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How To Sell An iPhone or iPad Online

Updated on July 31, 2014
How to sell your old iPhone or iPad and achieve the best price.
How to sell your old iPhone or iPad and achieve the best price.

Selling An iPhone or iPad Online Safely

There is no denying that iPhones and iPads are expensive items yet many of us indulge in life's newest technology and thoroughly enjoy doing so. Chances are too, you enjoy upgrading your new-found friends when new additions hit the market.

What then to do with your old iPhone or iPad?

Options always can include passing them onto friends and family however if you are looking to recoup a little of the money you paid, you will be looking to sell your item online.

So how can you sell your iPhone or iPad online, safely, or are there other options including retail stores to help you turn your unwanted items into cash?

Opting to sell online is the most common choice for many people, so if this is your plan, what steps need to be considered and how can you prep your device so that it is clear of all of your private information before you pass it on?

Let's walk through the options available and how to get the best price.

Selling Your iPhone or iPad: Direct Sale

One option always available is to sell your iPhone directly - to a friend, a colleague or at a physical market/sale. Chances are you stand to get the most return because there are not fees involved and no middle-man to pay, however it could require the most effort as you are having to do all the advertising yourself. Some simple ideas include:

  • Post flyers on local noticeboards
  • Word of Mouth
  • Sell it at a garage sale or market stall
  • Advertise it on your Facebook or other social networking pages

Selling Your iPhone or iPad: Online Marketplaces

The internet has many online marketplace websites that allow you to sell your iPhones and iPads. Many allow for free listings whilst others are more of a local community classifieds site where you can create an ad, or a post, where you provide your description and photographs and once that is done, you just sit back and wait to be contacted by prospective buyers.

This option allows you to be in complete control over who you decide to make contact with and who you choose to ignore. Just remember as with all online sales, if you are posting your item, make sure money is received first prior to posting, and if you are planning to meet up, make sure you plan to meet in a public place that is safe.

Selling Your iPhone or iPad: eBay

eBay is a very common option selected by many for selling online. Although it will attract fees, your marketplace has the potential to be worldwide and with the safety and security of Paypal it can make for a great solution.

All you need to do is create your listing, add your description, upload your images, choose an auction or buy it now price and you are online!

Of course selling on eBay will mean that you are having to compete with the hundreds of other online sellers doing the same. So how do you make your listing stand out and how can you ensure your listing is optimised for search engines? Easy.

Simply follow these basic 5 steps to ensure that your listing is seen. The key advice is getting your listing title absolutely perfect. The words you choose will make or break a sale. Words such as Unlocked, Original Box, Any GSM SIM and Accessories are important to be included plus Model Number/Name, Color and Condition.

In addition, there are a few pointers worth considering mentioning in your description and title.

Listing Duration

  • If you are choosing a buy it now, the duration really does not matter, in fact the longer the better as it will give more people the chance of finding it.
  • If you are choosing an auction, it might be worth having it for a shorter timeframe, such as 3 days, as once people choose to buy if they have 10 days to 'wait' chances are they will find another one ending earlier and buy it. Furthermore, if buyers sort results by 'time ending soonest' your listing will come up as opposed to being on the 10th page for example.

International or Local

  • You can choose to have your listing visible on eBay international or your local site only. This is purely your choice and the only real difference here is the effort you need to take with organising postage price quotes (unless you opt for free posting/shipping).

Selling Your iPhone or iPad: (Online) Resale Company

There are many companies that exist today, designed purely to buy your old iPhone or iPads. They generally have a set price depending on the age, model and condition and in most cases the transfer is typically very simple and straight forward.

For those that operate online, the process generally is very logical and fast. You describe your iPhone on their website via a set of preset questions, you receive a quote and if you are happy they will ship you a prepaid postbag, you return the item to them and upon inspection they will forward to the promised funds.

However, who do you trust?

Unless you know someone personally who has dealt with a particular company, it would be wrong to endorse any specific website since there are so many out there.

Reputation is key. Search for endorsements or customer feedback. Unfortunately we often see websites with 'fake' feedback so try looking on forums or independent review sites. The premise with these businesses is that you need to trust them as you are essentially sending them your expensive product and trusting that they pay you as promised.

  • Visit their Facebook page, Twitter profile or even Google+ page

See what other people are saying about the company and their service and experiences. You know the saying, 'If it looks too good to be true it probably is'. Be wary of any offer or deal that truly seems far too good to be true.

Don't forget to compare businesses. Shop around online and you will soon get a feel for what price you can achieve so if one particular website offers you an amount that is not even close to the ball-park you can assume that it is someone to steer clear of.

What is the best price?

The best price you can reach for your old iPhone (or iPad) is so varied it is really hard to pinpoint. If you sell online via an auction method, you may be unlucky with achieving a price you really want, or if you choose to sell via a resale company, you will be potentially receiving a smaller price as they need to be able to cover their own costs and make money depending on what they do with it.

The trick though is to realise that with the new iPhone 5 coming onto the market soon, the supply of old iPhones for sale is going to drastically increase and basic economics states that greater supply causes prices to fall.

So if you are planning to sell, the main advice is to sell as quickly as possible.

Resell your iPhone to Apple

Apple has a 'reuse and recycle' program which promises to offer a price for Apple products including iPhones and iPads that are in good condition.

The prices may be less than what you might achieve otherwise however you know you can trust Apple.

How To Prepare Your Old iPhone For Resale

Before you sell your old iPhone, or pass it on to someone else, there are a few tips you should consider following to make sure that it is completely clean of your private and personal information.

How To Prep Your iPhone

The first step is to backup your iPhone onto iTunes.

Next step is to restore your iPhone. Once the backup is complete, select the 'restore' button which is located on your iPhone summary page. This option will prompt you to create a backup again (which you must do) and then when you continue you need to restore the iPhone to the original factory settings.

Finally remove your SIM card.

Ask Questions

All legitimate businesses who offer trade-ins or allow you to sell your old gadgets will always provide for a communication channel so make use of it and ask questions.

Some suggested questions can include:

When you contact a representative, ask them some basic questions.

  • Will you return my item to me if you are not satisfied?
  • How long will it take for the payment the be processed?
  • What is the procedure for making sure it is clear of my personal information? Even though you will have done all you can, it is worthwhile asking them for their steps and any genuine company will give you the steps to do this too.

No matter which option you choose to sell your iPhone, the principals are still the same.

  • Be upfront and honest in your description.
  • Be upfront and honest about any issues, scratches or markings
  • List all accessories you have.

    If you have the original box this will allow your sale to compete with any new ones for sale. Buyers pay much more for a complete set.

  • Take as many photos as you can
  • Clean it up - wipe the screen, remove fingerprints and have it looking as brand new as possible.

Is it worth reselling your old iPhone?

Despite the fact that there are some companies and websites which are not genuine, and there is the risk that selling online yourself via an auction site may see you achieve a lower than expected price, it is still worth the 'hassle' and effort to sell your old iPhone and iPads.

The demand for old smart phones is still very strong. Not everyone wants the latest and best gadgets on the market so there is definitely demand.

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©

Have you sold an iPhone or iPad online?

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    • WorkAtHomeMums profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Australia

      Yes that is very true.

    • Lohrainne Janell profile image

      Lohrainne Janell 

      6 years ago from Fairfield, IA

      Good hub! Very useful and informative. Thanks for writing it. It gave me some good ideas. I have a Blackberry to sell, but these ideas can transfer over to that.


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