How to get the most money for your old iPhone

Don't Waste Your Money

UPDATED 9/19/14:

For Apple fans, this is the day you've been waiting for.    

The company has just stared selling the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.  It was the biggest launch in history, with 4 million pre ordering one, and a record crowd of nearly 400 people waiting outside the Apple Store at the Kenwood Towne Center.
Whether you will buying on now, or a month from now, how can you get the best price for your old phone?

Prices Dropping Fast

First the bad news: The value of older iPhones is dropping quickly: The iPhone 4S is worth only $75 at most trade-in sites. A few weeks ago, it was worth $100 or more.

Natalie Mortine, owner of Cincinnati's Elite Phone Buyers Springdale store, says you should lock in a trade-in price now.  She says you can then wait to send in the old phone until you get your new one.

"If you wait to trade in your phone, the value will drop," she warned.

The good news is you can still get a decent trade in price if you know where to look.

If you are thinking of trading in an iPhone 5 or 5S for the bigger iPhone 6, you are in luck, as you can still get as much as $290 cash for a 5S in excellent condition, as of September 16th.

ABC News and CNET tested prices for a 5S at various sites, and found:

  • Gazelle offering $240 cash
  • USell offering $250 cash
  • Amazon offering $283 cash, as an Amazon gift card
  • Apple offering $310, as an Apple gift card

Apple offered the most money in this test, but when we put in prices for an older iPhone 4S, Apple was not the best offer.  So you need to shop around.

Where to Trade

Popular trade in sites include:

Or try a consolidation site like Sell My Cell ( that will compare prices of different buyers.

Or go to a local cell phone buying store like Elite Phone Buyers, which will give you a check on the spot, with no waiting.

One heads up: If you have the older 4 or 4s, as I do, don't expect much money: Most buyers are offering less than $75 . And that price will drop even more in the days ahead.

So the bottom line is to lock in a trade in price as soon as possible, before the market is flooded with millions of trade-ins.

Not to worry: You don't have to send in your phone until you have your new one. And that way you don't waste your money.


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