Upgrading to the iPhone every year is costly, but if you keep your iPhone in great condition, you can always sell it right before the next iPhone comes out and use that to supplement the cost of upgrading.
Knowing the best place to sell your iPhone can be the tricky part because there are dozens of places you can go to as each vendor is different and will offer you different methods and prices. Choosing the right venter can be the difference between turning an iClunker into a new upgrade, or getting burned by extra fees and low trade-in prices.
Here are the best places to get the most cash out for your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus upgrade:
Apple Reuse and Recycling Program
If you’re selling your iPhone 5S to buy the iPhone 6, then you probably won’t mind getting an Apple giftcard in exchange for your phone. Apple’s Reuse and Recycling program will let you turn in your old iPhone inexchange for an Apple giftcard.
Right now they will give you $310 for a like-new 16GB iPhone 5S if it’s unlocked. The biggest drawback is that it takes a few days for Apple to get your iPhone, verify its value if it’s not being put toward a new iPhone, but if you’re doing it at an Apple Retail Store the value can be put toward an iPhone or iPad purchase immediately.
Carriers are now using trade-ins as a weapon to lure new iPhone buyers away their contract. Verizon will give you an 16GB iPhone 6 for free if you trade in an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5s, or 5c as long as it’s in good condition and you renew your two-year contract. Sprint will give you up to $300 for an old iPhone if you’re buying a new iPhone 6. AT&T has pretty much the same deal as Sprint, and T-Mobile is promising to top them all by meeting any trade-in price you can find and paying an additional 50 bucks.
Auctioning off your iPhone on eBay is one of the easiest ways to sell your iPhone. The only problem is the eBay marketplace is usually crowded with tons of people trying to sell their iPhone too, so it can be hard to standout and get a quick sale. With the eBay Instant Sale app you can sell your used iPhone to eBay instantly.
The offers might not be as high as you were hoping for, but it’s ridiculously quick and easy to use, and if you feel like you’re getting low-balled you can always auction off the iPhone on your own.
There are some people who are just plain terrified to sell their items on Craigslist, and for good reason. Craigslist is like the Wild Wild West of internet marketplaces. Anything goes. Once you list your iPhone 5S for sale at $400, people will email you stuff like, “I got a third-gen iPod nano, $75 cash, and a dirty sock used by Steve Nash. Trade?” It gets crazy, but it can be worth it if you’re patient.
Craigslist is the best place to get the most value for your iPhone. You have to deal with all the terrible people trying to low-ball you, and awkward real-world encounters that make you feel more like a drug dealer than an Apple fan, but if you can get past that, Craigslist might be the best place to sell your iPhone.
As one of the first major sites to start purchasing used iPhones, Gazelle has a few options that make it standout. First, they’ll pay you with either check, PayPal, or Amazon store credit – and if you choose the Amazon option they’ll give you 5% more than your quote. Second, they’re guaranteeing all iPhone price quotes until October 1st, so that the value of your iPhone won’t diminish once the iPhone 6 and Plus come out.
A perfect 16GB iPhone 5S will fetch you $300 on Gazelle which is $10 less than Apple, but you won’t have to wait around for your payment to come in the mail.
What’s great about Glyde is it gives you the freedom to set your own price, without having to go through all the hassles of finding a buyer on your own. Right now, the Glyde market-price for a flawless 16GB iPhone 5S is $$316. You can list your iPhone for sale at that price, or higher. If you don’t want to wait to find a buyer, you can sell it to Glyde instantly for $266.
USell is a bit like Gazelle, in that you specify the iPhone you have and it’s current condition, and then the website gives you an offer. Except with USell you are given a number of different offers to choose from. Most of the buyers will pay you via your choice of check or PayPal.
Like eBay, consumers have two options with Amazon. You can list your iPhone 5S on the Amazon Marketplace and wait for a buyer to come along, or you can just trade it in to Amazon and let them handle the rest. Amazon offers the best prices of all the trade-in programs too.
Trading a “like new” 16GB iPhone 5S will net you up to $394, plus they give you free shipping. If you’re not going to sell your iPhone on Craigslist, trading it in to Amazon will probably get you the most money.