How to sell iPhone or other used cell phones: 4 options to turn your old phone into cash

Sell iPhone and other used cell phones when upgrading to a new phone for extra cash.  I recently changed my phone from an iPhone 5 to a Samsung Galaxy IV and I wanted to sell the old phone to partially pay for my recent purchase. With the upcoming release of Apple’s new iPhone, I knew I had to sell it fast. Since I average a new phone every year, I’ve had a number of experiences in selling my phones through different mediums. A lot of my friends have asked me what are the best ways. Here are a couple of ways to sell your used cellphone based on my experiences.

4 options to sell iPhone or other used cell phones:

1. Sell iPhone and other old cell phones to 3rd party buyers like uSell or Gazelle

  • Pros: You can instantly find out how much you are going to get for your phone. Easy trade-in process where they’ll ship you a box where you can send your phone in.
  • Cons: The price you'll get will be less than what you’ll get on eBay or Craigslist

2. Trade-in to big box retailers like Best Buy, RadioShack or possibly the Apple store

  • Pros: Easiest way to trade in for gift card, cash or credit for a new phone. You can walk in with an old phone and walk out with a brand new one! Best Buy has been running multiple promotions this summer where you trade in your old iPhone 4 models for a brand new iPhone 5 with little upfront costs.
  • Cons: The price you get will likely be lower than eBay or Craigslist.  Promotions come and go.

3. Sell iPhone online with eBay or Amazon Marketplace

  • Pros: You’ll get market value for your smartphone. Financial transaction between seller and buyer is made easier with a Paypal account. The invention of the Ebay protection program protects both parties from fraudulent or defective items.
  • Cons: Where do I start =) There are ton of scammers on eBay these days, especially international ones so beware! There are buyers who win auctions who default on payment, ratings matter! Ebay and Paypal fees can potentially take a lot of your profits where you could have easily received the same value as walking into one of your local retailers or selling on Craigslist.

4. Sell iPhone to someone local with Craigslist

  • Pros: Get market value for your smartphone. Instantaneous payment and no fees to pay.
  • Cons: More work is required by you, the seller to respond to inquiries, tell low-ball offers to go away, negotiate a price, and meet up with people to finalize the transaction. Small chance of being scammed or becoming a crime statistic but I recommend doing your transaction in a bank where there are tons of cameras and people around.  Also helps if you can bring a friend to watch your back.

Backup and erase your phone before you sell it

Before you sell your old iPhone, make sure you erase all of your personal data and information. If you intend to upgrade to a newer model of an iPhone or Android phones, you should also make a backup of your apps, music, contacts and videos. I've recently taken a picture of the serial and IEM numbers just in case I need the information in the future. Lastly, do your homework by figuring out your cellphone’s market value and be smart about who you communicate and sell it to. If your Spidey senses are tingling, walk away from the transaction.