How to make the most money selling your old gadgets


old phones

Ellis Hamburger

You probably won't get very much cash for these old gems.

No matter how old your tech is, someone on the internet wants it - especially when it comes to smartphones and tablets.

So, the best thing you can do is sell your old gadgets on online marketplaces, like eBay, Swappa, Gazelle, uSell, Glyde, and Craigslist. You can also sell your old smartphones back to your carrier, and even Amazon and electronic store like Best Buy.

But not every online marketplace is the same, as you can sell your old gadgets for more money on some than others. 

Where to get the most cash

Online marketplaces like eBay and Swappa let you set your own selling price, and you can usually get more cash than what trade-in sites and electronics stores will give you. At the same time, it takes longer to list and sell your old device, and you're not guaranteed a sale.


For example, this iPhone is listed for $400 in "used" condition with "one very tiny little scratch on the front and one on the back." But the seller has to wait until someone buys it. If they don't sell it, they might try lowering the price. Still, sellers selling similar iPhones in similar condition are selling theirs for about the same amount, so there's a high chance someone will buy this iPhone eventually.

ebay iphone 6 listing


Trade-in sites like Gazelle or uSell, carriers, and online electronics stores, like Amazon and BestBuy, will offer you a non-negotiable quote based on the device, its condition, and demand for your old device, so quotes are inconsistent.

The quote is usually lower than if you use eBay or Swappa. However, they're more convenient, as you can sell off your old device and get paid more quickly. Some of them also offer free shipping kits that include free shipping labels and packing boxes, so it's free and convenient to send to the trade-in company.

For the same iPhone I tried listing on eBay, the best quote I got was $200 from Gazelle. Clearly, setting your own price on sites like eBay and Swappa is the better way to go.


gazelle iphone 6 quote


Craigslist lets you list old gadgets at your own price, but it's less convenient. Transactions have to be in cash, as it doesn't offer secure payments between you (the seller) and buyers. That means you need to meet the buyer, which means your sale has to be local, and it's not as convenient as dropping your package in a mailbox or post office.

Pro Tip: If you're selling an iPhone 6 or above, make sure to select "unlocked" while setting up your listing. All iPhones from the 6 onwards are unlocked and can be used with any carrier, and you can get more cash than carrier locked iPhones.

Note: The amount of money you can get from selling your old device can differ dramatically depending on the device.


I recently sold my 32GB White Samsung Galaxy S6 in like-new condition on eBay for $400, whereas the best offer I got from trade-in sites, carriers, and electronics stores was $230 from Best Buy.

Tips to get the most money from your old gadgets

  • Keep them in as good condition as you possibly can. Obviously, you'll get more cash for a phone without scratches than a phone with a cracked screen. That means you should use a case or specific carry bags for your device.
  • Keep the original box and accessories. Use any spare USB power brick and charging cable instead of using those that came with your device. People will pay more for original packaging and accessories, especially if they haven't been used.
  • If your old gadget is in great condition, take pictures of every surface and side to show it off. Potential buyers like to see for themselves that a device is in great condition if you list it as such. So, offering several sharp, high-quality pictures to prove it will make buyers more likely to press the "buy" button.
  • Check around before selling, especially if your device isn't in great condition. You never know if you'll get more cash from a trade-in site than eBay. 
  • Sell your device before the newest model comes out. You'll get more cash if you sell your old device before it gets too outdated by a newer model's release. Research the release dates for the newer models of your old gadget.

The more you get for your old device, the cheaper the new one will be.

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