How and where to trade in your old iPhone for the most cash or store credit

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
With the release of Apple's newest flagship iPhone 5s and the mid-level iPhone 5c, AppleInsider's trade-in guide can help you get the most from your old iPhone.

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There are many companies offering to let you trade in your old iPhone for credit toward a new one, but which is best? AppleInsider has surveyed the top options to help you make your decision. Be sure to also check out AppleInsider's trade-in guide for information on swapping your other iOS devices.

In-store: Apple, Best Buy, Walmart

Apple, Best Buy, and Walmart share similar in-store trade-in options: customers can walk into the store with their old iPhone and walk out with a new iPhone 5s or 5c in a single transaction. Store employees will assess your trade-in and provide a quote; if you accept, they will sell you a new, on-contract iPhone on the spot and apply the trade-in value toward your purchase. Apple is reportedly offering less in return for your trade than the others, though AppleInsider has been unable to confirm the amount.

Mail-in for cash: Gazelle, NextWorth, USell

These online-only players will ask you to provide a general description of your iPhone's condition, then give you an instant quote. If you accept the price, the service will send you a prepaid shipping container ??usually a small box or envelope ? that you'll use to send in your device. Once the handset has been inspected, you can receive your money in as little as five days.

Gazelle offers the most cash for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, while NextWorth wins the battle with the iPhone 4S. uSell, meanwhile, offers $115 for an iPhone 4, $205 for a 4S, and $336 for an iPhone 5.

Mail-in for credit: Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart

These services work much the same way as their mail-in for cash competitors, but because they offer in-store credit rather than cash, trade-in valuations tend to be higher. Amazon, for example, will give you $441.00 for a flawless white 64GB iPhone 5, while the best quote from cash competitors is Gazelle's $340.00, a full $101.00 lower.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    Verizon is offering $120 for a 32GB iPhone 4 as credit off of your bill. Gazelle listed the same phone as $82 if in perfect condition.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    Do the phones that are traded in just get refurbished and resold? How big the second hand market?
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Or sell it and get more $$$ from craigslist.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    I sold my iphone 4s att 16gb through Apple's recycle program (Poweron) and got $215 apple gift card.
    Ebay would have gotten me a little more but with fees I probably would have come down to about what i got. I am happy only paying $3.39 out of pocket for a new iphone 5s 16gb.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Craigslist and eBay are better places to sell if you are savvy about it. These companies are buying for much less than you can get with a little effort.
  • Reply 6 of 44

    Went to a Verizon kiosk and got $200 flat for my 16 gb black iPhone 4s. I was SHOCKED! 

  • Reply 7 of 44
    AT&T will upgrade my one year old 32Gig iPhone5 to a 32Gig iPhone5s for $550. Which means they will be buying my iPhone 5 for a measly $200.

    I think not!
  • Reply 8 of 44
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ivabign View Post



    Craigslist and eBay are better places to sell if you are savvy about it. These companies are buying for much less than you can get with a little effort.

    This. I'm amazed suckers trade in their phones when they can sell them outright and receive more money. Though I'm sure these retail resellers love it.

  • Reply 9 of 44
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    3eleven wrote: »
    This. I'm amazed suckers trade in their phones when they can sell them outright and receive more money. Though I'm sure these retail resellers love it.

    I almost always sell mine on Craigslist and buy my macs off Craigslist. But I just traded it in at topdollarmobile.us $230 for a 16gb att 4S. Traded all 3 in. That's about what Craigslist can sell for and you don't have to deal with the typical "Craigslist people"
  • Reply 10 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,375moderator
    3eleven wrote: »
    ivabign wrote: »
    Craigslist and eBay are better places to sell if you are savvy about it. These companies are buying for much less than you can get with a little effort.
    This. I'm amazed suckers trade in their phones when they can sell them outright and receive more money. Though I'm sure these retail resellers love it.

    There's convenience to be considered too. If a used iPhone is worth $400 on eBay and a retailer offers $250, it might seem like a rip-off but take the 10% fee off eBay to get $360, maybe a 5% payment processing fee to get $340 and then some insured shipping and you're down to ~$80 difference. You have the time taken to photograph what you have, answer sales enquiries, setup your auction, watch for offers, package it all up and mail it out with the worry it'll arrive ok. To people where $80 is worth more than their time, the markets are a better option; to busy business people or people who can afford to lose $80 now and again, the trade-in services are convenient.
  • Reply 11 of 44

    I didn't see this link provided http://store.apple.com/us/iphone/reuse-and-recycling , but they offered 380 for my 64 gb att white iphone 5, so I will probably do this route unless a friend wants to buy it. It's more then gazelle, I know gamestop was also offering cash or in store credit. But I'm sure I will use the apple gift card next month when a new ipad comes out.

  • Reply 12 of 44
    I have a used AT&T black iPhone 4 8GB in decent condition, does anyone know about what I should price that at if I'm selling on Craigslist?

    I'd like to use the money to go out and buy the iPhone 5S!
  • Reply 13 of 44
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,261member

    Walmart and Best Buy give you a gift certificate, which I'd probably never use. Apple applies the amount to your purchase making it a very easy transaction. As for the other services including Craigslist, I'd rather not deal with someone I've never met. I don't think it's worth the few extra dollars. I have to figure out how to use my wife's upgrade on AT&T to buy me a phone so I can give her my iPhone 5 while buying an iPhone 5s at the Apple Store. If my update period was done, my iPhone 5 16GB would fetch enough money to get a 5c and 5s through Apple.

  • Reply 14 of 44
    originalg wrote: »
    Do the phones that are traded in just get refurbished and resold? How big the second hand market?

    Gazelle has a eBay store, not quite sure about the others.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post



    AT&T will upgrade my one year old 32Gig iPhone5 to a 32Gig iPhone5s for $550. Which means they will be buying my iPhone 5 for a measly $200.



    I think not!

     

    AT&T doesn't take your phone in that transaction: they just sell you a new one with another contract. So you're free to sell your old phone as you will and knock the out of pocket price down by that amount.

  • Reply 16 of 44
    I didn't see this link provided http://store.apple.com/us/iphone/reuse-and-recycling , but they offered 380 for my 64 gb att white iphone 5, so I will probably do this route unless a friend wants to buy it. It's more then gazelle, I know gamestop was also offering cash or in store credit. But I'm sure I will use the apple gift card next month when a new ipad comes out.

    Take note of the Apple policy here: mandatory new service contract and you cannot trade in your new iPhone at Apple in the future.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    philboogie wrote: »
    Take note of the Apple policy here: mandatory new service contract and you cannot trade in your new iPhone at Apple in the future.

    So only one trade in per lifetime?
  • Reply 18 of 44
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    philboogie wrote: »
    Take note of the Apple policy here: mandatory new service contract and you cannot trade in your new iPhone at Apple in the future.

    So only one trade in per lifetime?

    For that replacement phone? Yeah, that's what the article states...
  • Reply 19 of 44
    I took my 16GB iPhone 4 to Apple Store the day after they launched their in store buy-back program and was offered a measly $68 - it was about 1/2 what I expected. I said thanks, but no thanks... My wife then dropped the phone the very next day and cracked the screen. Any idea what a 4 would fetch with a broken, but working screen on trade in?
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Anyone know if an at&t iPhone can be used on TMobile? Can't find a chart?
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