Earn/Save Money

(Another) New iPhone!? How To Get The Most Money For Your Old Phone

Surprise, surprise. Apple has released yet another iPhone that has us lining up at the Apple store like damn fools and looking at our 5S devices that we got less than a year ago with utter disdain. Why Apple? Why do you do this to us? I personally am in no rush to get the new phone which seems to have no exhilarating new features and which is also about the size of my iPad mini. For those of you who’s mouths salivate slightly every time you see someone with the new phone – here is how to get rid of your old one to help fund your sick tech addiciton.

Keep in mind that your phone needs to be functioning and in good condition to get any real money for it. If you have apple care protection or insurance, use that to get the phone repaired for free or at a small fee before trying to sell it so that you can get the most money for it. For some reason AT&T and Verizon phones get the most money, with T-mobile right behind and Sprint getting the least (but not by much).

When comparing the prices, know that a locked phone simply means it will only work with one carrier (it’s “locked” to the carrier). That means if you buy your phone from AT&T, it won’t work on T-Mobile’s network unless you first get it unlocked. Locked/unlocked is not the same as “jailbreaking” an iPhone or “rooting” an Android phone. If you are up-to-date on your cell phone contract, your carrier may unlock your phone for you. Policies vary from carrier to carrier, but you will need to contact your carrier to verify and request an unlock.

Ebay is running a campaign where if you list your phone auction-style and it doesn’t sell, they will give you a $100 coupon. Use their website to see how much your device is worth, and keep in mind that you must follow the starting price guide given by eBay. Seller beware – understand that theres always a chance that that starting bid is all that you will get for your phone, so if it is too low, try another route. Also keep in mind that you will need to pay roughly 9% in eBay and PayPal fees once the device does sell.

sell your phone

Here are some other companies who are eager to get their hands on your old phone:

Best Buy is offering a store credit when you trade in your phone in person or mail it in:

iPhone 5s: Between $300- $335 on contract; $250 unlocked

iPhone 5c: Between $190-$215 on contract, $135 unlocked

iPhone 5: Between $225-$240 on-contract; $190 unlocked

iPhone 4s: $125 on-contract; $80-$95 unlocked

Amazon is allowing you to mail in your old phone and give you an Amazon gift card for your device:

iPhone 5s: Between $274-$400 on contract; $385-$400 unlocked

iPhone 5c: Between $134-$250 on contract; $113-$272 unlocked

iPhone 5:Between $225-$275 on contract;$183-$265 unlocked

iPhone 4s: Between $57-$202 on contract; $104-$131 (up to 32GB only) unlocked

Gazelle lets you mail in your phone and will give you cash through PayPal, check or Amazon gift card:

iPhone 5s: Between $180-$300 on contract; $275-$300 unlocked

iPhone 5c: Between $65-$170 on contract; $165-$170 unlocked

iPhone 5: Between $100-$175 on contract; $165-$175 unlocked

iPhone 4s: Between $55-$90 on contract; $90-$110 unlocked


You may want to hold on to your old phone in case of emergency (aka your drop your phone into a toilet at 5am next weekend), but if you’ve purchased adequate insurance and truly feel that you’ll never use it again – SELL that sucker. The longer you wait, the less money you’ll get for it. Hopefully that new shiny iPhone is everything you ever hoped for and more (I assure you it’s not though and there will be another one out in six months).

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