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Want the New iPhone? Sell Your Old iPhone Today

If you’re at the end of your phone contract, you could even make a profit by selling now.

Are you hankering after the new iPhone? If you are, you can earn between $250 and $600 for your old model – more than most customers paid in the first place. But you need to sell now. Apple is widely expected to unveil its new iPhone 4S on Tuesday. When new iPhones are announced, prices for old phones on resale sites traditionally plummet. “There will be a pretty steep decline in resale prices after Apple makes its announcement,” says Jeff Trachsel, chief marketing officer at

Prices already vary. NextWorth offers $250 for 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4s that are in good condition. offers $250 for the 32GB iPhone 4 in “flawless” condition, but only $225 for the 16GB version. Anthony Scarsella, chief gadget officer at, says it has an app that makes it easier to sell your phone, and gives customers 30 days to send in their phone. (NextWorth has a 21-day “lock-in” period.) Alternatively, you can sell your iPhone 4 yourself on eBay where they’re currently going for anything from $200 to $600. Today, “eBay Instant Sale” began offering a guaranteed $307 for an iPhone 4 16GB and $339 for an iPhone 4 32GB, though prices fluctuate daily; customers enter basic information, receive an instant offer for their device and have seven days to send it.

Cautious consumers may decide to wait and see what new fancy upgrades come with the iPhone 5 before they sell their old models. And, for those near the end of their contract, it may be worth paying a smaller cancelation fee and starting a new contract with Verizon and AT&T – or going with Sprint, if it also gets the iPhone 5). For instance, AT&T has a $325 iPhone 4 cancellation fee, minus $10 for every month of your contract served; Verizon Wireless smartphone cancellation fees vary from $350 to $375.

Conspiracy theorists might ask, “Are iPhones only designed to last until the next upgrade?” Scott Sutherland, analyst at Wedbush Securities, says iPhone screens are prone to cracking, but most last beyond Apple’s yearly iPhone upgrades. “They last a couple of years,” he says. “They are sturdy enough in that regard.”

Are you planning to trade in your old phone?


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About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.