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Full Guide on How to Sell Old Smartphones Online

Aug 30, 2023 • Filed to: Data Wipe Solutions • Proven solutions

Everyone has a smartphone for practically all aspects of life, storing data, sending emails and messages, watching shows, etc. However, consumers have evolving needs and want devices with better functionality, more storage space, smoother connections, versatility in features, and more.

So, often, people upgrade to newer smartphone models when brands release them for improved performance expectations. But what do you do with your old phone then?

Selling the device is the best option in this regard, and there are many platforms where you can sell old phones online. Choose carefully, consider data safety points, and more before doing so- we will discuss all here.

Part 1. What to Consider Before You Sell Your Old Phone

One of the main things for you to focus on before you find the best place to sell old phones is what your smartphone is worth in the first place. For example, if the phone you are trying to sell is too old, only a few people can utilize it.

  • Condition- Is your phone in functional condition, or is the interface, hardware, or software damaged heavily? Aside from keeping one as a collector's item, the phone's value changes depending on its worth.
  • Capacity- What is the overall storage and RAM capacity of your smartphone? Meager capacity, like 2GB of RAM or 32 GB of storage, will only work for some users nowadays.
  • Carrier- Consider what network carrier works for your device. Some phones support AT&T or Verizon but don't support others, while some smartphones work with multiple carriers.
  • Release Date/Generation- Very old-generation smartphones cannot work with the newest software or apps, so their value is low.
  • Price- What is the worth of the smartphone model you are selling based on its selling price and the current market valuation of the used phone?

Part 2. Best Places to Sell Your Old Phone

After calculating the value of your older smartphone device, you can understand which platform can handle the transaction at the old phone sell online best price. Before discussing the options, here is a basic overlook of the trustworthy portals for this in a tabular format.

Where to sell? Ratings Why Trust It?
eBay 4.5 out of 5 (Top Ten Reviews) It assesses the device's condition and allows consumers to sell the smartphone and its accessories at reasonable rates as per their market value.
BuyBackWorld 4.3 out of 5 (TrustPilot) It issues payment within 1-2 business days after applying for the selling process.
uSell 2.9 out of 5 (TrustPilot) You can see different offers for your phone as per their condition with simple transactions and no hidden cost.
deClutter 4.3 out of 5 (TrustPilot) It supports valuation-based selling of different smartphone devices at no-cost shipping and valuation.
Swappa 4.3 out of 5 (TrustPilot) For a more effortless transactional experience when selling phones with verified listing at set seller/buyer fees, Swappa is useful.

Where Can I Sell My Phone Online? Where Can I Sell My Phone Near Me?

Indeed, there are different platforms and apps available where it is possible to sell used phones online at the best prices. Here are some of the best options you can trust for the process.

1. eBay- Best for Selling All Types of Smartphones and Accessories

select carrier name on ebay

Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 (Top Ten Reviews)

If you are looking for the best site to sell old phones, you should not go wrong with the most well-known website for selling used products. eBay is a platform across different regions for fast and effortless buying and selling of used items, including phones.

It supports various models, and selling the old smartphone is not complex through this site either. You must mention several specifications about your phone, like the condition, carrier, model, storage, and other points. Then, get in touch with buyers quickly who will have different payment methods available for smooth trades of the device of their choice.

For sellers, the earning potential is relatively high when using this particular platform, especially compared to trade-in methods.

  • Reason for Recommendation: It helps assess the device and allows selling it as per the market valuation of the smartphone and accessories.
  • Payment Options Accepted: PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Direct Debit, certain debit/credit cards (like MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and VISA), eBay coupons/gift cards if it applies to the seller, funds within stored value account authorized under the Balance Terms and Conditions of eBay (applies to some sellers within the United States), and Pay Later payment options.
  • Payment Issued: As per the selling date.
  • Seller Fees: This can change at the seller's discretion in the specified country.
  • Phones Accepted: CAT, Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba, NextBit, MI, Motorola, Blackberry, Palm, Sonim, T-Mobile, SANYO, Honor, Sony Ericsson, Alcatel, and more.

2. BuyBackWorld - Best for Selling Old Smartphones with Cash

add device name on buybackworld

Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

After searching for "selling my phone online" in the browser, one of the most trustworthy sites that will pop up is BuyBackWorld. That is one that you should seriously consider putting your old mobile online for sale. The site allows the types of mobile devices you can sell on the platform and the overall condition.

You will notice many offers on the site for different types of prices. You can join the league of sellers on this platform and give away broken, used, new, and cracked phones at reasonable prices. You will not have listing price-related issues and will get a shipping kit for your device at no cost.

Plus, it accepts quote-based price decision options, and sellers can trade their phones in exchange for cash through the site.

  • Reason for Recommendation: It issues payment within 1-2 business days after applying for the selling process.
  • Payment Options Accepted: Check-based payment, PayPal, or cash.
  • Payment Issued: The amount is issued for the payment within 1-2 business days in general.
  • Seller Fees: None.
  • Phones Accepted: Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, LG, Motorola, Huawei, Sony, and many more options.

3. uSell - Best for Different Tech Product Sales As Per Condition

click on find offers

Reviews: 2.9 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

Another top website you can trust for a high-quality and user-friendly smartphone selling experience is uSell. It is relatively straightforward to mention the specific condition of your device, including parameters like the state of the device, the carrier model, and storage. You can also sell the additional accessories with the smartphone, though it is optional for users.

The process of setting different offers for smartphones is easy when you are utilizing this particular site. You can decide on the price of your device based on its overall condition and specify the payment method. The site will handle the rest.

  • Reason for Recommendation: You can see different offers for your phone as per their condition with simple transactions and no hidden cost.
  • Payment Options Accepted: Check, Venmo, PayPal
  • Payment Issued: At the time of offer acceptance for sale.
  • Seller Fees: Applicable as per the merchant.
  • Phones Accepted: Apple, Samsung, LG, Blackberry, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Google Pixel, and more.

4. deClutter - Best for Easily Selling and Buying Used Phones Online

choose the device on declutter

Reviews: 4.3 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

One of the best places to sell used phones is the deClutter website, accessible through any device or browser. You can expect a lot of cashback from the transaction, even if you sell old-school devices like outdated iPhone handsets. The prices you will get for the transaction will have reasonable rates as per the phone's market value and its condition.

You can utilize the valuation engine present on the website to understand the overall valuation you can expect for your old, damaged, or new phone. The valuation process on this site is completely free, and the payment issuing period is also reasonable, based on when you complete the transaction. The delivery is completed after the buyer gets it. No additional fees are levied for the shipping, and students get discounted offers.

  • Reason for Recommendation: It supports valuation-based selling of different smartphone devices at no-cost shipping and valuation.
  • Payment Options Accepted: PayPal, Direct Deposit, Charity
  • Payment Issued: After the trade is processed and the phone transaction is complete.
  • Seller Fees: None
  • Phones Accepted: Nokia, Blackberry, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Apple, Sony, Google Pixel, HTC, and OnePlus.

5. Swappa - Best for Smooth Phone Sales at Fair Seller/Buyer Fees

the device on swappa

Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

Another top site you can trust for selling your old smartphones is Swappa. There is an extensive list of supported devices on this website, so you can easily choose and set that as your selling product. Then, prepare a high-quality listing page for your product, adding all of the relevant information buyers will require to make their decision potentially.

These include a brief description of your phone, the condition it is in currently, and uploading images of the product. Then, you have to set a specific price for your device. Afterward, proceed with the selling process and sync your PayPal account information. You can expect to receive your payment from the platform before shipping the product out.

  • Reason for Recommendation: For an easier transactional experience when selling phones with verified listing at set seller/buyer fees, Swappa is useful.
  • Payment Options Accepted: PayPal for both sellers and buyers. For buyers, accepted payment gateways are PayPal balance, credit card, debit card, bank account, and Buy Now, Pay Later via Zip.
  • Payment Issued: At the time of sale completion.
  • Seller Fees: Fair seller fees at around 3% per party.
  • Phones Accepted: Samsung, Apple, Google Pixel.

Part 3. Best Places to Trade in Your Old Phone

Instead of simply selling outdated smartphones, one can also trade in old phones for cash. There are specific sites available that allow this process. For your easier understanding, we present this list of best trade-in programs in an overview table first.

Where to trade in? Ratings Why Trust It?
Amazon Trade-In 4.1 out of 5 (SiteJabbar) The program comes with a reliable list of prospective trade-in partners since they all undergo a strict verification process first.
Buyback Boss Trade-In 4.7 out of 5 (TrustPilot) You can expect zero Bait-and-Switch offers from this site and also get a 14-day price-lock guarantee for better assurity of deals.
OCBuyBack Trade-In 4.8 out of 5 (TrustPilot) You can use OCBuyBack for fast and affordable smartphone trade-ins at a guaranteed locked-in price for 14 days.
Swappa Trade-In 4.8 out of 5 (TrustPilot) The Trade-in Partners are verified through a careful vetting process so that you can handle safe trades on Swappa.
uSell Trade-In 2.9 out of 5 (TrustPilot) This site is useful for applying for trade-ins that assure fast offers from professional buyers and straightforward trades.
Carrier Trade-In 1.8 out of 5 Get valuable returns like credited balance from the old phone exchange with top carriers, and the device is recycled to avoid e-waste generation as well.

Where is the best place to trade a phone?

Here are some of the best platforms to try out in trading the old smartphone as your preferred solution instead of selling old mobiles online.

1. Amazon- Best for One-Stop Trade-In Program Benefits

choose the device on amazon

Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 (SiteJabbar)

When you are looking for the best platform to trade in an old phone online, Amazon is a verified platform that you can trust for a smooth and safe process. The program offers users interested in trade-in benefits and provides Amazon gift cards to customers in place of the items they are trading. Here, only selected options are accepted for trade-in, so check if you are eligible first.

You can apply for different trade-in methods, like the limited-time option or getting a section of promotional credit removed from the new Amazon Device that qualifies. You can expect free shipping support here and a fast process overall.

Reason for Recommendation: The Amazon Trade-in Program is reliable as it has a well-organized and strict verification process.

2. BuyBackBoss- Best for High Payouts for All Devices

choose the device model

Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

If you want to experience a smooth trade-in experience with guaranteed security in the transaction process, BuyBackBoss is one to trust. It assures a simple online buyback program style that is easy to understand and apply for, whether you are experienced in trade-in methods or completely new.

On this platform, you will get the support of a highly trained customer service team and expect robust security protocols in place for sales. Get instant Online offers and fast device payouts overall.

Reason for Recommendation: This site ensures users do not get Bait-and-Switch offer problems and gives a 14-day price-lock guarantee.

3. OCBuyBack- Best for iPhone/Samsung Trade-ins for One or More Devices

choose a model on ocbuyback

Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

For the best buyback program support during phone trade-in processes, OCBuyBack is a useful one to trust. The website guarantees total transparency with the transactions for their customers and assures faster trade-in benefits.

You can opt for the trade-in program and sell mobile phones for cash in bulk or in single options. Applying for the program is straightforward and easy to understand, especially with GoPros support. From the beginning of the transaction, get instant trade-in offers.

Reason for Recommendation: You can use OCBuyBack for fast and affordable smartphone trade-ins at a guaranteed locked-in price over 14 days.

4. Swappa- Best for Trading Water-Damaged or Broken Phones Online

choose a brand on swappa

Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

If your smartphone is not in the best condition, you will not have to worry when applying for the trade-in program of Swappa. It accepts different types of smartphones that are old, outdated or dysfunctionality.

You have to mention the condition of the phone you are adding for trade-in accurately. The Trade-in partner assigned to you will offer the correct value based on the standards in the market for used devices.

Reason for Recommendation: The Trade-in Partners are verified through a careful vetting process so that you can handle safe trades on Swappa.

5. uSell- Best Trade-in Program for Comparing Cash Offers

chose trade in phone brand

Reviews: 2.9 out of 5 (TrustPilot)

uSell is also a trustworthy website for users to opt for the trade-in program and apply for a partnership with verified providers. You will get much cash offers to select from while applying for the program, and choose one final offer that best suits your requirements. The buyers are verified, and you will instantly get the offers after applying for the trade-in program.

The process of applying for the program and adding the details about the product is detailed. You must add all information regarding the device, like carrier, storage, phone hardware condition, and more. The buyer will inspect the device after you trade it, and the cost will be processed soon after.

Reason for Recommendation: uSell.com is a suitable website for applying for trade-ins with fast offers from professional buyers and straightforward trades.

6. Carrier Trade-In- Best for Instant Amount Credit on Trade-ins from Network Carriers

search for a device

Reviews: 1.8 out of 5

Another exciting step you can take if you are interested in trade-in options is directly applying for one with your carrier. In this regard, you can apply for the program in exchange for a credit balance for the next smartphone purchase. However, do note that you will only receive an amount of 20-30% less than if you opt for online buyback sites.

The process of using the trade-in service from carriers is straightforward. All you have to do is check the different upgrade deals on offer and then search for the device you own on the site.

Use the online worth estimator engine that carriers provide to do so. Then, make agreements for the deal if the quote satisfies you and then ship the device. Finally, you are ready to collect the right payment for your new device. You can also trade in the older smartwatch and tablet with your older iPhone.

Reason for Recommendation: Expect a safe and easy trade-in experience where your returned device is later recycled.

Part 4. Trade-In or Sell Your Old Phone?

Yes, some platforms are helpful for people who want to trade in their old phones or sell old ones for cash. However, both processes have specific benefits, disadvantages, and relatively noticeable differences. Before choosing a platform to depend on for this process, you should understand what either approach entails.

For a more accessible overview, here are the differences between the two methods of trade-in or selling smartphones in tabular form. Please read it to understand what you should opt for.

Selling Trade-in
What Does it Mean? Users have to set the information about their smartphone on the selling platforms like eBay, set the price, and put it up for listing. When buyers are interested in purchasing the device, then the sale is successful. You can sell your old phone on websites or even through classified ads. People applying for the trade-in program for old phones have to specify an estimated value for the phone, and the carrier will offer the shipping label/prepaid return kit. So, the trading process with the Trade-in partner is smooth as you ship the product, they verify it, and they provide the final value for the product.
Pros · The earning potential is higher when you sell since you can set your own price.
· Users can sell various phones in any condition and still get an interested buyer. 
· Simple application and phone trading process.
· Limited logistics-related hassles for the shipping process.
Cons · Sellers have to undergo a more complex and detailed application process.
· Finding a buyer typically takes a lot of time to find and get an approved sale.
· One will only sometimes earn a lot from trade-ins compared to selling the phones.
· People have a more challenging time applying older phone models for trade-in on most platforms.

How to Decide to Trade-In or Sell Your Old Phone?

So, there are benefits on both sides of selling the old smartphone or applying for a trade-in program and certain drawbacks. To choose which side you will go with, you should evaluate specific points first.

  • Research the situation- You should understand all the steps and processing applicable for either type of transaction when you are planning to trade your old phone. Don thorough research on either version, like what the steps are, how much time you will have to wait, and the payment methods available. For example, if you require the sale to be completed immediately due to personal reasons, the trade-in mode assures faster payback than selling the product.
  • Budget- The overall process cost should determine which approach you prefer. For this, first consider the amount of time in which you will get the payment and the overall costs you will have to pay for shipping, packaging, and more. At this time, also take note of your expected value for the phone. If you paid a high amount for the phone and what to get a relatively high selling amount, the trade-in process is under your control less than selling is.

Finally, based on your research and the overall look at the situation, you should consider which version of trading you will prefer.

Part 5. To-Do List Before Sell or Trade in Your Old Phone

Now that you know where to sell or trade an old phone for cash or online payment, you should take make it ready for the sale.

Of course, there are better steps to directly sell your phone with all of your data intact. People put essential information on their devices, like payment account details, personal details, old photos, locations, passwords, and even private videos and images.

If you sell your old phone without removing them, the person getting the phone can gain access to essential details about you. It also leaves your phone susceptible to hacking from third-party sellers. So, for the best result, you should take some measures to protect the data on your phones. Here are some of the necessary steps to follow.

1. Do a data backup

Firstly, you should back up all of your data on the phone, so you get all your essential information afterward. There are different methods that you can try out for phone backup.

  • iTunes/iCloud- Apple users can use their iCloud or iTunes account to back up their files, personal information, and more. You will get five free GB of cloud storage space when you sign up for it.
  • Samsung Cloud- Samsung users can use the pre-built Samsung Cloud feature to back up their data. However, the amount of data one can add to the cloud is around 5GB.
  • Dr.Fone- This comprehensive backup and restoration software is helpful for both iOS and Android users. You can use this one solution to back up different types of data, including documents, photos, videos, emails, and more. This accepts different types of smartphones from varying carriers, including newer iOS/iPadOS 16 versions.

2. Remove Memory cards

The memory card will contain a wide range of essential details that will be lost to you entirely after you factory reset the device. So, remove it from the phone if you had added one before selling the product.

3. Delete Personal Data

Another critical process you have to handle is deleting all of the data from your phone before selling it. You can do the factory reset, but this approach does not delete all personal and embedded data. Hackers can still access them.

You should try out the Dr.Fone- Data Eraser software in this context.


Dr.Fone - Data Eraser is a high-quality data removal software that can perfectly and quickly wipe sensitive information from all phone devices. It supports a wide range of phone types, whether they are running with iOS or Android operating systems. After selecting the type of data you want to delete or the entire device, the software wipes it clean with one click, including encrypted messages and personal data.

Best Features:

  • Easy steps for erasing all data from the selected device.
  • It can remove data types like contacts, photos, messages, social media app data, call logs, and more.
  • All data is permanently deleted and is unrecoverable even with powerful data recovery tools.
  • Supports different Android and iOS phone model brands and their devices.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

How to use it?

Step 1: Download, install, and finally launch Dr.Fone software on the computer device. On the homepage, choose Data Eraser.

safe Downloadsafe & secure

choose data eraser

Step 2: Use a USB cable to connect the phone to the computer. Complete the steps for USB debugging.

use a usb cable to connect

Step 3: The software will automatically detect the connected device and its data. Tap on Erase All Data > Start.

press start

Step 4: In the next screen, type in the key in numerical format. Tap the Erase Now button.

type in the key

Step 5: The software will automatically start erasing all data from the device over some minutes.

Step 6: Dr.Fone will show the prompt to Factory Data Reset/Erase All Data. Make your choice to complete the process.

final screen

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4. Keep a Record of Device Serial Numbers

For safe and legal transactions of your phone, you need to note all of your device's critical serial numbers, like the IMEI code. These are useful for future verification.

5. Thoroughly Clean Your Phone

Finally, you should clean the device entirely using the factory reset method and the Dr.Fone- Data Eraser software.

Part 6. When to sell your old Phone: Right now

After preparing all of the necessary details about the principal selling place for your smartphone and understanding the process, you are ready to sell the old smartphone. As for the time, there is no fixed period when you should sell your device.

Applying and getting buyers can take some time, so starting the process as soon as possible is recommended. However, you should clean your phone entirely after making a backup.


Indeed, when a phone becomes outdated or damaged, selling it to interested buyers is the best solution for users. You can opt for the sites that allow an easy selling process or apply for a trade-in program for the old phone. For the best condition of your phone, if there are software issues, you can also use a solution like Dr.Fone- System Repair to fix the errors.

Make sure to add all of the necessary details in the device information for the verified selling process. Also, follow the tips mentioned for safely erasing data on your phone before starting selling.

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