Take My Mobile Phone, Please!

Recently, I inherited a new-to-me iPhone 6. It’s lovely, I’m grateful but I didn’t really need a new phone. My venerable iPhone 5c suited me just fine. And now I need to figure out what to do with it.


My unlocked, 32gb, bright green iPhone 5c is in excellent condition with no damage, scratches, or problems. With its specs handy, I set out to discover my options for what to do with it.


Both Apple and Amazon have trade-in programs, where instead of paying out in cash, payment is made via gift cards.

Apple. I input all of my data at apple.com and discovered I can trade-in this phone in exchange instant credit in store, or a Apple Gift Card if I decide to mail it in for free, and then wait for the gift card to arrive.

Amazon. Amazon has an online trade-in program for all brands of cell phones and electronic devices. After inputting the details of my iPhone, I received an offer of a $50.05 Amazon Gift Card for my phone.


There are multiple sites and companies vying to buy up cellphones. Each one has a slightly different program but basically, they all work the same. You go to the company’s website, input what you have to sell, they make an offer to pay cash for the item, pending their inspection to make sure it matches the specs and condition you stated.

Gazelle. The folks at gazelle.com, have an aggressive program for buying not only cell phones, but other electronics, too. They have offered me $45 for my phone. While on the low side, reviews for Gazelle’s service at ResellerRatings.com are excellent.

Decluttr. This online company also buys and sells used cell phones, electronics, DVDs, CDs, and books. Decluttr has offered me $51 for my phone. Better, but I need to keep in mind that Decluttr’s reviews are somewhat lower than Gazelle’s.

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At least one online site acts as a consignment shop, offering to find buyers for sallers and handle the sales of games, iPads, iPhones and more.

Glyde. As a seller, I would list my phone for sale at glyde.com. Once they find a buyer, Glyde would send me a shipping kit that contains a pre-addressed postage-paid envelope in which to send it to them. Glyde collects the money from the buyer, takes a cut of the final sales price as a commission and forwards the balance to me. Glyde estimates that my iPhone 5c will sell for $86, of which my portion would be $70.10.


It seems to me that I should be able to make the most money selling my iPhone if I can deal directly with the end user—not a reseller or a consignment shop. But there are other things to be considered.

eBay. While there are tons of iPhones available for sale on eBay—I can also view completed transactions for many iPhone 5c phones—I am surprised these phones don’t fetch more on eBay. While it’s impossible to say what mine would sell for here, it’s easy to see the range of what I could expect. My best estimate is that I might be able to net $40 to $50, after accounting for listing fees and Paypal fees.

Craigslist. While not technically an auction, posting my iPhone on this kind of online community classified ads service would expose the phone to a wide range of potential buyers. However, I would have to field the calls and make appointments. And haggle.


There are a number of charitable organizations that accept donations of cell phones. Two charitable organizations that have captured my attention are anxious for me to send them my iPhone in exchange for a tax receipt, which would allow me to deduct its fair market value when I itemize my federal tax return.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) will accept cell phones and other electronic items, which are refurbished, restored or recycled to raise money to support programming that helps stop violence in the home.

Cell Phones for Soldiers. This organization is dedicated to providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to active-duty military members and veterans. Since 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has recycled more than 15 million cell phones, reducing the impact on landfills.


While the phone has no data plan and cannot be used to make or receive calls or text messaging, it is still a functioning device. It connects to wi-fi, which means my young grandsons can play games and watch videos on it.

A plastic container


Having considered my options, I’ve decided to take the easiest way out. I am going to sell the phone to the company that has given me the best cash offer—Decluttr.

I have done business with Decluttr in the past and found them to be fair, easy to work with and reliable. I followed the simple instructions to send in the books they agreed to buy and received a check in the mail in record time. Now I look forward to an equally pleasant experience selling this phone.

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10 replies
  1. Ran Runr says:

    Use the phone for security camera. Several sites/apps available: Manything, Prescence and more. Great for watching what’s going on around the house when you are gone.

    Also use the extra phone for dedicated camera (time-lapse shots, put on tripod with remote for group shots) when on trips.

  2. Mary Lynn Carlson says:

    I turned my old iPhone into an iPod, deleting most of the apps I had on it. I made several playlists on my Apple desktop and then loaded them on my old iPhone. It’s all handpicked favorite music from many different artists and I love to pick a playlist in the car and hit “shuffle”. I never tire of listening to my fav. music this way while traveling! I can also take it with me when I walk and use my earbuds.

  3. Mrsranchmommy says:

    We have an iPhone 4 that we hook up to speakers so we can play music,
    Or audio books, it has so many ‘qwerks’ that’s about all it’s good for. Our iPhone 5 has become the kids phone, for the toothbrush timer, simple web searches (with all the kid safe options on) etc.
    The 5 can send and receive iMessages, so it means there is always a contact point at home without needing another line.

  4. Katherine says:

    Hi Mary! This blog came at just the right time! I have several phones I’ve been wanting to sell, but I have held on to them because I’m. It sure how to make sure all my data is completely wiped from them. Do you have any good tips for this?

  5. Maureen Piskura says:

    I am tempted to say…sell it to me. 🙂 I have a very old Apple 4S that still functions with only 8 gig. It would be nice to upgrade… but just haven’t spent the money to replace it since it wasn’t necessary. Thank you for the insightful post.

  6. Pat says:

    I so agree. I only upgrade when I have to. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it but then again my mother was raised in the war in Germany. She remembers when Stuttgart was being bombed and told her mother that there were fireworks in Stuttgart when she was 3. She taught me that the glass was half empty not half full.

  7. Birgit Nicolaisen says:

    On the rare occasions I actually get a new phone, I keep my old one “just in case” something happens to my new one. I don’t take insurance out on the new phone. I will go back to using my old phone if something happens.


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