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Phone Trade-In vs. Selling: Which One Pays Off?

Should you sell your old phone, or trade it in?

For many individuals, a smartphone is the most crucial gadget they possess. So, the notion of upgrading your phone to a newer (or even a different) model might be enticing.

Many individuals trade in or sell their old phones to receive some cash to help pay for their new handset. There are pros and downsides to trading in your phone or selling. Learn how to determine which is the ideal method for you.

How Does Trading in Your Phone Work?

If you're purchasing your new phone from the manufacturer or your cellular carrier, the easiest alternative may be to conduct a trade-in.

Typically, you'll receive an estimate of how much the phone is worth, and the carrier will send a prepaid return kit or a mailing label so you don't have to pay to ship the device.

Once the carrier or manufacturer gets your phone, they'll issue a final value depending on the condition of the phone. Then, depending on the provider, you may get the credit for the trade-in in the form of a refund to your credit card, credit toward your new device, or a gift card.
Trade-in programs may not include older phones. Apple’s trade-in program stretches as far back as the iPhone 6s but doesn’t cover anything earlier than an iPhone 6.
For example, let's imagine you wish to update your iPhone 11, replacing it with an iPhone 12. You'd start by visiting Apple's trade-in page on their website, where you can see that the projected trade-in value is up to $300.

You'll answer a few questions regarding the device's condition, year, and configuration. Apple will provide you an estimated trade-in amount, along with multiple redemption alternatives.

If you trade in your phone at an Apple brick-and-mortar facility, you may select an immediate credit for an in-store purchase or a gift card. If you complete the trade-in online, you may pick a gift card or a credit toward an Apple purchase that Apple sends you when they get your phone and check it.

The firm will provide you a prepaid shipping label or trade-in kit, which you'll use to mail the gadget. Once Apple gets the gadget, it'll analyze it, and you may get a revised estimate offer if the condition is different from what you specified. At that moment, you'll have the opportunity to accept or reject the revised offer.

If you accept, Apple may charge or credit the difference to your credit or debit card. If you decline, the corporation will return the phone to you at no charge.

Pros and Cons of Trading in Your Phone

  • Simple and convenient
  • You don't have to figure out price and where to sell your phone.
  • No logistical headaches like shipping or meeting up with prospective buyers
  • Older phones may not be eligible for trade-in.
  • Prices aren't as high as what you'd earn from selling your phone.

How Does Selling Your Phone Work?

Selling your phone instead of trading it in involves more labor, but it might result in more cash in your pocket, which you can use toward your new phone or recover part of its cost if you have bought it.

There are various locations where you may sell your iPhone or Android handset, including:
  • eBay
  • Craigslist Facebook 
  • Marketplace
  • OfferUp Nextdoor 
  • Local classifieds
 eBay will take a 12.9% + $0.30 out of your final selling price, however also gives shipping reductions and places your item in front of a huge audience.

Try looking for the same model phone by entering some information about your handset, including the manufacturer, unlocked status, storage capacity, color, condition, and accessories. Once you input all of the required information, you can see what other eBay sellers are advertising their things for and where they have sold.

Let's pretend you have the identical iPhone 11 as above. It's unlocked, has the maximum storage space, and is in decent condition, which implies it has minor scratches, chips, or dents. According to eBay, the trending price is $480, a full $180 more than the utmost Apple would provide if you were to do a trade-in.

In comparison, the other platforms are typically free and target a local audience that won’t need the difficulty and expense of shipping, but the local scope restricts the amount of consumers you can contact.

The choice whether trade in your old phone or to sell might rely on a few things, which means neither is intrinsically better than the other. As a consequence, it's necessary to analyze the scenario, as well as your budget and tastes, to make the correct option for you.

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Phone

  • Can earn more money than a trade-in
  • Finding a buyer may be laborious particularly if you're dealing with local purchasers who may indicate interest, then vanish or don’t show up to a meet.
  • It might take many days or weeks to sell the phone.
  • May need shipment (purchasing postage, a box, and packaging material)

How to Decide to Trade-In or Sell

The choice whether trade in your old phone or to sell might rely on a few things, which means neither is intrinsically better than the other. As a consequence, it's necessary to analyze the scenario, as well as your budget and tastes, to make the correct option for you.

If you're thinking of trading in your phone, try spending a few minutes investigating how much you may make by selling the gadget. This might give you an idea of the trade-off you'd make by selecting for the ease of a trade-in vs the labor it could take to sell the phone.

For example, if your specific phone is worth $100 more if you sell it instead of trading it in, it may still be worth performing a trade-in if you don't have a lot of free time to go through the full selling procedure, and you can afford to lose the difference.

However, if your budget is limited, spending a little more time selling the phone may be well worth the additional cash.

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