When you buy a new phone, you can get cash for your old one. To help you get the most money, we’ve assembled the 7 best places to sell a used smartphone.
Brand new cell phones are expensive, especially as the technology improves. One way to lower that cost is to sell an old cell phone to pay part of the cost of a new one. To help the effort, here are seven places to sell an old cell phone.
Gazelle is a name that is practically synonymous with selling old cell phones. They primarily work with Apple phones, but you may be able to sell even a broken unit there. The site is a virtual supermarket for the buying and selling of cell phones.
What’s more, Gazelle pays cash for your cell phone, and there are no fees. This is an advantage compared with other sources that often offer an in-store credit. They will pay by check, Amazon gift card, or PayPal. They even offer same-day payments.
And just in case you forget to do it, Gazelle removes all personal information from the device. You should always do that anytime you sell an old cell phone But it’s nice to know Gazelle will come in behind you and take care of it anyway.
An Apple iPhone 7 32GB shows an offer of $200.
One of the advantages with uSell is that you can sell just about any used phone there. That includes all the major brands, and you can sell them for cash. In fact you can compare cash offers from hundreds of different buyers in a matter of seconds.
The disadvantage with uSell is that they are not a direct buyer. Instead, you are dealing with different buyers through the site. You must send in your cell phone to be inspected. If the phone passes the inspection, they’ll pay you by either check or PayPal.
An iPhone 7 32GB (Verizon) in good condition shows an offer of $243.60.
Similar to uSell, Sell.com is not a direct buyer of cell phones but an online marketplace, something like an eBay for cell phones. That of course is not a bad situation. But the process may be more complicated than simply going to a centralized buyer.
Instead, you have to advertise your phone for sale, wait for a buyer, and then work out the details from there. It’s not the simplest place to sell a cell phone, but it can offer you an opportunity to get a better price, since it’s a marketplace that specializes in the devices.
An Apple iPhone 6 (16 GB) shows as going for $189.95.
eBay is usually the best way to get the top price for your phone. That’s because you’re selling the phone directly to another buyer, and you don’t have to pay an intermediary along the way.
Start by scanning the prices on similar cell phones already listed on eBay. Price yours a little bit lower than the prevailing value if you want to sell it quickly. As is always the case with eBay sales, it helps to include a few photos and list as many features on the phone as possible.
You may be able to sell your phone through the Amazon Trade-in program. Amazon takes trade-ins on all kinds of items, including cell phones.
Through the program, you can receive an Amazon.com gift card in exchange for a cell phone. There are no fees for the program, either. When you send the phone in, you can print a free prepaid shipping label. And if the phone is returned for any reason, there’s no cost on return shipping either. You can even use the Amazon App to make the trade in. All you need to do is open the app and scan the item.
Once you send your phone in, Amazon will appraise it. You’ll receive an email notification within two business days letting you know if the phone was accepted or rejected. The process can take up to 10 business days to complete.
An Apple iPhone 6 (16 GB) shows “up to $95.05.”
For Damaged Phones–EcoATM
EcoATM is almost unique among places the sell an old cell phone. That’s because you actually do it in person. EcoATM has kiosks located throughout the country where you make it happen. They recycle electronic devices from nearly every major brand. And when you turn your phone in, they pay you cash for it.
You place your device in the kiosk, where EcoATM will examine the device, and give you the best price. If you agree to that price, you get cash on the spot. Not the best place price-wise, but it’s as quick as it gets.
An iPhone 6s Plus 16GB Verizon/Unlocked shows a payment range of between $5 and $90.
To Your Cell Phone Provider for a Credit
One of the easiest ways to sell your old cell phone is to turn it into your current provider. Cell phone providers sometimes offer to redeem your phone as a way to keep your business.
For example, you can check out the Verizon device trade-in page. Verizon lets you trade in your old phone to get a credit on your Verizon Wireless account. Alternatively, you can get a Verizon Wireless gift card. Each will be based on the appraised value of your old phone.
You can trade in up to 10 devices, including names like Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola or other manufacturers. You send in your device, and the carrier will appraise it. Then you’ll get an email confirmation of the appraised value. Verizon will issue the credit within one to two billing cycles or send a gift card within two weeks.
Check with whoever your current cell phone provider is, and see if they have a similar program.
Final Thoughts on Selling an Old Cell Phone
Any time you trade in or sell an old cell phone, you should fully expect to get less than what you originally paid. If you think in terms of a lot less, you won’t be disappointed. For example, you may have paid $600 for your phone brand-new, but don’t be surprised if you can only sell it for around $100. Obviously, the later the model of your phone, the more you’ll get for it.
Yet another important point is that you have to be careful that you remove any personal information from your device. Smartphones contain a lot of personal information, including account access information and maybe even your Social Security number. You don’t want to turn over your device with that information to an unknown third party. Some of the services listed above will do that for you, but never assume that’s the way it will work.
Have you tried to sell an old cell phone in the past? How did it go for you?
Updated May 18, 2018 and originally published April 23, 2018.