Are you excited about the impending release of the rumored new iPhone 5? Are you stuck in a contract and not yet eligible for an upgrade? I am in a similar situation. In an effort to avoid buying an iPhone 5 outright for a very high price (which may be $700 or more), I decided to do a little research. Here are some ways I found to reduce the cost of getting that new iPhone 5:
Sell On Your Own
The way to make the most money is to sell your old iPhone on eBay or cautiously on Craigslist. There are obviously commissions with eBay and PayPal, however it still is a relatively easy way to sell your device. Currently, the Verizon iPhone 4 is selling for around $350 and the AT&T version is $375.
On Craigslist, the Verizon iPhone 4 is listed for $300 to $350. The AT&T version is $350 to $400. The final sale prices are unknown because it is hard to tell on Craigslist, but these numbers provide a ballpark of what to expect.
There are several places that have trade-in programs and below are some price comparisons of a few of the popular options available. This list is not complete, but hopefully it will give you some hints on how to ditch your old iPhone to get a new one.
All of the information below is subject to change and these estimates are based on an iPhone in perfect working condition the day this article was written. The price could be lower depending on the condition of your device.
Also, the closer we get to the launch of the iPhone 5, the more likely the value will drop. If you have an old phone lying around or are willing to live without your current iPhone for a couple of weeks, consider switching devices. This may be a good way to get a little more money and guarantee a clean ESN.
The list below provides linked websites which will open in a new window, just answer some questions and receive an estimate for your device. Some of these places only provide a gift card, which I also noted.
iPhone 4G 16GB
Gazelle: AT&T $320 Verizon $235
Radio Shack: (gift card) AT&T $215.28 Verizon $196.01
Target: (gift card) AT&T $210 Verizon: $109.81
Costco: (uses Gazelle, but offers a few dollars more on a gift card) AT&T $328 Verizon $241
BestBuy: (both gift card and cash option, either AT&T or Verizon) Gift Card $289, Cash $189
Tiger Direct: (gift card) AT&T: $276.79 Verizon: $252.00
Wal-Mart: (gift card) AT&T: $320 Verizon: $235
Amazon: (gift card) AT&T: $352 Verizon: $308
iPhone 3G 16GB AT&T
Radio Shack: (gift card) $91.00
Target: (gift card) $120.00
Costco: (gift card) $128
Best Buy: (gift card) $80.00 Cash: $52.00
Tiger Direct: (gift card) $171.37
Wal-Mart: (gift card) $177
Amazon: (gift card) $209
If you are willing to do a little work, you may find a way to sell your current iPhone and make almost half of what a new one will cost. If you have to pay $350 to $400 for a new iPhone, it may only be $100 to $200 more than an iPhone with a contract and you won’t be stuck for another two years. The bonus is, when your current contract is up, the iPhone 6 should be coming soon and you will be eligible for an upgrade.
Keep in mind, if you sell or trade a current phone under contract, you need to be with a wireless provider who will sell the new iPhone or you could be faced with early termination fees.
We would love to hear other ideas on how to turn an old device into money. Leave us a comment below and let us know.