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The best site to sell your old iPhone

With a new iPhone coming out, one early adopter compared prices offered by sites that will buy your old gadgets.

By Stacy Johnson Oct 4, 2011 10:58AM

This post comes from Dan Schointuch at partner site Money Talks News.


I have a disease: early adopter syndrome. Today's new iPhone has sparked my latest outbreak. But how to upgrade from my suddenly outdated iPhone without robbing a liquor store?


One trick I've picked up is to sell old stuff to subsidize buying new stuff. I even figured out how to make almost $300 in profit switching iPhones from AT&T to Verizon when the Verizon iPhone 4 was originally announced. 


But listing items on eBay and shipping to buyers who may or may not exist can be troublesome, and it often involves hassles that keep ordinary people away. Plus, eBay is an auction. You never know how much money you'll get for an item until you put it on the block.


Fortunately, there's an easier way to sell your stuff online. You can visit one of the myriad of newish sites that let you click a few boxes to describe something you want to get rid of and then provide you with an instant quote of how much they'll pay. But with several sites to choose from, which pays the best? Post continues after video.

To find out, I compared what several sites offered for my old iPhone 4, as well as some of the other stuff I have.


In each case, I simply said the gadget is in perfect condition with all the original packaging, manuals and accessories to determine the maximum I could get, so your results may vary. And, of course, all of these values decrease with time.


IPhone 4 32GB

  • eBay Instant Sale: $339.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $295; check, $192.
  • $195.
  • $250.
  • $250.

IPad 32 GB (first generation) Wi-Fi

  • eBay Instant Sale: $318.75.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $208; check, $135.
  • $183.
  • $212.
  • $215.

Amazon Kindle (third generation) Wi-Fi

  • eBay Instant Sale: $48.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $37; check, $24.
  • $28.
  • $33.
  • $25.

Nikon D90 with 18-105mm Nikkor zoom lens

  • eBay Instant Sale: $289.06 (without lens).
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $209; check, $136.
  • $344.
  • $337.
  • not found.

Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005 Core) with 60GB HD

  • eBay Instant Sale: $58.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $35; check, $23.
  • $23.
  • $17.
  • $30.

Apple iPod Nano (first generation) 4GB

  • eBay Instant Sale: $14.18.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: gift card, $25; check, $16.
  • recycle.
  • recycle.
  • $5.10.
As you can see, for most of my items, eBay Instant Sale pays the most. It's different from listing something on their site. Instead of auctioning to individuals, you're selling directly to eBay.


You mail your gadget to them (they cover the shipping costs too) and they send you a payment through PayPal within five days. And if you have any problems, you can contact eBay customer support -- much nicer than tracking down individual buyers.


But if you have something to sell, getting offers from multiple sites only takes a few minutes. So if you're in the market to sell some of your old electronics, it pays to take the time and check them all out.


While the amount of money offered for something like an iPhone 4 falls as we get closer to the release of a new model, I'm certain I can still get enough cash to cover the $200 or $300 I'll be spending on a new iPhone when the time comes to buy one. And thus, my early adopter syndrome will be sated for another few months.


More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:

Oct 4, 2011 12:36PM
Obviously you don't know what you're talking about. First you trash eBay but then you prove its the best option. You also have no idea what "Instant Sale" is. You are NOT selling it to eBay. Per the eBay website, where you could have read prior to writing your crappy article, it clearly states: "AllTechWholesale, a Top-Rated eBay Seller with an excellent track record of customer satisfaction and service is buying your device."  And why is this seller buying your device?? ..because they understand how to turn around and remarket your device on eBay for a profit.  Anyone's best bet for maximizing profit comes from effectively marketing your item on eBay as an auction, but please don't write this article...let someone else.
Oct 4, 2011 1:43PM
I never leave comments, but I really have to chime on this.  Fair enough, if you want to sell your phone there are other channels, but if you really want to sell it quick, those minor hassles that the author tried to "play up" are worth those risks(?) if you have a quality, & desirable item on Ebay/Craigslist/etc  (just play it safe and you should be fine). As a consumer, not only will I have buyers remorse if you sell me something over market value, but I'll also be more likely to take it out on you on the backend (whether minor complaint or whatever).  I'm a buyer & seller, and see it both ways.  So I say from the consumer's vantage point: Stop trying to get over on us, because ultimately, the [buying] consumer sets the final price!  Sellers, in essence, it comes down to doing your research, then describing your item effectively, & having faith in what you have to sell-- That's what nets the big bucks. 
Mar 12, 2012 7:28AM
get a quote from CashitGadget first also.  If anyone one wants to know of another place, they launched about 2 years ago, and seem to give better prices than Gazelle, but also include "gadget back" guaranty, basically From what i can see, they say that if you don't like anything about the service, you can get your gadget sent back fro free.  seems good to me, but what was better then that was the prices.  The prices seem to be higher then many of the others.  Check them out, because i don't know what the price is today, it may be cheaper? CashitGadget
Dec 28, 2011 9:42PM
You may want to check out 

Oct 6, 2011 2:22PM
The article missed a glaringly obvious option.

iPhone 4 32GB in perfect condition is worth $300 (Update: As of today its now $200) to apple.. 

Since I cant post a link in her (Yay microsux).

Search Apple Reuse and Recycle Program.
Oct 5, 2011 7:45AM

Why should anybody buy an outdated apple product? Doesn't that go against everything that $teve job$ stands for? 

Jun 11, 2012 10:46AM
Look at this. What are you think?
Oct 4, 2011 12:59PM
Throw it in the dumpster and get a droid
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