What To Do With Old iPhone: A Guide To Recycling & Sellers

by | 10/10/2020 6:28 pm
This blog post may contain affiliate links

If you have an old iPhone lying around, or you want to sell your current iPhone, what’re your options? In this post, we’ll detail our #1 picks for the best places online to sell your old iPhone, covering off the following things: 

  • Where to sell your old iPhone
  • How to sell your old iPhone
  • How to get your iPhone ready for resale
  • How much you’ll get for your old iPhone

Before we talk about the best places to sell your old iPhone, we need to get a few things out of the way first. The most important of which is how much money you’ll get for your old iPhone – and how this figure is calculated by the companies you’ll be contacting. The key points are this:

  • Condition – This is the #1 biggest concern. If your old iPhone is dented, smashed, and/or scuffed to hell, it is going to affect how much money you’ll get for it. In order to get the highest price possible for your iPhone, the iPhone needs to be in good condition. You can still sell scuffed and scratched iPhones, of course, but you’ll get less money. This is why iPhone cases are so important!
  • Age – The age of your iPhone will also have a bearing on the price you’ll be quoted. If it’s a newer iPhone, say the iPhone XS or iPhone X, you’ll get considerably more money for it than, say, an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6. Again, the condition of the phone will also come into play here, so, in an ideal world, you’d want a new(ish) iPhone that is free from bumps, dents, and scratches.

These two factors – age and condition – are the two biggest factors that iPhone recycle companies will look at when accessing your phone. Another factor is whether your iPhone is locked or unlocked. Unlocked iPhones tend to sell for more, so, all things being equal, you would get more money for an unlocked iPhone versus a more or less identical locked iPhone.

How Much Will You Get For Your iPhone?

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at how much you can expect to get for your iPhone should you choose to sell it via a phone recycler company.

iPhone Resale Value By Model (Approx.)

  • iPhone 4 – $20-$30
  • iPhone 5 – $30
  • iPhone 5s – $30
  • iPhone 6 – $35-$40
  • iPhone 6 Plus – $40
  • iPhone 7 – $50-$60
  • iPhone 7 Plus – $60
  • iPhone 8 – $120
  • iPhone 8 Plus – $120 to $140
  • iPhone X – $300
  • iPhone XS – $400 to $500
  • iPhone XS Max – $450 to $500
  • iPhone XR – $300 to $350

Best Place To Sell Old iPhone: Our #1 Picks For 2020

There are A LOT of places that will buy your iPhone from you. But not all places will give you a fair price. For this reason, I’m going to keep our recommendations nice and succinct – there’s just two, one of the USA and one for the UK.

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  • Save

Out of all the phone recycler companies in operation, Gazelle, in the USA, and Music Magpie, in the UK, are the two that tend to get the highest ratings from users. I’ve bought and sold phones via both services, as have other members of the team, so if you want our opinion, go with the following retailers when selling your old iPhone:

As I said, there are plenty of other options out there but, for me, Gazelle and Music Magpie tend to be the most consistent when it comes to high payouts for devices. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, these are the places we’d try first.

Getting Your iPhone Ready To Sell

When you sell your old iPhone, you’ll want to make sure it is wiped completely and reverted back to its factory settings. You do not want to send your iPhone off to a third-party phone recycler company with ANY of your personal data still on it – this means pictures, emails, texts, and personal information.

Think about it: you’re sending your phone off for resale, do you really want some stranger pouring over your personal details? Of course you don’t! For this reason, make sure you 100% wipe and reset the phone. Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to give your phone a scrub-down, removing any gunk or mess from its chassis.

If your iPhone has a cracked display, you might want to see about getting that fixed before you resell it. If your iPhone is in great condition, you’ll get more money for it. If it is a newer iPhone, say, the iPhone X or iPhone XS, this is well worth doing, as it could mean an extra hundred bucks or so – and that’s a decent chunk of change.

If your iPhone is older, say, the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5, this might not be worth doing. You’ll have to make the decision about whether it is worth it before you send it off. As a general rule of thumb, the newer and higher spec the iPhone is, the more you’ll get for it – so if you can get it looking better, you should probably try. Once you’ve done all of the above, you’re ready to send your phone off.

Phone Network & Carrier Trade-In / Phone Recycle Options

If you want a second opinion, you could try going direct to Apple itself; it runs its own recycling program. Or, your network and or carrier which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Three Trade-In Program

If you’re in the UK, Three runs a brilliant trade-in program that is well worth checking out if you’re thinking about making the switch to that network (spoiler: it’s my current #1 fave UK network).

Verizon Trade-In

Similarly, in the USA, Verizon offers a very comprehensive trade-in program, and, unlike a lot of places, it also covers trade-ins for Apple Watch, tablets, and other types of mobile phones.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, when it comes to selling your old iPhone, you have plenty of options – from dedicated retailers to networks and carriers. The price you get will ALWAYS depend on the age and condition of your iPhone, as well as whether it is locked or unlocked (unlocked is better).

In order to get the best possible price, you may want to try a few different options and see how the quotes differ; all of the places included in this post will give you a free quote before committing to the sale. The resale value of iPhones changes over time, so if you’re reading this, say, in 2021, the prices will be different from what they are now in 2020.

That’s why it is hard for us to put an exact figure on how much you will potentially get for your phone. That and all the variables that can affect things like the condition of your phone, its age, and whether it is locked or unlocked. All we can do is provide you with potential options for places to sell your old iPhone. And right now they are as follows:

Gazelle (USA) | MusicMagpie (UK) | Three (UK)) | Verizon (USA)

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