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Get The Most Cash Out Of Your Old iPhone, Resell Your iPhone 4 Like A Pro [How-To]

Get The Most Cash Out Of Your Old iPhone, Resell Your iPhone 4 Like A Pro [How-To]

With any luck, you’ve managed to get through Apple’s technical difficulties and order yourself a new iPhone 4S this morning. But what to do with your old iPhone? If you’re looking to sell it, here’s a reminder of four tips that will help you sell your old iPhone like a pro.

Get it serviced or replaced before selling your iPhone.

Check your iPhone’s One-Year Limited Warranty status and/or AppleCare. If it’s still covered inspect it for defects and have it repaired or replaced before you sell it. I wrote and article on this topic a while back, which covers some of the sorts of defects older iPhone models sometimes developed. This should give you some idea about what to look out for. You’re going to get more money for a pristine iPhone than one with a worn out home button or faded screen. Moreover, you don’t want to have to deal with an upset buyer chasing you down if you sell them a defective iPhone.

Clean up your iPhone & Prepare it for Resale.

Take a few minutes to clean your old iPhone. A slightly dampened cloth will be sufficient to clean its surface and use canned air to blast out the speakers and, microphone, and charger ports. If you still have your iPhone’s original packaging materials be sure to include them with it as this usually increases the value a little bit. Apple has a short guide on iPhone cleaning, but there are other far more detailed guides out there too. Finally, be sure to include the iPhone charger it came with.

Protect your privacy.

Be sure to wipe your iPhone of all personal data before selling it or trading it in. Your iPhone contains all sorts of personal data and you shouldn’t pass it on to anyone else without taking some steps to ensure your privacy is protected. The simplest thing you can do is to use your iPhone to erase all personal data. You can easily do this by navigating to:

Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Be sure to back up your iPhone before erasing it and also keep your iPhone plugged in while it erases as the process sometimes takes a while. Also, be sure to remove your SIM card.

Shop around, explore your options, and find the best deal. 

There’s a huge market for used iPhones right now. Spend a little bit of time to shopping around. Craigslist, eBay, SellYourMac.com, Gazelle, or NextWorth are some of the more popular seller options. In addition to price, overall convenience may be another relevant factor to consider when deciding where and how to sell your iPhone. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may be able to sell your iPhone within a few hours after posting your first advertisement. If you choose to sell your iPhone through Craigslist or through any other channel that leads to an in-person sale, be sure to conduct the transaction in a safe public place during daylight hours. Apple also buys back old iPhones through its Reuse and Recycling Program where you can get $180 for a used iPhone 4, 16 GB model provided that it’s still in excellent shape. Depending on your location and your iPhone’s condition, you may be able to get more for your old iPhone from one vendor over another.

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  • Travis

    The eBay Instant Sale app seems to be a promising option. They’ve offered me and wife $175.25 for our iPhone 3GS’s. That’s an offer I can’t refuse, especially since I only paid $199 for the new 4S :) HTH.

  • Alltimelow76

    Best Buy has the best deal. $265 gift card

  • justinjdean

    Just got $240 through ebay Instal Sale app for iphone4, and $150 for iphone 3gS (both 16Gb)

  • TonyGest967

    people all over the world are making money online and their check is more than 5000$ month after month just working on the computer for few houres , more home workers needed immediately,This system is so simple that anyone with a computer can make money FAST! Read about it and follow the steps to get started , here http://gzg.in/8669

  • D.S.

    I am keeping my 3G as a backup. Not worth that much on a trade; and not having a working iPhone would be difficult.

  • Un_FollowMe

    you’re a dumbass., you could have sold your iphone 4 for at least $380 if you put it up for auction….or at least sell it someone who needs it for $240. You got ripped off dude, dont be too excited. 

  • Un_FollowMe

    Anybody want to sell their iPhone 4 for $200 (AT&T only) contact me on twitter. @Un_followme:twitter

  • Jason

    There’s also webuy.com

  • Asdf

    If there’s only cosmetic damage to the phone, good luck getting it replaced. 

  • TylerHoj

    Someone wanna give me their old iPhone 4 for 2 pieces of lindt and a Dr.Pepper?! It’s gotta be BNIB though or no deal. That’s a pretty good offer. 

  • JD Trader33

    Just sold mine for $620 through auction

  • Chris Wurtinger

    Damn I would love an iPhone 4!  Taking donations!

  • CharliK

    Just be careful with that ‘go get a new one’ trick. Apple is wise to that game and they will run diagnostics, restore etc to make sure there is really something wrong. You can’t go in and say your phone isn’t working right and just get handed a brand new one. 

  • Roland

    I find this kind of actions unmoral and an example of greed.

  • SamTheDon

    In the UK you can get around £300 for your old iPhone 4, that’s what I did, so got the new 4s for 200 pounds !!

  • Marc

    does anyone know where I can BUY used or refurbished iPhones? (except ebay) I only found links to sell your phone……

  • SellYourMac

    yes we sell used iphones!  http://stores.ebay.com/iSelliM

  • mobutt

    lol actually you can

  • Andreas Rasmussen

    In Denmark you can get around $548 for your old iPhone 4.

  • Huonhad

    JUst want to know r, when upgrate iOS 5.0.2,should I take off sim card ,befor upgrate or I don’t have too

  • Joshua Paul Boram

    You guys should get quotes from another 2 places I found.  CashitGadget.com, and DeviceFlip.com.  I got the highest quote from CashitGadget.com!

About the author

Jonathan ZschauJonathan was introduced to Apple at the age of five when his family bought its first computer, an Apple IIGS, in 1986. He has owned and used Macs almost exclusively ever since. He is an attorney from Boston, Massachusetts where he focuses on litigation technology. As a contributor he writes about consumer protection issues related to Apple products. He is also the author of Buying and Owning a Mac: Secrets Apple Doesn't Want You to Know.

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