With the new iPhone 4 launching this week, there will be a lot of last-gen (and last-last-gen) iPhone owners looking to sell off their old tech. And why not? There are still people out there who aren’t early adopters, and just want to enjoy some iPhoneage at a decent price. There are also sites that pay for old devices, if you’d rather deal with a company than individuals.
If you’ve never sold a handset online before, it can be an intimidating prospect. But don’t fear it; there’s still some cash to be gotten for your old phone, without drama or too much fuss – that is, if you’re a savvy seller.
Dave Caolo, of TUAW, offered a great run-down of tips for selling that old handset. Here are some great tidbits from that story, plus a few from me, that you may want to keep in mind beforehand:
Choose a retailer: Many people go straight to Ebay and Craigslist. These are solid options, but if you’d rather have a no-hassle deal with a company willing to buy up your old tech, there are options available. Caolo actually sold his iPhone 2G on NextWorth. Users plug in the handset info (like model, condition, etc.), and the site offers an estimate value, as well as a pre-paid shipping label. Just pop it in the mail, and once they verify the handset’s condition, you get your money via PayPal. SellYourMac has the same process.
Then there’s Radio Shack’s trade-in program: You just fill out an online form with info on your phone’s condition. Or bring it into the store in exchange for a gift card worth the value of your phone (which you can trade in for a new iPhone 4).
Back up your iPhone: However you sell your phone, you’ll want to wipe it completely before sending it on to its new owner. First, back up everything with iTunes. Then hit the Restore button, to restore the device to factory settings. This will wipe all personal data of the handset. It’s recommended to back up your phone (via iTunes) before invoking factory settings, but if it’s no concern for you and you want to bypass all that, you can also restore factory settings directly on the iPhone itself. (The option can be found under the Settings menu.)
Remove the SIM card. You won’t need the old SIM card if you get the new iPhone, but you may still want to remove it from the phone before sending it on. Use the SIIM Card tray tool that came with your phone, and pull out the tray at the top of the phone to remove the card.
Packaging: Did you save your original packaging? If you’re selling it to a company, they will often pay more if you have the box it came in. Individual buyers might more flexible about this, but in general, it’s best to repackage the device in its original materials. But if that is long gone, make sure to pack up the handset securely, using the utmost care and materials.
Avoid scams: Beware of buyers who offer too much, initiate transactions from abroad or otherwise send up red flags. A friend of mine was scammed by a buyer who sent payment in advance – then promptly canceled it just after she shipped her device. And since it was via the postal mail, she couldn’t get it back. It was a hard lesson learned.
Got any other tips for would-be sellers? Share the knowledge.