Buying an iPhone 7? How to sell your old iPhone without getting ripped off

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If you’re excited about getting your hands on the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, then you’re probably thinking about selling your old handset right now. Sales of second-hand iPhones are buoyant and, compared with models from other manufacturers, you can get a great price. However, delay too long and you run the risk of losing out.

According to research by online marketplace uSell.com, based on what happened when the iPhone 5S launched, your current iPhone will depreciate in value pretty quickly when that new model hits the market. Two weeks after the new models are announced, old iPhones will be worth 5 percent less, by four weeks after launch you can expect to get 12 percent less, and by the time we reach eight weeks they’ve lost more than 20 percent of their resale value.

Related: Is Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program the best way to buy the iPhone 6S?

If you’ve got an iPhone 6S and want to upgrade, then you could lose a chunk of change if you drag your feet. If you’ve decided to sell, the next big challenge is finding the best price.

Craigslist, eBay, and other online classifieds are a great way to sell your phone and will give you the most control regarding your iPhone’s selling price. If you are willing to deal with the spam, scams, and subpar emails, there are troves of eager Apple fanatics waiting to scoop up your old iOS device at a moment’s notice, regardless of the smartphone’s 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 of money – 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. You’ll take verification photos, and each ad is 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 within two days.

If you’re willing to accept store credit opposed to cash, there are several retailers that will offer you gift certificates in lieu of traditional payments. You essentially go through an appraisal process and then they will make you an offer in the form of credit toward a new phone or other items they sell. Online retailers such as Amazon and Apple offer trade-in programs through their websites, while many stores (i.e. 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.

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 (i.e. the carrier, memory, physical condition) before you receive any sort of quote. After filling in the blanks, the websites will make you an offer and – should you accept – you can print out a shipping label for the service’s central address. Then just ship out the phone and you should receive the payment via check or PayPal within a week or so. Below are a list of some of the more painless services out there.

You can cut down on some of your research time by using the upTechie website which aggregates some of the seller offers and shows you the best one at a glance, but it doesn’t cover every place you might want to sell. Another good website to check for trade-in comparisons is Flipsy.

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 does some tests on 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.

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