How and where to sell your iPhone for the best price
Want to sell your old iPhone – perhaps in the hope that the extra cash will allow you to buy one of the new iPhone 14 models? It’s a great plan and we are here to help you find out how much money you’ll get for your old iPhone, and the best methods and places for selling a second-hand iPhone.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the selling options that will get you the most money for your old iPhone. We’ll also offer some advice on how to prepare your iPhone for sale – this is an important step that you really shouldn’t skip!
Finally, we talk a little about methods for recycling an old iPhone, which is generally a good idea if you care about the environment, and may earn you a little cash too.
Another thing to consider is When is the best time to sell an old iPhone? – which we cover separately. (Hint: Not just after Apple introduces a new model and drops the price of the handset you plan to sell).
If you haven’t yet made your mind up what you will do with the money once you have sold your old phone, have a look at our iPhone buying guide.
How to prepare your iPhone for sale
Before you sell your iPhone, you’ll need to make sure you’ve wiped everything stored on it, to prevent the person who buys it getting access to your sensitive data. This isn’t just about embarrassment: it could lead to fraud or identity theft.
Wiping an Apple device is a fairly simple process, which we explain in our article How to factory-reset an iPhone.
We’d advise you not to be tempted to sell your iPhone with data intact, even if you believe the data itself adds to the object’s value. (For example, when the game Flappy Bird was removed from the iOS App Store in 2014 users began selling older iPhones for higher prices on eBay by advertising the fact that they had the game installed. Similarly iPhones with Fortnite installed were being sold on eBay following that game being removed from the App Store due to Apple’s dispute with Epic.)
An app or game might seem an innocent piece of software that couldn’t be exploited, but it will be connected to your Apple account and, to a clever hacker, could offer the opportunity to acquire personal data. It’s better to be on the safe side.
You’ll also want to gather together all the cables, accessories and packaging you’ve got for the iPhone. Make sure you specify what the iPhone comes with in terms of cables and packaging, particularly if you’re selling on eBay.
Best places to sell an iPhone
You can get a reasonable amount of money for your old iPhone from Apple or a third-party buyback company, particularly if you’ve kept it in good condition.
Apple itself offers a fair deal through its Trade In Program which could get you up to £455 for your old smartphone. (Yes, it doesn’t even have to be an iPhone!) Here’s how much you can expect to save on the price of a new iPhone if you exchange your old model – note these prices do change frequently, especially when Apple introduces new handsets, so check the latest trade-in prices on Apple’s website here.
If you decide to take your old iPhone into an Apple Retail Store, Apple’s staff will look it over and give a trade-in price estimate. This price is based on the condition of the hardware and the model, age and spec of iPhone. Customers can then get that value subtracted from the price of a new iPhone or other Apple product should they decide to trade in (you’ll get an Apple Store Gift Card).
If you choose to go through the trade-in process online, you’ll need to visit Apple’s Trade In page, answer a set of questions to help Apple come up with an estimated value of the device, then send your iPhone to Dataserv for evaluation. Once Brightstar (Apple’s recycling partner) has checked your device and determined the accurate trade-in value, that money will be deposited into your bank account. We have an article explaining How to get money off with Apple’s trade-in program.
Apple makes the trade-in process simple, but that might not be the best way to maximise the amount of money you can get for your old iPhone. Luckily there are lots of other options.
Obviously you can list your old iPhone on eBay, Gumtree, FaceBook Marketplace, or similar. We do have some tips for selling on eBay here. The main problems with selling this way is dealing with customers yourself (especially if they turn out to be difficult), and the amount of time you will need to invest in the whole process.
The other issue with these public selling services that with so many places offering refurbished iPhones – including Apple, which includes a one year warranty – the market for second hand iPhones is no doubt in decline. Read: Where to buy a second-hand or refurbished iPhone.
Another option is to sell your iPhone to one of the following. You might not get as much money as you would selling via eBay or similar, but it is a lot less hassle. You will get more money for an unlocked handset in good condition.
- CeX – CeX will give cash or credit for your old iPhone.
- CashGenerator – If you enter the details of your iPhone on the website one of the firm’s high-street stores will contact you.
- Envirofone – This site will also give you money for your old mobile. They even accept damaged phones.
- musicMagpie – You can enter the details of the iPhone you want to sell and you can send it to them for free.
- Carphone Warehouse – Will accept your old iPhone and give you credit.
- Argos – You can also trade in an old iPhone with Argos.
- Game – Game will also pay you in cash or credit for your second-hand handsets.
How much is your old iPhone worth?
The price you can get for a second-hand iPhone depends on what model you’ve got and where you sell it. Typically you’ll get more cash from a private sale than from a shop or services (as they need to include a markup when they sell it on).
The good news is that iPhones hold their price better than Androids, so if you plan to sell you should be able to make decent money.
You can expect to get more for:
- A newer iPhone.
- A Plus or Max model (when compared to the smaller, same-generation handset).
- High capacity – expect to get more for a 256GB or higher model, less if you only have 16GB on offer.
- An undamaged handset.
- An unlocked handset. (If it’s tied to a network, consider unlocking it first – here’s how to unlock an iPhone, but consider how much unlocking the handset will add to its value before paying out.)
- Certain colours are also more popular and can achieve a higher price at sale.
- An iPhone that’s had its battery replaced. If your iPhone’s battery needs replacing it’s worth getting it looked at as it doesn’t cost a fortune. A few years ago Apple was offering free battery replacements for certain iPhones – information about iPhone battery replacement here – but now battery replacement starts at £49/$49 for iPhone SE, 6, 6s, 7, 8 and the 2nd generation iPhone SE handsets. Battery repair for the iPhone X, XS, SR, 11 and 12 series iPhones is £69/$69 – more here: Apple repairs: price guide and how long repairs take.
Next we’ll go through the various types of iPhones so you can see what they might be worth. Below we quote the prices we’ve seen for the highest capacity, unlocked model, that is in good condition. So expect less!
One reason why second hand prices aren’t great is that it’s actually easy to buy a refurbished iPhone from Apple and other stockists (namely those mentioned below who will buy your old iPhone and then fix any problems with it before selling on). Buyers benefit from buying these refurbished models as they can have some confidence that they will actually work as advertised.
iPhone 12, mini, Pro & Pro Max
If you have one of Apple’s iPhone 12 series you’re looking at much, much higher prices than the older iPhone handsets.
However, the price will be lead by the price that Apple sells the handset for – and you can expect the RRP for these handsets to decline when Apple introduces the next generation iPhone 13 series in September 2021.
Here’s what Apple is selling these handsets for right now:
- iPhone 12 mini From £699
- iPhone 12 From £799
- iPhone 12 Pro From £999
- iPhone 12 Pro Max From £1,099
When Apple introduces the new iPhone 13 it will probably reduce the price of these handsets by about £100 each and is likely to pay a maximum of £400 for trade-in for the top of the range Pro Max. It’s likely that the other companies offering to buy your old handsets will offer a similar price.
Another thing to keep an eye on is when Apple starts selling the iPhone 12 in the refurbished store. This is likely to start a few months after the iPhone 13 is introduced and when it happens this will impact on the second-hand value of the iPhone.
Buy-back companies are currently offering from around £300 for the iPhone 12: For example, musicMagpie will offer £380 for the 64GB iPhone 12 in good condition, while a 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max could get you £640. CeX will give you £343 for a 64GB iPhone 12 (or a £437 voucher) while a 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max could get you £605 cash or a £770 voucher.
You might be able to get a little more if you sell on eBay or Gumtree.
iPhone 11, Pro & Pro Max
We expect that Apple will stop selling the iPhone 11 series when it introduces the iPhone 13. In which case two things could happen: The iPhone 11 series will be come highly sought after because it will be less easy to buy; or the market will be flooded with iPhone 11 series phones as people sell them to buy the new iPhone.
For now though, we have the following prices at Apple:
- iPhone 11 From £799
- iPhone 11 Pro From £999
- iPhone 11 Pro Max From £1,099
Apple is also selling the iPhone 11 range on the refurbished store:
- iPhone 11 From £639
- iPhone 11 Pro From £759
- iPhone 11 Pro Max From £849
On this basis you are very unlikely to get more than Apple’s refurbished prices, because of all the benefits from buying from Apple (warranty, free delivery, etc).
If you trade-in your iPhone 11 series handset with Apple right now you can expect to get up to £455 for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, up to £400 for the 11 Pro and £345 for the iPhone 11. Of course these prices will fall when the iPhone 13 arrives.
The other buy-back companies will probably offer slightly more than Apple. For example, musicMagpie will offer £290 for the 64GB iPhone 11 or as much as £490 for the 512GB iPhone 11 Pro Max. CeX will give you £247 for a 64GB iPhone 11 (or a £341 voucher).
If you want to attempt to get more then you could try eBay or similar – but we recommend trying to sell before the iPhone 13 goes on sale.
The iPhone XR is another handset that Apple still sells, but is likely to disappear from the line up when the iPhone 13 arrives.
Right now Apple’s prices are as follows:
- iPhone XR From £499
Apple is also selling the iPhone 11 range on the refurbished store:
- iPhone XR (64GB) From £419
- iPhone XR (128GB) From £469
Apple will trade in an old iPhone XR for up to £210.
iPhone XS & XS Max
Apple no longer sells the iPhone XS series – although that’s not strictly true as the company does have it available on the Refurbished Store:
- iPhone XS From £639
- iPhone XS Max (512GB) From £1,019
We don’t anticipate that these prices will stay this high for long.
Apple will trade in an old iPhone XS for up to £240 and an old iPhone XS Max for up to £225.
A good condition 64GB XS Max will get you £245 and a good condition 512GB XS Max will get you £320 from musicMagpie. While the XS (64GB) is £210 or £280 for the 512GB model. CeX will give you £157 for a 64GB iPhone XS (or a £217 voucher). The 64GB XS Max could get you £182 (or a £251 voucher).
Apple no longer sells the iPhone X either, but you can still get it on the Refurbished Store:
- iPhone X (256GB) From £679
Again, this is a very high price for a pretty old iPhone now, so we don’t anticipate that these prices will stay this high for long.
Apple will trade in an old iPhone X for up to £160.
iPhone 8, 8 Plus
Apple stopped selling the 8 series models in April 2020. At that point they cost £479 or £579.
There are currently no iPhone 8 or 8 Plus models available on the Refurbished Store.
Apple will give you up to £155 for an iPhone 8 Plus, and up to £130 for an iPhone 8.
CeX will give you £114 for a 64GB iPhone 8 (or a £198 voucher). For an 64GB iPhone 8 Plus they will give you £135 cash or a £186 voucher.
iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
Apple continued to sell these handsets up until September 2019. When Apple was still selling the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus it cost £449/$449 or £569/$569.
Now you can’t even find them on the Apple Refurbished Store.
Apple will offer you up to £125 for a 7 Plus, or £100 for a iPhone 7.
A 32GB iPhone 7 could get you £55 from musicMagpie, or £75 for the 256GB model. The iPhone 7 Plus gets a little more: up to £85 for the 32GB model, or £115 for the 256GB option. CeX indicates it will give you £87 for a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus (or a £120 voucher).
You may be better off selling on eBay or via Gumtree to a keen local buyer, but these are very old handsets with limited appeal.
iPhone 6s & 6s Plus
Apple will trade in a top-of-the-range iPhone 6s for up to £55 and a 6s Plus for £65.
If you are looking to sell an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, you can expect up to £15 from musicMagpie for the 16GB 6s or £30 for the 128GB model. CeX indicates it will give you £64 for a 32GB iPhone 6S (or a £88 voucher).
iPhone 6 & 6 Plus
Apple will trade in a top-of-the-range iPhone 6 for up to £40 and a 6s Plus for £45.
At musicMagpie you are looking at about £8 for the 16GB model or £15 for the 128GB model. The Plus is also £15 for the 128GB model. At CeX you could get £42 for a 16GB iPhone 6 (or a £57 voucher).
Apple doesn’t offer any money for an old iPhone 5s – those handsets were first introduced in 2013 so they are definitely past their prime.
The iPhone 5c is considered vintage by Apple, which means the company may not be able to service it or provide parts if it goes wrong. Read: How long does Apple support iPhones?
Apple doesn’t offer any money for an old iPhone 5c. CeX indicates it will give you £22 for a 8GB iPhone 5c (or a £31 voucher).
The iPhone 5 is also considered vintage by Apple, nor does Apple offer any money for an old iPhone 5.
CeX will give you £21 for a 16GB iPhone 5 (or a £28 voucher).
We are now moving from Vintage to Obsolete. Apple won’t even attempt to fix any handsets older than the 4s.
Again, given the age of this handset it’s value might be as a collectors item, so you could try listing it on eBay. CeX indicates it will give you £9 for a 16GB iPhone 4S (or a £16 voucher).
Like the iPhone 4s the 4 is considered Obsolete by Apple.
CeX indicates it will give you £8 for a 16GB iPhone 4 (or a £14 voucher).
iPhone 3G and 3GS
The iPhone 3G and 3GS are also Obsolete.
CeX indicates it will give you £8 for a 8GB iPhone 3GS (or a £12 voucher).
Hilariously, CeX indicates it will give you 1p for a 16GB iPhone 3G.
There is undoubtedly a nostalgia factor associated with the original iPhone that can’t be matched by later models, so if you are lucky enough to have one then who knows, someone on eBay might want it.
Your best bet is to look for a finding a collector on eBay. In fact, if it’s completely sealed in its original packaging it’s possible you could get enough to pay for a brand-new iPhone – they’re sometimes seen on eBay for more than £1,000. That’s pretty optimistic, though, and a more realistic expectation might be £20 to £100. And don’t forget that you’ll need to pay eBay and PayPal fees on top of postage if you sell through the online auction site.
It’s worth investigating Gumtree to avoid such charges, although you won’t get the support you get from eBay and PayPal if you use that service.
How to recycle an old iPhone
At its iPhone SE launch event back in March 2016, Apple spent a surprising amount of time talking about its recycling programmes, and in particular a new robot it’s designed – called, apparently, ‘Liam’ – for rapidly and accurately disassembling old handsets and recovering their parts.
Liam has been superseded by Daisy, which is doing essentially the same thing but we’re guessing is an upgraded model. This was announced during Apple’s iPhone XS launch in September 2018.
This is all very interesting, and obviously nice PR for a company that prides itself (justifiably, we would say) on its much-improved attitude to environmental matters. But it also means that people looking to offload an old iPhone can do so with an easier conscience about the rare and/or hazardous materials inside, and where they will end up. And better still, you may be able to make a little money while you do it.
First of all, Apple pledges to take any and all electrical devices for recycling, if you bring them to an Apple Store. They don’t need to be Apple-branded: the company will dispose of “old electronic equipment such as smartphones, tablets, computers or batteries” in a responsible way, for free.
There will obviously be exceptions to this offer, and if in doubt we’d suggest ringing the store before you turn up, especially if your item is unusually cumbersome. You don’t want to haul it home again afterwards.
For certain models of iPhone (and iPad and Mac, for that matter), Apple will sweeten the deal by giving you a gift certificate so you can get a little money off your next purchase; it will also send you a prepaid postage label so you can send it to them for free. This applies to the iPhone 4 and later.
The money you’ll get varies from case to case (depending on the condition of the phone), so we can’t offer any useful advice here except to shop around, as it were – assuming money is a factor for you, find out how much you could get for the device from other sources so you can make an informed decision. Contact Apple via its GiveBack page.
If you’ve got an original iPhone, iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, Apple will recycle the device for you but doesn’t offer any money, and you still need to take it into an Apple Store. On the other hand, devices of that vintage wouldn’t fetch much second-hand anyway, unless it’s in mint condition and you find someone who loves old tech.