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December 17, 2022

Is a Phone Trade-In Your Best Option?

Let’s face it, many of us are addicted to our cell phones. According to Statista, the average time spent on smartphones daily in the U.S. is five to six hours. We do a lot on our smartphones, from managing work emails and Slack messages to communicating with our loved ones and streaming our favorite shows. It’s no wonder that so many people line up when a new smartphone is announced.

But smartphones aren’t cheap. The new iPhone 14 starts at $799, while the average cost of smartphones was $363 in 2021, with premium smartphone models costing upwards of $1,000 or more. As a result, many people take advantage of phone trade-ins or sell their older phones to bring down the cost of their new phone.

There are benefits and drawbacks to a phone trade-in, and selling has its pros and cons as well. Learn about both and decide which is right for you.

What’s involved in a phone trade-in?

You can opt for a phone trade-in if you plan to purchase your new phone through a manufacturer or your wireless carrier. It can be a simpler process because you can bring your phone in with you when you want to purchase your new phone. The customer service representative will take your phone and assess its value. They will let you know how much your phone trade-in is worth and how much credit you will get for your new phone. You can decide if their offer is fair and if you want to accept. By bringing your phone in with you, you won’t have to worry about shipping the device back to your carrier.

If you don’t want to go into a physical location, you can do a phone trade-in online. You will answer a few questions about the condition of your phone and the manufacturer or carrier will give you an estimate of its worth. They will send you shipping materials to return your device. Once received, the manufacturer or carrier will review the phone condition and give you a final trade-in amount and pay you in the form of a refund to your credit card, credit towards a device, or gift card.

The benefit of a phone trade-in is that it’s simple and convenient. You don’t have to research pricing and find out where to sell your phone. You don’t need to figure out logistics like shipping or where to meet your buyer. The drawback to a phone trade-in is that some older phones may not be eligible, so you won’t get any credit for your new phone. You might not get as much money from a trade-in as you could by selling it.

How do I sell a cell phone?

There’s a lot more work involved in selling a phone, but you could earn more cash. That cash can bring down the cost of your new phone and make it more affordable. There are many places where you can sell a cell phone, including sites like eBay, OfferUp, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist; classifieds; or to friends or family members.

Some sites will take a percentage of your sale, so you will need to keep that in mind when setting your price. You will need to research the same model phone and see what others are charging for the same device. You should compare that price with what manufacturers or mobile carriers are offering for the device to make sure you would earn enough by selling to make it worth it.

The benefit to selling your phone is that you could potentially earn more cash for it. The downside is that finding a buyer can be challenging. There are a lot of scammers that take advantage of people who sell items on online marketplaces. Read up on these scams to avoid them. It can take several days or weeks to sell your phone. You may also need to pay for shipping materials or drive to meet a buyer.


You spend a lot of time on your smartphone, so it makes sense that you’d want a newer model. Trading in or selling your old phone can make a new phone more affordable. A phone trade-in is your best option if you want a simple process and to get your new phone right away. Selling your phone might be the best option if you want the most cash for your old phone.

If you need funds quickly, Uprova.com can help. You can request between $300 and $5,000 to cover a wide range of expenses. Get started for free online now.

The content of this website is for informational purposes only. Nothing on this website constitutes financial or professional advice. Consult a professional for advice suitable to your personal circumstances.

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