Ask Techland: Best Places to Sell an Old iPhone or Trade for Store Credit?

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I’m looking to either sell or trade in my old iPhone so I can buy the new one that’s being announced tomorrow. Any advice about where the best place to do that would be?

Doug Answers:

Without knowing which model you’re trading in, you’ve created exponentially more work for me it’s hard to pin down an exact number, but here’s a rough overview of some of your options.

Basically, if you want credit, Amazon is looking pretty good. You’ll get a shipping label to print out and a packing slip to put in the box with your phone. Send it off (Amazon pays for shipping) and upon inspection of the phone, Amazon will credit your account.

I’ve dug through Amazon’s listings and gone back to the iPhone 3GS (sorry if you’re trying to get rid of an iPhone 3G or earlier). The maximum payouts (assuming like-new condition) for each device are as follows:

  • iPhone 4 8GB (Black, AT&T) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 8GB (Black, Sprint) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 8GB (Black, Verizon) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 8GB (White, AT&T) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 8GB (White, Sprint) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 8GB (White, Verizon) $230.00
  • iPhone 4 16GB (Black, AT&T) $265.00
  • iPhone 4 16GB (Black, Verizon) $270.00
  • iPhone 4 16GB (White, AT&T) $285.00
  • iPhone 4 16GB (White, Verizon) $290.00
  • iPhone 4 32GB (Black, AT&T) $290.00
  • iPhone 4 32GB (Black, Verizon) $300.00
  • iPhone 4 32GB (White, AT&T) $310.00
  • iPhone 4 32GB (White, Verizon) $320.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (Black, AT&T) $405.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (Black, Sprint) $395.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (Black, Verizon) $410.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (White, AT&T) $415.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (White, Sprint) $410.00
  • iPhone 4S 16GB (White, Verizon) $410.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (Black, AT&T) $450.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (Black, Sprint) $450.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (Black, Verizon) $455.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (White, AT&T) $450.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (White, Sprint) $455.00
  • iPhone 4S 32GB (White, Verizon) $455.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (Black, AT&T) $500.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (Black, Sprint) $490.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (Black, Verizon) $500.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (White, AT&T) $500.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (White, Sprint) $490.00
  • iPhone 4S 64GB (White, Verizon) $500.00

The above figures are accurate as of 1pm Eastern on 9/11/12.

Retailers with similar trade-in-for-credit deals include Best Buy, Target, Walmart and others. Many of them are run by third-party companies, so you may start to feel like you’re getting deja-vu when pitting one store against the other if both stores use the same outside company. It’s getting increasingly rare for retailers to not have some sort of trade-in program, so check with your store or store’s website to see what they’re offering. Some will let you trade stuff in right inside the store, while some make you ship it first and then issue your credit to you later.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in cash, here are a few places to try – and some of the strengths of each. We’ll take a quick look at Gazelle, eBay’s Instant Sale and BuyMyTronics.

  • Gazelle offers relatively decent prices, and its biggest strength is that it protects its offers for 30 days. So you can lock in a price today and it’ll stay the same for a month. If Gazelle offers more for your phone between now and then, you’ll get the difference, too.
  • eBay Instant Sale’s strength is that it doesn’t ask a lot of questions. So if your phone’s not in tip-top shape but still works well, you may be able to get more here. Instant Sale simply asks if the phone is fully functional, if you’re trading in your charger and whether the phone’s condition is “working” or “not working” – you don’t have to try to gauge whether it’s in mint condition, good condition, average condition or anything like that.
  • BuyMyTronics generally has slightly higher payouts than competing sites. Double check your phone model against the other two sites first, of course.

Hope this helps. Make sure to check out our liveblog of the iPhone 5 event, too.

Have a question? Send it to tips-at-techland-dot-com and we’ll do our best to answer it.



Do you have an old iPhone 5 or 5s laying around? Lock your price today with and then just send in your old iPhone any time within 20 days. We offer quick quote, free shipping, and will pay the most cash compare to other buyback programs for your old iPhone! 


I sold my iPhone 5 for more than I paid for it on They paid for my shipping, wiped it for me and paid me on PayPal the same day they got my phone. Very smooth transaction, no annoying phone calls, meeting people in dark alleys or hassles. Highly recommended!


Looks like there is a clear winner among the highest prices being offered for broken or used iPhones at currently offering up to $225 for an iPhone 5 and $325 for an iPhone 5S.


The best place to sell an iPhone, or any cell phone for that matter, is They pay way more than anyone else and they pay you fast! I have sold them three phones and have gotten exactly what they quoted me each time.

Beware: There is a really popular phone buying site advertised on Google that is very misleading. When you enter you phone and model for a quote it says “Depending on its condition, we can pay you as much as” (whatever the price display is). So I sent them my absolutely perfect, Verizon iPhone 5 expecting to get the $378 they quoted.

When they received my phone I was contacted and told it was only worth $265! They claim it was due to damage and ‘changing market conditions!’ Long story short it took me three weeks to get my phone back from them. 

When I finally got it I did another search and found – they’re awesome! Send them your phone – you’ll be really happy.


i used WWW.IPODSWAPSHOP.COM and everything went very smooth! they gave me what they promised and offered to pay more for my iphone then everyone else. they sent me a prepaid box and postage in just a couple days then they paid me the same day it got back to them. wish this webiste would do a review on


I've used and haven't had much trouble. They guarantee the price as long as you don't legitimately try and screw them over or send something in way off from being as described. They accept all kinds of cell phones from dead to new conditions.


You really have to search around and find the right service provider to sell your iPhone with. There are many out there so it can take a bit of elbow grease to find the one with the most competitive rates.


I would say this is an OK list for placed to sell your iPhone. My personal experience I recommend upgrade your iPhone 4S as close to launch day or as early as your contract will allow. This will give your best resale value on the secondary market. A great thing to do is ask your carrier to factory unlock your iPhone once you are out of contract. This will improve resale by $50-75.00 USD. 

Also the easier the service is to use the lower the price will be. they have to inventory, make repairs, etc... Many of these services are better than trading in to AT&T, Verizon or even Apple.

So far EBay has always been my favorite way to resell my old iPhones. I just sold an old iPhone 4 16GB Black for $260+10 shipping on auction (sold within minutes). I just checked out the Device Flip website & looks promising for an easy quick cash for your old mobile phone. 

1. upgrade & resale early

2 investigate the market value

3.Shop around for the best deal, it's your money and many times the resale will cover the upgrade.

Joshua Paul Boram
Joshua Paul Boram

Thought i'd mention my company here also.  Here at, we not only offer the best prices but we offer the best level of service. If you send an iPhone to us and for some reason the price must be decreased, here at DeviceFlip, we actually given you the option to have it returned to you for free. We loose the shipping money, but at least you are happy in the end! This is just an example of how we treat all our customers respectfully and kindly at every stage, making us different from many other competitors!


I accepted offer from eBay Instant sale but when I send iPhone they told that its in different condition so I'm gonna get paid less. Annoying and the price wasn't even so good, better way is to list it on eBay and to sell to actual user for market price, download some app from app store which can evaluate and list it there for you

paza ganaden
paza ganaden

 I'm making $86 an hour working from home. I was shocked when my

neighbour told me she was averaging $95 but I see how it works now. I

feel so much freedom now that I'm my own boss. This is what I do,

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