Options Abound for Selling Used Mobile Phones

Apple's latest iPhones begin shipping this month, which is bound to inspire many fans of the popular smartphone to ditch their current models in favor of the bigger, sleeker iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

It's a ritual familiar by now to most smartphone users. Every couple of years, new models boasting more features and improvements compel users to trade up.

Often that means turning in your older phones for a credit from your carrier. But selling your phone online or to companies that buy back used models can often offer a better return than your wireless provider.

Here are some ways to cash in on that soon-to-be mobile relic:


When selling your phone online, think of it like a house. Homes generally sell for about the same price as comparable houses.

If you list the phone on eBay, the site will suggest a price range based on recent sales of the same model.

Details such as the model, memory size and whether you have the original packaging, manual and peripherals, such as the charger, factor into the potential sale price.

"The real key here is the condition that your phone is in today," said Jeff Somers, vice president of verticals for eBay North America. That means cosmetic factors such as scratches mean a lot.

For the most recently available iPhone model, the 5S, with 32 gigabytes of memory and in excellent condition, eBay suggests a buy-it-now price of $359.

If it's brand new, however, the site suggests the phone could fetch as much as $650. If it's used, but in good condition, $329; in fair condition, $300 or so.


USell.com, a portal for selling mobile phones, says iPhones typically depreciate about 20 percent in the six to eight weeks after a new model is announced.

So if you plan on buying the new iPhone,...

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