Ways to Sell Your Smartphone

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ScreenHunter_55 Sep. 29 10.00

It’s been quite a year with a lot of new smartphones hitting the market. With that comes the temptation to upgrade to a new phone. Many of you would be more apt to sell your old phone if you knew the good price you can get for selling it.

There is more than one way to sell your smartphone.  They include:

  • selling it yourself on Ebay or Craigslist. 
  • buyback services, such as Gazelle and Glyde. They will offer you a price based on the condition of the phone. You will be paid with cash.
  • buyback services through BestBuy, Amazon, and Apple. They will also give you a trade-in based on the condition of the phone. These services only pay with credits for other purchases through their brick-and-mortar store or an online store.

As mentioned above, the reimbursement method for your phone varies. Let's look at the credits method of reimbursement first.


Amazon has among its many programs an electronics buyback program where you can sell just about anything that is considered consumer electronics. Included in that category are cell phones. Go to the Amazon.com website and select the open the Shop by Department menu, then Electronics & Computers, and then select Trade in Electronics. You can do a search for your phone and and based on its condition you’ll get an estimate for your cell phone. Your phone has to be in good working order and must meet one of the following conditions to be acceptable:

  • Like New; the phone is in perfect working order, has all accessories and packaging
  • Good; the phone has some visible wear, some light scratches on the body, has its battery, charger, and USB cable
  • Acceptable; the phone works but shows more visible abuse, and it may be missing accessories such as its charger or USB cable

You do not receive cash from Amazon but will get credit awarded to you in the form of an Amazon Gift Card.


BestBuy is similar to Amazon in that you select your phone among the choices available and then receive credit toward a purchase at a BestBuy store. Go to BestBuyTradein.com. Then locate the “Find Your Trade in Value” and below that you’ll see the electronic categories, including Mobile – Cell Phones, which you want to select. That will take you to a list of phones from which you locate your phone which is also listed by carrier. Based on the phone’s condition you will be given an estimate of your phone according to your response to a series of questions.


Visit store.apple.com/us and you’ll be taken to a website where you’ll select Shop iPhone. Based on your responses to a short questionaire, Apple will give you an estimate on how much your iPhone is worth. Notice I used the word iPhone. That is the only model Apple will accept. Like Amazon and BestBuy, Apple will give you credit which you can spend at an Apple online store.


Gazelle is a buyback service dealing with electronic items, including phones. Unlike a few of the others mentioned above, you actually get cash for the buyback instead of credit being awarded to you. Some of the buybacks have good prices. For example, involving the HTC One smartphone on a buyback with the phone considered in “Good Condition” meaning that it is good working order and only has average wear and tear on it from normal usage, and using Sprint as my carrier, I would get a $170.00 buyback. Gazelle does not offer buybacks for all phones, only selected manufacturers and models. For example, they only consider smartphones made by Apple, HTC, Samsung, Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia, and LG and only certain models are accepted. The buyback price also depends on your carrier as well.


As the seller you would list your phone on the Glyde marketplace with its price. Once a buyer has chose to purchase your phone they will send the purchase amount to Glyde. Glyde meanwhile sends you a prepaid shipping kit for the phone. Glyde retains the money until you have shipped the phone and it safely arrives at the buyers location. Once received by the buyer, and after a two day evaluation period in which the buyer has the the right to cancel if not satisfied with the phone, the money is then released to you from the Glyde account minus a transaction fee. The fee is 2% on the first $100 of the item's sale price and 8% on the rest. You are also assessed a shipping kit fee of $1.00 to $3.50 depending on the phone. The shipments are made through the U.S. Postal Service and are shipped Priority or First Class, depending on the weight and distance involved.

Selling the Phone Yourself (Ebay / Craigslist)

When you’re selling the phone yourself, the risk for getting burned or burning someone else is greater although if you adhere to a few basic precautions you can get through the process with a good deal for both parties involved. Selling your phone this way often brings the seller a better price, and fees such as one might pay with a buybark service are minimal or none. Any kind of financial transaction harm can be minimized by using a pay service such as PayPal or PayQuicker. Both are free services and enable each party involved to conduct the transaction safely and with minimal risk. Ebay has their own buyer protection service, which gives the buyer some recourse on a dishonest seller, so there are many buyers out there willing to purchase your phone safely and confidently.

Edge, Next, One Up, Jump Carrier Service Plans

Earlier this month I wrote about using the new service plans available from the four major cellular carriers. They are Verizon-Edge, AT&T-Next, Sprint-One Up, and T-Mobile-Jump. Keep in mind that if you decide to go with one of these plans, you must turn the phone back in after the term expires, thus circumventing your option to sell your phone.

The bottom line is shop around like you would for anything else. Any of the ways to sell your phone listed above would be excellent choices, but it doesn't hurt to look around too. Remember, it literally pays to take good care of your phone and accessories when you try to resell them.

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