Selling your old iPhone? Don’t fall for a ‘flawless’ quote


Want to sell your iPhone? Unless you kept your iPhone 7 shrink-wrapped in the box since the day you got it, it's not
Ready to sell your iPhone? Unless you kept your iPhone 7 shrink-wrapped in the box since the day you got it, it's not "flawless."
Photo: Pavel Kunitsky/Pexels CC

With the price of the next iPhone reportedly clocking in at over $1,000, many people are likely thinking, “It’s time to sell my iPhone.”

If you’re looking to trade in your old iPhone for cash, you’d be crazy not to maximize the money you get. But beware: One of the biggest mistakes people make during an iPhone trade-in is falling for a “flawless” quote.

Craigslist and eBay can yield the largest returns. However, the uncertainty and hassle associated with selling on those platforms leads a lot of people to turn to companies that specialize in consumer electronics buyback.

These companies typically give you an online iPhone buyback quote within seconds. They provide all mailing supplies and postage so you don’t waste any time or face any inconvenience during the selling process. Then they send you a check.

Selling your iPhone? Beware the ‘flawless’ price

Unfortunately, a lot of these companies tout “flawless” or “like-new” pricing in their marketing materials. That can make customers think they will get much more when selling an old iPhone than what they’ll actually receive in the end.

The reality is, it can be practically impossible to get the highest prices advertised. Let’s look at an AT&T iPhone 7 (32GB) across trade-in platforms to see how this works.

Best Buy only offers $258 for this phone. Best Buy also only pays in store credit. If you want cash, there’s no reason to use the company’s iPhone trade-in service anyway. Worse yet, if Best Buy deems your phone to be in “fair” condition (“moderate physical damage and fully functional“) rather than “good” (“shows signs of normal use”), the price plummets to $194. That means you’ll get a $194 gift card for a fully functional iPhone 7 — it may be one of the worst iPhone buyback deals anywhere.

NextWorth seems a little better (at least at first). As long the iPhone 7 you want to sell shows zero dents or scratches, NextWorth will pay you $280 in real money (rather than a gift card). However, even a light scratch drops the price to $224. And, heaven forbid you have both one dent and one scratch on the device you’ve been using near-constantly for the last year. If so, NextWorth will pay you only $157 for your iPhone 7!

Gazelle offers $315 for the same phone in “flawless” condition. However, Gazelle says that to qualify as flawless, a phone must look like it’s never been used. “Select this option if your iPhone still looks and functions like you just removed it from factory packaging,” the company’s website says. “The screen must be absolutely pristine.” When you put it that way, it seems clear that almost no used iPhone would qualify.

Sell your iPhone to us

At MyPhones Unlimited, Cult of Mac’s iPhone buyback partner, we do things differently. We intentionally omit “flawless” or any other category based on your device’s cosmetic condition. It’s all just too subjective.

As long as your phone is fully functioning, we’ll pay our top price for it. It doesn’t matter if your used iPhone bears scratches, scuffs or dents. As long as there are no cracks and everything works, you get the top price. (For the iPhone 7 we discussed above, that happens to be $300.)

Get an honest iPhone buyback quote now

If you’re ready to sell your iPhone, or any other device, you owe it to yourself to get a quick quote from us. You’ll know exactly how much we’ll pay in a matter of seconds. Accept our offer, and we’ll mail you a box. Mail in your old device, and we’ll send you a check. It’s just that easy.

Ready to sell that old gear and start saving up for the iPhone 8? Get your quote today for selling an old iPhone, MacBook, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch or other wearable. (We even buy Android phones and tablets.)

It couldn’t be easier — and you won’t fall for the “flawless” trap.


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