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Smartphones & gadgets

Sell your old cellphone for big bucks

It may not exactly be the case anymore, as the price of cellphones has gone up, but for a while it was pretty much set that every two years or so we’d get a new one. A larger screen, faster processor, better camera or whatever, the point was we were more than excited to upgrade.

When learning about and playing with your new phone, did you ever stop to think about what to do with the old one? Throw it out? Give it away? You weren’t planning on using it ever again, after all, and it was just going to be a high-tech paperweight.

While it may be too late for the phone you replaced years ago, it’s a good thing to know that you can actually sell your old phone. And not for pennies, either. But for real money.

There are a handful of options

Off the top of your head you might be thinking of something like eBay or Craigslist, and it’s true you could go to either site and potentially find a buyer for your old device. But those sites, while helpful, are used for more than just phones, which means you are not exactly going to have the most targeted audience.

But assuming you actually own your phone — as in, it is completely paid off — there are even better avenues to go down in order to maximize the value out of selling a phone you no longer have any use for.

Pretty much every site will ask you to answer some questions about your phone, with them trying to figure out what kind of condition it is in before they can give you a quote. Assuming you are good with the offer, you will generally be sent a pre-paid shipping label and then have to get the phone to the site you chose in a pre-determined amount of time.

Once it arrives, they will evaluate your phone in-person and send your payment. At that point, you’re done.

There are many sites and ways in which you can sell your phone, though hey are all a little different. Not only in how they go about selling it, but also in how their sites work and how much they may offer for your device.

Let’s break them down


Glyde will allow your phone to go online to be auctioned off, with the site helping you to set a fair price that will make sure it does not take long to sell. Once it does, the site will send you a shipping kit.

Because of that, the time it will take for you to get your money will be directly related to how long it takes for the phone to be sold.

NextWorth is good so long as it will actually take in your device. You will receive a free quote for you phone and, if you approve, print out a free shipping label which you will use to drop it off at a UPS store. They will then photograph and inspect your phone and, assuming it passes, will send your payment through either PayPal or check.

NextWorth will not accept all smartphones or tablets, though, which means depending on your device you may be out of luck.


Decluttr, for instance, will provide an offer for your phone and, if you accept within 28 days, will send you the money via check, PayPal or direct deposit before going on and then re-selling it.

uSell also takes in more than just phones, which makes it a good option if you have a few things you’d like to unload. You will get an instant offer and, if you accept, ship your device to them for free before getting paid. The offer is guaranteed for 30 days.


Gazelle is not necessarily known to offer the most money, but they will pay you for your phone– even if it is damaged. Perhaps best of all, if they receive your phone and determine it to be in even better condition than anticipated, they will increase their original offer. If they decide to lower the offer, the phone can be returned to you at no risk.

eBay is known for being an auction site, which you can most certainly use to make some money for your phone. But if you’d rather not deal with that process, there is a “quick sale” option that lets you list your phone’s condition and send it in to eBay. They will sell it for you, and while it will probably be less than you would have gotten with a regular auction, the process will be much less hectic.

As for Amazon, they will accept anything they sell as a trade-in, but instead of money they will pay you in an Amazon gift card. The prices they quote you for are good for just seven days, however, meaning you will need to get them the item in a timely manner.

So who is going to pay the biggest bucks?

There are plenty of variables, but we took a look at each site to get an idea of what they would offer for a phone. In this case, on Sept. 4, we chose a 256 GB iPhone 8 and what we found is pretty telling.

  • Glyde shows a market price of $550
  • Gazelle shows an offer of $440
  • Decluttr shows an offer of $439
  • USell shows an offer of $397.71

A quick glimpse of eBay shows prices ranging from $499 on up, but of course that’s entirely dependent on someone deciding that’s worth it. Neither NextWorth nor Amazon listed an ability to sell an iPhone 8.

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