Whether you’re looking to sell your aging iPhone, or your android device is getting a little long in the tooth, there is no shortage of ways to make a little extra cash by selling your old phone to someone else looking for a deal. There are a ton of ways to sell your old devices, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and even video games.
When it comes to selling your old phones, you have options. There are three primary ways to earn cash or credit: 1) Use a service, 2) trade it in, or 3) sell it yourself. We’ll cover each strategy below.
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Top Services to Sell Your Cell Phone
By enlisting one of the services listed below, companies will offer you fast cash in exchange for your device, pay for your shipping and re-sell it themselves. Simply answer a few questions about your phone’s model, capacity and current conditions to generate your free online quote. Should you accept their offer, you’ll receive a pre-paid shipping label and mail off your device to the company, who will ensure the phone is up to par. Then, you’ll receive payment via your selected option.
- Pros: Great prices, multiple payment methods, minimal risk, little effort required
- Cons: Requires some shopping around, answering a few questions about your phone
Since their debut in 2014, Decluttr boasts some $300 million in payouts to over 6 million customers. This trusted online service is simple to use, offers a wide variety of payment options and more often than not, the most bang for your buck. You can choose between PayPal, check, direct deposit – or even a donation to a charity of your choosing. The process is straightforward, no photos or listing creativity required.
Here’s how it works: Use the Decluttr website or mobile app to answer a few questions about your phone, including storage capacity, carrier, and condition. Decluttr generates a quote and emails you a free shipping label to send in your phone for inspection. Be honest about the state of your smartphone: they can revise their offer if the description doesn’t match up (but you can always decline and get your phone back). Once both parties accept, you’ll get same-day payment via PayPal, while direct deposit or check takes a bit longer.
Bottom Line: Decluttr is our top pick for fast cash, multiple payment options and seems to pay a bit more than competitors – even if your phone is in less than perfect shape.
As one of the first major players in the used consumer electronics industry since 2006, Gazelle actually predates the invention of the smartphone.
The company stands out for reliable payouts via Amazon Gift Card, PayPal or check, convenient free shipping kit and a 30-day guarantee locking in your quoted price—even if the market value decreases. Payouts are competitive for phones in good condition but slightly less than stellar for damaged devices or those lacking certain functionality. Also, note that Gazelle doesn’t accept all models and service providers.
Just pick your make and carrier, answer five yes-or-no questions on your phone’s physical condition and functionality and get an instant quote. Then you have the choice of having Gazelle ship a box with a pre-paid shipping label to you or affixing their label to your own box. Once Gazelle receives your devices and gives the go-ahead, you’ll receive payment in 7-10 days.
Eyeing a freshly released smartphone? Gazelle sometimes runs promos around new device launches so keep a lookout.
Bottom Line: Pioneer of the used cell phone market, Gazelle is a reliable option that stands out for instant quotes, a free shipping kit, and its 50-day price lock guarantee.
Swappa is an eBay-like (but significantly more trustworthy) user-to-user service that allows sellers to create listings for phones, tablets, laptops and more in exchange for PayPal cash.
For a bit more effort in taking photos and creating a listing, sellers can get the best price since Swappa completely cuts out the middleman.
They took the eBay model and improved it: lowering seller fees, making buyer-seller communication easier and vigilantly eliminating low-quality listings. And they actually take the time to review every item sold on the platform.
But while their rigorous criteria for listings effectively deters substandard devices, it also means this service is best for fully functional smartphones with no damage. Also, shipping isn’t included so factor this cost into your listing price.
The service is nearly free to use for but if sellers want to give their listing a leg up on the competition, there’s also a featured listing option available.
Bottom Line: Like eBay but reliable, Swappa is a great pick for sellers to create listings to earn PayPal cash — but it takes a bit more effort and is best for phones in good shape.
BuybackBoss is similar to other send-it-in style services, with free shipping, a 14-day price lock, and payment via PayPal or check – but what really sets it apart is its highest price guarantee. That means if you find another deal offering a higher price than BuybackBoss, they’ll match it – no questions asked. All you have to do is email them with a link to the higher offer and they will update your quote.
For skeptics, BuybackBoss’ customers are pleased with the service, which has a Trustpilot rating of 4.8/5 based on 1200+ reviews.
Bottom Line: BuybackBoss is a reliable instant purchase site that stands out for its highest price guarantee.
Launched in 2010, BuyBackWorld offers sellers one of the most extensive buyback programs for smartphones and much more.
Their process is simple: just a few clicks to describe your device and you’ll have a generated quote. The questions are specific so the price is tailored just for you and you’ll receive a free shipping label and box upon request.
Most importantly, prices are better than a good deal of other sellers. They offer a ton of payment options: check, PayPal, direct deposit, prepaid debit card, or even a Gift Card to the BuyBackWorld store (with 5% more cash). A 30-day price price lock guarantees your quote for a month.
Bottom Line: With great prices and many payment options, BuyBackWorld is a versatile option to sell your mobile phone.
With competitive prices, a stress-free sales process, free shipping including, a 30-day locked-in price guarantee and payment via PayPal or check within a few days, NextWorth is a solid alternative. The service accepts most, but not all, mobile phones.
Like Decluttr or Gazelle, you’ll fill out NextWorth’s online quote form and, if accepted, they’ll email a prepaid shipping label. Once they receive your device, they’ll analyze it and transfer your funds.
They also reserve the right to adjust offers if they find your description of the device to be less than accurate. Still, they’re willing to forgive price differences up to $10 – something you won’t find with other services. That means if you’re offered $300 based on less-than-totally-honest phone description but the phone is really worth $290, they’ll still pay you the $300.
Bottom Line: Thanks to their competitive prices, free shipping, and 30-day price lock, NextWorth is a solid option.
If you’re looking for an in-person evaluation or just don’t want to bother with the shipping process, EcoATM has 4000+ kiosks across the county where you can deposit your old device, have it analyzed and receive cash instantly. Even if your phone has a cracked screen or won’t power on, EcoATM may still accept it – they’re all about going green and saving money.
All you’ll need is your device and a valid state ID, then head over to your local kiosk. This is the best option for fast money since you won’t have to wait weeks for an inspection as you might with an online buyer.
Bottom Line: If you don’t want to deal with shipping or prefer an in-person analysis of your phone, EcoATM is the fastest way to earn cash – even for a broken phone.
For broken cell phones or those that will no longer hold a charge, uSell offers some of the best prices via PayPal or check. With this service, you’re actually selling to buyers through the uSell service but in practice, it works similarly to the companies above. They’ll even send you a free shipping kit with a box included.
Bottom Line: If your phone is severely broken or damaged, uSell is a direct-purchase service that offers good prices and will even send you a shipping kit.
OCBuyBack offers competitive prices on smartphones, iPhones and even tablets. Their service is fast, reliable and payment is hassle free.They provide risk-free selling and fast, free trackable shipping via USPS.
Their services are ideal for sellers looking to get rid of old mobile devices as well as new ones. With OCBuyBack, you have a choice of payment methods: PayPal or check. Payment is processed within two business days of receiving your device.
Bottom Line: OCBuyBack provides great pricing as well as free, trackable USPS shipping so you’re guaranteed your phone arrives safe and sound.
Trade It In
Third Party Trade-in (for Credit or Cash)
Take advantage of trade-in programs offered by major brands, who give customers credit for returning their old device to use towards a new purchase.
- Pros: Convenient, little effort needed, completely risk-free
- Cons: Lower profit, paid in-store credit (not cash or check)
Already planning to purchase your new device from the same brand? Or just don’t want to deal with the process of online quotes and shipping packages? You can always skip the hassle by going back to the source.
Trade-in programs offer an easy way to better afford a new smartphone. Most major brands offer a scheme that allows customers to exchange their used phones and other electronics for store credit. While you won’t get top prices, this is a reliable and stress-free way to get value out of old devices.
For Apple users who are likely to invest in a new device in the future, the Apple Trade-In Program is an excellent way to get the most out of old iPhones.
While you’ll likely get a better deal by selling yourself (Apple doesn’t even ask about storage capacity, giving you the same quote for 64BG as 256 GB), this program is an easy, risk-free alternative to the services listed above. It’s possible to get top prices but your phone will have to be in near-perfect condition.
For diehard iPhone loyalists who simply must have the latest as soon as it hits the market, you might want to check out Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. This program works like a subscription, ensuring you’ll get a new phone every year while saving you from purchasing a brand-new model with each new release.
With Amazon’s Trade-In Program, you’ll receive payment via an Amazon Gift Card when you send in your old smartphone. It’s not a competitive as other trade-in programs but it does offer valuable Amazon credit, which one might argue is nearly as versatile as cash itself. That’s because Amazon will still need to make a profit by reselling it.
If you decide to go the Amazon route but have the time to create a listing, consider selling it yourself to a third-party buyer – you’ll get a better price this way and will be paid in hard, cold cash.
Another decent option is Best Buy’s Trade-In Program, especially if you’re a frequent Best Buy shopper. As with Apple, this scheme offers valuable store credit for your old mobile device. Customers have the option to generate their quote online or, to speed up the process, can head directly to select participating stores.
Note that the program is best for phones in good shape as it doesn’t accept damaged devices.
In 2018, e-commerce giant eBay launched its own service eBay Instant Selling, aimed at offering an instantaneous voucher for old electronics. Unlike traditional eBay sales, you’ll sell to eBay rather than a third-party buyer, which affords more seller protection that traditional eBay sales do not. The trade-off is a smaller payment and you’ll be paid with a voucher, not cash.
Just enter all the necessary information for your device. If it’s eligible, upload a few photos of your mobile phone. You’ll receive an instant voucher for the offered amount which you can then use towards a new device on eBay. Finally, send off your old phone with a free shipping label provided by eBay.
Other Trade-In Programs
Modeled after Apple, the Samsung Trade-In also offers a decent alternative for Android users.
Sell It Yourself
Create a listing for your device on a marketplace website, which allows you to sell directly to a buyer.
- Pros: Highest prices, cash payments, no obligation to accept offers
- Cons: Risky, can fall prey to scammers, requires in-person transactions and effort to create listings
Selling your old phone to third-party buyers using online marketplaces like eBay, Craigslist Amazon and Facebook can reap the most cash for your device. With no middleman, there’s no one to skim from the top of your earnings.
However, it’s also more of a hassle: it’s up to you to create an enticing listing, pay seller fees, and differentiate legitimate buyers from scammers (plus deal with the consequences if anything goes awry.)
If you’re willing to put in a bit of work to create an attractive listing, pay for shipping and seller fees and take on the risk of a buyer scam, eBay can offer hard, cold cash and more protection than Craigslist.
But with more freedom comes higher fees. Seller and PayPal fees aren’t insignificant and you’ll also be responsible for shipping costs, so be sure to factor that into your sale price. To get an idea of competitive prices, search for other listings of your phone’s model and storage capacity.
The e-commerce platform offers certain protections to sellers but there are many ways to become a scam victim on eBay, which usually errs on the side of buyers in a dispute – and scammers know this. So be aware.
eBay Instant Sale is a safer bet and the price is guaranteed, although prices are lower since eBay must then re-sell your device.
Of all the choices listed, Craigslist can net you the most profit but also carries the highest risk. Craiglist gives you the freedom to name whatever price you choose and unlike eBay, there are no seller fees. But scams are common and Craiglist offers no protection from them – you’re on your own.
While finding a customer isn’t hard, it can be a challenge to find a reliable buyer who will show up to your meeting place. For some, the need for an in-person meetup is a deterrent. If you do choose Craigslist, always meet your seller in a public place.
Consider listing your old smartphone on Facebook Marketplace for a set price, no fees required. Potential buyers can make offers, which you can reject, accept or negotiate.
You can even limit the viewing audience to certain groups or friends to find a reliable buyer in your network and eliminate the risk of dealing with strangers. However, you’ll likely have to meet in person to complete the exchange.
You can also try Buying and Selling Groups in your area, which is how business was conducted before Facebook introduced the Marketplace feature. These groups are usually themed by product type (“Buying and Selling Used Electronics”) or by region (“Buying and Selling in Phoenix”). There are also more generic “yard sale” groups with hobbyists who are interested in a good bargain.
For the majority, we recommend using a service – prices are competitive or better, it’s relatively easy, safe and convenient. If you know you’ll purchase a new device from the same brand or just don’t want to bother with quote-shopping, consider trading your phone—you won’t get a deal but you skip the hassle. If you want the highest price possible, have the time to create a listing and are willing to take on the risk of falling prey to a scam, you can try your luck on an online marketplace.