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How to Sell Your iPhone 4 to Pay for an iPhone 5



Apple’s getting ready to announce the iPhone 5 on October 4th, if the latest rumors are true, and will likely put it up for sale within the month. But paying for an iPhone 5 can put a dent in your wallet. You can soften the blow by selling your iPhone 4 before the iPhone 5 is officially announced through services like Gazelle. In fact, you can offset the entire purchase price of a new iPhone by selling your old one.

Gazelle, Nextworth and similar services buy used gadgets, clean them up and resell them. The great thing about using services is that they’re relatively hassle-free compared to selling via services like eBay and Cragislist. You know exactly how much cash you’re going to get and you don’t have to deal with strangers and complaints.

There are plenty of services that will buy gadgets from you, including big-name retailers, but my go-to service is Gazelle. They always seem to have good offers and they make the whole process a breeze. I’ve sold old camera equipment, iPhones and iPads to them.

The key to getting the best value from Gazelle and other services is beating the crowds. Most people interested in upgrading to the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4 will wait until Apple makes an official announcement. After all, it’s good to know what features your new phone will have before ditching your old one. But the problem with waiting is that everyone else will be trying to sell their old iPhones at the same time and the value of the obsolete devices will nose dive.

To get started, just head over to Search for “iPhone 4” in the search bar and select your device from the drop down. Be sure to select the proper carrier and capacity.

Next, select the condition of your iPhone. Gazelle will pay a premium for a flawless used iPhone 4, but about 90% of iPhones fall into the good category. The current offering for an iPhone 4 that runs on AT&T and has a 32GB capacity is $241. The same iPhone in flawless condition will net you $310. If the iPhone isn’t functional you’ll only get $85 for it.

Another nice thing about Gazelle is that you can select PayPal, check or Amazon gift card as your payment method. You can score an extra 5% by turning your used iPhone 4 into an Amazon gift card. You’ll have to tell Gazelle where to send you money after selecting your payment method.

Gazelle will send you a box with a pre-paid shipping label by default, which means you don’t have to track one down your own. Once you receive your box you just throw your old iPhone in it, and drop it off at the post office.

But wait. Who wants to send their iPhone off before they have a shiny new iPhone 5? Nobody. That’s why you’ll actually want to hold onto the box and your iPhone 4 until you secure your iPhone 5 and transfer everything over to it. Gazelle’s offers are good for 30 days. That gives you a lot of leeway, enabling you to get today’s selling price without selling it until after the official iPhone 5 announcement.

Gazelle seems to have reduced the number of steps it takes to sell a device since I sold my original iPad earlier this year, and my iPhone last year. Previously,Gazelle asked if your Apple devices had their original boxes and power adapters. The company doesn’t ask as many questions, instead just lumping everything into the broken, good and flawless categories.

Before you rush off and sell your iPhone 4 ahead of the iPhone 5 announcement, be sure to check with AT&T or Verizon to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade for each iPhone on your account. Both my wife and I purchased iPhone 4s on the same day, but only I’m eligible for an upgrade, while she will have to wait until February 25, 2012. Of course you can always buy an iPhone 5 off contract, but you’ll need to budget an extra $300 or so.

If you hope to rush out and get rich off of selling all of your old gadgets you’re going to be disappointed.  While Gazelle and its competitors always seem to offer great values on iPhones and iPads, offers on other gadgets can be disappointing. For example, my MacBook Air that’s less than a year old is only worth $542, even though it’s flawless and cost about $2,000 less than a year ago.



  1. Guest

    09/21/2011 at 8:23 pm

    Gazelle’s price offers are really low, it’s really a rip off!

    • Xavier Lanier

      09/21/2011 at 8:40 pm

      Compared to which service? Nextworth seems to have slightly lower offers. You probably could sell it directly for  a more if you’re willing to deal with eBay and possibly shipping it overseas, but  many people (including myself) don’t like the hassle.

    • Ajpost820

      10/21/2011 at 9:22 am

      Gazelle offered my $135 for my Verizon iPhone 4 32g. Got it $200 from

  2. Anonymous

    09/21/2011 at 8:26 pm

    I sold my iPad on  Great prices and service, friendly guys.

    • Xavier Lanier

      09/21/2011 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks for the link. Haven’t heard of these guys before. It is very odd that they don’t have any offers for the iPhone 4- just the iPhone 3GS. 

    • jennycarpets

      09/21/2011 at 11:18 pm

      this company is a scam, BEWARE!

  3. Eddie

    09/21/2011 at 8:53 pm

    Just sold my iPhone 4 16gb white on ebay for $520.00 dollars. No hassle easy transaction. 

  4. Anonymous

    09/21/2011 at 10:42 pm


    I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use

  5. jeremymass

    09/21/2011 at 11:17 pm

    check out BUYBACKWORLD at   I have been using them for years now and they always seem to have the highest prices, if not they will price match.

    • jennycarpets2

      09/21/2011 at 11:36 pm

      hi buybackworld empolyee

  6. Frances Cunningham

    09/22/2011 at 2:18 am

    Gazelle and Nextworth offers the lowest Quote in the market. Cashforiphones ( offer much higher quote. 

  7. Ken Star

    09/23/2011 at 6:08 pm

    I sent my companies iPhone’s to  They paid more than gazelle. 

  8. Elle Kasey

    09/29/2011 at 11:16 am

    I sent Gazelle two iphone 3Gses that I had fairly assessed according to their condition standards. They disagreed with the condition on the cleaner one and dinged my payout way down. Because I had followed the post-release mail-in strategy, I was stuck, prices that day were much lower than they had been. I took the cash, but it left a very sour taste in my mouth for Gazelle.

  9. Karen Evans

    10/05/2011 at 12:06 am

    I just sold my iPhone 3GS for $206. offer higher price for my iPhone so I decided to sell my iphone to them.

  10. Anonymous

    10/05/2011 at 10:51 pm

    Now that the iPhone 4S has a better antenna, I’m kissing my iPhone 4’s
    death grip goodbye. I checked out the offers for an iPhone 4 32G Verizon in
    mint condition and here’s what I got: $268 (Cash for iPhones), $204 (Gazelle)
    and $250 (Totem).  Will definitely sell
    mine to the actual top bidder. So excited to see how Siri will blow my mind!

  11. Wherwel

    10/10/2011 at 12:54 am

    Can’t help but give in to the 8 megapixel camera of the new iPhone 4S.
    I’m ditching my iPhone 3GS 16 GB for $171. I can’t believe that Cash for
    iPhones is offering me this much considering that my device is OLD.  Turns out that iPhones do have a high resale
    value compared to other smart phones – I’d say it’s worth the money I spent 2
    years ago!

  12. Richard Aoun

    10/10/2011 at 10:39 pm

    i wanna buy a unlocked iphone 4.. i live in the us in okalhoma..anyone interested please text me on +1 918 8509958

  13. Jon Vays

    10/12/2011 at 10:32 pm

    I sold my iPhone 4 16gb to Got $200 within 2 days of them receiving it. Shipping was also free

  14. Hannacunningham22

    10/17/2011 at 11:52 pm

    Cash for iPhones is offering me $294 for my iPhone 4 16GB AT&T but
    I’m thinking if I should sell it on eBay and put up with the waiting. Pre-order
    starts already and I’m hoping for quicker cash. I wonder which option is faster
    in terms of getting rid of my old iPhone?

  15. Justyn

    01/10/2012 at 7:30 pm

    My website, pays top dollar for Used & Broken Apple Products. We pay more than Gazelle and our other competitors. Please include us in this article!

    Thanks, Justyn

  16. Schmosby

    02/08/2012 at 2:48 pm

    I had a really good experience with Their service was both easy to use and rather fast. I highly recommend them!

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