I’d like to get a new iPhone 6, but I can’t figure out what to do with my three-year-old iPhone 4S. I’d like to sell it and recoup a little of the cost of the new phone. I’ve had bad luck trying to sell stuff on CraigsList and eBay. Are there other options for me to sell this old phone?
We’re with you—we hate selling stuff on eBay and CraigsList. There are just too many folks out there trying to scam you from every direction, and it’s difficult to handle sales of small electronics items; you must have heard the stories about people selling things, only to have the buyers claim that they didn’t get the right item, or returning the item, replacing it with a rock or something. The only way to sell through these sorts of sites, these days, is to perform the transaction in person. And that’s just too much trouble.
Ken has had really good luck with the online sites Gazelle.com and Nextworth.com. He’s tried each for selling used iPhones, and in each case, the transaction went smoothly, from getting a quote to receiving payment. At the time of this writing, Gazelle offers only $95 for a carrier-unlocked 64GB iPhone 4S (so you’re not going to get rich this way). Nextworth is currently offering $100 for the same phone. In both bases, you must unlock the phone, so it can be used with any carrier. Verizon phones generally come this way, T-Mobile and Sprint generally unlock phones if you ask, and AT&T requires your phone to be off-contract in order to unlock it. Amazon.com and Apple.com offer to purchase used phones—their prices are generally less than those you’ll find at Gazelle and Nextworth. Your cellular provider may also have a “buy-back” program—Verizon was offering up to $200 for older iPhones earlier this year, for example. It’s worth doing the research!
One thing to remember: No vendor can or will accept your phone for resale unless you have turned off the “Find My iPhone” feature, so make sure you have turned this off. (You’ll generally find it easier to simply reset the phone to its factory settings, which is an option available in the phone’s settings. )
You may get more money for your phone selling it yourself on eBay or CraigsList, but it’s a lot simpler to let Gazelle, Nextworth, or Amazon do the work for you! (It’s interesting to note that Gazelle, like Amazon, recently started selling used phones at a good price. If you’re the opposite situation—you want to purchase a used smart phone—check them out!)