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Sell Old Phones for Cash Before They’re Worthless

Last updated: January 8, 2020
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Smartphones have become a utility in our lives, with most of us forking over a hefty amount of cash for the newest iPhone, Samsung, or HTC. The problem is that these phones quickly go out of date, and we’re left with a pile of old phones collecting dust. We’re here to show you how to sell those old phones so you can make money from your outdated tech.

It’s a nice feeling having the latest and greatest mobile phone in hand as soon as it hits the market. But having the newest phone technology with top of the line high-definition cameras comes at a cost.

The depreciation of smartphones happens almost overnight, with Apple and Samsung phones dropping in value by 30% and 40% respectively as soon as you pull them out of the box. After just one year of ownership, these phones will only be worth between 60% and 70% of the original sticker price. And that’s only if you’ve managed to keep them in mint condition.

Today we’re going to show you eight different ways to sell old phones. We’ll talk about which channel will get you the biggest bang for your buck, whether that be selling your old phone or trading it in to purchase a new one.

How to Get the Most Money Selling Your Phone

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Let’s first discuss a few tips to secure a higher resale price or trade-in value. When buying your phone, you should always purchase an unlocked phone. You should also try to keep your phone in great condition by using a phone case and screen protector.

Buy an Unlocked Phone

An unlocked phone is one that isn’t attached to one specific carrier. Mobile carriers like Sprint and Verizon will want to sell you phones that exclusively work with their carrier. This encourages you to stay with their service and sign on for another contract once yours expires.

Unlocked phones will work on any carrier network and garner the highest resale value. The market for unlocked phones is larger since people can use these phones on nearly any network.

Keep Your Phone in Excellent Condition

It’s also critical that you keep your phone in excellent condition. Phones that are damaged, scratched, or broken will command very low selling prices. Many outlets won’t even think about buying your phone or accepting a trade-in if your phone is too damaged.

Buy a reliable protective case that will shield your phone from dust, cracks, and water damage. You can also get a screen protector that will keep your screen scratch-free and looking brand new.

Selling vs. Trading In Your Old Phone

If you’re planning on buying another phone, then a trade-in might make sense for you. You may be able to fetch a few more dollars from a phone purchasing service if you’re planning on buying a phone from them as well.

If you’re not planning on buying another phone, you can simply sell your phone and receive cash for it. Cash in hand is great, but remember that you may get more by trading it in for another phone.

The Sooner You Sell the Better

As mentioned earlier, phones depreciate at an alarming rate. This means you should try to sell your phone as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less money your phone will be worth.

If your phone is over two years old, then you should expect to receive very little money from it. If your phone is pushing three to four years, then you may only be able to get a few bucks. Also, newer phones, like an iPhone 8 will offer a higher price than an iPhone 7.

Regardless of your phone’s age, you should still check out some of the services below. Some of these services are looking for relatively new phones, while others will still purchase old and broken phones.

Without further ado, here are eight services you can use to sell your old phone or trade it in.

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1. Swappa

Swappa is a phone swapping service that connects phone sellers and phone buyers. The company states that they cut out the middleman in a user-to-user marketplace allowing you to get the most value for your phone

You can take this route if your phone is in excellent condition since they won’t accept phones that are broken or in poor condition. Also, Swappa offers free shipping for transactions and uses PayPal for secure payment processing.

2. Decluttr

Decluttr is an incredibly easy-to-use service that will help you sell your phone fast. You don’t have to worry about extra fees or shipping costs when you use Decluttr. The price you see is the price you’ll receive.

You’ll look up your phone on Decluttr, describe your phone’s condition, and then receive an instant quote for the value of your phone. You’ll then pop your phone into a box, print out a free shipping label, and send your package out.

After Decluttr receives your phone, they’ll inspect its condition and then pay you the very next day. Payment can come through via PayPal, direct deposit, check, or even a charity contribution.

3. Gazelle

Gazelle claims to be the fastest way to sell your old phones for cash. The service will give you cash for both phones in good condition and broken devices.

You’ll first answer a few questions regarding your device. You’ll then be given a quote for your device. If you accept the selling price, Gazelle will send a free shipping label in the mail.

After they receive your phone in the mail, they’ll give it a thorough inspection. If your phone doesn’t meet the inspection, you’ll either be emailed a new quote or they’ll send your phone back. If you pass the inspection, you’ll receive payment via PayPal or Amazon gift card. This entire process should take about one week from start to finish.

4. uSell

uSell connects you with professional buyers who are interested in purchasing phones. uSell won’t be buying your phone. Instead, you’ll be able to browse through offers from trusted and vetted buyers on the platform.

Search the platform and look for an offer that matches your phone and the condition it’s in. Once you’ve agreed on an offer, you’ll send in your phone for free and then receive payment via PayPal or check within five business days.

5. NextWorth

NextWorth promises you cash for your phone rather than receiving billing credits from your cellular provider. This platform currently only buys iPhones.

The platform works like most of the other ones on this list — you search for your phone on the site, receive a quote, accept the quote, and then send your phone in for free. After they inspect it, they’ll send your money via PayPal or check.

6. Apple’s iPhone Trade-In

If you own an iPhone, you can opt to go through the Apple iPhone Trade-In program. This may be one of the easiest ways to get money off the purchase of your next iPhone.

Though it may be easy, you won’t fetch top dollar for your phone through this trade-in program. Your phone must be in spotless condition if you want to receive a few hundred dollars off your next phone.

You can also use the trade-in program to receive cash for all Apple products, including iPads, Macbooks, and Apple Watches. If you have an outdated phone that isn’t worth much, like an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6s, you can send in your old electronic devices and have them responsibly recycled.

7. Carrier Trade-In

Trading your phone in with your network provider is also an easy option if you’re planning on buying another phone. This route will only get you billing credits off your phone bill or the purchase of your next phone.

You’ll need to check to see if your phone is unlocked or if it’s designated to a certain carrier. For example, Verizon isn’t going to let you trade-in an AT&T phone, but they will allow you to tradehttps://secure.sprintbuyback.com/bbt/?utm_expid=.dJ1zCSCITymYzVkUeSxsVQ.0&utm_referrer= in another Verizon enabled phone.

Here’s where to find the trade-in pages for each carrier.

Browse through the above links to see if it’s worth it or if you’re able to earn more money from another platform we’ve listed above.

8. Additional Options

Beyond all of the channels mentioned above, there are even more ways you can earn money for your old phones. There are likely countless mobile phone stores in your city you can approach to receive money for your old devices.

And then there are the more popular big box stores and online selling sites you can look into. Here are a few to get you started.

If you need help creating a listing on the last two options on the list, here are guides to creating your first post on eBay and on Craigslist.

If you don’t want to take the time to list your phone or sell it on an online platform, you can also give ecoATM a try. This is a service that allows you to drop your phone into an ecoATM kiosk, receive a quote for your phone, and get paid instantly.

ecoATM accepts all phones and tablets and has over 4,000 kiosks around the United States. Head to ecoATM’s website to find a kiosk near you.

Sell Old Phones for Quick Cash

If you’re sitting on an old cell phone and are unsure what to do with it, consider using one of these services to earn cash back or trade-in value for a new phone.

And remember that time is of the essence as devices can lose value rapidly. So if you have an old iPhone 8 or a Samsung Galaxy laying around, act now to receive the best price possible for your device.

Interested in selling other items online to make some extra cash? Make sure to check out our guide to selling all sorts of things online.

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