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How to get the most money for your old smartphone

Nick Mediati | Sept. 27, 2013
Don't let your old smartphone gather dust in your desk drawer. Selling or trading in your old phone for a new one is easier than you think.

Like Apple, Best Buy will accept your old phone in return for store credit, and if it can't offer you payment for a broken phone, it will recycle your phone for free. Best Buy also takes back a wide range of devices, including that old flip phone you have from 2007. Visit BestBuyTradeIn.com, and then scroll down to Find Your Trade-In Value and look for Mobile Phones. Click that item, and search for your phone and select it; Best Buy will give you an estimate of how much your phone is worth based on its condition.

Best Buy's criteria for judging the condition of a phone are rather specific. Does it have four or fewer small scratches? It qualifies as a device in "Good" condition. Does it have five or more scratches? That's "Poor" condition. You may find in some cases that your phone falls in between two condition levels.

Gazelle
Gazelle is a service that's dedicated to buying used electronics. And unlike Amazon, Apple, and Best Buy, Gazelle will give you cash for your old phone, not just store credit. The site is straightforward to use: Visit Gazelle.com, select what you want to sell, provide some specifics on the model you have, and assess its condition, and Gazelle will offer you a buyback price for your phone.

In some cases Gazelle will not be able to offer you payment for your old electronics, and the company itself does not have an electronics recycling program, though it will refer you to resources where you can learn more about how to recycle your old phone.

As far as phones go, Gazelle accepts devices only from Apple, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Mototola, Nokia, and Samsung; if you don't have a phone from one of these companies, you need to look elsewhere.

Glyde
 
glyde

Glyde lets you buy and sell used electronics, and it's fairly easy to use. After you find your phone's maker and model, and answer a few questions about its condition, Glyde gives you an estimated price for your phone.

Unlike Gazelle, Glyde does not buy your used gear from you; instead, it provides a marketplace where it lists your phone for sale. You won't get cash up front, and Glyde will take a transaction fee and shipping fee out of your asking price. On the flip side, Glyde allows you to set your own price: Although it defaults to the market price—the standard going rate for your old phone—you can list it at a lower or higher price.

Other options
Aside from the services above, you also have a couple of old standbys at your disposal: eBay and Craigslist. eBay lets you set a Buy It Now price or a starting price for auction, and at Craigslist you get to set the price entirely yourself. If you choose to sell through either of these sites, you'll want to keep a few tips in mind.

 

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