If you’re looking to trade in your old iPhone for a great new model like the iPhone 14, Apple’s official Trade In program is one of the simplest ways to do so. But thanks to some recent reductions in trade values, it is now also one of the worst trade-in services by value.
As spotted by MacRumors, some iPhone models are now worth significantly less in trade-ins than they were last week. The hardest-hit iPhone 13 Pro series saw its commercial price drop by $80 in the US, and Apple is also offering similar pricing in the UK. The iPhone 13 trade-in value has also decreased by $50.
While Apple didn’t cut its ratings for every iPhone, the full list of trade-in prices confirms that there is a cost to the convenience of offloading your old phone directly through the manufacturer. Apple replacements aren’t necessarily recycled — they say that if your phone is “in good shape,” it will “help it pass to a new owner.” And the price of doing so is factored into the prices it offers for older iPhones.
So what are your alternatives exactly? While the best option depends on which iPhone you’re looking for, the table below shows that there are some financial benefits in shopping for trade-in offers.
The good news is that compared to Android phones, iPhones generally hold their value better — a US trade comparison site said a used iPhone lost 68.8% of its value last year, compared to 84.2% for Samsung and 89.5% for Google. .
If you have a particularly old iPhone that is no longer working properly, you may still prefer to have it replaced through Apple Safe knowing that it will go to one of the manufacturer’s authorized recycling partners. But if you’re looking to get a solid discount off your next phone, or maybe even a free Apple Watch, these are the places to consider.
1. Check with your phone company
If you bought your current iPhone through a carrier and are looking to stay with them, there are some impressive trade-in offers available that may beat selling through a distributor or selling privately.
These usually give you an account credit or promotional card to put in a new card or offer free recycling. Here are some links to the largest links in the US and UK.
Trade schemes in the American network
Trade in telephone schemes over the UK network
Not everyone will have an expensive unlimited plan and are looking to buy a brand new iPhone 14, but if you are there are some amazing deals like the ones below.
Impressively, Verizon is offering a free Apple Watch 7 and an extra $200 on an iPad when you trade in an iPhone, in addition to the usual discount. For more deals like those, check out our guide to the best iPhone deals.
Apple iPhone 14: Up to $800 off with the trade, plus a free Apple Watch at Verizon
Verizon’s iPhone deals are offering the usual $800 off iPhone 14 this week — a nice promotion, but nothing too special. What’s really special about the deal this week is that the carrier is also offering a free Apple Watch 7 and an extra $200 off an iPad as a trade-in promotion, which is absolutely fantastic value. While you still need that pricey unlimited plan to participate here, getting some freebies on top of the usual device savings is a great option. View the deal
2. Use comparison trade sites
If you don’t have time to research every cell phone reseller, trade comparison sites can give you a quick temperature check of what your iPhone can fetch in Apple’s many reseller competitors.
In the US, Flipsy is a handy place to find out your phone’s value and offers free shipping, while in the UK some of the best options are Sell My Mobile, Compare and Recycle.
You may be able to find a better price for your iPhone by going directly to resellers rather than a comparison site, but it’s a good way to quickly check how much your iPhone can fetch elsewhere.
3. Go directly to Trade and Recycling Services
Another perk of being an iPhone owner going through a business deal is that most of the major third-party sites focus heavily on Apple, along with Samsung. So where should you get your online quotes?
In the US, ItsWorthMore is a trusted, long-standing place to sell your iPhone (along with tablets and laptops). EcoATM (formerly Gazelle) is also a simple option, while USell will happily quote you a broken or damaged iPhone that may not qualify for other exchange programs.
If you’re in the UK, Carphone Warehouse offers competitive trading rates (as you can see in the table above), while CeX will give you credit ratings in their physical stores.
For recycling options, check out EcoATM and Best Buy (in the US) or Fonebank (in the UK). Some networks in the UK have also set up schemes for you to donate your old iPhone to someone in need – see Three’s Reconnected and Great British Tech Appeal for good examples of this.
4- Sell separately
Of course, selling an old iPhone yourself brings a potential higher price cap, but it’s also the most hassle. Avoiding the latter is a big part of the appeal of barter services like the ones listed above.
However, if you’re happy to answer dozens of potential questions from interested buyers in order to get the most value out of this phone, selling privately remains a profitable alternative to the Apple Trade In program.
The two big guns are still eBay and the FaceBook Marketplace, given their vast audiences and secure payment settings. When should you sell? While it can leave you with a rough period between owning your old phone and getting a new one, the best times to skin an old iPhone are usually August (which is at least a month before Apple usually announces new models), with the worst times late. September.
Whichever way you decide to go, be sure to read our excellent advice on how to sell or trade your old smartphone, which we gathered after an insightful conversation with the experts at Backmarket.