Not Sure If You Should Sell Your Old Cell Phone?

March 8, 2019

There are many reasons you would want to sell your cell phone.  If the constant release of newer models does not tempt you, then your phone’s eventual decline will force you to sell it.  So, what is the best time to sell your cell phone, and where can you sell it?

Should I Sell or Exchange My Cell Phone?

Ideally, we would get a new cell phone as soon as we get rid of the old one.  However, from my personal experience, trading in an old phone for a new one is not always profitable.  While a trade-in at the same location is convenient, it may not pay well. So, ask yourself this: how do you decide whether to exchange or sell your cell phone?


Is your cell phone in excellent shape?  If your answer is yes, then you likely have a better shot selling it online.  Manufacturers set price brackets for cell phone buybacks, so you’re paid based on the bracket where your phone falls, not on its individual condition.  If your cell phone looks brand new and functions perfectly, it is best to sell than exchange it.


Is your cell phone outdated? If your cell phone is a few models old, then you are unlikely to be paid handsomely for it.  A refurbished unlocked iPhone 6s Plus now costs less than $260 on Amazon.  About two years ago, it was north of $450.  No matter how excellent a cell phone is, they all inevitably lose their value with the release of newer models.  So, at some point, the condition of your cell phone does not make a difference in the price it fetches. In this case, an exchange is the smarter choice.  You might even fetch more for it when you exchange.


When Is It Best to Sell My Cell Phone?  This may depend on the phone itself.


iPhone Samsung

Do you plan to buy the latest model?  Manufacturers announce new models a few months ahead of their release.  When you decide to buy the latest release, you will have plenty of time to prepare for it.  If your preparations include selling your current cell phone, then you have to make a choice but if you wait too long, your cell phone’s value may drop significantly. If you sell it too early, you may end up without a cell phone.  It comes down to the phone itself. Whether you have an iPhone or a Samsung can make a difference. According to Policy Genius, Samsung phones depreciate faster than iPhones.  So if you have an iPhone, you may afford the wait.  If you are a Samsung user, on the other hand, it may pay more to sell sooner.  


What if you’re selling your cell phone for other reasons?  When I upgraded from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6s a few years ago, it was for one reason: Touch ID.  Others upgrade for a better camera or other features they like about a specific model.  If you fall into this group, then you have the luxury of time on your side. If you do not have a pressing need to sell your cell phone, and if you don’t like the price you are getting for it, you can simply wait it out!  We did some research and found out that flagship devices, “such as the Samsung Note 8 or an iPhone could last 3 to 4 years if it is well maintained.”  So if you would rather wait out the clock until you need a new cell phone, you likely won’t regret it.


Where Can I Sell My Cell Phone?

In case you made up your mind to sell your phone, we have gathered some of the top websites to help you do it.

  • Decluttr pays a good price for your phone and makes for pleasant user experience.  The best part is that you can sell much more than cell phones as they buy a wide range of electronics.
  • Swappa offers good prices, but you do need to list your phone for sale.  The good part is that you get paid as soon as your cell phone sells.
  • Gazelle also buys a wide range of electronics.  The best part is that you receive a free shipping kit to send your phone.
  • Amazon Trade-In lets you sell your cell phone without having to create a seller account, which some may dread.  The good thing is that Amazon sends you a shipping label, but you get paid with an Amazon Gift Cards.  This option is best for Amazon users.
  • Apple offers very good prices for trade-ins.  So if you plan to stay within the company, you will be on the winning end.  You should probably consider this question even if you are not exchanging since you will get paid with an Apple Gift Card.

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