Time to Sell or Trade Your Smartphone?

Category: Mobile

Apple’s iPhone 6 won’t start shipping until September 19 (and delays of 2-3 weeks have already been announced) but carriers are already using the much-anticipated phone to compete for new customers and tempt existing customers into renewing their contracts for another two years. It's also created a hot market for used smarpthones. Read on to see how you can benefit...

iPhone 6 Spawns New Competition

A flurry of trade-in offers, price reductions, and other incentives followed Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone 6 almost instantly. Here is a summary of what the major carriers are offering to get your business on this hot new phone:

Verizon is offering a free iPhone 6 with 16 GB of storage to existing customers who trade in recent iPhone 5s and renew contracts for another two years. T-mobile announced that it will match any Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T trade-in offer and add $50 to it. Check the mobile provider's website or visit their retail store for complete details.

Sell or Trade Your Smartphone

Even GameStop, the video game retailer, is holding a weekend-long trade-in extravaganza with store credits or cash in exchange for your old iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, and selected other smartphones. GameStop will surely sell those used phones on the thriving secondary market, where certain models and brands retain their original value better than others. Best Buy, Staples and Target retail stores are also offering gift cards for iPhone trade-ins.

According to operators of used-electronics exchanges such as Gazelle and Glyde, iPhones are the BMWs of the phone world; they retain a higher percentage of their list prices in the secondary market than most other brands. But, like cars, the resale value of a phone still plummets rapidly as newer models come out. An iPhone 6 without a contract starts at $650 new. An iPhone 5s goes for around $350 used; an iPhone 4 may fetch only $50 to $70.

Where to Sell or Trade Your Phone

There is a wide variance in trade-in values offered by carriers and used-phone exchanges, so it pays to shop around. In addition to the Big 4 carriers and above-mentioned retail store offers, here are some other places to shop for the best price on your used phone:

eBay is offering a $100 coupon (good towards your next eBay purchase) if your phone doesn’t sell at auction; but read the terms and conditions carefully. Items with cracked screens or other types of damage are not eligible for the promotion. If you've been wanting to sell your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, LG Nexus, or Blackberry (Q10 or Z10), check it out.

If you don't want the hassle of an auction, Amazon is offering gift cards of up to $400 for iPhone 5s trade-ins. They also accept trade-ins for other cell phones, various electronic gadgets, books, movies, music, and video games.

Gazelle is mainly interested in Apple products, including computers, tablets, and iPods.

Glyde is a place to buy or sell used phones of Apple or Android operating systems

NextWorth deals in phones and other personal electronics, and you can get paid for your old stuff on the spot in 1,500 NextWorth partner stores, including Target.

BuyTronics started in 2007 as BuyMyBrokeniPod.com, but now it deals in phones, cameras, camcorders, “fitness devices,” and computers.

Glyde told Cnet that it’s processing three times as many iPhone trade-ins since the iPhone 6 launch, and listings of Android phones are up 50 per cent versus the week before the iPhone 6’s debut. A big spike in elderly iPhones – model 4 and earlier – suggests that many iPhone owners have been waiting for a truly significant upgrade that has finally arrived.

Are you ready to sell or trade your existing smartphone? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Time to Sell or Trade Your Smartphone?"

Posted by:

Daniel Wiener
18 Sep 2014

Back in mid-July my daughter upgraded her Sprint Galaxy S3 to an S5 (the S3 was working but starting to have turn-on problems). Subsequently she returned the used S3 to Sprint for a $60 used-phone credit. Last week we received a postcard from Sprint advertising a "double your trade-in dollars" promotion (at samsungdoubleyourtradein.com) for all upgrades to a Galaxy S5 or Note 3 between 6/30/14 and 9/30/14. We filled out the on-line submittal, and are now waiting to see what happens.

One wrinkle I ran into was that the on-line submittal form asked for the "store number" where the new device was purchased. Since we got it through Amazon, I put in "Amazon". It didn't like that, and there is no "store number" listed on the Amazon receipt as there would be for a brick-and-mortar store. That seems rather behind the times for Samsung. After several phone calls and emails to Amazon and Samsung, I was finally told to use 8414 as the Amazon store number.

Posted by:

Jan Owen
18 Sep 2014

Bob, I'm very interested in jumping to a new iPhone 6 Plus (from my iPhone 4). But, the top of the line gig-rich iPhone 6 Plus is darned expensive! However, I prefer accessing everything, phone & data, on one device, so I'll likely make the investment.

I was daunted yesterday when Apple came out with a monster 55-page Terms & Conditions Change in legalese that I haven't had time to read yet, but until I "agree" to the new terms, I can't install any software from AppsGoneFree or anywhere else. Frustrating.

The Terms & Conditions Change document describes a new family plan for iOS 8 that sounds like it might be a good thing until you try to figure out the accompanying ton of qualifications (that I would love to run by my lawyer)! Would you be willing to take a look at it and interpret for us? If you need the document, send me your preferred email address.

And it looks like upgrading to iOS 8 on an older iPhone is going to be problematic (painful?). iOS 8 requires an enormous amount of space to install, for one, and the switch to a completely new iCloud, for another. This article outlines some of the problems: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/read-these-6-warnings-before-you-update-your-iphone-to-97760524429.html

Apple is becoming too complicated!!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's some info on the new TOC. http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple-updates-itunes-toc-with-ios-8-family-sharing-and-app-bundle-pricing

Posted by:

18 Sep 2014

Bob- You state that "...many iPhone owners have been waiting for a truly significant upgrade that has finally arrived." Other articles I've read suggest that the 6 is NOT a significant upgrade. Care to comment further?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Apple has (until now) lagged behind on screen size. The iPhone 5s was only a 4-inch screen, while many competitors have had 4.7, 5 and 5.5-inch screens for quite some time.

Posted by:

18 Sep 2014

Bob, any advice on how to wipe a phone clean before trading it in? I know you can reset an iPhone, but does that really obliterate the data? Or can old data still be recovered like it can from a hard drive?

EDITOR'S NOTE: For iPhones, see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5661 which says "This will completely erase your device..." The phone's flash memory is encrypted, so by deleting the encryption key all the data is effectively gone.

But see also http://netsecurity.about.com/od/iphoneipodtouchapps/a/How-To-Erase-Your-Iphones-Data-Before-You-Sell-It.htm for tips on unlinking apps tied to the phone's hardware ID.

Posted by:

Danny G
19 Sep 2014

swappa.com is a good place to buy/sell used phones.

Posted by:

Danny G
21 Sep 2014

swappa.com is a good place to buy/sell used phones.

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