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iPhone trade-ins 'shoot through the roof' as consumers lust for larger iPhone 5

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 28, 2012
iPhone owners are selling their old models at an historic pace because the rumored iPhone 5 will sport a new form factor, electronics trade-in companies said today.

Both Trachsel and Scarsella noted that their firms have been taking quote requests from a large number of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S owners, newer models that command a higher price.

Another option for iPhone owners looking for cash to buy an iPhone 5 are marketplaces like, a company founded in 2009 by several former eBay executives. Glyde entered the consumer electronics sell-buy business late last year and so does not have credible data for year-to-year comparisons.

At Glyde, which serves as an intermediary between sellers and buyers, listings for the iPhone are also up. "Versus a month or so ago, iPhone 4S [volume] is up about 700%," said Drew Lieberman, CEO of Glyde. "The iPhone 4, which has been selling steadily all year, was up 50% over the past week."

On Monday, Glyde reported a "market price" of $369 for an AT&T 16GB iPhone 4S. If a seller uses the suggested price, he or she receives $332.48 at the conclusion of the transaction. Glyde takes a 10% cut for its services, which include the sales listing and shipping materials, and holding funds paid by the buyer until the item is received and accepted.

Lieberman was optimistic that current iPhones would hold their value, and that after an initial glut of supply caused by early adopters ditching their smartphones, prices would rebound. "We'd suggest selling your old device as soon as the new version is announced," said Lieberman.

NextWorth and Gazelle, on the other hand, have urged sellers to act now to get the best price for their old smartphones.

If past trends repeat this refresh cycle, older iPhone prices will drop between 20% and 30% at some point before Sept. 12, the three companies acknowledged.


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