How to sell your iPhone X, iPhone XS, or 11 series (without getting ripped off)

Simon Hill
·7-min read

If you’re shopping for the latest iPhone or want to escape Apple altogether and go Android, selling your current iPhone can generate cash to put towards the new device. Thankfully, iPhones tend to retain their resale value fairly well compared to leading Android brands, so selling your old one when the time comes is always a solid plan.

However, there are a few things you should do to protect yourself from scams. Here’s our guide to selling your iPhone to get the best return possible.

Phone Depreciation Chart
Decluttr

If you have a newer model like the iPhone 11 and want to upgrade, then you could lose a chunk of change by dragging your feet. That’s because the newest devices, just like cars, tend to depreciate steeply in value in the first year or two.

In the past, selling an iPhone that was about to be phased out in the newest version of iOS was a major concern for depreciation. However, for now, Apple has put a pause on this tactic, as iOS 14 supports the iPhone 6S and newer, just as iOS 13 did.

If you’ve decided to sell, the next big challenge is finding the best price. Here’s how to sell your iPhone and get the best possible price for it.

Completely wipe your iPhone

First, don’t simply toss your iPhone into a box and ship it. That would be bad. You need to delete all data and revert the iPhone back to its original out-of-the-box state before moving to sell it. Sure, Apple security is tight, but you certainly don’t want your precious data falling into the wrong hands.

To reset your iPhone, follow this path: Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Alternatively, follow our simple guide to factory reset an iPhone.

Sell it to others directly on Craigslist, eBay, etc.

Online classifieds, like Craigslist and eBay, are a great way to sell your phone and will give you the most control over the selling price. If you are willing to deal with spam, scams, and subpar emails, there are troves of eager Apple fanatics waiting to scoop up your old iPhone, regardless of its condition.

Craigslist and eBay will allow you to set your asking price — as opposed to other online websites that will offer you a fixed amount — and often prove the quickest and most lucrative avenues for discarding your device in the local area or otherwise. Craigslist prices always tend to fluctuate depending on timing and availability, but many people are willing to pay a bit more to avoid the hassle of shipping and waiting.

You might also consider a dedicated mobile device marketplace like Swappa. It’s free to list your iPhone, but you must take verification photos for the ad to be approved by Swappa staff. The sale fee is added to the price for potential buyers, and you should include shipping costs, so it won’t cost you anything extra to sell. Once you accept an offer, you’ll need to ship the phone within two days.

Trade it in for credit

If you’re willing to accept store credit instead of cash, there are several retailers that offer gift certificates in lieu of traditional payments. After a quick online appraisal, they will make you an offer in the form of a credit toward a new phone or other in-store items.

Online retailers such as Amazon and Apple offer trade-in programs through their websites, while many stores and carriers, including Walmart, GameStop, Verizon, and Best Buy, offer in-store trade-ins. Keep in mind the amount of credit will vary depending on your iPhone’s age and condition, as well as when and where you turn it in.

Sell it to a company

There are also plenty of online companies willing to pay you top dollar for your old phone should you decide to forgo the hassle associated with Craigslist and the like. The majority of online services work in the same manner and require you to submit the necessary information, such as the carrier, memory, and physical condition before you receive any sort of quote.

After filling in the blanks, these websites will make an offer. If you accept, you print a label to ship the iPhone to the service’s central address. Payment via check or PayPal should arrive within a week or so.

Here is a list of some of the more painless services:

Alternative options

You can cut down on some of your research time by using Flipsy or SellCell, which aggregate some of the seller offers and show you the best options at a glance. However, they don’t cover every outlet available that will buy your iPhone.

Another option is the Orchard app. Install the app on your iPhone and it will give you an offer price. The nice thing about this is that it tests your iPhone and walks you through the valuation process, so there’s less chance the offer amount will change upon receipt of the phone. This service offers free shipping, but you only get paid when a buyer is found. It’s actually an iPhone marketplace, meaning you’ll connect with people who actually want to buy what you’re selling.

How much is your old iPhone worth?

We decided to check out how much you can get right now, today (October 16, 2020), for an unlocked iPhone X 64GB on AT&T, an unlocked iPhone XS 256GB, and an iPhone 11 128GB on Verizon so we can give you a side-by-side comparison. These prices are based on a fully working phone in good condition with the charger and cable.

We found some of the highest prices on eBay, and they can go higher than the averages we’ve posted, but auctions fluctuate so they can go lower too, and you will have to pay fees and organize postage and packing. There are some decent trade-in prices offered by Amazon, but the credit is only applied to on-site sales. These are cash offers unless otherwise stated.

The eBay prices listed here are averages based on data collected by Average Finder. Bear in mind that you’ll have to factor in fees and postage and packing costs.

Used 64GB iPhone X for AT&T in good condition

iPhone X
iPhone X
  • Best Buy: $300 (gift card)

  • eBay: $384

  • UpTrade: $304

  • Apple: $240 (gift card)

  • Decluttr: $271

  • uSell: $236

  • Glyde: $178 (cash)

  • Gazelle: $164

  • BuybackBoss: $245

  • Amazon $205 (gift card)

Used 256GB iPhone XS unlocked in good condition

  • Best Buy: $300 (gift card)

  • eBay: $543

  • UpTrade: $374

  • Apple: $270 (gift card)

  • Decluttr: $303

  • uSell: $306

  • Glyde: $267 (cash)

  • Gazelle: $239

  • BuybackBoss: $335

  • Amazon $305 (gift card)

Used 128GB iPhone 11 on Verizon in good condition

iPhone 11
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • Best Buy: $430 (gift card)

  • eBay: $602

  • UpTrade: $386

  • Apple: $350 (gift card)

  • Decluttr: $369

  • uSell: $361

  • Glyde: Not yet accepting iPhone 11

  • Gazelle: $313

  • BuybackBoss: $335

  • Amazon $285 (gift card)

Tips to take away

Sell soon

The longer you keep your iPhone, the less money you’re likely to get for it. Whenever Apple reveals a new iPhone, many websites get bombarded with trade-ins from people looking to upgrade to the latest model. It’s based on supply and demand, but prices are sure to drop as time goes on. It’s worth noting that some websites will lock in your price, but still give you 30 days to send the iPhone in.

Do your homework

Shop around all the virtual pawnshops for the best offer available — don’t settle until you know you’re getting the best deal in town. If you’re already planning to purchase something from one of the retailers that offer gift cards instead of cash, it might be worth opting for the store credit since it is sometimes higher than any cash value you’re likely to receive.

To get the best price on your new purchase, make sure you check out our buying guides. Good luck with your sale, and enjoy your sparkly new phone when it arrives!