Five Things to Think About Before Selling Your Smartphone

Maybe you want to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphone, or perhaps you are trying to pare back on expenses and are considering switching to a “pay as you go” device. No matter the reason, you are thinking about selling your smartphone and getting something different.

Unlike gently used clothes, books and artwork that you can easily sell at a garage sale or take to a consignment store, selling an old smartphone takes a bit more work. If you are ready to part with your smartphone, please consider the following tips before listing it for sale:

Figure a Decent Asking Price

If your smartphone is not that old and is in great shape, you should be able to fetch a pretty decent price for it. The first place to start in determining your asking price is by recalling how much you paid for it in the first place. For example, if you have a Galaxy S7, you can check the current price as well as the various features that you can point out to potential buyers. Right now, the Galaxy S7 is listed at $480 brand new; use this as a starting point to determine your price, and then jot down attractive features like its water and dust resistance, 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen and dual-pixel smartphone camera.

Check with Retailers Who Buy Old Phones

A number of retailers and websites will buy used smartphones, but the price you get will probably vary quite a bit. You can get free quotes from several retailers to get an idea of what it might be worth. For instance, buys a wide variety of makes and models and Best Buy will purchase old smartphones and should be able to give you a quote. If you like the price that you are being quoted, you can always sell your smartphone directly to them.

Check eBay and Craigslist

Another great way to determine what your smartphone might be worth is by checking eBay and Craigslist. On eBay, look at both active and completed auctions — you might find that the Apple iPhone 7 Plus that people hope to sell for big bucks tends to actually fetch far less money than they were hoping.

Get Your Phone Ready to Sell

Once you decide on a price and if you prefer to sell your old smartphone online or to a cell phone buying service, you should prepare your phone to go to its new home. Regardless of your decision, the phone should be cleared of all personal information. Download and save everything from the phone that you don’t want to lose including photos and contact info, and then perform a factory data reset on the device; this will remove all emails, apps, personal data and other info. If you have an iPhone, you should find the Reset control by opening Settings and then General; on Androids, the Reset option is under Backup in the Settings menu.

Remember, Time is Money

Smartphones do not stay new and exciting for very long; there is always a better and more exciting model waiting to come along. Once you decide to sell your cell phone, be as quick as you can about the research and sales process. If you buy your new phone prior to unloading your old one, you might be tempted to stick it in a drawer “to sell later” and then find it two years from now.

There are a number of reasons for selling a smartphone, so please do not feel guilty or bad about your need to unload your handheld device. Do your research and determine as best you can what your phone is worth and how you wish to sell it, and then feel good about your decision to make some money in the process.


This page was last updated on December 14, 2017.

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