Ready to upgrade to a new phone? When it comes time to say so long to your old phone, don’t just chuck it in the trash and contribute to the growing electronic waste problem. Instead, pass it on to someone who might be on the hunt for your exact make and model, or at least the parts, and get some extra cash.
Phone depreciation is unavoidable. But whatever you choose to do with your old phone — trade-in or sell — you want to protect it from the start and think ahead. Selling a smartphone in relatively good condition could get you hundreds of dollars back in your wallet. If that sounds great, and we’re guessing it does, then learn how to get top dollar for your old phone by using these tips. That way, you can secure some cash to pay for an upgrade to your new dream phone.
Keep Your Phone in Good Shape From Day One
To get the most bang for your buck, your first concern should be buying your phone a case. From splashes in the kitchen to scratches or cracks that can happen every day, cell phone cases can prevent your device from looking worse for the wear when it comes time to sell. When your phone is kept in good shape with a protective phone case and a durable screen protector, it can increase the value significantly. So do yourself a favor and invest in a phone case and screen protector ASAP.
Be sure to look for features like coverage around the edges, where the phone is most susceptible and can quickly shatter. It also helps if the phone case has a small lip or rim that gives it a subtle rise, preventing further scratches on the screen.
Keep the Box and Accessories
Hopefully, you didn’t toss out the box the phone arrived in or any of the accessories that came along with it. While this may not matter if you plan to sell it to another person, having the original box and charger is preferred by carriers when you do a trade-in. Even if you do go the route of selling your phone via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or whatever you choose, having the original box, along with accessories like the case, earbuds, etc., can make the price tag more enticing. It looks like you’ve taken care of your device, and this can get you a little more cash for your phone.
Clean Your Phone (Inside and Out)
Be sure to give your phone a thorough cleaning. The cleaner your phone, the more money you can expect to receive. When your phone looks new and works like new, it is practically new to the potential buyer. So take time and clean your phone, along with any accessories.
If you fail to clean your phone before turning it in or presenting it to a buyer, you might be disappointed in the offer. It may be well below your asking price. So clean your phone, and as you do so, be sure to wipe down the box, too. There’s a good chance it might have collected dust in your drawer or nightstand since you first unwrapped the phone. All you need is a slightly damp cloth — no harsh chemicals that could damage packaging or materials.
Cleaning your phone also means your digital files and apps. Not only will this help clear the phone of unwanted data, but it’s just safe practice for privacy reasons. So back up your phone and perform a factory reset to protect your identity, photos and more.
Repair a Cracked Screen
Source: Poravute Siriphiroon/Shutterstock.com
This step might take some effort, but we assure you — it’s well worth it! If your phone has a cracked screen, you can still repair it and retain some of its value. Even if the screen is totally busted and unable to be fixed, broken phones can be refurbished and stripped for parts, whether they’re recycled or used to repair other busted phones for resale.
So how do you repair a cracked screen? It’s easy! Take it to a phone repair service or an Apple store to see what they can do before attempting to sell it through a third-party reseller or doing a trade-in. Once you find out what it would cost to repair a cracked screen or even something like water damage, compare that to what a non-damaged phone is worth. You might find that it’s worth the hassle to fix it to increase your asking price.
Sometimes, getting top dollar means making a compromise on payment options. While cash is king, other options can be equally as good of a deal, if not more. For example, if you choose a trade-in, the carrier will deduct your new phone purchase value. Then there’s also the option of gift cards and discounts. If you can wait for a gift card to arrive once they accept the phone, it could be a viable payment option. However, this alternative is sometimes not even possible, especially if you’re switching to an unlocked device.
If cash is preferred, swing by a direct-sale kiosk like GameStop or EcoATM. Just keep in mind that these places can’t offer you top dollar. With online selling platforms, you are much better off being patient and dealing with buyers one-on-one. So at least do your research and know what the phone is worth before stopping by to see what they can offer.
Research the Phone’s Worth
When you want to get top dollar for your phone, do your research. Know exactly how much your phone is worth, scouring and comparing sites like Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace. While it takes a little time, especially when dealing with flaky buyers who back out of a deal or change their minds, it’s worth knowing you can stand by a fair asking price.
If you genuinely can’t get much from your phone and feel the task isn’t worth your time, there’s still a lot you can do with it. For example, you can donate it to a local homeless shelter or a national charity like Cell Phones for Soldiers or Hope Phones. It’s much better than dumping toxic chemicals into the soil and gives it to someone in need.