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Americans Are Sitting on $33 Billion in Old iPhones & Smartphones



According to a recent study from, every American has at least one used smartphone or cellphone in their house that they haven’t yet traded in for money or recycled.

According to the survey Americans have an average of 1.88 used phones in their house that nobody is using. Many of those users simply store old phones in a box somewhere in their house, when they could trade it in for a few extra bucks.

According to, an average user with two unused phones is sitting on about $200 worth of electronics.


An old iPhone 4S could sell for up to $283.

The average selling price of a cell phone or smartphone on is $91, and 53.6 percent of users surveyed said they have at least two unused phones sitting in their house. From that data the company claims that Americans may have a combined $33.25 billion in unused phones just sitting in boxes or drawers somewhere.

About a fifth of the people in the survey (19.5 percent) claimed they don’t trade in their old phone because they’re simply too lazy to do so. Another 22.8 percent said they’re afraid of who might get ahold of their personal data if they trade in a phone.

While there’s no excuse for laziness, there are ways to delete personal data from a smartphone before trading it in for cash. Every OS has a way to reset a phone to factory settings, which will delete all personal data, apps and files from the phone. Many organizations that offer cash for trading in phones also claim to completely wipe personal data before reselling or recycling the device.

Users with older iPhones in particular should look into trading in their smartphones for cash. A 16GB iPhone 4 can sell for up to $178 depending on its condition, according to the survey. Even an old iPhone 3GS can fetch up to $83, depending on its condition. More recent phones like the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 will fetch a lot more money, but it’s unlikely that users will want to sell one of those phones.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Christin Griffin

    02/10/2013 at 9:53 am

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