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Selling your old iPhone? Tips for big bucks

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 12 at 10:29 AM

HOUSTON – The new iPhone 5 is almost here, complete with a faster processor, larger screen, and more. This means plenty of people will be looking to upgrade.

If you’re looking to make some cash off your old phone, there’s good news for you: most smartphones hold their value pretty well. This is because buyers around the world like used devices that are not tied to a phone service contract.

There are several ways you can sell your old iPhone: Craigslist, eBay, Apple, various websites, and in-person at various stores. Some phone carriers are expected to offer trade-in and buy-back promotions as well.

So how can you get the most money for your used phone? Long story short: the least convenient methods typically pay the most.

The night before Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement, I went to various websites to see what they’d offer for an AT&T black iPhone 16gb in good condition (i.e. only light scratches):

>> Apple.com - $235*
>> Gazelle.com - $277*
>> Glyde.com - $325*
>> eBay.com – approx. $290*
>> Craigslist.org – asking price approx. $400

*Final amount after any applicable fees/costs

As you can see, selling your iPhone on your own through a website like Craigslist gives you the most money, but you have to meet a stranger, and it takes up your time. You’re also bound to use a little gas money and deal with some hagglers, so it’s up to you if it’s worth the trouble.

Some of the easier methods, including Glyde and Gazelle, send you a “kit” in the mail, including a postage-paid box you put your phone in to send back to them. They then cut you a check.

Before you sell your phone, check out these tips:

>> Use iTunes to format the device and remove your personal data
>> Remove the SIM card as it is tied to your cell number
>> Don’t meet a stranger by yourself
>> Don’t accept a check or money order -- cash is best when in-person

There are plenty of scammers out there ready to make victims out of iPhone sellers and buyers. So be smart! If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For instance, if a website offers you $600 for your old phone, do a Google search on them and look them on the BBB’s website.

If you’re planning on buying a used smartphone, I recommend you meet the seller at your phone carrier's store and activate it on the spot. This ensures your device isn’t stolen, locked, or damaged. If the seller won’t meet you there or doesn’t have a good online reputation, don’t do business with them.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out to Doug on Facebook (facebook.com/KHOUDougDelony) or Twitter (@DougDelonyKHOU)

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