Old phone laying around? Here’s how to get the most cash for it

Most of us have at least one old smartphone laying around in a junk drawer. You might think you can’t sell it — because it has a cracked screen, other damage, or perhaps it’s outdated. But there’s a good chance you’ll get a few bucks for your old phones. Here are tips to dial in the dollars:

  • Know your phone’s exact model name, how many GB of storage it has, and whether it’s unlocked. If it’s tied to a carrier, it will not have as much value.
  • Honestly assess the phone’s condition – “like new,” “good,” or “broken/damaged.” Even if it doesn’t turn on, there are services that will give you a few dollars.
  • Include the original box and accessories, if you have them.
  • Some colors are more valuable that others. When it comes to iPhones, space gray is more popular than gold; when you’re trading it in, that can be a $10 difference.
  • Switching carriers may give you more money for your trade. The in-store trade-in route can give you instant gratification, but typically won’t pay out as much as sending in your device.
  • Shipping to online sites, like Gazelle or Amazon, can often give you the most bang for your buck.
  • Locking in a trade-in price before new phone models are released avoids depreciation. There are sites that will give you up to 30 days to trade in.
  • Before you trade in the phone, remove all personal content. First encrypt data by settling a password on an iPhone and also selecting encryption on Androids. Second, disassociate your accounts from the device, through Google or iCloud. Finally, do the factory reset.


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