How to trade in your used iPhone at Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint

How’s that iPhone in your pocket feeling? Old? Outdated? Just fine, but you want to trade it in anyway? September is usually the time when people start thinking about trading in their current iPhone and upgrading to a new device. Aside from financing or signing up through a carrier, the cheapest way to go about getting a good deal on a new iPhone is to trade in your old one.

Trading in your iPhone is faster, easier, and safer than reselling. To get the best valuation for your iPhone, you’ll want to follow these steps. Scratches, dents, and other imperfections may reduce what you get back, but, perfect or not, you’re practically guaranteed to get at least something for your trade.

Inspect your phone

Once you’ve cleaned up your iPhone, it’s never a bad idea to take pictures of it before sending it in. Take note of the imperfections that you’re aware of, and keep them handy in case you hear reports indicating further damage. Things can get damaged in the mail, and this could very well impact how much you earn for your trade, so it never hurts to keep a log of photos.

Erase your phone

Before you trade in your iPhone, you’ll want to return it to factory default settings. Go into your iCloud settings, ensure that the Backup setting is switched on and that everything that you want to keep is backed up. This will allow you to restore all of your current info to a new iPhone. Alternatively, you can store a backup locally by manually initiating the process in iTunes on a macOS or Windows computer.

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Once you’ve made a copy of your iPhone, turn off Find My iPhone, which is located within the iCloud settings. If you have an Apple Watch paired to the iPhone you want to trade in, unpair it within the Apple Watch app. As an added measure of protection, sign out of your Apple ID before wiping the phone. After this, wipe your iPhone by entering the “General” settings option, followed by “Reset,” then “Erase all content and settings.”

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Find the best offer

Apple has announced some nice incentives for those who want to trade in their old iPhones for new as well as several retailers and carriers.

With new iPhone 11 Pro phones now starting at $999, as much credit as you can get will help offset the cost. So if you’re thinking about upgrading, follow the guidelines above to help budget your new purchase this year.

Update September 12th, 2019, 4:15PM ET: This article was originally published on September 11th, 2018, and it has been updated to reflect the new Apple iPhones.



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