Why Selling Your iPhone 5s Is Better Than Trading It In
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Why Selling Your iPhone 5s Is Better Than Trading It In



With the iPhone 6 now unveiled and prepared to launch to the public, you might be interested in getting rid of your iPhone 5s and getting the new iPhone 6, and trading programs are making it really easy to do just that.

There are many businesses dedicated to allowing users to trade in their old iPhone for quick cash, and even a lot of retailers and carrier stores are getting in on the action as well.

If you don’t want to hassle with selling your old iPhone yourself, trade-in programs can save the day and make it really easy to get rid of it. However, trading in your old iPhone isn’t all that great of a decision, and you’re missing out on a lot of cash.

Trade-In Programs Are Rip-Offs

First, the idea behind trade-in programs is that they offer you cash for an old iPhone and then turn around and sell it to someone else. They need to make a profit from doing this, so they usually give you way less than what your old iPhone is truly worth, that way they can make money when they sell it used to someone else for a decent price.


As sketchy as this sounds, it’s not illegal or anything, and the benefit of using trade-in programs is that it allows buyers to just quickly get rid of their old iPhone without any hassle and get some cold hard cash in return — not a lot of cash, but some.

However, just taking a bit more time out of your day can pocket you way more cash — at least $100 in some cases.

Gazelle is probably the most popular trade-in program online and it’s really easy to trade in your old iPhone with them. Plus, as of this writing, they will give you nearly $300 for your Verizon 16GB iPhone 5s. That’s some pretty sweet dough if you ask me, but what does a used iPhone 5s typically sell for on places like eBay? We easily found many sold listings of iPhone 5s units that sold for at least $400.

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Of course, there are eBay fees to deal with, but even on Craigslist you could sell your iPhone 5s for way more than $300.

The evidence is pretty clear that selling an old iPhone yourself is more beneficial, and I think a lot of users know this, but they’re simply willing to lose out on a lot of money potentially by just handing it over to a trade-in program and getting some quick cash on the spot. That’s taking the lazy way out.

Time Is Money

Of course, we don’t blame people who take the easy route, but think about it in terms similar to an hourly pay rate for a job:

Listing your old iPhone on eBay maybe takes about 30 minutes if you include the time it took to take photos of the device and type out a good description. You can even use this easy tool from eBay to list your iPhone even faster, which will also give you a rough estimate on what price you should start the listing at.


Then, once the auction is over, you have to ship it out to the buyer. Packing up the iPhone in a box takes about 10 minutes and then driving to your post office on your way home from work maybe takes 20 extra minutes, if that.

That means you spent one hour selling your iPhone on eBay. That’s one hour longer that you spent trying to get rid of your iPhone than if you were to just hand it over to a trade-in program. Of course, that’s one whole hour you could’ve spent playing a game or reading a good book.

However, let’s say that your iPhone sold for $100 more on eBay than the offer that you got from Gazelle. This means that you essentially just made $100 for an hour’s worth of work. That’s not too shabby. Think about this the next time you decide to get rid of your old iPhone.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. RB

    10/03/2014 at 3:16 pm

    So, you think eBay is a free service? Hint: It isn’t.

    You may have grossed an extra $100 from selling your phone on eBay, but by the time you pay the eBay and PayPal fees, your net will be maybe $50. Not worth the labor and the headache, if you ask me – trade the old one in at the Apple store, and be done with it.

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