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Upgrading Your iPhone? Here Are Some Sites to Sell Your Old One

by Brandon Russell | September 15, 2013September 15, 2013 10:00 am PDT

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on Light Grey

New iPhones are coming, which means it’s time to sell your old one. Whether you have an iPhone 5, 4s or even an ancient iPhone 4, you can still squeeze plenty of value out of your old Apple gear. Out of the small iterative upgrades we’ve seen over the years, Apple’s new iPhone 5s is perhaps the biggest; the device is the fastest its ever been, and it now has a sweet new fingerprint scanner Apple is calling Touch ID. Don’t want Apple’s higher-end model? Apple also unveiled the iPhone 5c, which comes in a variety of colors and is just $99 with two-year contract.

Whether people want to admit it or not, Apple’s mobile devices hold their value better than any competing products. And that’s according to executives from some of today’s most popular trade-in sites. So where do you go if you’re looking to part ways with your old iPhone? Luckily, there are no shortage of options, and many of them offer pretty acceptable values depending on what model you’re selling. Whether you’re looking to upgrade to the new 5s, or you’re just looking to part ways for an Android or Windows Phone device, these are some of the top places to sell your Apple (or anything, really) gear.

ebay-simple-selling

eBay

Probably the most familiar name on the list, eBay is a super simple and straightforward way to hock your old gear. All you essentially need to do is take pictures of your item, write a quick summary, and you’re on your way. Chances are you’ve perused the site before, so you pretty much know how everything works. Basically, items put up for sale can be bid on until a certain date and time; sometimes items will even have a Buy It Now price, which takes the bidding element out of the equation.

What’s great about eBay is that the site has buyer protection policies in case a sale goes bad, and there is a ton of support for other situations as well, whether you’re buying or selling. With eBay, you never have to worry about leaving your house, and depending on what kind of seller (or buyer) you become, you can build up a positive reputation—almost like getting good reviews on Yelp. Meanwhile, eBay recently opened up a new My Gadgets feature, which is a new service focused directly on selling tech, making it almost too easy to sell. [eBay]

gazelle-iphone-5

Gazelle

Gazelle is a website that determines how much an old device is worth depending on a few factors, namely condition. And during big releases—the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, for example—Gazelle allows customers to lock-in prices before a certain time. That’s some pretty darn good security, especially considering how fussy the market can be. Visiting the site today, Gazelle is offering $320 for an iPhone 5 (32GB) for AT&T that’s considered to be flawless (like it’s never been used). That same device in terrible condition will still get you $125, which isn’t too bad if you haven’t had any luck elsewhere. The great thing is that users have the option to sit on their offer until a set date; those taking advantage now will have until the end of October. [Gazelle]

nextworth-iphone-5

NextWorth

Like Gazelle, NextWorth is a website that gives out quotes and offers 30-day price locks. But whereas Gazelle bases prices on three different criteria, NextWorth only asks if a device powers on and is fully functional, and whether that device’s display is cracked. I checked on an iPhone 5 (32GB) for AT&T, and the website promised $317, which you can get through PayPal or a Target gift card. In addition to Apple gear, NextWorth accepts cameras, video games and even game consoles. With new iPhones coming out, prices will likely be especially high over the next several weeks. Whenever and whatever it is you decide to sell, shipping out is free, and there are even 1,500 partner stores that you can waltz into to get store credit. [NextWorth]

amazon-sell

Amazon

If you’ve ever purchased something through Amazon, chances are you’ve seen the website’s for sale section. Similar to eBay, Amazon allows individuals to sell items that get listed in the site’s own catalog of items. Selling is super simple: you can setup 1-Click, and Amazon will notify you as soon as your item sells. You have the option to either use Fulfillment by Amazon to let the online giant ship for you, or you can do it yourself. Once your sale does go through, and you ship your item out, Amazon will gift card that amount to your account, making the process super simple, if a little long-winded. [Amazon]

Amazon also offers a trade-in that will allow you to send the retailer your gently used electronics. For a 32GB AT&T iPhone 5 the site is currently offering $397 for a model in perfect condition. The only drawback is that it only pays you in Amazon gift cards, so take that into consideration if you’re looking for cash. [Amazon Trade-In]

iphone-5-back

Apple

Known as the iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program, Apple just recently introduced an initiative that allows customers to trade-in old gear. The program was, in partnership with BrightStar, was actually just introduced late last month, and bases an amount depending on the condition of your iPhone, factors of which include screen quality, hardware quality, button quality and more. Currently, Apple is accepting iPhone 3G on up to the iPhone 5, and will immediately gift users store credit, which can then be put toward a new device; the caveat being that the store credit needs to be put toward a phone during the trade-in process, and the phone needs to be activated on-contract. Prices are expected to fluctuate on supply and demand, so Apple’s own trade-in method should only really be used if you want the least possible hassle. [Apple]

craigslist-selling

Craigslist

Craigslist is easily the most unpredictable site included on this list. Not only does it require plenty of effort and patience, but it can be dangerous, too; there is a high level of risk involved if you’re not careful. That being said, if you’re vigilant, and practice common sense, Craigslist can be an effective tool for getting rid of old stuff. In the past, I’ve had terrific success both selling and buying, and prices are typically fair. Just make sure when meeting someone, especially if it’s over a smartphone, pick a public space, and always be in control. The last thing you want is to put yourself in a compromising situation. There are a lot of tricks out there, so make sure you know what you’re doing if you go down the Craigslist route. [Craigslist]

Wrap-up

There are a number of other places you can go to trade-in your old iPhone, including Walmart, Best Buy and Radio Shack, among others. In today’s market, there are numerous ways to do it; it’s just a matter of getting the best possible value. If you want it over and done with right now, Gazelle and NextWorth are probably your best bets. Apple and other retailers offer the highest convenience, because all you need to do is go into a store and trade up. Craigslist is definitely the wildcard of the bunch, though it could land you the most cash if you play your cards right.

Whatever method you choose, Apple gear typically holds value very well as long as it’s in good shape. Apple’s smaller “s” variant updates aren’t always the most exciting, but the company’s newest iPhone 5s certainly has a lot to offer for Apple fans. If you own an iPhone 5, it might be harder to justify upgrading right now, especially when rumors are already starting to pick up surrounding a bigger screened iPhone next year. In any case, you have plenty of options at your disposal—or you could just give your old device to a family member.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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