The next iPhone is around the corner.

You knew that, of course.  The next iPhone is always around the corner.

The internet is constantly abuzz with wishes and rumors about upcoming features.  People are ready to line up for the next big thing without ever laying their eyes upon it, without even knowing what features it will truly have, and with very few details.  They make preparations.  They salivate at the prospect of holding that cold aluminum fresh out of the package.  I don’t blame them.  Getting that new piece of Apple tech is always a mini event in itself.  But as the new comes in, what do you do with the old.  Sell it.  Easy, right?



Since I’m the go to “tech guru” in my group of friends, I had a few of them clamoring, “Bishi,  sell my iPhone for me.”  They seemed to think that I could somehow magically get the most out of it so they could put that cash toward the iPhone 5, that I knew all the tricks.  But guess what?  There aren’t any tricks to getting the most out of your old (old being a purely relative term).  There are only illusions!  Ok, bad joke, but there really aren’t any tricks.  It all boils down to a few specifics.

What do you want to get out of your old iPhone?  Maybe it’s the iPhone 4S, maybe it’s an earlier model.  Demand is definitely higher for newer models, but you can still get a pretty penny for that 3GS and 3G.  If you’re looking to maximize your return you might have to put your phone on the market early.  Risky, yep.  Could you be without a phone for a bit?  Again, yep.  I’ve tried this before and timing is everything.  You want to get it out before too many details are leaked on the various rumor and tech sites and you want to stay ahead of the onslaught that is nigh.

This approach isn’t for the faint of heart, but I’ve managed to nab an extra $50 or so, but again, I was without an iPhone (I had another phone, however).  But, if this isn’t something you really want to do, and I don’t blame you, then your focus is to stand out among the back.  You have a used iPhone, you’ve had it a while.  You’ve texted, browsed the web, probably been pretty tough on the battery, and maybe you even had a few voice conversations, but you’ve put the device through its paces.  How did you treat your iPhone during those paces?  If you were gentle and kind, a responsible user, then good for you, because you’ll get more than the other guy who didn’t use a case or a screen protector and stuffed it haphazardly in his jeans.

  • Sell early.  Get in before the rush.  It can be a little risky, but you’re much likelier to get more out of it.
  • Condition is everything.  People are less inclined to buy that scratched up iPhone, and with those aluminum backs, keeping them scratch-free without a case is nearly, if not outright, impossible.
  • Buy with the intent to resell.  Many people don’t consider the future of their device.  They’re living in that moment.  Knowing you’ll sell to get the next iteration—and that you want to get the most out of it—will help keep your mind on keeping it in tip top shape.
  • Invest in protection.  Along the lines of buying with the intent to later resell it, getting your iPhone the proper protection will help immensely.  Get a case that adequately covers the back and sides and slap on a quality screen protector that won’t leave any residue or damage the screen.
  • Keep it clean.  Before you sell it, please, for the love of all things tech, clean your iPhone.  Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.  Take a cotton swab dampened with isopropyl alcohol and get in those crevasses.  You’re filth is gross and I don’t want included in my purchase.

Keeping these simple things in mind will almost always guarantee that you’ll sell you’re old iPhone for the most it’s worth in the used market.  No, you’re not going to break even, but it will take some, if not most, of the heat off of your next iPhone upgrade.  Just don’t forget to remove any and all of your personal data from your device before you sell!

About the author: Bilinda Shields is a cellular phone expert who doubles as a freelance writer.  She contributes to many sites, and she offers sound advice about how to sell cell phones.  When she’s not writing, Bilinda is likely skydiving or taking care of her three corgis.