Ready to trade up for a new iPhone or android and you want to know what’s the best place to sell used phones (whether it’s broken OR still under warranty)? I’ve got you covered with both local and online places.

It happened to me just a month ago. I was getting up from my chair to go into the other room, grabbed my iPhone too fast, and it slammed on the tiled floor (hint: you can bet I started looking into the best place to sell used phones!).

I had dropped my phone before – this was probably my 714th time because when I was pregnant I literally dropped it 2-3 times a day – but this time was different.

The entire screen smashed. It was so bad, that I could feel the individual cracks each time I used my finger to slide right or left.

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*sigh*. 

I knew it was time to get a new phone. And this one? Well, it had been with me for 4-5 years now. It ran its course (though I would’ve been happy with it running the course a bit longer…).

On top of being tasked with finding the cheapest new smart phone I could get my hands on (I ended up going with Virgin Mobile), I also wanted to see if, like in times past, I could get any money for it.

After all, it’s still working. Technically, anyway.

I also wanted to find out in general where the best place to sell used phones is – including if your phone is still in tip-top shape!

Read on for info to find the best places, steps you should take when selling your used or broken phone, and how to sell broken phones (you know, for the clumsy among us *raises hand*).

But first, let’s look at how to get the most money for your smart phone.

  1. Ready to trade up for a new iPhone or android and you want to know what’s the best place to sell used phones (whether it’s broken OR still under warranty)? I’ve got you covered with both local and online places.
  2. How to Get the Most Money for Your Smartphone
  3. How to Sell Your Smartphone
  4. Can I Sell My Broken Phone? What 5 Different Sites Offered for Mine
  5. Sell My Phone for Cash Today
  6. Sell Your Phone Kiosk
  7. Phone Trade In
  8. Sell Used Electronics
  9. Local Stores that Buy Cell Phones

How to Get the Most Money for Your Smartphone

Wondering, “where can I sell my phone for a good price?”

Before we look into the best place to sell used phones to, you need to know how to get the most amount of money for your smartphone.

I’ve got some tips and tricks to share with you!

First off, you’ll make the most amount of money selling a smartphone that:

  • Is Still Under Warranty: Smartphone warranties typically last between one and two years. If yours is still under warranty, that will get you a better price.
  • Is Less than Two Generations Old: Each time a new generation of your phone comes out, yours will be worth less on the resale market.
  • Is Sold Prior to the Announcement of a New Model Coming Out: New models of smartphones are announced periodically (for example, new iPhone models are typically announced in the fall). If you can sell your smartphone prior to an announcement, you’ll get more money.
  • Is in Good Condition: If a buy-back company can refurbish your phone and sell it again, you’ll get the best price. No one wants a scratched-up, cracked phone. So, the better condition it’s in, the more money you’ll get for it.
  • Has All its Parts: Most buy-back sites will ask you to return all the parts, including the charger and earbuds. If you have the original box? Well, those are worth money, too.
  • Is Unlocked: Phones are either locked or unlocked. A locked phone cannot be used on a different carrier than the one you’re with. But if you can unlock it, then it can be used on a different carrier (which makes it easier to sell to others). Here’s an extensive article on how to unlock a smartphone from any carrier.

Pssst: You need to purchase a cover for any smartphone you own – it will help keep it in peak condition, which only puts more money back in your pocket when you go to sell it! Check out tons of smartphone covers here.

If you have all that going for you, then getting top dollar for your phone is just a matter of shopping around (see how to sell your smart phone below for how to shop around and get the best deal).

But what if your smartphone is a bit…subpar? Or old? Or sitting in your electronics graveyard pile?

To get the most amount of money for your smartphone you should:

  • Comparison Shop: Don’t just go to one smartphone buyback website and settle on that price. You’ve got to shop around (if you want the best deal).
  • Do a Private Sale: It’s widely known that if you can sell your phone privately to someone else – a friend, family member, person on eBay or a Facebook sell group – then you’ll get more money for it. Of course, this does come with some issues as well, such as making sure the other person is happy, fully wiping your data ahead of time, actually finding a person who wants to buy it, etc. But it’s worth mentioning.
  • Consider a Trade-In: For phones that are a bit dodgy, you might just want to trade it in for store credit or credit towards a new smartphone purchase. That’s because you might actually get more money in credit towards purchasing a new smartphone – a purchase you’re likely needing to make anyway – than if you tried to sell it. See “Phone Trade In” for more information.

Alright, next I’m going to outline the exact steps you need to take to sell your smartphone to the best place.

How to Sell Your Smartphone

You don’t just want to sell your smartphone; you want the best place to sell used phones to + how to do it in a way that you erase your digital life from prying eyes.

Let’s walk through the seven steps for how to sell your smartphone.

Step #1: Figure out if your phone is unlocked (and unlock it if you can)

As discussed above, smartphones are either locked or unlocked. A locked phone cannot be used on a different carrier than the one you’re with. But if you can unlock it, then it can be used on a different carrier (which makes it easier to sell to others).

Here’s an extensive article on how to unlock a smartphone from any carrier.

Along the same lines, you’ve got to actually own the phone you want to sell. Remember that some plans with carriers have you paying extra per month for 1-2 years to pay off the phone (these are called Equipment Installment Plans). If you’re still paying on the phone within your contract, and you sell it, then the buyer might have trouble activating it. Also, you will likely still have to pay a fee until you’ve paid the Equipment Installment Plan off.

A few more pieces of information that are going to be handy for you to know:

  • Smart Phone model
  • Storage limit (16 GB, 32 GB, etc.)
  • Your carrier

Step #2: Decide if you want to sell online, at a kiosk, to a person, or in-store

I’d like to point out that you can sell your smartphone online at a buyback service (discussed further below), or you can walk out with cash in hand from selling your smartphone at a kiosk, to a person, or in-store.

Where you decide to do this depends on your priorities. Is it a priority to get the best deal on your smartphone cash-in, or to get cash right away?

I’ll show you how to comparison shop in the next step.

Step #3: Comparison shop to get the most amount of money

There are a bunch of companies that will buy your smartphone back from you. If you use them, they’ll give you an estimate price they’ll pay, send you an envelope with free shipping (so you can just drop your phone + accessories + box into the bag and put it in your mailbox or schedule a pickup), and make the process pretty painless.

I’ve personally sold phones back to both Gazelle and BuyBackWorld.

Go to each site, plug in your phone’s information, and see who offers the best price.

Note that if your phone is not in the condition that you specified on the website, they’ll counteroffer with a different amount. You can then typically either say yes/no, and they’ll either pay you or ship your phone back if you’d like. Sometimes they give you the option to recycle the phone with them if they’re unwilling to pay you any money for it.

For example, I tried to sell my husband’s iPhone that was no longer working. We got a quote; however, the phone was actually a little bent (which I hadn’t noticed). The company got back to us and let us know that they couldn’t pay us for it, but would recycle it if we’d like (or send it back if we’d like).

Step #4: Find Out the Phone Trade-In Value

Selling to a company who will refurbish your phone and sell it to others is not the only way to make money off of your smartphone. You can also use a trade-in program and get credit towards a future smartphone purchase.

Heck, if I didn’t have a broken smartphone, then I might have thought to check on prices to trade my phone for another phone as well!

Note: some places will take a smartphone with a broken screen that otherwise works, while others won’t. So be sure to ask.

The following are programs you can check out – you’ll want to make sure that you can’t get more money through a trade-in (though, this only makes you extra cash if you were going to purchase a smartphone through that store anyway):

  • Apple: the most credit you can get towards new gear is $290 for a smart phone, $250 for a tablet, up to $1,000 for a computer, and up to $175 for a watch. Fill out some questions and you will receive a competitive trade-in estimate for an Apple Store Gift Card or instant credit at an Apple Store
  • Amazon
  • AT&T
  • Best Buy
  • GameStop
  • Walmart
  • Sprint
  • Staples
  • Target

Step #5: Decide Who to Go with

You’ve compared prices online, and perhaps even looked into trading your smartphone in.

Who is going to give you the best price? How long will it take to get paid?

Go ahead and decide who you’ll go with. Fill in the information needed in order to process everything.

Step #6: Wipe Your Smartphone of all Personal Information

Do not forget to do this step – several of the online buyback places will remind you or give you specific directions. Skip this step? And you could open yourself up to identity theft (not to mention some embarrassment).

But if you’re selling your phone yourself, then really pay attention to this.

You need to wipe your phone of all your personal data.

Follow these steps:

Step #7: Ship it Out

If you chose an online buyback company, then you’ll be sent a padded envelope to send your phone back in.

If you’re selling your phone yourself, then you’ll need to ship it out – be sure to purchase tracking. (especially if someone has already paid you for the device). Insurance might be a good idea, as well. Otherwise, if the phone is damaged or lost in the mail, then you might have to refund the buyer out of your own pocket.

Can I Sell My Broken Phone? What 5 Different Sites Offered for Mine

Now we’re back to the question, can I sell my broken phones (and in my case, my smashed-to-smithereens phone)?

Not only did this happen to me several years ago, but just recently I had the unpleasant experience of smashing my phone to smithereens. I still wanted to know if I could get any money for it.

What I found is, yes, you can sell your broken phone. But you’re likely going to earn very little for doing so.

Of course, how much you can get depends on your model, if the phone still works at all, if it’s under warranty, and all the other things we discussed above for how to get the best price for your used smartphone.

For me, the first time around I was only able to get $0.25 from BuyBackWorld (*womp, womp*). In fact, none of the other places would take it!

And this time – would someone buy back my iPhone 5 with the smashed screen (still working)?

In under 1 minute, I was able to get the following offers:

See why you need to shop around? My offers ranged from $0 all the way to $18.00.

Sell My Phone for Cash Today

If you’re looking to offload your used smartphone today and receive the cash TODAY, then your best bet is to locate an ecoATM location, or sell it to a pawn shop.

Pawn shops work in two different ways, and I’d like to outline those here so that you don’t choose the wrong options (or you’re not surprised to find out).

You can go into a pawn shop and either:

  • Sell your phone
  • Give them your phone as collateral

For both options, you’ll walk out of there with cash. However, if you use your phone as collateral to get cash, then you’ve gotten a pawn shop lawn and your phone is the collateral in case you don’t pay.

If you sell your phone to them, then you do not get it back (and you don’t have to pay them back, either).

According to PawnGuru.com, in 2016, the average of all iPhones sold to a pawn shop was $110 (with the minimum being $5, and the maximum being $600).

Find out if you can get some quotes from local Pawn Shops to you using PawnShopGuru.com.

Note: you likely won’t get top-dollar doing it this way…but you will get some cash in hand.

Sell Your Phone Kiosk

As mentioned above, a sell your phone kiosk called ecoATM will actually hand you the cash for your phone, today (and they accept broken phones as well!). These are owned by Gazelle, and can be found in grocery stores, Walmarts, and local malls across the United States.

You’ll need to charge your device, plus bring a government ID.

You can get estimated ecoATM phone prices as well by going here.

Wondering how to find an ecoATM near me? Here’s a listing of locations.

Phone Trade In

As discussed earlier, you can also use a trade-in program to get credit towards a future smartphone purchase.

Some places will accept smartphones with broken screens (but otherwise work), and others won’t. You can check out the following programs to get a quote on what credit you can receive:

  • Apple: the most credit you can get towards new gear is $290 for a smart phone, $250 for a tablet, up to $1,000 for a computer, and up to $175 for a watch. Fill out some questions and you will receive a competitive trade-in estimate for an Apple Store Gift Card or instant credit at an Apple Store
  • Amazon
  • AT&T
  • Best Buy
  • GameStop (offers both store credit and cash for your trade-in)
  • Walmart
  • Sprint
  • Staples
  • Target

Hint: I would price compare what you’ll get from a trade-in towards your next smartphone purchase with what the online companies mentioned above will pay you for your device. It just takes a few minutes, and could earn you more money.

Sell Used Electronics

This article might have gotten you excited about the idea of selling your other used electronics for money.

Trust me when I say, it can be done!

  • BuyBackWorld: This place buys a whole bunch of different types of electronics. Such as digital cameras, tablets, gaming consoles, iPods, smart watches, Apple accessories, GPS, calculators, video cameras, camera lens…and lots more. Take a look around, and clean out that electronics closet of yours!
  • Amazon.com: Amazon has a used electronics trade-in program where you can get a free Amazon gift card offer. Shipping is free for you.
  • GameStop Trade-in Program: These guys will give you cash or credit for electronics like gaming systems, gaming system accessories, tablets, etc.
  • com: These guys buy game consoles, tablets, Kindle, and wearable electronics (from Apple or Samsung). Be sure to check out their coupon codes to bump up your earnings!
  • ItsWorthMore: These guys will buy laptops, Apple watches, and tablets in addition to smartphones.
  • Sell Used Appliances: I’ve got an entire article written about how to get cash for old appliances.

Local Stores that Buy Cell Phones

Wondering “who buys broken cell phones near me?”

If you don’t want to do the online research we discussed above, then you’ve got a few different options available to you.

  1. Sell to a Pawn Shop: You can find a local pawn shop near you, and sell it to them. Don’t want to venture out of your home without knowing for sure if a pawn shop offer will be good for you? Find out if you can get some quotes from local Pawn Shops to you using PawnShopGuru.com. Also, please be ware that there are two different ways to get cash from a pawn shop – by selling something like your phone to them, or by giving them your phone as collateral and you getting a cash loan you’ll need to pay back. Make sure you know the offer when you get a quote.
  2. Find an ecoATM Near You: These are phone kiosks located in local malls, Walmart’s, and grocery stores, where you can physically take your phone + accessories, and leave with cash (if you accept the offer – if not? They just give you your phone back). You don’t even need to leave your home to get an estimated ecoATM phone prices as well by going here.
  3. Sell to a Person Who Scraps e-waste Metals: You can find a person who takes smartphones as part of their scraps metal for cash business (they do need to specialize in e-waste, or electronics waste).
  4. Find a Store Near You with a Trade-In Program that Offers Cash: Not all phone trade in programs only offer credit; some offer cash as well. For example, GameStop’s trade in program will give you credit or cash, your choice.

There you have it – you've got all sorts of options for getting cash for all those phones, electronics, and appliances hanging around your house. The next question to ask yourself is: what will you do with the money you get?

I have some broken old cell phones laying around home, and a newer one I want to trade in for cash. I'm looking for the best places to sell used phones (locally, or online) - extra cash is always appreciated! #howtosellyourstuff #oldcellphones #extrawaystomakemoney #extracash #money #earn | https://www.frugalconfessions.com/consumerism/can-you-get-any-cash-for-your-old-broken-cell-phone.php

4 replies
  1. Money Beagle
    Money Beagle says:

    The four of us under our current plan are all to the point where we’ll be looking at new phones soon. I’ve actually started paying attention the various e-mails I get about different deals, because some actually would make sense. I just need to time them accordingly. What we would get for our current phones is definitely something to take into consideration.

  2. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    There are some stores even that will purchase used cell phones, not just online places – so you can look into that too. I am not sure if you have one in your area. A lot of times the price that you will get for your used phone will depend on your make, model, and condition of the phone. Thanks for sharing!

  3. George
    George says:

    Nowadays, you will find people online who buy broken phones. It is none of my concern what they do with such phones. I just love the fact that I can get something out of it.

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