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Summary:

If you’re planning to sell your iPhone, you should do it as quickly as possible. Here’s where to get the most money right now.

With a new iPhone (or two) right around the corner, you’ve probably thought about giving your current model the boot a couple of times over the last few weeks. But don’t just stick it in a drawer next to your old iPod classic – you might be able to sell it for enough money to pay for a whole new phone. Just make sure to do it quickly, as prices are sure to drop as a new phone looms ever nearer.

There are lots of ways to sell your phone. For starters, you can go list it through standbys like Craigslist or eBay. Depending how much work you want to put into it, either of these options could yield you the highest dollar amount for your phone. But if you can’t deal with the stress of a bidding war, or you don’t want to perform a transaction that requires you to meet a stranger in public, there are plenty of other ways to get a healthy chunk of change for your old device.

I researched prices for more than 15 different resellers willing to pay for your old phone. You’ll find the best prices, as well as the most popular options, detailed in the chart below.

Graphic by Rani Molla

Graphic by Rani Molla

To keep things simple, I calculated the price for a 16GB black iPhone from AT&T in good condition (with normal signs of wear and tear). Where applicable, I indicated that the USB cable and power adapter are available to return with the phone as well. You’ll get slightly different prices for different capacity models on different carriers in different conditions, so this is just a guide for what you can expect under average circumstances.

As you can see, you’ll get the most money for your old phone across the board from Amazon (up to a whopping $347.50 for an iPhone 5), but you’ll be getting it in the form of an Amazon gift card. The same goes for Apple, Best Buy  and Walmart , all of which offer gift cards instead of cash. And you probably shouldn’t sell your phone to Best Buy. Not only does it offer the lowest rates of the venues I surveyed, it doesn’t show the iPhone 5 available for trade-in on its website.

Sites like Gazelle, Glyde and NextWorth, on the other hand, make it a breeze to trade in your phone for cold, hard cash. They typically offer prepaid shipping labels so you can ship your phone and get paid in about a week. Gazelle even offers a price-lock guarantee, which allows you to lock in a price today without actually needing to send your phone in until October 15. If you play your cards right, that’ll be well after you have your iPhone 5S or 5C in hand.

And if you’ve been sitting on an old phone with a cracked screen, you can still probably make some money off of it. Many of the sites out there will still pay you (albeit at reduced prices) for damaged goods. One in particular, iCracked, will still pay a fairly decent amount for phones with cracked screens, and will even buy your water-damaged device.

If you’re still holding onto an original iPhone, or an iPhone 3G, I’m sorry to say that you won’t be able to sell either of these devices through many of the outlets listed above. You’re better off hitting Craigslist or eBay with those in an attempt to attract collectors, but don’t expect to command a very high price.

And remember, the longer you wait, the less you’ll get for your phone. So if you’re thinking about selling, it pays to spend a bit of time shopping around – just don’t spend too much time or it can cost you.

  1. Angel Apple Rosales Sunday, September 1, 2013

    cool

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  2. Angel Apple Rosales Sunday, September 1, 2013

    nice tips

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  3. I sold iPhone 4 for more on eBay than I bought my iPhone 5 for.

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  4. The 4S with 32G is only $165 on gazelle as of yesterday. These prices seem high to me.

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  5. Can I ask, why not just put the data into a table instead of the colorful chart? I know the latter is prettier, but if the chart’s purpose is to tell you the resale value of your phone, then you make it harder to get that data out of this chart instead of an equivalent table. This chart makes me read right-to-left and bottom-to-top to get what I need instead of the more natural left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Please take this as the constructive criticism it is. I’m hoping you guys don’t get TOO chart happy.

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    1. For me the graphics shown are excellent. The absolute and trend information jumps out at the reader much more effectively and memorable than a table of boring and easily forgettable numbers. Good job GIGaom.

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  6. Well this is pretty interesting for me! Because, I am holding an iPhone 5 in my hands, and want to sell it before iPhone 5S gets in the market.

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  7. You can also Try http://www.CellularReturns.com They offer honest and fair prices for iPhones and Blackberry Cell Phones with no bait and switch methods .They have an A rating on BBB and will send you a free shipping box on request and will provide a free USPS label with a TRACKING # so you can locate your box. Best part you can choose to get paid via PayPal or check.

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  8. What about the trade-in program that is starting today? Does that give cash or is that in lieu of gift cards too?

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    1. Apple’s trade-in program gives gift cards that you have to spend on a new iPhone.

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  9. You could always go to the Price Geek and look at their data.
    http://www.thepricegeek.com/results/iphone+5+16gb?country=us

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  10. Nice article! I recommend iPhonesIntoCash.com for customers looking to trade in their old IPhones. They are a smaller and leaner outfit that offers the best prices in the industry. Comparing iPhonesIntoCash.com with the competition like Gazelle and NextWorth, they are all on par with one another BUT iPhonesIntoCash’s prices are higher.

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