7 Ways to Get Money for your Old iPhone

With a new iPhone on the horizon, now’s the best time to start thinking about how you’re going to afford it. Selling your current smartphone could be your best option, unless you want to use it for something other than your primary phone in the future. iPhones carry the most resale value out of any smartphone, so you can expect a decent amount of cash for your old phone. There are a number of ways you can sell your iPhone, and most electronics stores will collect your old phone and give you either cash or a gift certificate. Here are 7 ways get cash for your old smartphones, and one bonus method, and the steps you should take before selling your iPhone.

Before you use any of these services, be sure to follow these steps for preparing your iPhone.

1) Turn off Find My iPhone. This is very important, most recyclers will not accept a phone with Find My iPhone turned on. To do this, go into Settings > iCloud and turn off the Find My iPhone switch.

2) Check that Find My iPhone is turned off online by going to iCloud.com and ensuring the device you’re looking to sell no longer shows up. You’ll want to do this from a computer or from your iOS device using a 3rd party browser to spoof your device as a full computer. You can also use the Find My iPhone app, available on the App Store.

3) Back up your iPhone. You can do this two ways, although I recommend the first: to your computer, or to iCloud. iCloud is more convinient, but will take longer to restore on your new device, and will also lack your music and any apps that are no longer on the App Store. To back up to your computer, simply sync it with your computer (the latest version of iTunes is required). Click your iPhone on the list on the sidebar, and make sure it says your iPhone was backed up. The other method is iCloud. This is done automatically when you plug in your iPhone to a power source, but you can force it by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and tap “Back up now”.

4) Wipe your iPhone. The easiest way to do this is from the device itself. Go to Settings > General > Reset, and tap “Erase all Content and Settings”. You’ll need to enter your password, but then you’ll have a wiped phone. I typically set it up again without iCloud again, then wipe it a second time, but that’s because I’m paranoid. The first erase is fine.

Now, here are 7 great ways to get either cash or gift cards to help you buy your next iPhone.


This will now be the second year I’ve used Gazelle to sell my iPhone. With their price lock guarantee, I was able to secure a good price for my iPhone weeks ago, as resell prices drop as time goes on. They offer this price lock to anyone, and will send you the box to send your electronics back in. You package your phone up and send it back by the date Gazelle requests, which is currently in October. That means you can wait until you have your new iPhone to sell your old one, while getting the same amount of money you would have if you sold your old iPhone before the new one came out.


BuyMyTronics has been around since the original iPhone was released. They started out fixing iPods, and moved to the business of helping customers get some money towards their next device. They’re now backed by Gamestop, a reputable company that resells games and systems, but also phones and other electronics.


Glyde is a unique service. Instead of buying your electronics and either reselling them or recycling them, they connect you, anonymously, with people who may want to buy your device. There’s no guarentee that you’ll sell your device, but you can set the price yourself. Glyde will give you recommendations, a minimum and a maximum price for your device, you select it, and when it sells, you get your cash. It could be the best way to get your money, but it’s not instantaneous, you won’t get paid until your device sells.


This is another company like Gazelle on the surface, however, you’re not getting paid directly by uSell. They’ll find a buyer for your device, offering you the same price that the sponsored company would. Other companies give uSell a portion of the sale, and, as a result, get promotion through uSell’s website. You can expect to find prices very similar to Gazelle’s, but with more transparency as to where your device is going.


Amazon buys and sells so many products, and they offer very good prices for all of your electronics, especially iOS devices. Amazon is also a trustworthy company, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off. Amazon offers fast and free shipping, and will pay you with an Amazon gift card. If you haven’t used Amazon before, you probably should. It’s a one stop shop for nearly anything, so a gift card here is very close to being as good as cash. Yes, Amazon will carry the iPhone, and it should be available on release day.

Best Buy

Best Buy has a recycling program for a variety of electronics, including smartphones, computers, and even printers. For some devices, such as smartphones, they’l give you cash or a gift card. For others, such as printer cartridges, they’ll simply recycle the discarded electronics.


Apple has a recycling program now, you can turn in your iOS devices for gift cards. Since you’ll be buying a new iPhone anyway, this is likely the most hassle-free way to get paid for your iPhone. There is a catch though, Apple doesn’t give you quite as much as companies dedicated to buying your electronics.

I recommend checkout out each option for your specific phone, and figure out which one gets you the most back for your device. You could also simply take the easy route, and recycle your old device in the Apple Store or Best Buy where you’re picking up your new device. It’s your choice, but you should probably check out all your options.

Bonus: Sell or Give it to Friends or Family

I sold my iPad to my parents for a very low and very reasonable price (in case they read this). If you’d rather help out your friends and family, for a small sacrifice on your price, then this could be the option for you. Find out if they need a new device, and if they’re willing to use your older one. Sure, you’ll make less money from it, but you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside knowing you helped someone, right?

Regardless of what you choose to do with your old device, never, ever throw them away. Not only may electronics contain biohazardous material, but they’ll sit in a landfill forever. Why not get cash for your devices, and know that they went on to be disassembled and used for other electronics? Your old iPhone could be melted down and used in a future device and loved by another person, or it could even be resold, after being cleaned, tested, and after destroying the original memory chip and replacing it. Don’t let your electronics pile up in a landfill, get some money for it and do something nice for the environment, sell it.


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