iPhone trade-in deals: How and where to get the most cash for your old iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are now officially on sale, but buyers still need to decide what to do with their old device. As in years past, AppleInsider takes a look at nearly a dozen big-name buyback services and retailers looking to attract your iPhone trade-ins [updated Oct. 13 with the latest values].

Gazelle

Gazelle is the nation's leading consumer electronics trade?in site and arguably the most recognizable brand in the buy-back arena, having serviced more than 1 million trade-ins to date with payouts in excess of $100,000,000. The Boston-based firm pays cash quickly for old electronics (via PayPal, check, or other means) and prides itself on providing the most streamlined and hassle-free experience for consumers looking to sell their electronics with the least possible effort and time commitment.



Unlike some of its competitors, Gazelle handles all trade-in inspections itself, doesn't nitpick over the trade-in value of devices that arrive in good working order, and will even completely wipe your device of data before passing it along to its new owner. When it comes to trade-in services that pay cold hard cash, Gazelle is one of two services that have earned AppleInsider's distinction in recent years for outstanding service and value. It offers a 30-day price lock window from when you lock in an offer till when the device needs to be in the company's hands.

You can read more about how the service works here, or check out a list of the company's current iPhone trade-in prices (which have been fluctuating by $10-$50 this week) in our Trade-In Pay Out Guide (also below). But basically, you visit Gazelle's iPhone Trade-in site, select your model and condition and how you'd like to be paid. A few days after you lock in a cash offer, a pre-paid postage box will show up on your doorstep and you'll have 30 days to place your old iPhone in the box and drop it in the mail to Gazelle. Once they receive it, they issue payment.

Update: Gazelle is currently offering AppleInsider readers a 10% bonus on their iPhone trade in when using the links in our Trade In Payout Guide (also below):

NextWorth



Extremely similar to Gazelle in almost all respects, and also earning AI's distinction for its simplicity, speed, and financial benefits to the consumer, is NextWorth -- another one of industry's largest buyers of used electronic devices with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Consumers can choose payment in the form of PayPal (paid immediately upon inspection of your phone), check (3-10 business days) or in the form of a NextWorth Discover Prepaid Card or Target Gift Card (both arrive in 3-14 days). NextWorth is also the exclusive white-label trade-in partner of Target, where you can also bring your device to receive a trade-in offer and get paid by the company on the spot. Online, it offers a 30-day price lock guarantee.

Current Cash Payouts
iPhone 6 Plus - up to $295
iPhone 6 - up to $300
iPhone 5s - up to $165
iPhone 5c - up to $80
iPhone 5 - up to $107
iPhone 4S - up to $57
iPhone 4 - up to $25

BuyBack World



BuyBack World offers competitive trade-in rates for iPhones that changes quite frequently, though the process of sending in a used phone is identical to bigger name brands. In addition, the company offers a 30-day price protection guarantee, much like Gazelle's assurances.

Current iPhone 6 Payouts
16GB: up to $305
64GB: up to $310
128GB: up to $320
Unlocked 16GB: up to $327
Unlocked 64GB: up to $332
Unlocked 128GB: up to $337
iPhone 6 Plus Payouts
16GB: up to $340
64GB: up to $345
128GB: up to $350
Unlocked 16GB: up to $350
Unlocked 64GB: up to $360
Unlocked 128GB: up to $365
iPhone 5s Payouts
16GB: up to $157
32GB: up to $162
64GB: up to $167
Unlocked 16GB: up to $167
Unlocked 32GB: up to $172
Unlocked 64GB: up to $177

You can read more about BuyBack World's trade-in process here.

Apple

image


Existing iPhone owners can also trade their device in directly through Apple's recycling program either online or at any Apple Store in the U.S. Instead of cash back, Apple employees appraise the device in-store, then dole out gift cards that can be used toward the purchase of a new iPhone. Apple will not pay you cash.

The online option is powered by Brightstar and requires owners send in their device.

Currently, Apple is offering a flat rate on all capacities, colors and carriers of each product line.

iPhone 6

$325 in Apple Store Credit

iPhone 6 Plus

$375 in Apple Store Credit

iPhone 5s

$165 in Apple Store Credit

Note: Prices are based on handsets in good working condition.

Amazon



Amazon has some of the best trade-in rates around, though the online retailer doesn't widely advertise its services. Like the Apple Store, Amazon relies on third-parties for its trade-in program and offers payment in Amazon Gift Cards, not cash. Please note that Amazon will pay significantly more than the prices below if your iPhone is pristine and you have all "original packaging and accessories present with no markings." The prices below are for good conditioned iPhones without all the trimmings:

iPhone 6
16GB: $342.64
64GB: $360.46
128GB: $436.85
Unlocked 16GB: $419.99
Unlocked 64GB: $468.34
Unlocked 128GB: $519.88
iPhone 6 Plus
16GB: $394.41
64GB: $445.34
128GB: $494.25
Unlocked 16GB: $456.50
Unlocked 64GB: $514.69
Unlocked 128GB: $577.91
iPhone 5s
Unlocked 16GB: $264.54
Unlocked 32GB: $277.81
Unlocked 64GB: $298.61

Note: All prices are based on handsets in good condition; locked prices are based on AT&T-provisioned devices.

Best Buy



Like Apple, Best Buy offers both on-site and mail-in trade-in programs. Sellers will receive a Best Buy gift card in exchange for your device. For those with unlocked T-Mobile iPhones, the retailer is only accepting 16GB versions in Space Gray.

iPhone 6
  • 16GB: $315
  • 64GB: $320
  • 128GB: $325
  • Unlocked 16GB: $315
  • Unlocked 64GB: NA
  • Unlocked 128GB: NA
iPhone 6 Plus
  • 16GB: $345
  • 64GB: $350
  • 128GB: $355
  • Unlocked 16GB: $345
  • Unlocked 64GB: NA
  • Unlocked 128GB: NA
Note: All prices are based on handsets in good condition; locked prices are based on AT&T-provisioned devices.

Walmart

image


Walmart, too, provides both in-store and mail-in trade-in opportunities. In-store trade-ins will receive a gift card on the spot, while mail-in trades will receive an electronic gift card.

iPhone 6
  • 16GB: $255
  • 64GB: $265
  • 128GB: $315
  • Unlocked 16GB: $184
  • Unlocked 64GB: $195
  • Unlocked 128GB: $245
iPhone 6 Plus
  • 16GB: $325
  • 64GB: $340
  • 128GB: $350
  • Unlocked 16GB: $235
  • Unlocked 64GB: $250
  • Unlocked 128GB: $270
Note: All prices are based on handsets in good condition; locked prices are based on AT&T-provisioned devices.

Target



Target's trade-in program is run through NextWorth, so prices will be comparable to the figures in the NextWorth section above. Instead of cash, however, sellers will receive Target gift card. Further, those not comfortable trading their phone in online through NextWorth, but like that service's prices, may want to take a look at Target's in-store offering. Unlocked models are not available for processing through Target's online service, so those rates are not reflected below.

iPhone 6
  • 16GB: $223
  • 64GB: $223
  • 128GB: $250
iPhone 6 Plus
  • 16GB: $241
  • 64GB: $241
  • 128GB: $241
Note: All prices are based on handsets in good condition; locked prices are based on AT&T-provisioned devices.

Finally, we'll note that many U.S. carriers offer installment plans paired with their own trade-in programs. In these instances, the carrier resells your phone for you and pockets any profit, and your trade-in goes toward the purchase of a new handset while you see no cash. Apple this year launched its own program that we believe is far superior to the carrier programs, because it includes an unlocked iPhone and two-year AppleCare+ warranty in its competitive, zero-interest monthly pricing.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    They're officially available for preorder? I didn't think that happened until Sept 12....
  • Reply 2 of 41
    1) Thanks, Katie.

    2) I'm glad to see Amazon's trade-in values are now reasonable.

    3) I wonder why Walmart's unlocked phones are worth so little compared to the one locked to AT&T.
  • Reply 3 of 41

    I wonder if carriers will offer trade-in incentive deals this time around.

     

    When I bought my 6+ last year, Verizon paid me $200 (equal to the with-contract price I originally paid to buy the phone) to trade-in my 4S.  This was far more than the phone was actually worth and was clearly an incentive to upgrade immediately (since the offer was only good for 30 days.)  It effectively lowered the (with-contract) price of my new 6+ from $300 to $100.  It worked.  My wife and I both upgraded because of the deal.  I suspect it worked for a lot of other people as well.

     

    If you're interested in getting a 6S or 6S+, I suggest that it would be a good idea to be on the lookout for similar offers this time around as well.

  • Reply 4 of 41
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shamino View Post

     

    I wonder if carriers will offer trade-in incentive deals this time around.

     

    When I bought my 6+ last year, Verizon paid me $200 (equal to the with-contract price I originally paid to buy the phone) to trade-in my 4S.  This was far more than the phone was actually worth and was clearly an incentive to upgrade immediately (since the offer was only good for 30 days.)  It effectively lowered the (with-contract) price of my new 6+ from $300 to $100.  It worked.  My wife and I both upgraded because of the deal.  I suspect it worked for a lot of other people as well.

     

    If you're interested in getting a 6S or 6S+, I suggest that it would be a good idea to be on the lookout for similar offers this time around as well.


    Yes, this was a great deal last year.  I traded in two iPhone 4 and bought a 6 and a 6+.  I was hoping that Verizon would have the offer again and I could trade in an iPhone 5 and get a 6s.  I haven't seen anything about it yet though, and the most I see my 64GB iPhone 5 going for elsewhere is like $120.

  • Reply 5 of 41
    tony1tony1 Posts: 258member

    Yes, deals are coming from Verizon.

  • Reply 6 of 41
    This article has some major typos on model size and configurations.

    Apple's buy back options list the 6 Plus twice and no 5S. Also the size configurations for the 5S look copy pasted from the 6. It's sizes should go 16/32/64GB and not the 16/64/128GB or the 16/32/128GB.
  • Reply 7 of 41

    Ebay you get the most money. Gazelle wanted to give me 70 for my iphone 5c and they're selling for 140 to 200 on eBay.

  • Reply 8 of 41
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,444member

    Approval by the Better Business Bureau means absolutely nothing.   There are plenty of terrible companies who are approved by them and you can buy your way in.

     

    What do these companies do with all the old phones?   Do they re-sell them in other countries?   Recycle the parts?   Sell them on eBay?    I don't think I've ever seen a physical retailer sell a used phone and I've never gotten spam trying to sell me a used phone.    

  • Reply 9 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    1) Thanks, Katie.



    2) I'm glad to see Amazon's trade-in values are now reasonable.



    3) I wonder why Walmart's unlocked phones are worth so little compared to the one locked to AT&T.

     

    1: Who's Katie?

     

    2: Because they're getting out of the homegrown phone biz?



    3: I wondered that too. Strange offers.

     

    Overall, the trade-in/credit values are amazing. All things the same, one could own the latest and greatest iPhone for a shade over a buck a day....in perpetuity! :D 

  • Reply 10 of 41
    1: Who's Katie?

    2: Because they're getting out of the homegrown phone biz?


    3: I wondered that too. Strange offers.

    Overall, the trade-in/credit values are amazing. All things the same, one could own the latest and greatest iPhone for a shade over a buck a day....in perpetuity! :D  

    1) The author of the article.

    2) I checked the prices the day of the Apple even and the 16GB iPhone 6 was going for something like $400+ and the 64GB iPhone 6 was like $200.


    This year I'm doing Apple Upgrade Program because I do buy AC+, which never gets considered with any trade-in service, so for me this makes the most sense.
  • Reply 11 of 41
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    1) The author of the article.



    2) I checked the prices the day of the Apple even and the 16GB iPhone 6 was going for something like $400+ and the 64GB iPhone 6 was like $200.





    This year I'm doing Apple Upgrade Program because I do buy AC+, which never gets considered with any trade-in service, so for me this makes the most sense.



    How is the 64GB model bringing half as much as the 16GB? I'd assume you mean $200 MORE than the 16GB. 

  • Reply 12 of 41

    I stopped by a Verizon store last week and was told that they will be paying $200 for iPhone 5 or 5C, and $300 for iPhone 5S.  He said you would get a promo code when you pre-ordered the 6S and that you would bring in your old phone to the store and give them the promo code and they will credit your account.

     

    When I pre-ordered my wife's iPhone 6S from the Verizon site it said that I would get emailed a promotion code when I activate the new phone.  My confirmation email said something similar in it, no mention of how much they will pay for what phones from either though.

     

    I have to say trading in the phone at the store is much easier than mailing them in and waiting forever to hear anything back like I had to last year.  So that part of this new deal seems great.  I just don't understand why Verizon seems to be so secretive about it this year.  Last year they advertised the deal all over the place.

  • Reply 13 of 41

    ii wrote apple insider, mac rumors;, bgr, just about anybody i can think of to warn people about trade in companies ripping you off.

    i think I'm being ignored because of my bad typing. or they are just afraid of gazelle.

     

    back on 9/2 , gazelle was cheating its customers $111 by only offering $365 for an unlocked phone versus $476 for the verizon model. verizon considers these iPhones identical now. there is no reason to undercut them

     

    next worth price quotes, on 09/4 were better. AT&T and verizon iPhones were a $20 difference, but for some reason a Verizon iPhone was worth less then an AT&T one. despite the fact that the phones are identical

     

    i was really steamed.

     

    the prices are better now. but they are still penalizing you $125 for not unlocking your iPhone. so i would like to remind people with

    T-Mobile and Sprint and AT&T  Iphone 6 series phones , they should look into carrier unlocking before selling them. if you unlock an iPhone 6, even a sprint one, it can now be sold as an AT&T or Verizon iPhone. and if sites like Gazelle and Next Worth say your iPhone is still worth 260 because it is still a sprint model. you tell them to get bent and you want your money back.

     

    tech stuff

    the iPhone 6 series phones are technically the same phone, and once unlocked does not care whose carrier it belongs to.

    there is a Sprint model, which works on Sprint , T-Mobile , Verizon and AT&T , and there is a T-mobile model that works on T-mobile, Verizon and AT&T.  Verizon as of two weeks ago allows the "T-mobile" phone on their network

     

    regardless what iPhone 6 you bought , they had GSM and CDMA radios turned on. 

     

    once these phones are unlocked they are identical , and because of this, the companies that buy your phones should have

    all the prices the same regardless of what the former carrier was.

     

    there is nothing stopping them from paying you $260 for a Sprint model, unlocking it, and then selling it for $460 as a AT&T or Verizon model.

  • Reply 14 of 41
    anyone heard of https://www.mytgg.com/ ??
  • Reply 15 of 41

    anyone heard of https://www.mytgg.com/ ??  are they legit?

  • Reply 16 of 41
    I just sold mine to American Buy Back and was surprised they weren't on the list.

    I got my offer on their website and had a shipping label within minutes. I sent in my iPhone 6 Plus 64GB Gold with their label the next day (Monday).

    On Wednesday, I got an email saying they got it and within an hour I saw I had the money in my PayPal account.

    I cant wait for the new 6s Plus !
  • Reply 17 of 41

    now it's walmart who decided to rip people off. 

     

    iPhone 6


    • 16GB: $375

    • 64GB: $375

    • 128GB: $375

    • Unlocked 16GB: $360

    • Unlocked 64GB: $202.50

    • Unlocked 128GB: $252



    iPhone 6 Plus


    • 16GB: $375

    • 64GB: $375

    • 128GB: $400

    • Unlocked 16GB: $202.50

    • Unlocked 64GB: $216

    • Unlocked 128GB: $270

     

    Unlocked phones are the same exact phone as any other iPhone.  there is no penalty in using an unlocked phone on AT&T. they should all fetch the same price.

  • Reply 18 of 41
    This is why Apple create the payment plan and trade in program. No hassle with competitive prices too especially on 16GB model.
  • Reply 19 of 41
    There is no good reason Walmart rips you off like this.once unlocked the iPhone 6 is exactly the same
    As any other iPhone. Except the sprint model has 4 extra spark channels. Sprint can be used on AT&T T-Mobile and Verizon..
    Verizon green lighted all iPhone 6 phones. Something that is it worth more didn't even know.
    So any unlocked AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone is a Verizon iPhone.

    Don't let these trade in people rip you off.unlock your 6 or 6 plus and you make sure they pay you the
    Same price they pay the AT&T or Verizon versions, if they are like Walmart and try to say that the unlocked iPhone is not as good as an AT&T iPhone then tell them you want your iPhone back
  • Reply 20 of 41
    MR. EDITOR,

    THIS IS RUBBISH.

    Reprinting an article from 9/10/15, on 9/25/15, simply for clicks is really beneath you.

    None of these "clickable" prices are valid whatsoever.

    Delete this entry or at minimum, tell people this is dated information
    solely posted, for the purposes of click-bate.
Sign In or Register to comment.