How to Sell My Old iPhone – A Complete Guide

Generally speaking, the iPhone is a trusted commodity. That is why Apple has found such worldwide success with them and why they have such a dominant market presence. If you own an iPhone that you’ve had for a while, though, then the chances are high that you’ll want to sell yours eventually. Maybe at that time, you’ll be ready for a newer iPhone model, or perhaps you’ll go with a different company, like their constant competitor, the Samsung Galaxy. In any case, you’ll need to figure out who buys iPhones to get some idea of where you might unload yours. We’ll go over several of those options in this article.

Selling Old iPhone

Reasons to Sell Your iPhone

The Find My iPhone Feature

There are plenty of possible reasons why you might feel that it’s time to sell your iPhone. The most obvious is that your current one is not working quite as well as it used to. Maybe the functionality of your existing phone is at least okay, but it isn’t as fast to connect to websites as it used to be. Apps might not load as quickly either. Those would be telltale signs that it’s time to try and sell off the device and get a replacement.

You may also have heard from friends or relatives that a different cell phone is amazing. It’s hard to keep your current phone that is several years old when you’re getting regular reports that some newer version is so much fun to own and use. Perhaps you’re seeing constant commercials that make some different phones seem enticing as well.

Related to this reason would be the knowledge that since you bought your last iPhone, several innovations have come about that have shaken the very foundations of phone ownership. Think about the sensation that features like Hey Siri or Find My iPhone made when they came out. 

If you are someone who loves to own the latest tech, then that could be ample reason for you to sell your current device. You can put the money from the sale toward the purchase of the newest, top-of-the-line model.

Cellular Service Providers Buy Used iPhones

A T-Mobile Store May Buy Your iPhone

The first possibility worth mentioning if you’re determined to sell your used iPhone would be cellular service providers. Many of the more prominent ones, like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc., have buyback programs. 

One possible drawback if you go that route, though, is that you may have to actually be a current customer of that provider before they will consider buying your used device. These entities will probably balk at the possibility of you simply coming in off the street and trying to sell your used iPhone to them. That’s not how they operate.

eBay Customers Buy Used iPhones

You can put your used iPhone up for sale on eBay, too. To do this, you’ll need to create an account with the website, if you don’t have one already. 

With eBay, you have the option of either listing your phone for a set price or else you can auction it off. There are many different stipulations that you can put in place as you’re trying to make a sale. For example, if you’re auctioning off the phone, then you can have a set amount that must be met before the sale is valid. Bids that are too low will not be considered.

If you are already familiar with eBay and use it often, then this might be a viable choice for you. However, there are some issues associated with this platform. The biggest one is that, even if you feel that you’ve accurately described the condition of the phone, the buyer might see things differently once they have it in their hands. In that case, you will have to worry about things like refunds or arguing with the dissatisfied customer. Many people find the very idea distasteful, which is why they don’t sell things on eBay at all.

There’s also the fact that you have to figure out how best to package and ship the device. If you run your own store on eBay, then such tasks will not be very daunting for you. If you’re not used to the process, though, then you might not relish having to go through these steps to see some money off of the sale.

You Can Sell to Someone on Craigslist

Then there is the all-purpose buying and selling site known as Craigslist. For those who are unfamiliar, Craigslist is a website where you can list just about anything for sale, or you can make it available for free. You can even suggest trades of goods for services or other items.

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With Craigslist, there is very little regulation. If the site administrators catch you trying to sell something that you’re not supposed to, then they’ll flag the post and take it down, or even report you to the authorities. There is nothing wrong with selling your used iPhone on Craigslist in the electronics section, though, at least not according to the rules of the site. 

The issue you could run into, though, is that in most cases, even if you find someone who is interested in paying you the price that you set, you’re going to have to meet with them in-person to complete the sale. The chances will be high that you don’t know this individual. You’ll be trying to conduct a business transaction with them knowing virtually nothing about them.

Such a transaction might go fine, but then again, it may not. There are certainly going to be some rules to follow if you attempt to sell your phone this way. 

Don’t invite the prospective buyer to your home, nor should you go to theirs. Instead, meet in daylight, if possible, in a public place where there will be plenty of other people around. Bring someone with you, like a family member or friend. If no one is available, then at least tell someone you trust when and where the meeting is taking place.

Accept only cash for the phone, or a cashier’s check or money order for the agreed-upon amount would be acceptable as well. Don’t ever take a personal check or only a portion of the money. A vague promise from a stranger to get the rest at some later date and time is a trick used all too often by dishonest buyers looking to take advantage of the gullible. 

Best Buy Purchase Used iPhones

Some Best Buys Still Exist

There are also buyback programs run by entities like Best Buy and GameStop. There aren’t that many Best Buy locations left, due to online retailers like Amazon taking over the market over the past decade-plus. Still, you’ll sometimes find a Best Buy, and some of them are willing to take a gently-used iPhone off of your hands.

There are two potential issues there. The first is that they won’t give you cash, only store credit. Whether that’s acceptable to you is entirely your decision. If you’re going to get a replacement phone at that same Best Buy, then you might be okay with it. If you need cash, though, then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

The second problem is that they’ll try and give you a little back as possible for the device. Stores like this will have a table to which they’ll refer, handed down to the employees by corporate. It will state how much each generation of iPhone is worth, depending, of course, on what condition it’s in. 

Best Buy is in the game to make a profit, so they’re likely to try and give you a lowball offer. If the offer they give you doesn’t seem equal in your mind to what the phone should actually be worth, then you’ll probably want to check out some other options.

GameStop is a video game exchange store with many locations around the country. They deal in various other electronics besides games and video game systems, and that includes cell phones and phone paraphernalia.

GameStop Buys iPhones

At GameStop, most of the same rules apply as with Best Buy locations. The only difference is that you can get cash for your phone as well as credit. That’s probably going to make GameStop a more attractive option for you. 

The issue, once again, is that you’re not likely to get anywhere near what the phone is really worth. Yes, you’ll be able to walk out with cash. However, it’s probably only going to be a fraction of what GameStop will make on the sale when they turn around and sell off that same phone. If you can live with that, you can look for a location close to you.

You Can Sell Your iPhone to a Pawnshop

Pawnshops will buy just about anything, and they’ll jump at the chance to take a working iPhone off your hands. They’ll give you cash for it, too, whether you are selling the device outright or only pawning it. The difference is that if you pawn your phone, you’re indicating that you want to come back and reclaim it later.

We don’t recommend using this method, though, because of all the entities that buy iPhones, you’re liable to get the least money from a pawnshop. Pawnshop owners and operators are notoriously unscrupulous, and they’ll try to take your merchandise for a fraction of what it’s worth if they can get away with it.  

If you consider yourself to be a shrewd negotiator, then you might see this as a viable option. Most people, though, won’t want to deal with the inherent element of sleaze that comes along with this choice. There’s no shortage of pawnshops, but the number of people who have had a positive experience with one is few and far between.

Eco-ATMs: Electronic Vending Machines

Another possibility is to locate an electronic vending machine, such as one of the popular Eco-ATMs, which buys used cell phones. These machines are precisely what they sound like: they’re fully automated kiosks that will buy your used iPhone without you having to interact with a human being at all. For the antisocial individuals among us, this might sound ideal.

There are some drawbacks with this choice as well, though. The biggest one is that these contraptions are not always easy to find. There are certain parts of the country where they have become more prevalent. If you live in a major metropolis or near to one, then you have a much better chance of tracking one down. If you live in an area that is more rural, then you’re not likely to have this option available to you.

Another issue is that, much like some of the other options we mentioned, you’re probably not going to get very much for your used iPhone. It’s true that you will be paid in cash rather than store credit. However, these machines will try to lowball you in much the same way that a pawn shop owner, a Best Buy employee, or a GameStop location would. With an Eco-ATM, you don’t have to deal with a person, but you can’t haggle to get a better deal from one either.

You Can Sell to a Family Member or Friend

You could always sell your used iPhone to a friend or family member. In some ways, this seems like a great solution. You don’t have to travel anywhere, and presumably, you’ll get cash for the deal.

You Could Sell Your iPhone to a Friend

While this might work, you should be wary if you try to sell your iPhone this way. You’ll first need to settle on a price with the individual involved. If one of you feels that the agreed-upon dollar amount isn’t fair, then it could lead to hurt feelings.

Also, say the money is not paid up-front and a payment plan is agreed upon. You might begin to resent the person to whom you sold it if they’re slow to give you the remainder of what they owe. At the same time, they could become angry at you if you keep pestering them for the money.

Selling to someone you know might prove to be ideal for some people, but it is just as likely to lead to disaster. Where friends and family are concerned, financial matters can easily lead to hurt feelings, so be careful if you venture down this road.

Sell to BuyBack Boss

Of the various options that are out there, though, the one that’s likely to be best for you, hands down, is Buyback Boss. For one thing, we offer cash, not store credit. You also never have to deal with anyone in-person. You can go on our website and look up your iPhone according to its condition and what model it is. We’ll offer you the most that you’re going to get for it of any of the entities we mentioned.

There are other online buyback programs, but Buyback Boss will beat any of their cash offers. Once you tell us what site is offering a superior deal, and the dollar amount, then we will give you a better one. That is our commitment to you.

You can send us your used iPhone through the mail, but unlike eBay, the process is extremely simple, and we’ll guide you through it. Once we have your iPhone, we’ll assess it. If we determine that the condition is as you described it, then you’ll get paid, either through PayPal, or we’ll cut a check and send it to you through the mail. You’ll have your money within a few days, and the amount of effort that you’ll put into the whole process is minimal.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of options as to who buys iPhones. It is going to be up to you to determine which one makes the most sense. At the very least, though, you should shop around and see how much you’re likely to get through the various entities that exist. Don’t feel that you have to settle on the first offer you get, or you might end up dealing with feelings of disappointment later. 

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