The Best Place to Sell Your iPhone Online

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The Best Place to Sell Your iPhone Online

April 29, 2015 No comments

Testing the trade-in business provides mixed results from different buyback companies

You’re probably aware that the days of storing and collecting your old smartphones are coming to an end, and that there are a number of ways for you to get paid for your unwanted or used iPhones, iPads, smartphones, tablets-you name it. What you might not be aware of is the competitive industry of those who are battling to buy back your device. A simple search online will pull up a number of companies who are willing and able to buy your device, but the question remains, who do you actually sell to?

The online trade-in business gives an opportunity for the busy man - the person who doesn't have a lot of free time - to sell their old smartphone and get paid. The ease of selling your phone online is what’s appealing here, and if you can get paid quick, it’s a no-brainer. You can try other avenues like Craigslist, but it’s a gamble and will require a good amount of effort on your part. Not to mention, meeting up a stranger can be…interesting.

We decided to actually go through the process of selling iPhone’s to four different buyback companies to see how the experience was with each of them. (And to compare our practices to theirs). As a result, we were able to gather some good information about each company and get a better understanding of how each of their processes work, how fast it took for us to get their materials, how long it took to actually get paid, and all the stuff you want to know before trading in your device.


Selecting the iPhone 4S that we wanted to sell was relatively easy to do on the NextWorth site, and they feature a question-answering system to help determine the condition of your device. After you enter in “Yes” or “No” to a handful of question about your device, you’re presented with an offer.

NextWorth 1

We were offered $10 for a Sprint iPhone 4S 16GB but they don’t offer a box to send the device in, a typical practice among the various buyback sites. After searching around for a box to send the phone in, our device was received seven days after we sent it in. It was a quick inspection process, as the very next day we were notified that the device had been successfully inspected. Instead of the $10 we were originally offered, NextWorth was now quoting us $20 for the device – a rare surprise that wasn't a disappointment.

It did take a little longer for the check to be sent, but six days later I was notified that the money was on the way. Sure enough, I received a check in the mail six days after receiving that email.

Cash for iPhones

The first noticeable difference with cashforiphones is the method of selecting your device to sell. Instead of clicking on an image of a phone or tablet to start, you select your device from a dropdown menu that lists out various iPhone models. Unlike other buyback sites, they don’t have a condition guide or labels to choose from. Instead, you just check off what is true (powers on and works fine, does not power on, has a bad battery, etc.) Our iPhone 4S 16GB unlocked showed a price of $93 for perfect condition but we knew it was in good condition so we put a check on “Has a damaged or defective screen.” The screen was not cracked but there were some light scuffs and scratches, but the phone was functional. The offer that they gave was still very high at $70.

Our iPhone arrived at their facility five days later after we sent it, and it took 8 days for them to complete their inspection of the device.

Unfortunately for us, after their inspection we were offered $7 following their “up-to-the-minute market conditions.” The big price difference in what was offered came as a big surprise, but our check was mailed out three days later and arrived to us in four days. This seemed to be a dramatic decrease in price and it left us with a sour taste in our for iphones 2


Unlike other buyback companies, uSell runs a network where different buyers can bid on purchasing your old devices. Unfortunately for us, there was not much money offered for the older iPhone 4 8GB running on Sprint. (Most of the other websites didn't offer much for this model either.) We placed our order, and selected to receive their packing material. Though we assumed a box would be sent, it was a padded envelope that arrived seven days later instead. A little underwhelming, but we sent it in anyway and it was received at their location in four days.uSell updated price 1

It was another four days until we received word that the device had been inspected, and upon their review they weren't able to buy it back based off the condition it was in. We stated that our item was in “good” condition but their team notified us that the iPhone couldn't connect to Wi-Fi so it the only action they could take was to recycle it. Donzo.


When it came time to test our own practices, we had to have someone other than an employee go through the trade-in process to make sure there wouldn't be any conflict of interest. We had a friend of ours complete a sale on for an iPhone 5 32GB locked to the AT&T network and told him to keep us informed with how his experience went. He chose to receive a shipping label and box to send the device in, and his payment method of choice was by check (to keep things standard). We quoted him $205 for his iPhone model in excellent condition, and now the ball was in our hands.ePelican 1

The next day after placing his order online, he received our box and shipping label. The same day he received our packing materials, he sent back his iPhone using the 2-Day Priority Mail return label we supplied. We received his phone only one day after he sent it, and our inspection of the device was completed that day as well. Now it was time to get paid. His device passed our inspection and his check of $205 was then sent in the mail the same day as it was inspected. We followed his tracking and saw that the check was received in the mail the next day, completing the trade-in process


Upon the completion of my order, we noticed that they didn't offer a shipping box for the low-valued iPhone 4S. So I had to resort to getting my own box and dropping it off at the USPS store. We sent in a broken iPhone 4S 8GB on the AT&T network, labeling it exactly what it was: broken. Since the phone was still able to turn on, we were offered $5 for the broken iPhone 4.Gazelle 2

Gazelle kept in constant communication with me during the process, and their emails were easy to follow. After we sent the phone in, it was received at their facility only 3 days later and inspected the next day. Their inspection didn't find anything that we didn't already know and informed me that a check for $5 was going to be sent soon. Our check arrived 3 days later with no problems.

Regardless of where you choose, selling your phone or tablet online is an easy way to make money without much effort on your part. Get started by trading in your device at today!



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