We’ve all been there. We get our hearts set on the shiny new Android or iPhone that’s just been released. There’s just some nifty new feature that makes it mandatory that we get it.
So you head down to the carrier store and buy the new phone. And on the ride home, it hits that you have two phones in your pocket — the one that you just purchased and the still perfectly good one that you had been using before.
What do you do with that old phone? If you’re like most people, you throw it in the junk drawer, the final resting place for so many old phones.
But why not try to sell your old phone for cash? If you think it would be too much hassle, you may be surprised at how easy it can be.
Yes, how much you can get will depend on the model and condition of your phone. But no matter how much money you get for your old phone, it’ll be more than you’ll get by burying it in the junk drawer cemetery.
How to Sell Your Old Cell Phone
We’ve compiled a massive list of places that will pay you real money for your used phone. We’ll cover great places to sell your phone both locally and online. We’ve got all the details for you. Let’s get started!
The most popular used phone buying and selling site would probably be Gazelle. They have mastered the electronic trade-in process. Here are a few of the perks that Gazelle offers to their phone sellers:
- Get paid in cash: Gazelle pays in real money, not store credit. You can choose to get paid via check, PayPal or Amazon gift card. They even have a same-day payment option.
- Easy shipping: Gazelle sends sellers a free shipping box, custom-fit to your specific phone. Their shipping boxes are designed to keep your phone safe during its shipping journey.
- Fair pricing: If your phone arrives in a better condition that you said (i.e., you marked “Good,” but it was actually in “Excellent” condition), Gazelle will increase your payout.
- Identity protection: We do everything on our phones today, which means our phones are a treasure trove of our personal information. They often include sensitive data like banking credentials. Gazelle protects its sellers by removing all personal information from the devices that they receive.
EcoATM markets themselves as a recycling company. They will pay you cash for your used smartphone or other electronic devices.
EcoATM kiosks are located in malls, grocery stores, and Walmarts. This makes it possible for you to physically drop off your phone at a spot in town and get paid right on the spot.
In 2015, ecoATM acquired Gazelle. Since then, they’ve called their ATMs ecoATM Gazelle kiosks. So if you get a quote from Gazelle.com, there’s a good chance that you could get a very similar quote at an ecoATM kiosk.
The coolest part about ecoATM? They pay in actual cash. Their kiosks really are like ATMs…but for phone sellers only. Find an ecoATM kiosk near you!
In addition to buying used phones, Decluttr buys old CDs, DVDs and games too.
Once you select the make, model and condition of your old phone, Decluttr will give you an instant price and will lock it in for 28 days. This is nice because it allows you to get quotes from other places before making your decision.
Decluttr also guarantees that you will never get paid anything less than your initial offer. If you do, you can request to have your item returned for free.
If you decide to sell some old DVDs, CDs or games in addition to your old phone, you simply enter their barcodes to view offers. You can even download the Decluttr app to scan barcodes right from your phone.
Although Decluttr doesn’t send you custom-fit boxes like Gazelle, they will send you a free shipping label. After Decluttr has received your device and checked it over, you’ll be paid the next day via direct deposit, PayPal or check.
SellCell is like the Kayak of phone selling sites. They impartially search all of the top trade-in sites on the web and show you what those sites are willing to pay for your phone. Then you just pick the best deal!
Using SellCell could not only save you a lot of money but could save you a lot of time as well. They allow you to search a majority of the trade-in market all at one time.
SellCell is so confident in their price comparison tool that they have one of the most amazing best price guarantees that I’ve ever seen. If you find a better price within 24 hours of placing an order, they will pay you double the difference!
While uSell is primarily known for buying used phones, you can sell other items to them as well. Here are the other types of items that uSell will purchase:
- Video games
- Gift cards
As of the publishing of this article, uSell has bought the used items of over 448,000 customers and has paid out over $48 million.
uSell works with a network of professional buyers. When you search for your item on their site, they will show the best offers available. Once you’ve accepted a cash offer, uSell will send you a prepaid shipping kit with tracking included.
After your buyer has received your item, you will be issued payment within five business days via PayPal or check.
Why is that? Because trade-in sites have to worry about making a profit on the resale of your phone.
If they gave sellers the max that their phone is worth they would never make any money on the resale. That’s a recipe for going out of business really fast.
Since individuals don’t have profit margins to worry about, they may be willing to spend a little more on your old phone.
And with Craigslist sales, you get paid upfront instead of having to wait several days for a check to arrive in the mail or a PayPal payment to post.
Like the idea of selling your phone to someone in town, but not a fan of Craigslist? Then you may want to check out one of their many competitors.
7. Walmart “Gadgets to Gift Cards” Program
Many people are unaware that Walmart has a robust trade-in program that they call “Gadgets to Gift Cards.” Powered by CExchange, Walmart’s trade-in program will buy your old cell phones, tablets, game consoles and smart speakers.
After looking up your device on their site, Walmart will tell you how much they are willing to pay. If you accept their offer, they’ll send you a shipping label so that you can ship your item for free with FedEx Ground.
After they evaluate your product, Walmart pays out via Walmart eGift card. A gift card isn’t quite as convenient and flexible as cash. But at least you can buy just about anything at Walmart stores or on Walmart.com.
Like other trade-in sites on our list, ItsWorthMore will send you a shipping label so that you can ship your device to them for free. In addition to phones, ItsWorthMore buys:
- Mac minis
- Mac Pros
- Surface tablets
- Surface studios
Once they’ve received your device, ItsWorthMore pays promptly within two days via check or PayPal.
9. Best Buy Trade-In Program
Best Buy’s trade-in program buys all manner of used electronics. Sellers can ship their device to Best Buy or bring it by a local store.
If you decide to sell your device online, you’ll typically have to wait 7-9 days to receive your payment. However, with in-store trade-ins, you can walk in with your phone and walk away with a gift card!
There are two ways that you can sell your old phone for cash on Facebook.
The first option is to use the Facebook Marketplace. To find your local Marketplace, begin by navigating to the Facebook homepage.
- Look on the left-hand side for the home icon with the word “Marketplace” next to it and click it. This will bring you the Marketplace homepage.
- Next, you’ll see a blue “Sell Something” button on the left-hand side. Click on that link.
- Finally, Facebook will take you through the steps of adding your phone’s descriptions and photos to publish your listing to the Marketplace.
Facebook Swip-Swap Groups
Swip-Swaps are private Facebook groups where local residents can buy and sell things from each other.
The nice thing about Swip-Swap groups is that administrators actively manage them. This matters because they quickly remove scammers or people who abuse the system in any way from the group.
To find Swip-Swap groups in your local area, just search for “swip swap + the name of your town” from your Facebook homepage.
Once you find a group that you’d like to join, you’ll have to send in a “join” request. As long as you truly are a local resident, you should be quickly approved.
11. Target Trade-in Program
After you’ve shipped your device to Target and they appraise it, you’ll receive a Target eGift card. If you shop a lot at Target, this could work well for you.
However, if you’re not a frequent Target shopper, you can choose to be paid via PayPal at all participating Target stores. You don’t even have to be a PayPal account holder.
BuyBackWorld works similar to other sites on this list. You get a quote for your phone, a free shipping label, and then you get paid after your phone has been inspected.
BuyBackWorld says that they pay out within two days of receiving your phone. They also offer a good variety of payment options:
- Direct deposit
- Prepaid debit card
- BuyBackWorld gift card
And BuyBackWorld has a “30 Day Price Protection Promise.” That means you have 30 days to have your device shipped back to you free of charge if you’re not happy with what they’re willing to pay you.
13. Amazon Trade-In Program
For many people, Amazon is the first website they visit when they’re looking to buy something. Far fewer people think of Amazon when it comes time to sell something.
But Amazon has an extensive trade-in program that buys all types of used items, including:
- Kindle eReaders
- Bluetooth speakers
- Media streaming players
There are no fees to use Amazon’s trade-in program. If a trade-in item is not accepted and is returned, there is no cost for return shipping.
Payment is made via an Amazon gift card and “Instant Payment” is available on some trade-ins. Amazon gift cards are nice since you can buy almost anything on Amazon. But if you were hoping to get paid in cash, you’ll want to stay away from this program.
Tips for Getting the Most Cash for Your Phone
Here are a few tips that could help you get top dollar for your old phone.
1. Try to sell your phone right before new versions launch.
Whenever a new version of a phone launches, the price falls significantly for previous versions. If you plan to buy the newest version of a phone, you’ll want to try to sell your device a few weeks beforehand.
For example, let’s say the newest version of a particular Android phone or iPhone will go on sale on March 3rd. In that case, you’d want to try to sell your old phone sometime in February to get the most value you for it. Once the March 3rd launch happens, you won’t ever be able to get as much for your phone again.
But what if the phone you want to sell is also the one that you use daily? Most people can’t just live without a phone for several weeks. Thankfully, you don’t have to.
Many trade-in sites like Gazelle give you 30 days to ship your device. That way you can sell your device before a new phone launches, but wait to ship it out until you have your new device. In fact, trade-in sites will often extend their price lock period to 45 days during launch times.
2. Know what your phone is worth.
No matter what you are selling, you want to have a good idea of what its value is on the open market. This is certainly true of selling your old phone as well.
Check on Amazon and eBay to see what prices people are asking for your particular phone. For eBay, I would even go a step further by checking “completed listings.”
Completed listings will show you what people have recently paid to buy your phone. It will give you a better gauge of the true value of your phone.
2. Get offers from several sites.
Once you feel like you have a good idea what your phone is worth, don’t be discouraged if the first trade-in site you check isn’t offering that amount.
Check several sites to see who will give you the best offer. I would try SellCell too since they can get you prices for different sites with one click.
3. Understand that low-hassle options are nice, but often pay less.
Sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace that connect you with local individuals will most likely give you the best bang for your buck. As mentioned earlier, selling to individuals is usually the best chance you have of getting top dollar for your phone.
But while some of the trade-in sites on this list may not pay as high, you also won’t have to deal with responding to lots of inquiries or driving to meet potential buyers.
And for some people, the ease of use and the quick payouts that trade-in sites offer, outweigh the lower payouts.
When you trade in your old phone for cash, it not only helps your wallet, but it helps the environment as well. Every phone that gets recycled to a new owner is a phone that stays out of a landfill.
That’s a big win-win and makes selling your old phone for cash a virtual no-brainer. If you’ve used any of the trade-in sites on our list, be sure to connect with us on social media to tell us about your experience!