T will give you money for a used iPhone but like others they don’t pay you much. Using these other services is completely reasonable and many are very convenient especially if you’re heading to one of the stores anyway, just don’t expect to get the best value through them.

Wait! Increase the Value of Your iPhone by Unlocking

Before you sell, check if your iPhone is eligible for an unlock through AT&T or your cell carrier, and if so, be sure to unlock the device before putting it on the market. Unlocked iPhones command a premium on Craigslist and eBay because they can roam onto any other compatible GSM network just by popping in a new SIM card, making them more valuable on the international market and for anyone who travels frequently. You can easily add $100 or more to the value of an iPhone by unlocking it, and it can be done in just a matter of minutes by putting in an unlock request with AT&T’s web tech support.

Did we miss any other worthwhile options for selling your iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone

8 Comments

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  1. Also check out Gazelle.com. I’ve used them before to get rid of some old Motorola phones and they are a pretty good service. These days, half their business is iPhones so you can bet you’ll get a good trade-in value.

  2. David says:

    If you’re going to sell your iPhone on craigslist do it before the surge of sellers flood the market when iPhone 5 is announced. The price always drops for about 2-4 weeks while everyone dumps their current phones to pay for the upgrade. For buyers it’s a great time to shop around though!

  3. 911 says:

    I’ve never really understood how people can sell their phones to get cash before a new one comes out. A) You’ll be without a phone for several weeks B)Your existing contract – can you simply extend for another 2 years and get the new model subsidized? Or will you have to pay 500 for the new model with 1 year left on contract? Man these things get expensive.

    • Hans says:

      If you have a guarantee (based on leaks, etc.) that a new iPhone is coming out, and selling your current iPhone before hand will give you 100 – 200 bucks more, it’s easy to justify using a crappy throw away phone (if you have one) for a couple weeks before it comes out.

      I only buy unlocked iPhones so it’s easy to sell the one I got, take the sim put it into a crappy unlocked $10 phone, then put it back in the new iPhone once it’s released.

  4. parakeet says:

    Ebay becomes a much better solution once your iPhone is unlocked, you can easily get $600+ for an unlocked 4S whether it’s used or not but you will probably have to ship it overseas.

  5. BRIAN says:

    I would check out SellYourMac.com, they are currently offering the best pricing of any trade-in sites!

  6. cheezr says:

    I sent an iPAd that was in excellent condition to amazon third party trades in site and received an email that the screen was broken and not acceptable and it was shipped back to me. It came back and it was still in excellent condition with no broken screen so I turned around and sold to gazelle.com and had no problems I would not use Amazon third party trade in service again

  7. Visit sellyourmac.com and use promo: iphonecaptain to get extra $15

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