Ever since the big Apple announcement last week, I find myself ogling over the iPhone 6/6+ and the Apple Watch. They’re just so darn pretty. And seeing some great buyback programs is definitely enticing me to trade up from the iPhone 5, as happy as I am with it. If you’re wondering how to sell your old iPhone, I poked around to check out some of the best deals you can get on trade-ins.

The best advice: With the iPhone 6/6+ available in stores on September 19th, it’s recommended that you act fast. Because it’s likely that these offers will continue to decrease after the phone launches, and some of the sites even spell out as much clearly.

So if you’re in the market for an upgrade, here are six options to consider for how to sell your old iPhone:



To confirm my point above, uSell has a banner up on its homepage saying that iPhone price offers will decrease 20% in the weeks after the iPhone 6 launches. And I believe it. I remember trying to sell an old iPad and seeing the price drop by day. It is currently offering me $163 for my 64 GB iPhone 5 in flawless condition (I thank my LifeProof case for that) which isn’t too bad. And the process is simple. You fill out a form and they mail you a prepaid kit for you to send your phone back. After an evaluation, you will be reimbursed via PayPal or check within five business days.

uSell iPhone trade in program


Gazelle works very much in the same way as uSell; you list out the condition of your phone and they provide you with an online estimate. They send you a prepaid kit, you pop your phone in the mail and wait. After receiving your phone and evaluating, you will get reimbursed via check, PayPal or Amazon.com gift cards. Amount offered for my iPhone 5: $160.

Amazon Electronics Trade-in Program

If you spend more time shopping on Amazon.com than you’d like to admit (ahem), then their Electronics Trade-In Program may be right for you. As you guessed, you get Amazon credit that you can use right away. And it seemingly has one of the higher offers of the bunch, with $212 for my iPhone in good condition. Flawless would require me to send it in with all original packaging, which I no longer have but if you do, you’ll get even more back.


Target Trade-in Program

Target’s electronics trade-in program is very well reputed and it’s so convenient to just get cash or credit on the spot you can use immediately towards another iPhone–or anything in the store at all, including all those great tech accessories.  They are claiming that if you lock in your iPhone trade-in price by September 18, they will guarantee up to $300. Of course that’s the max. My phone would score me $142 for the iPhone 5. But if you happen to have an iPhone 5S 64GB in good condition, that nets you a cool $270. Pretty sweet!

iPhone trade-in program value at Target

/Sprint/Verizon/T-Mobile Trade-in Programs

Of course, all of the major phone carriers are hopping into the buyback frenzy by offering great deals for older iPhones. You can check with your specific carrier for more details since some of them are also offering promotions off additional contracts. They’re all pretty sweet deals: AT&T is offering $200 credit for your iPhone 4, 4s, 5, or 5c, or $300 credit for your iPhone 5s, but only through September 30. (You read that right — $200 credit for an iPhone 4.) Verizon is giving customers a free 16 GB iPhone 6 with a two-year contract (though we strongly suggest you go for more than 16GB what with all those amazing apps) and T-Mobile is matching any buyback price anywhere plus $50 which could make it the best of any of the programs. If you’re willing to add more years onto your lease terms this is a terrific option for you.

Apple Reuse and Recycling Program

Why not just go straight to the source, since you are probably spending your money there anyway? Apple’s Reuse and Recycling program is another option to consider, especially when you can plunk down that shiny Apple gift card to pay for your spiffy new iPhone 6. There are a few more questions on this form to answer regarding water damage and working buttons,  but it only takes a couple of minutes to see Apple’s offer. They offered me $205 for my iPhone 5, which would take a nice chunk of change off of the new iPhone 6 cost.


Do keep in mind that there’s quite the waiting list for online shipping of the new iPhones. So if you’re not willing to get up at 1 am and wait in line at the Apple Store on the 19th, you could be waiting until mid-November for a new iPhone 6+. That means locking in your rate is a great idea now; just make sure you don’t make the actual trade-in until you have the new device in hand, or you could find yourself phone-less for a while. Can’t even imagine what that would be like.

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