Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
How to trade in or sell your old iPhone
Apple recently announced the iPhone 15 series. The devices sport new upgrades and features, such as an Action button and USB-C charging. These models aren’t cheap, however, with the phones costing between $799 and $1,199 respectively. Thankfully, Apple customers can get the latest iPhones at a lower price by trading in or selling their old devices. There are many different ways to trade in or sell an iPhone, with several different options — including brick-and-mortar stores, online storefronts, and second-hand marketplaces all offering different means to sell or trade-in your device. In this guide, we’ll be going over the best places to sell or trade in your old iPhone and the various pros and cons of each.
Should you trade in or sell your iPhone?
There are different options for getting rid of an old iPhone: trading it to a store or outright selling it.
The big benefit of selling your iPhone is that you can get closer to its market value back, and thus save more money on your next phone as a result. The major downside to this is that it’s a lot more work for you, as you will be responsible for finding an interested buyer (and also avoid getting scammed).
Trading in your iPhone is much more convenient and faster, as many stores offer trade-ins. The downside to a trade-in is that it pays far less than the market value of the device, so you’ll save less money on your next phone.
For example, Apple currently offers up to $430 in trade-in credit for an iPhone 14. Alternatively, a refurbished unlocked iPhone 14 is selling on eBay for between $549 and $799. So, while it takes some additional effort, users can make back over $100 more from selling the phone themselves.
Best places to sell your old iPhone
Selling your old iPhone, while requiring more effort to do so, will result in much bigger pay. Here are the four best places to sell your old iPhone:
Swappa is one of the best marketplaces for selling used goods. While very similar to eBay, Swappa focuses explicitly on buying and selling used tech; it has the added benefit of lower seller fees so you can keep more of your item’s final sale price. The main catch of Swappa is that they have a fairly high bar for the devices they allow to be sold on their platform. As a result, if your phone is in poor shape or damaged in any way, it may not be eligible to be sold on the platform. With that said, Swappa boasts some of the lowest commission fees, with both the seller and buyer paying a flat fee of just 3% — so if you sell your old phone for $600, you will only owe Swappa $18.
Seller Fee: 3% flat commission fee.
For many years, eBay has been the go-to place for selling used goods online. Unfortunately, because of its widespread popularity, the marketplace has slowly increased its fees to a fairly annoying level. Nowadays, eBay charges a very high fee of 15% of the sale for items up to $1,000, as well as a $0.35 insertion fee per listing. Because of its popularity and notoriety, eBay is still a good, trustworthy option for selling your phone online, as you can sell it quickly and hassle-free. However, its fees make it less ideal than some other options.
Seller Fee: 15% of total sale (of items up to $1,000) + $0.35 per item.
Mercari is another popular site for reselling used goods, ranging from technology to secondhand clothing. Similarly to eBay, Mercari has a fairly high seller fee, but still lower than others. However, it’s an easy platform with tons of active users, so you should expect your phone to sell pretty quickly on the site.
Seller Fee: 10% flat commission fee. $0.50 + 2.9% processing fee.
If you’re truly looking to get rid of your phone quickly and get some cash, then you might want to try Facebook Marketplace. While it isn’t the fastest way to get the most money, as the marketplace tends to feature a lot of lowballers, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find a buyer in no time. But still, selling in-person with Facebook Marketplace means no shipping fees, easier haggling, and no risk of your phone getting lost or stolen in the mail.
However, it is also worth noting that Facebook Marketplace — as well as similar sites like Craigslist and Offerup — aren’t always the most safe. You have to be careful when dealing with strangers, so it’s always advised to meet buyers in public places or to bring a friend along when making transactions.
Seller Fee: None.
Best places to trade in your old iPhone
If you don’t want to spend the time or hassle selling your old iPhone online, we wouldn’t blame you. You can bypass the frustrations of reselling your device by going straight to the stores themselves, as many of them will take your old device as a trade-in.
With that said, here are the best places to trade in your old iPhone:
If you’re planning on buying your new iPhone straight from Apple themselves, then why not trade in your device to them as well? This option saves you lots of time and hassle, with Apple directly applying your trade-in credit to your new phone. While it is less than selling yourself, Apple still offers a great price for trading in your phone — it will pay up to $430 for the iPhone 14 base model, $370 for the iPhone 13, and $250 for the iPhone 12, respectively.
- iPhone 14 Trade-in: $430
- iPhone 13 Trade-in: $370
- iPhone 12 Trade-in: $250
Best Buy is another solid option for trade-ins. The electronics store pays the same rates as Apple, and it can be even more convenient if there’s a store near you. Keep in mind that the rates that they pay are for store credit only, however. But with that said, the credit can be used to purchase any of their products – meaning that you’ll have many other options than selling directly to Apple.
- iPhone 14 Trade-in: $430
- iPhone 13 Trade-in: $370
- iPhone 12 Trade-in: $250
Walmart is another major retailer offering trade-ins for all the latest iPhone models. But while the store will accept devices of varying conditions, its trade-in prices aren’t quite as good. Their trade-in rate for an iPhone 14 (depending on storage capacity) is between $323 and $403, which is lacking a bit. However, this is a great option if you want to trade in your phone easily and quickly.
- iPhone 14 Trade-in: $323-$403
- iPhone 13 Trade-in: $272-$333
- iPhone 12 Trade-in: $180-$193
Another option for many is to trade in your phone to your carrier simply. Most carriers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, accept trade-ins of some form or another. However, not all carriers accept all phone models. Verizon users are in luck, as the brand accepts trade-ins of every single iPhone model, from the very first model to the iPhone 14. Additionally, their trade-in rates are very competitive. While the retailer doesn’t pay as much for the newer models, older models offer decent trade-in value, and the store even accepts damaged devices.
Verizon also has a host of great iPhone 15 launch deals, making this particular trade-in avenue quite attractive.
- iPhone 14 Trade-in: $350-$375
- iPhone 13 Trade-in: $290-$325
- iPhone 12 Trade-in: $210-$224
How to prepare your iPhone for sale or trade-in
Before you trade-in or sell your iPhone, there are several things that you need to do. First and foremost, you should always save and/or transfer your data onto your new device and then wipe all of your personal data from your phone that you are selling. This will ensure that whoever comes into possession of your iPhone will not be able to view and access your personal data.
Transferring your data and then wiping it is a very easy, but important process. Not only will failing to do so potentially expose your info to getting stolen, but it could also make it difficult for the phone’s new owner to access the phone’s features if you have security measures set in place.
Some of the most popular ways that iPhone users often sell their phones for cash are through marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and Craigslist. Alternatively, you could also go to your local Pawnshop or via a yard sale. Always make sure you take proper safety precautions before meeting a stranger.
Yes, several different retailers will allow you to trade in a broken iPhone — but it will affect your trade-in value greatly. Not all retailers will accept damaged or broken phones, and there are various factors to keep in mind, including the level of damage and what part of the iPhone is damaged. For example, Verizon allows users to trade in an iPhone with a cracked screen or water damage, but Apple is more picky. So, in short, you will have to check with the retailer first in order to see if they will accept your broken iPhone as a trade-in.
iPhones traded into Apple are wiped, reset to factory settings, and refurbished. Then, the devices are resold as refurbished products. The devices deemed not fit to be resold are instead recycled for parts.