If you’re looking to make bank on your tired old iPhone before trading up to the forthcoming 6S, we’ve got good news, and we’ve got bad news. First, the bad: you likely could have sold it for a lot more before Tim Cook and co. announced the new one, since prices for older iPhones tend to drop about 50% after a new device is announced. But here’s the good news: you can still make a pretty penny.
Whether your phone is barely holding itself together or somehow in mint condition, here are your options, and what to expect.*
*Unless otherwise noted, values are estimates based on used phone models in "good" condition.
Get cash for a total brick
You may think the cracked screen and pattern of scratches would render your phone practically worthless. However, even the dumpiest phones can be sold for something. As long as they power on and hold a charge, you should be able to get some sort of return. Don't try to pull a fast one on any of these services though; they do a thorough inspection of your device to confirm that its condition matches up with your description, and only pay out when they've made a final determination.
If your device has come out on the other side without any noticeable wear and tear, you're in for a big payday. The above payout ranges are estimated based on phones listed in "good" condition on all of the aforementioned sites. That's why you get a phone case, people.
Most wireless carriers have buyback programs where customers can trade in their device for money towards a new one (or a gift card), though the amount varies widely based on the condition of the phone. The bulk of them require you to send it in a prepaid shipping envelope to be appraised by their experts, who'll apply payouts once they've decided how much it's worth. If you'd prefer fast cash, Apple and certain Best Buy stores will appraise it on the premises and offer to pay you in credit or in the form of a gift card on the spot.
Auction it off
Where to go: eBay
iPhone 5, 5C, 5S: $151 - $312
iPhone 6, 6+: $414 - $636
You may very well score serious cash back selling on eBay, but bear in mind that the prices listed above were determined using their calculation tool, and only indicative of what the "Buy It Now" price would be when you list it -- not what someone might ultimately pay for it. However, depending on your timing, you may find a buyer desperate enough to leave you with a good chunk of change.
Sell it to a stranger for big money
Where to go: Craigslist
iPhone 5, 5C, 5S: ~$300
iPhone 6, 6+: As much as $900
We're all aware of the potential pitfalls/murderous creeps that may come with selling shit on the ol' Craigslist, but if you catch it at the right time in the right city, it may well be the most lucrative option to offload your old phone... at least judging by what they're currently going for in the New York area.
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