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How to Sell Your Used iPhone

Essential tips on reselling an Apple iPhone for top value.

Apple frequently launches new iPhone models, tempting fans to upgrade every time. With the latest iPhone 13 coming out, you may be wondering what to do with your older smartphone. And depending on whether you are upgrading to another iPhone or switching brands, you could trade in your current cellphone or resell it for cash. Either way, you need to take certain steps to prep the phone in order to get the best possible deal.

Know Your Hardware

Before doing anything else, please make sure your iPhone is paid off in full and has no outstanding liabilities with the carrier. If your iPhone is still on the contract, you cannot resell it.

To price your used iPhone accurately, you need to know the model, Serial number, and other specifications.

You can look up your iPhone’s hardware information in the Settings app. Tap on the app, go to General Settings and scroll down to About. Here you can look up key info, like storage capacity, iOS version, the exact model number, serial number, and IMEI.

Assess Overall Condition of Your iPhone

Whether you decide to resell your Apple iPhone or trade it in, you will be asked to provide accurate information about its functional and cosmetic state. Both the physical and operational condition of the phone is crucial in determining its resale value.

To accurately assess your iPhone, answer the following questions:

  • Does it show wear and tear? Inspect the phone for visible scratches, small dents, and scuffs.
  • Does your iPhone have cosmetic damage, like cracks or large chips?
  • Is your display intact?
  • Does the touch digitizer work properly?
  • How long does the battery last? (Pro tip: you can check current maximum battery capacity by opening Settings > Battery > Battery Health.)
  • Does it turn on?
  • Do the camera, Volume Contol and Home buttons, speakers work as intended?
  • Does the iPhone connect to Wi-Fi?
  • Can your cellphone make calls?
  • Do you have the charger for it?

Compare Prices

It’s always a good idea to get several offers and compare asking prices on various marketplaces. For that, you can create accounts on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace to gather information about minimum and maximum resale prices as well as to check on the current market proposition.

When researching eBay, be sure to factor in the fees, shipping costs, and selling time. Also, think about whether you want to accept offers from potential buyers. Finally, compare the projected net price with buyback and trade-in offers.

When is a Good Time to Sell Your Older iPhone?

It is no secret that electronics depreciate rapidly. And every time Apple launches an updated iPhone (which happens twice a year), previous models lose their value. Because of that, we recommend reselling older iPhones as soon as you decide to upgrade. And while used iPhones hold reasonable resale prices over time, compared to other brands, you shouldn’t wait until the latest model comes out. As soon as Apple makes the new iPhone available for pre-order, older versions drop in value dramatically.

Can I Sell My Used iPhone Online?

Yes, there are many options to sell iPhones online out there, from marketplaces to buyback sites and trade-in programs. However, each of these options has its benefits and demerits.

For example, listing your used iPhone on eBay will help you connect with a larger number of potential buyers. Yet, keep in mind that you would have to spend some time listing your phone, taking pics, talking to buyers, etc. And there is no guaranty of a quick sale, especially if the proposition exceeds the demand. Moreover, as we mentioned, eBay also charges a fee of the total sale price.

On the contrary, there are no fees on Facebook Marketplace. But here, you still need to deal with low-ball offers, meet with strangers if listing locally, or pay for shipping if you post the phone for sale nationwide.

But there is a faster, more efficient alternative to marketplaces. Selling to an online buyback site removes the need to do all that unnecessary work. Unlike eBay, re-commerce buyback services guarantee a quick and safe turnaround. And you can sell other stuff while you are at it. For example, the company called Gadget Salvation pledges to pay their customers within two business days of receiving their iPhones or other electronics. And they offer Zelle, PayPal, and Venmo, so that your payment clears right the way.

Lastly, Apple has its own trade-in program, which is very competitive. So if your iPhone is in immaculate shape and you choose to upgrade to a newer model, there is no better place for you than the Apple Trade-In. However, if the phone has problems, including but not limited to signs of use, they will recycle it instead. In other words, your iPhone must be in perfect cosmetic and working condition to qualify for a trade-in offer through Apple.

Bottom Line

Once you decide to sell your pre-owned iPhone, figure out its exact model, storage size, unlock it, if possible. Then, check for any visible signs of use and hardware problems to calculate an accurate estimate. Last but not least, as a seller, you need to make sure your iPhone is fully paid off and is no longer on the contract. And if you aim for a quick turnaround, look into resale sites for used technology, like Gadget Salvation.


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