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Get The Most Money For Your Old Smartphone

What do you do with an old smart device once anew model has been purchased? Instead of hiding it away in a drawer or turning it into the world's most expensive paperweight on your desk, consider selling it instead. You would be surprised at the value of your three-year-old iPhone or Android device.


With the holidays upon us, and the majority of new smartphone models finally released, the time is right to pick up a new device. But what should you do with the old one? Instead of turning that old phone into the most expensive paperweight around, consider using it for something beneficial, like selling it and using the proceeds to cover the cost of the new phone.

There are quite a few options available to people interested in selling an old phone. As long as the phone is operational and in relatively good shape, there should be a buyer willing to fork over some cash. Here is what you need to know about your options.


Gazelle is a service that is interested in buying electronics. The company will offer a cash value for applicable sales and isn't restricted to only store-credit like many of its competitors. Transactions are easy and straightforward: visit the site at gazelle.com, indicate which electronics you wish to sell, provide information on the device and its condition, and the company will provide a price it is willing to offer for to you.

There are times when Gazelle will be unable to offer a deal on your device. The company will indicate recycling options available, but does not provide a recycling service itself.

Currently, Gazelle only makes purchase offers on phones manufactured by Apple, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung.


Amazon provides a trade-in program that accepts old phones. The service is located at amazon.com and can be found in the "Trade In Electronics" selection of the "Electronics & Computers" menu. In this location, you will find estimates of the value of your proposed trade-in.

Unlike Gazelle, Amazon does not offer cash payments, instead offering Amazon Gift Credit. For regular shoppers on Amazon, the credits are a pretty good option in lieu of cash.

Amazon restricts its trade-ins to three levels of quality only: Like New, Good, and Acceptable. To choose Like New, you are expected to have the original packaging, all accessories and cables, and that the device is in perfect condition. To choose Good, you are expected to have the important accessories like the charger and USB cabling, and the device has some light wear or scratches. An Acceptable trade-in is a phone that is in working order, but has significant wear and is missing some accessories.

Best Buy

Best Buy also has a trade-in service of old phones. The information is located on the bestbuytradein.com site, under the selections "Fine Your Trade-In Value" and "Mobile Phones." From there, select the phone you wish to trade-in and Best Buy will offer selection of possible values.

Best Buy also does not provide cash trade-in values. The company will provide store credit only. In the unlikely event that the company is unwilling to offer a trade-in value, Best Buy provides a free phone recycling program.

Like Amazon, Best Buy uses specific criteria for evaluating the quality of your trade-in. However, unlike Amazon, the individual quality levels are spelled out. For example, to choose a Good quality for your phone, Best Buy requires that the phone runs off its battery, has 4 or fewer scratches on the case, no scratches on the screen, and no chips, cracks, or scuffs.

A Few Other Options

As a seller, you are not restricted to using the sites already mentioned. You can consider falling back on the old standbys: eBay and Craigslist. Here you can set your own pricing and quality levels. Just use common sense and be honest about your device.

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