How to Get the Most Out of Your iPhone Trade-In

Sell or trade your iPhone 7 or other model to get a new iPhone.
  • Apple unveiled three new iPhones at its special event on Sept. 12. 
  • With the right strategy, you can maximize your next iPhone trade-in.
  • Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers offer iPhone trade-in deals.

Apple will be launching iOS 12 in the fall of 2018 — after enjoying a so-far profitable year that saw its stock quadruple in value — but Apple’s iOS 11 is still taking augmented reality to a whole new level: Apple TV 4K is now playing. And, yes, the new Apple Watch Series 4 with cellular allows you to stay connected and leave your phone behind.

Now, Apple has surmounted what it previously achieved with a slew of new products unveiled during its iPhone event on Sept. 12. The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and entry-level iPhone XR are the latest and greatest in the iPhone family.

Click to see how much Apple is worth.

The new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max feature:

  • OLED screen
  • Larger display and wider stereo sound
  • Faster performance and longer battery life
  • Water resistance
  • Dual-SIM support
  • Quicker facial recognition technology

The iPhone XR is relatively more affordable at $749 and features a battery life that’s 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 8 Plus, the same facial recognition technology as the iPhone XS, and a 6.1-inch LCD screen.

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You can pre-order the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max starting Sept. 12; the iPhone XR will be available for pre-order on Oct. 16.

Learn More: Apple Releases Its Best, Most Expensive iPhones Ever

Where to Get More Money for Your iPhone Trade-In

To offset the price of a new iPhone, many places are willing to give you cash for your old iPhone — or a gift card. Remember, prices vary depending on which carrier your phone is with. Unlocking your iPhone and including the device’s charger can often be great ways to put more money in your pocket.

Before you decide where to sell your iPhone, take the time to shop around for the best iPhone trade-in deals. Here are some of the best places to trade in your iPhone:

Best Buy

Best Buy offers a trade-in section on its website that you can utilize to find out the trade-in value of your iPhone. You’ll select the generation of your iPhone, network, capacity and color. Then, you’ll answer some questions about the phone’s condition and submit to get an instant estimated trade-in value.

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You can opt to take your iPhone to your nearest Best Buy store. Or, you can mail in your phone to receive an e-gift card and get an even better deal on Best Buy electronics.


When you visit Gazelle to sell an old iPhone, you’ll need to see if your iPhone’s generation is on the site and how much it is worth. Then, answer a few questions about the condition of the phone.

The trade-in offer is valid for 30 days, and you can be paid by check, PayPal or Amazon gift card. Shipping is free, and Gazelle’s staff will send you a box to ship your iPhone to them. Once Gazelle receives your phone and verifies its condition, you’ll get your money quickly.

Check Out: iPhone X and the Best Product Launches of the Last 10 Years


Amazon’s iPhone buyback program, Amazon Trade-In, allows customers to trade-in old electronics for gift cards. Visit the trade-in section of Amazon’s website to see what your iPhone is worth. First, search for your item on the site and then click “trade this item.”

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You’ll answer questions about the phone’s condition and then you’ll get an instant trade-in offer. Once Amazon receives your iPhone, an email will be sent within two business days notifying you if the item has been accepted or rejected. If your item’s accepted, the money will then be deposited in your account.


When you choose to do an iPhone trade-up with Apple, you can get instant credit in the store or receive a gift card by mail, the value of which is based on the trade. The entire process takes from two to three weeks.


NextWorth offers instant quotes on their website for your iPhone trade-in. Go to the site, answer some questions about your iPhone and instantly receive your quote.

Then, ship your old iPhone to NextWorth for free and receive your money by PayPal or check. And if your phone doesn’t quite meet NextWorth’s expectations, the company will honor price differences up to $10.


Peer-to-peer marketplace eBay enables you to sell your iPhone rather than trade your iPhone. To price your phone competitively, use a search engine designed to find the average selling price of items you want to sell, such as PriceGeek. For example, according to PriceGeek, the average selling price of an iPhone 8 on eBay is $550.00.

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Listing your item on eBay takes a bit more effort: You’ll have to register and set up a seller’s account first.

See: EBay Battles Amazon With New Price Matching and Free Shipping Features


Glyde is another peer-to-peer marketplace that allows you to list and sell your iPhone for cash. With Glyde, you can quickly find out what your phone is worth and list it for sale on the site. Once your phone sells, Glyde will send you a prepaid shipping box, handle the transaction between you and the buyer, and pay you in cash.


List your phone on Craigslist’s online marketplace to see if you can get more money out of your iPhone. Listing your iPhone for sale is free and you don’t even have to register for an account. Once you’ve created your item and added the optional photos, submit it and wait about 15 minutes for it to go live on the site.

Facebook Marketplace

Reach out to thousands of Facebook users in your local area with Facebook Marketplace — a free service to Facebook users. You won’t have to download an app or register for a separate account to get started. Simply go to your Facebook account and click on the Marketplace icon. Listing your iPhone is as easy as taking your own photos, writing a description, pricing the item fairly and marking the item as sold.

Up Next: Warren Buffett Invested in Apple and These Other Companies

How to Trade In Your Old iPhone

Before you sell your old iPhone or trade it in, here are some steps you should take:

  1. Back up your iPhone.
  2. Unpair your Apple Watch.
  3. Sign out of iCloud.
  4. Log out of iTunes and the App Store.
  5. Reset to factory settings (Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings).

Here are what most trade-in sites consider when giving you a quote for your old iPhone, though some might have stricter criteria:

  • Model
  • Carrier
  • Find My iPhone off or on
  • Any engraving on the phone
  • Device turns on and off and charges properly
  • Scratches, cracks or dings — normal wear and tear is okay

You typically won’t even have to pay for shipping for your cell phone trade-in. The sites will supply you with a free mailing label or send you a prepaid envelope or box.

Which iPhone Is Next?

In 2018, Apple could release three new versions of the iPhone, which look more like iPhone 7 models than iPhone 8 models, according to mid-2018 reports by 9to5 Mac. The phones predicted for release are a 6.1-inch LCD iPhone, a 5.8-inch OLED model and a 6.5-inch OLED version. On that note, Apple might’ve accidentally-on purpose released an early image of the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Plus on Aug. 30.

Only time will reveal what Apple has planned for the next iPhone upgrade, however. And now that you know how to trade in your iPhone and get the best deal, you might want to hang on to your phone and see what the next version of Apple innovation has to offer.

Click to keep reading about the Apple and Goldman Sachs credit card.

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Cynthia Measom and Sean Dennison contributed to the reporting for this article. 

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About the Author

Jamie Young

Jamie Young is an editor and writer at GOBankingRates. Previously she was Editor in Chief of and a technology writer. Her work has appeared on Huffington Post, MSN, CBS News and more. She has also hosted and co-hosted multiple podcasts.

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