How and Where to Sell Your Old iPhone to Upgrade to 2018 iPhone XS

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 27 Aug 2018

How and Where to Sell Your Old iPhone to Upgrade to 2018 iPhones

In less than a month from now, Apple will be unveiling its 2018 iPhone XS lineup. And if you have already decided that you are going to upgrade to a new iPhone this year and want to make the upgrade as cheaply as possible, the smart thing to do will be to sell your existing iPhone right away.

The Perfect Time to Sell your Old iPhone

As soon as Apple releases new iPhones, prices of existing iPhones are going to come crashing down. This means that your current iPhone is also going to lose its value in the second-hand market by at least a few hundred dollars. By selling your current iPhone at a good price, you can upgrade to one of Apple’s 2018 iPhone by paying just a few hundred dollars more.

Apple is expected to unveil its 2018 iPhone XS on September 12. So you will have to use a spare phone for only around three weeks if you get around to selling your existing iPhone right away.

Before you go ahead and sell your iPhone though, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s have a look at them below.

What to Do Before Selling Your Old iPhone?

1. Unlock your iPhone

Many carriers lock the iPhone so it can be used only on that single carrier, limiting the number of people who can purchase your iPhone. If you want to expand your pool of potential customers, then you should look into unlocking your phone, which allows the phone to operate on multiple carriers. You should check with your current wireless service provider to see how they handle unlocking a device. Some will do it for free if the phone has been on your line for a certain amount of time while others will charge you a small fee.

2. Backup All Data

It is important to create a backup of all the data on your existing iPhone unless you want to start from scratch on your new iPhone. With all your data backed up, you will be able to restore all your apps, their associated data, contacts, photos, and other data to your new iPhone in no time and start using it almost immediately.

Since Apple only offers a paltry 5GB of free storage space on iCloud, most users will be unable to back up their device to the cloud. It is a different story if you are paying for iCloud storage space. If that’s the case, you should follow the steps in these guide to backup your iPhone to the cloud. iCloud backups are recommended for people who have access to a high-speed internet connection.

You can also use iTunes to create a backup of your iPhone data. This process will be faster and ideal for people who don’t have access to a high-speed internet connection.

ReadHow to Backup Your iPhone and iPad with and without iTunes

3. Disable Find my iPhone and Erase Your iPhone

Apple’s anti-theft system is pretty darn good. But when you are selling your iPhone, you need to ensure that it is turned off otherwise the buyer will not be able to get around to using the phone.

ReadHow to Turn Off Find My iPhone

With Find my iPhone disabled, it is now time for you to erase your iPhone to wipe it clean of all your data. You obviously don’t want to hand over your iPhone to a stranger with all your data on it.

Read: How To Erase Your iPhone’s Data Before You Sell It

Switching to an Android Device?

Just in case you are looking to sell your existing iPhone to switch to an Android device, you should turn iMessage off. In case you don’t do so, you will not receive text messages sent from iPhone users. If you have already sold your iPhone, worry not as there’s still a way for you to deregister your number from iMessage.

Read: How to Deregister Your Number from iMessage

Where to Sell Your Old iPhone

Where you sell your iPhone decides how much you will get for it. If you want the most from your old iPhone, you are going to work slightly hard on selling it off. If you go with the easiest and safest route, you are not going to get a good price for it.

Carrier Stores

You can always take your iPhone to your carrier and trade it in towards a new iPhone.

Sometimes carriers do offer an attractive trade-in offer but in most cases, you are going to get a far lower value for your iPhone from your carrier compared to selling it on eBay, Craiglist, or any other similar site. T-Mobile, for example, offered its existing iPhone 6s owners a free upgrade to iPhone 7 in 2016 and then in 2017, it offered iPhone 7 owners a free upgrade to iPhone 8. If you are on T-Mobile, you should probably wait for the un-carrier to unveil its trade-in deal.

If you are on any other network though, don’t expect your carrier to offer such a lucrative deal. For such cases, it will be better if you simply sell your iPhone on Craiglist.


If you are willing to take the risk, Craigslist and other classifieds, like Uncle Henry’s in Maine, are a convenient way to sell your old iPhone. Not only will you get a higher price, but you will also be paid in cash with almost little to no service fees. However, you pay for the lack of service fees by trading in your safety. It is relatively common for scamsters to use classifieds to arrange a sale meeting where they will simply take your iPhone and run away.

To minimize your risk, you should arrange to meet in a public place during the daytime and bring a friend if needed. You also should keep sales local and not send off your device as most of those offers are scams.

Depending on the condition of your iPhone and its age, you can get a pretty good value for it — up to $400 for an iPhone 7 Plus in good condition.

It is important that before you try sites like eBay, you check their service fees. With eBay particularly, you will end up paying a lot of money in service fees so it is better to try other similar services.


Amazon Trade In

Did you know that you can trade-in your existing iPhone with Amazon? Yep. The online retailer has a pretty good trade-in program and even offers a 28-day lock-in price which means that if you get an estimated trade-in value for your iPhone now, you can ship it to Amazon after you get your hands on the new iPhone.

You can trade-in any iPhone that you like irrespective of where it was purchased from. However, like other trade-in programs, the value of your iPhone will be on the lower side. An unlocked iPhone 7 Plus, for example, will fetch you up to $300 from Amazon’s trade-in program, though this can be on the lower side as well if your device has a lot of scratches and dents.

There’s also another catch: you will have to use the credit you get to buy products from Amazon itself.

Trade-in iPhone at Amazon

Trade-In Websites

You can also try reseller websites like GazelleOrchard, or NextWorth if you want to avoid going through the headache of selling your iPhone through Craiglist or eBay. However, these reseller websites will offer you a far lower price than what you will get by directly selling your iPhone on eBay or other similar sites.

Swappa is among the more renowned smartphone trade-in website and it is known to give a better trade-in value than other competing websites. If you trade-in your iPhone X, you can get up to $620 for it, while an iPhone 8 Plus will fetch you nearly $495. Unlike eBay, it charges a flat fee irrespective of how much you sell your phone for.

Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and other retailers also offer a trade-in program but the usual caveat applies with them — the trade-in price is going to be on the slightly lower side.

Family or Friends

Giving your old phone to your family and friends is an easy way to sell your device with minimal risk of theft or fraud. The recipients likely will be happy to get a new used phone and you can help them with the transition process if needed.


Apple GiveBack

You can trade-in your existing iPhone to Apple as well. The company has its own trade-in program called Apple GiveBack. Under this program, you essentially trade-in your existing iPhone at your nearest Apple Store or through the company’s online store. After assessing your device, Apple will give you a value of your device. If you approve the value, the company will issue you an Apple Store Gift card of the same value. You can then use this gift card towards the purchase of your next iPhone.

While this is among the easiest and safest way to sell your iPhone, the value you are going to get for your iPhone is going to be on the lower side. The company will give a maximum of $290 for trading in an iPhone 7 Plus in good condition.

Apple GiveBack

iPhone Upgrade Program

If you upgrade to the latest iPhone every year, you might want to consider joining Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program. Under the program, you buy your iPhone from Apple on a 2-year contract where you will pay for the iPhone through monthly installments. Once the first 12 months are up, you can upgrade to a new iPhone by simply trading in your existing iPhone and paying the additional monthly installment for that device.

iPhone Upgrade Program is better than similar contracts offered by carriers since Apple bundles AppleCare+ for the handset for free with the program.

ReadiPhone Upgrade Program FAQ

Do drop a comment and let us know how you ended up selling your iPhone and for how much. It might just help our readers!