When the new iPhone event happens each September, a swarm of Apple fans hit the stores to place their pre-orders and trade-up their old devices. New data has emerged from US iPhone trade-in site BankMyCell showing just how diverse the pricing options are for consumers looking to cash in their old devices.
Their report shows that anyone going into the upgrade process without a plan could lose up to 63.86% of their trade-in value! Luckily, they’ve conducted a mystery shopper and analyzed their data to come up with a general four-step guide on how to navigate the 30+ options out there.
Below we dive into the information they released step by step.
iPhone Owners Lose Up To 63.86% By Not Comparing
In the chart they supplied below, we can see that there are four clear options for people looking to sell their old iPhones for cash.
- Private sales: Using person to person websites like eBay, Facebook, and Swappa
- Online Trade-in: Selling to specialist buyback companies by shipping your iPhone to them.
- In-Store: Selling directly to Apple or a local big box store near you
- Carrier: Selling directly to your carrier as part of an upgrade
By seeing the whole picture like this, it’s clear that the carrier, in-store, and Apple offers are the lowest out of all the options out there. However, when people go to Apple or their network carrier direct they often utilize the trade-in offer available to them, potentially losing out on up to 63.86% of their devices actual value.
Solution: If you don’t mind putting in a bit of time doing a private listing with a site like Swappa, eBay or Facebook, you can get paid a whole lot more than other online and in-store options. Just make sure you’re honest about the condition of your old iPhone and make sure you include the seller fees and shipping when calculating the price you’re listing it for.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to make the whole process as simple as possible, then using one of the online trade-in options like Decluttr or BankMyCell themselves makes sense. In this circumstance, you’re just registering a sale and sending it to them with a prepaid shipping label – so no worrying about making listings and negotiating prices, but you will get 10-15% less than selling privately.
iPhone Resale Prices Will Crash 26.9% Over The Next Few Weeks
The data BankMyCell provided in the report shows that the iPhone is one of the best phones at holding its value throughout the year. However, the launch of the new device by Apple causes a sharp drop in resale value unlike any other handset release – essentially making the three months following the announcement a black hole for the value of your device.
- On average, iPhones last year lost triple the amount in Q4 compared with the rest of the year.
- Jan-Sept 2018: $62 was lost from the iPhone X’s value in 9 months
- Oct-Dec 2018: $138 was lost from the iPhone X’s value in 3 months after the event
- Based on last year’s predictions, consumers can lose up to $218 waiting 12 weeks to sell their iPhone XS Max.
Solution: The best option for consumers is to sell their old iPhone privately to avoid these price drops in the trade-in market. If you don’t want the hassle of selling to another person, then make sure you take advantage of the extended price locks trade-in companies offer.
You can game the system by registering your sale and wait up to 30 days to send the device in, giving you ample time to get your new phone without getting stung by the event induced depreciation.
Scratched iPhone Can Lose Up To 34.9%
Phones that are considered mint condition or ‘like new’ will get you a bigger payday. We’re not talking about cracked or broken screens here either, a few scratches, marks and dents could lose you up to 34.9% of your iPhone’s value.
- A scratched iPhone X or XS is worth $100 less than a well-kept version.
- On average, some minor scratches could result in you getting 23% less on average for your iPhone according to their data.
Solution: When you get a new phone, consider using screen protectors and a case. This will not only stop unwanted repair costs if you drop it, but you can also get paid more down the line. Remove the case and screen protector when you go to sell the phone and wipe it down removing any sticky glue or marks.
iPhone Owners Can Lose Up To 24.5% With Locked Devices
If you’ve paid off your lease deal and 12 months have passed from getting your line rental you’re legally able to get your iPhone unlocked. Some carriers are not worth the effort in terms of the extra earnings you’ll get, find out more here:
- Verizon: Don’t unlock Verizon phones, the trade-in deals are almost identical to unlocked prices.
- AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile: Consider unlocking, T-Mobile and Sprint are typically the lowest and the ones worth reviewing.
- All Other Carriers: Get up to $200 by unlocking a device that isn’t on the major four carriers.
Solution: Consider getting an unlocked iPhone when you upgrade, or switching to AT&T or Verizon, not only do they provide the best coverage and deals, the resale value is higher.