The iPhone 12 has been released in all its glory – or not – depending on whether you’re an Apple products fan. Most carriers will give you credit towards a new phone with a trade-in, but you may do better selling it yourself depending on the condition.
Here are some of your best options.
One of the fastest and most straightforward options is to sell to a buyback service like BuybackBoss, Decluttr, or GadgetGone. All three have a TrustPilot score of 4.6 out of 5 or higher, with a streamlined process for getting a quote. Keep in mind that if the phone quality isn’t quite what you stated or doesn’t match their criteria, the quote may not match the actual buyout, so be brutally honest when describing your device. Before you start getting quotes from multiple sites, check out Flipsy, which compares US trade-in values at multiple buyback stores. Flipsy will show you payment methods, price-lock duration (the window of time you have before you need to send your phone in), and a price based on the old device’s condition. Another option is SellCell that compares buyback prices from over 35 Buyback Companies to ensure you get the most for your device.
Another option, though not a buyback service, is Swappa. They connect buyers and sellers – like eBay but exclusively for devices. A marketplace is almost always going to net a higher price than a buyback, but it means more work on your end. You’ll need to create a Swappa account and connect your PayPal account. You set the asking price (including a sale fee), but no additional PayPal fees may apply.
You can always trade-in your device at Apple for store credit or trade it in for a store gift card at Best Buy, but note neither puts cash in your pocket.
A third option is to sell it yourself via Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay. While it may bring the highest price, there are risks and hassles involved.
If you go old-school Craigslist, be prepared for lots of “Will you take (less than you’re asking)” and buyers that flake and don’t show up. I highly recommend choosing a SafeTrade location like a police station or law enforcement parking lot. Avoid having the individual come to your home, if at all possible.
Facebook Marketplace allows an added security layer because you can check your buyer’s profile before committing. You can also control where your listing is seen and by whom.
eBay is another option but be prepared for additional fees and shipping if you’re selling outside your immediate area. eBay charges a sales fee of 10% of the final selling price for products sold through its platform. If you accept payment through PayPal, it charges an additional fee of 2.9% (4% if sold internationally). The upside is that eBay offers buyer protection, so there’s an added layer of credibility Marketplace and Craigslist lack.
Whichever you choose – Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist, make yourself very clear before you meet up with your buyer. They should know the exact price, bring cash only, the phone’s condition, and its wireless carrier – especially if the phone isn’t unlocked – in advance.
Whatever you choose, do a little homework before you start. Take your time and weigh your options, and be aware of the value not only of your device but your time. Happy selling!
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.