One of the downsides to consumer technology is the need to upgrade devices on a fairly regular basis, for a few different reasons. These reasons range from the device is simply unable to handle new software, to compatibility issues with other new devices or technology platforms. The smartphone is one of the most commonly upgraded devices today, and chief among those is the Apple iPhone.
An iPhone is widely considered to be one of the most expensive leading brands of smartphone out there. Each successive model usually brings with it a higher price tag than previous models, many times by quite a bit. As a result, it is extremely helpful for the average user to find every way possible to save some cash. One of the best ways to do that is to trade in your old iPhone when it is time to make the upgrade.
Determining iPhone Trade-in Value
Not all iPhones are going to be worth the same when it comes time to trade up. There are a few important factors that weight heavily into how much you can expect. These include:
- Age and Model: What specific version your iPhone is is one of the top factors in determining how much you are going to get for it. For example, a relatively new iPhone 7 is going to fetch a much higher price than an ancient iPhone 5. The difference in value can be hundreds of dollars.
- Condition: The second most important factor is what shape your iPhone is actually in. A phone that has a large, unsightly crack on the screen will be worth less than a phone in excellent condition.
- Carrier: Some carriers are more popular than others, so which carrier the trade-in iPhone uses can play a significant role.
- Financing: If you do not own your iPhone outright, the balance you owe is offset against the compensation you would receive.
Current Trade-In Programs
There are a variety of trade-in programs that are ready to take in your old iPhone in exchange for a shiny new one, or a credit of some type. While some may be a better fit for some than others, all are trustworthy and easy to use.
Official Apple Trade-In Program
It should come as no surprise that the simplest and most reliable trade-in program is offered by Apple itself. Simply walk into your nearest Apple Store, and you can get your phone assessed by an employee, and compensation right away. This compensation comes in the form of a store gift card, which can be used on a new iPhone, or anything else the store has to offer. Trade-in values can reach up to $335 through this program.
Apple also offers a program that automatically upgrades your device. After 12 monthly payments, you can just trade the older model in and receive a new one, directly in the Apple Store. These phones are unlocked, and the balance after trade-in value can either be financed or paid for outright.
iPhone Trade-in Carriers
Telephone carriers, or the company you get your phone service through, oft times have their own iPhone trade-in programs. Usually this is accomplished by their sending out a postage-paid package you use to ship the device to them, or by visiting a local store.
Most of these programs offer the compensation in the form of credits to the bill you receive each month for their services. Keep in mind, you will likely not see that credit all at once, rather it is spaced out over the life of your contract. So if you cancel your contract early, you will lose any credit remaining on unpaid months.
The top carrier trade-in programs include:
- AT&T: Gives an AT&T Promotion Card, and value varies between $50 and $300.
- Verizon: Results in monthly credits to your bill, with a top trade-in value at around $270
- Sprint: Monthly credits to your bill up to $290 in total value.
- T-Mobile: Up to $300 in monthly bill credits.
iPhone Trade-in Retailers
Certain online and brick-and-mortar retailers allow you to trade your iPhone in, usually for gift cards or credit usable for their products. These include:
- Best Buy: A Best Buy gift card is given, for a value of up to around $260. Take the device in to a store, or have a postage-paid package sent to you.
- Amazon: Send your iPhone to Amazon for an Amazon gift card worth up to $245.
- Gazelle: A retailer devoted to buying used devices; you can get a check, Paypal, or Amazon gift card worth up to $270.
While buying a new iPhone every time one comes out is always going to be a pretty pricey habit, a trade-in program can really shoulder some of that burden for you. Given how simple it can be, it is an option well worth exploring for anyone looking to get the latest and best.