Trading in an old iPhone, iPad, or Mac can get you some extra cash to spend on a new device. Depending on where you decide to sell your device, you can get cash back or a gift card for a specific company like Apple, Amazon, or Best Buy.

What's most important to know when trading in a device is that there's no one best site or service. There are so many options out there and prices vary based on device and promotions that might be running, so your absolute best bet if you want to do a trade-in using a trade-in site is to spend 15 to 20 minutes doing price checks on some of the most prominent trade-in sites listed below.

applerefurbs
Using a comparison site like Flipsy, uSell, or SellCell to compare trade-in prices can also be beneficial when you want to do some shopping around to get the best price for your particular device.

Trade-in Options

There are generally three options when you have an old device you want to get rid of: Trading it in through a company like Apple or a service like Gazelle, selling it in person via a service like Craigslist, or selling it to a person online through a service like eBay or Swappa.

Using a trade-in service is always going to be more simple than selling to a person, but the convenience of doing so will cost you. You're never going to get quite as much money from a trade-in service as you can get from direct sales, but there are some tips and tricks worth knowing before considering a trade-in.

Device Condition

Device condition is going to make a huge difference in the amount of money that you're able to get back for an ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or Mac. Most trade-in sites offer tiered payback based on condition, like Good, Fair, and Poor.

A functional device in good condition with no scratches or other damage is going to fetch the most money. Some sites will let small wear and tear issues slide, while others will deduct cash if a device isn't in perfect condition.

handsoniphonexsmax
All trade-in sites will ask you specific questions about the condition of your device, making sure it powers on, is fully functional, has no display issues, and no cracks.

Cracks, display issues, and other problems will drastically lower the amount of money you can get for a device, and some trade-in sites will refuse to take broken devices at all.

squaretradeiphonexrdroptest
Services that receive your device will inspect it on their end to make sure the quality of your device matches up with how you described it. Most services have an option to pay less if the condition doesn't match up or send it back to you.

Activation Lock

You'll also be asked to make sure Activation Lock has been disabled by turning off Find My iPhone, which is standard operating procedure when trading in a device. Companies ask this to make sure the device will be usable after it's turned in.

activationlock

Apple Trade-ins

If you're trading in an Apple product and want to upgrade to another Apple product, going the Apple trade-in route is a great idea. As seen in the price comparison listings below, Apple offers fair prices -- sometimes much higher than other trade-in sites -- and provides money for your old products in the form of an Apple gift card.

There's a caveat, though. To get Apple's top prices when trading in an ‌iPhone‌, you need to do the trade-in when purchasing another device. For example, Apple offers $349 for an ‌iPhone‌ X in good condition when using the standard trade-in site, but when purchasing another device, you can get $450 for that same iPhone.

There are no special trade-in prices for Macs, iPads, and Apple Watch devices, so this only applies to iPhones. Apple sometimes shifts the trade-in prices that it offers, so it's worth shopping around.

The Apple gift card you receive for a standard trade-in can be put towards a purchase from the Apple online store or an Apple retail store, but Apple trade-ins are limited in scope because there's no option to get cash. Apple will send you a full trade-in kit so you can box up your device properly and send it in conveniently without having to hunt down a box and shipping materials.

If you don't want to hassle with sending a device in, you can also do trade-ins right in Apple retail stores.

Major Retailer Trade-in Programs

Companies like Best Buy, Amazon, and Target have trade-in programs, but they're generally not as good as Apple's trade-in program and are not the best for Apple devices.

Best Buy's trade-in program offers Best Buy gift cards, Amazon's offers Amazon gift cards, and Target's offers Target gift cards or cash via PayPal.

If, for some reason, you prefer to do a trade-in in person to get a gift card or cash right away, Target and Best Buy both offer in-store trade-ins. Other big box retailers like Walmart, Game Stop, and all carrier stores offer trade-in options. With carriers, you can often trade your device in when purchasing a new smartphone to get a discount.

There are so many that we can't go through them all, but it's worth knowing that all of them offer similar prices for devices, though some stores will sometimes do promos.

Other Trade-in Sites

There are dozens of trade-in sites that want to buy your old gear. We'll list a few of the most popular below, but remember, as noted above, it's a good idea to shop around and visit a few sites to get price comparisons for your specific device.

  • Gazelle - Gazelle is perhaps one of the best known independent trade-in sites. Gazelle's prices are not always the best, but it does offer promotions at times when new devices come out, and it's streamlined with a free shipping label provided. Gazelle has trade-in ecoATMs at various locations where you can get cash back instantly.
  • SellYourMac - If you need to trade-in or sell a Mac, SellYourMac is a solid choice with good reviews and prices that are competitive and often higher than other trade-in sites. Despite the name, SellYourMac also takes in iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. MacRumors readers can get an extra $10 on any trade-in worth $25 or more when entering the promo code "macrumors."
  • Decluttr - Based on our pricing spot checks, Decluttr offers trade-in prices on Apple devices that are higher than most other trade-in sites. There are a few mixed reviews to be aware of, though, with reports that Decluttr sometimes drops price offers or takes several days to provide payment.
  • BuyBackWorld - BuyBackWorld is another site that offers higher than average trade-in prices. Most reviews are positive as with Decluttr, but there are some negatives such as complaints about checks taking a long time to arrive. The site's customer service is also said to be lacking.
  • MacRumors Trade-in - Lots of tech sites, MacRumors included, offer trade-in programs that will give you cash back for your devices. These services are usually comparable to buyback sites like Gazelle, but aren't typically the best deal you can get. MacRumors' program is through MyPhonesUnlimited and while it's convenient and quick because a box is sent right to you, you can do better if you want to put in more effort.
  • It's Worth More - It's Worth More is similar to Decluttr, offering higher than average prices than you'll get from big box trade-in programs. Reviews for It's Worth More seem to be largely positive, but as with all of these trade-in programs, there are some complaints of offers being lower than expected once the devices are inspected.

Beyond the list here, there are literally dozens if not hundreds of other sites that will buy your old devices, but most of them are fairly similar. We'll be adding to this list if we come across any standout trade-in services that are worth highlighting.

Selling a Device Outright

You're always going to get the best price for an older device selling it yourself either in person using a platform like Craigslist to arrange a meetup or through a service like Swappa or eBay.

ebayiphonesales
When using one of these sites to arrange a sell, your best bet is to search for similar devices to your own so you can see what the general price is, which will help you set your own price. You're generally going to want to price your device in the vicinity of the asking price of other devices so it will sell in a timely manner.

  • eBay - For smartphones and other electronics, eBay has an Instant Sale feature that estimates how much you can get on the site, which is handy. With Instant Sale, you can get an eBay voucher (rather than cash) right away from eBay. Not all devices are eligible for Instant Sale, so you may need to do a traditional listing and ship directly to a buyer. If you want cash, you can also do a standard listing.
  • Craigslist - Craigslist is designed to let you find buyers in your immediate area so you can cash for your devices quick. Setting up an in-person sale can be a hassle, and it will require meeting up with the potential buyer. Craigslist can let you sell your stuff without having to ship, and because it's a direct sale, you often get a lot more money than you do using a trade-in site.
  • Swappa - Swappa is basically like eBay, in that you can list your device for sale and sell it directly to a person to make more money than you'll get selling to a trade-in site. To sell on Swappa, your devices need to be fully functional, ready to activate (not locked or blacklisted) and without any cracks.

Sample Price Comparisons

Below, we priced out two devices. A newer ‌iPhone‌ and an older ‌iPad‌ to give you an idea of the differences you'll see on different trade-in sites. Remember, every device is going to vary in price from site to site, so it's best to shop around. Prices can even vary day to day, and we didn't always get the same price checking a few days after getting a price quote.

A 64GB ‌iPhone‌ X in silver color from Verizon in good or excellent condition, equating to no damage but some minor scratches from general use.

  • MacRumors - $390
  • Amazon - $357
  • Target - $330
  • Best Buy - $360
  • Verizon - $370
  • Gazelle - $352
  • It's Worth More - $516
  • BuyBackWorld - $480
  • Decluttr - $517
  • Apple - $349 ($450 w/ purchase)
  • Craigslist - ~$600
  • Swappa - ~$600
  • eBay - ~$550

A 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad mini 2 in good or excellent condition, equating to no damage but some minor scratches from general use.

  • MacRumors - $35
  • Amazon - $55
  • Target - $59
  • Best Buy - $70
  • Verizon - $45
  • Gazelle - $48
  • It's Worth More - $65
  • BuyBackWorld - $70
  • Decluttr - $63
  • Apple - $76
  • Craigslist - $75 - $100
  • Swappa - ~$100
  • eBay - ~$100

How to Get Your Device Ready to Sell or Trade-in

You're going to want to erase your ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or Mac before you trade it in to make sure your personal data is gone and safe, and you'll also need to disable Find My ‌iPhone‌ and remove it from your iCloud account to make sure it's no longer Activation Locked.

Bottom Line

If you're selling an Apple device to buy another Apple device, going with Apple's trade-in program is a good idea. Apple sends you a box to make it easy, provides decent prices that beat out many other trade-in sites, and gives you an Apple gift card to put towards another Apple purchase.

If you want cash and convenience, a site like Gazelle or Decluttr is worth checking out, but if you want the absolute most money, use eBay, Swappa, or Craigslist to sell a device directly to a person.

When you need to buy a new phone from a carrier, many carrier trade-in programs could be worth checking out just for the convenience, but no carrier or big box retailer is going to offer the best prices.

Guide Feedback

Know of a great trade-in option we left out or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Articles

iPhone Trade In Box

Apple to Increase Old iPhone Trade-In Values for iPhone 15 Customers

Saturday May 18, 2024 12:49 am PDT by
Apple for a limited time will increase the trade-in value for older iPhones when customers buy any iPhone 15 model in the U.S. and Canada. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that Apple will soon boost the credit paid for older iPhones when customers buy an iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max. The offer does not apply to other devices in Apple's smartphone lineup,...
iPhone Trade In Box

Apple Mistakenly Tells Customers Their iPhone Trade-Ins Are 'Canceled' [Updated]

Thursday April 25, 2024 5:59 am PDT by
Apple today sent an email to some iPhone Upgrade Program members to inform them that their previously-completed iPhone trade-in has been "canceled," but the email was almost certainly sent in error based on the circumstances. Apple told customers it never received their iPhone, even though they sent it in months ago. In many cases, the customers physically handed their iPhones to an Apple...
iPhone Trade In Box

Apple Changes Trade-In Values for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches

Wednesday March 6, 2024 7:42 am PST by
Apple today adjusted its estimated trade-in values for select iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch models in the U.S., with the changes reflected on its website. Apple slightly increased trade-in values for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, second-generation iPhone SE, Apple Watch Series 4, and first-generation Apple Watch SE, while trade-in values slightly decreased for the entry-level iPad, Apple Watch...
mac studio thumbnail

Apple Ups Mac Trade-In Prices Following M3 MacBook Air Launch

Monday March 4, 2024 10:24 am PST by
Apple today increased the trade-in values for some Macs, with the update coming alongside the launch of new 13-inch and 15-inch M3 MacBook Air models. Mac users who opt to trade in an old machine can get between $120 and $1315, with the values increased from the prior $115 to $1070 range. Most of the trade-in values have seen only minor increases or have stayed the same, but the Mac Studio...
iPad Pro and Apple Watch Feature

Apple Increases Trade-In Values for Select iPads and Apple Watches

Thursday November 9, 2023 5:35 am PST by
Apple on Wednesday increased its estimated trade-in values for select iPad and Apple Watch models in the U.S., according to the company's website. Apple increased trade-in values for the iPad Pro, iPad Air, entry-level iPad, Apple Watch Ultra, and Apple Watch Series 7, which could incentivize customers to upgrade these devices heading into the holiday shopping season. Trade-in values for...
iPhone Trade In Box

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and More

Friday June 30, 2023 6:50 am PDT by
Apple today adjusted its estimated trade-in values for select iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Android smartphone models in the United States, with some devices slightly increasing in value and others seeing decreases. Trade-in values increased by $10 or $20 for many newer devices, including the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max, and the latest iPad Pro, iPad mini, MacBook Pro, and MacBook...
mac studio pink

Apple Now Accepting Trade-Ins of Mac Studio, 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, and 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro

Monday June 5, 2023 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple is now allowing customers to trade-in a Mac Studio, 13-inch M2 MacBook Air, and 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro for credit towards new Apple product purchases. As part of Apple's trade-in program, customers can trade in a Mac Studio and receive up to $1,500 of credit towards purchasing a new product. Apple is also offering up to $450 for a 13-inch M2 MacBook Air and up to $775 for a 13-inch M2 ...
iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 8:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
apple silicon mac lineup wwdc 2022 feature purple

Apple Called Out for 'Brutal' Mac Trade-In Values Following Launch of New Models

Tuesday January 17, 2023 11:44 pm PST by
Apple is facing criticism online for offering poor Mac trade-in values following this week's launch of new MacBook Pro and Mac mini models. Yesterday, MKBHD researcher David Imel tweeted that Apple offers just $970 in trade-in credit for a Mac Pro configuration that it still sells for $52,199. The viral tweet caused an uproar among Twitter users towards Apple's trade-in program: "That's a...
iPhone trade in

Apple Slashes Trade-In Values for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and More

Thursday November 10, 2022 7:55 am PST by
Apple this week lowered its trade-in values for select iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch models in the United States, resulting in customers receiving less money for their existing devices heading into the holiday shopping season. Macs have some of the most significant trade-in value reductions, with the iMac Pro now fetching up to $600 versus up to $1,150 previously and the MacBook Pro now ...
iphone x vs 14 pro feature

Trading in Your iPhone for a New iPhone 14? Here's How Much It's Worth

Thursday September 8, 2022 9:43 am PDT by
Pre-orders for the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max open up tomorrow, and if you're one of the many customers upgrading from an older iPhone, you may be considering your options for trade-in. Apple has a popular trade-in program that gives customers a certain amount of credit off the purchase of a new iPhone based on which model they hand in and its condition....
iphone trade in store

Apple Cuts Trade-In Value of iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, and iPad Models

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:32 am PDT by
Apple has once again adjusted the maximum trade-in values of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac models, lowering the amount customers can receive when trading in their existing devices for one of the company's newer products. The old and updated iPhone trade-in values can be found below. iPhone 12 Pro Max: Up to $600, down from $650 iPhone 12 Pro: Up to $500, down from $550 iPhone...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
apple mac ipad watch trade in3

Apple Lowers Trade-In Values for Macs, iPads, and Apple Watches

Thursday May 5, 2022 8:54 am PDT by
Apple this week lowered its estimated trade-in values for select Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch models in the United States. Apple has reduced trade-in values for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac mini, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 3 through Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, and select Samsung and Google smartphones. Apple is also...
apple watch series 7

Apple Offering $25 Extra Credit During Apple Watch Trade-In in Celebration of Heart Month

Tuesday February 1, 2022 12:16 am PST by
In celebration of Heart Month, Apple is offering all customers who trade in an Apple Watch $25 extra in credit to encourage owners of older Apple Watch models to upgrade to one of the newer models. Heart Month is celebrated during February, and Apple this week shared some of the ways it's celebrating across its services. The $25 Apple Watch trade-in credit is valid until February 28 in...
iPhone trade in

Apple Lowers Value of Android Smartphones for iPhone Trade-In

Wednesday January 19, 2022 12:27 am PST by
Apple today reduced the estimated maximum dollar amounts that customers can receive when trading in several different Android smartphones for an iPhone. Apple also adjusted trade-in values for certain iPad and Mac models. On its website, Apple displays the highest possible amount a customer can get when trading in a specific device for an Apple product, such as an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple ...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Drops Device Trade-In Prices in the U.S.

Tuesday November 9, 2021 12:08 pm PST by
Apple today updated its iPhone trade-in site, dropping the maximum trade-in prices of almost all of its trade-in options. Trading in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, for example, will now net you $700, $90 less than it was worth yesterday. With Apple's trade-in program, customers can send in their old devices and receive an Apple gift card that can be put toward the purchase of a new device. Apple...
iPhone and LG V60 Swap Feature

Apple Attempts to Incentivize LG Smartphone Users to Switch to iPhone Following LG Handset Business Shutdown

Wednesday June 30, 2021 6:46 am PDT by
Apple is now keen on utilizing LG's recent shutdown of its smartphone business by adding several flagship LG smartphones to its list of eligible Android devices that can be traded for credit towards a new iPhone purchase. Apple today added some LG smartphones to its list of devices eligible for trade-in towards a new iPhone, including the LG G8 ThinQ for up to $70, the LG V40 ThinQ for up to ...
apple trade in devices collage

Apple's Trade-In Partner Phobio Has Reportedly Faced an 'Alarming Uptick' in Complaints

Wednesday April 14, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple has placed increased emphasis on device trade-ins in the last few years, with the company largely relying on third-party partners for its trade-in program, including Atlanta-based outfit Phobio in the United States. While many customers are satisfied with their trade-in experience, The Verge today reported that there has been an "alarming uptick" of online complaints about Phobio in...
iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Value of iPad Pro, iPhone 11, and Select Mac Models

Monday April 5, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Apple has adjusted the trade-in values of a number of its products, including the majority of the iPad and Mac lineup, while also making some changes to iPhone. Apple's trade-in program allows customers to trade-in older devices, and receive a certain amount of value for them, to use towards a purchase of a new device. The exact trade-in value a device has is measured by its condition, when ...