Why iPhone Resale Value is so High (And How to Get Top-Dollar for Yours)

why iphone resale value is so high get best price trade-in

How do you know you're getting a good deal when you sell your iPhone? Apple boasts that you can score up to $500 in trade-in value with the latest iPhone 11 Pro Max. 

Compared to their Android counterparts, iPhones still maintain most of their original value after ownership. 

The question is why? What makes iPhone resale value so high? More importantly, how can you get top dollar for your old iPhone? 

Here's why your iPhone might have a hefty price tag and how you can estimate its value. 

Why is iPhone Resale Value So High? 

One of the biggest factors in this valuing process is simply backward compatibility. 

Functionality is the biggest concern when buying older phones. Older hardware tends to have older software. However, this problem is solved if an older phone can simply use a new OS (operating system). 

Unlike Android, Apple makes their OS available for much older phone generations. Even the latest iOS 14 release in September 2020 is compatible with the 5-year old iPhone 6. 

This means that users can pay for a cheaper older phone and have the perks of a new operating system. If users can get away with a new OS on an older piece of hardware they could save hundreds of dollars. 

That's why your old iPhone has much more value than you might expect. 

What is "Good" Condition? 

Any trade-in center will ask you the fateful question: is your iPhone in good condition? 

The retailers are looking for a phone that's still maintained most of its quality. Even then, there's room for debate over how much quality makes a decent iPhone. 

When you're trading in your phone there are 6 specific functionality features that Apple looks for in a quality phone: 

• Powering on 
• Responsive buttons 
• Functional cameras 
• Undamaged phone body 
• Undamaged back glass 
• Undamaged touchscreen 

To break this down, there are 3 features related to software or internal operation and 3 features related to hardware. If these features work, you can receive decent trade-in value. If not, this guide can help prepare your iPhone for a better resale. 

Resale Location Matters 

Standard retailers like Best Buy or Amazon give you store credit or small cash rather than a large trade-in payout. However, it's worth considering store credit if you need cash for a new device. 

Independent sites eBay can have good resale deals. However, these sites leave valuing to other users' discretion. As a result of this unregulated system, there's more opportunity for scams and illegitimate buyers. 

Apple's trade-in program is also another reliable resource. Unless your iPhone is in perfect condition, they're less inclined to give you significant cash. As the iPhone manufacturer, they're more inclined to put that cash towards a new iPhone. 

As a rule of thumb, phones that are tied to phone carriers have less value than factory unlocked phones. That said, you can still get a decent resale. Top carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have decent trade-in programs. 

Ready to Find Your iPhone Resale Value? 

Like other high-ticket items, iPhones depreciate and lose their value over time. Yet, you can still score a decent payout from your old iPhone resale value if you make the right moves. 

If you're a thrifty buyer looking for more tips, check out more of our frugal tech buying guides. We publish a wide variety of helpful hacks when buying discounted smartphones, electronics, laptops, tablets, and much more.

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