Where’s the best place to sell your used iPhone? – The Results are In

Update 10-5-12 I highly recommend Amazon.com for trading in your old iPhone. They gave me $175 for my iPhone 4…no hassle…I didn’t even include the charger or earphones.

Update 8-30-12: Soon the rumored iPhone 5 will be coming out…and now there are new options for selling your used iPhone. Apple will now buy back your old phone. Check out the service on their new Apple reuse and recycling web page where they’ll tell you how much it’s worth. In the future, I would tend to go directly with Apple as the most trustworthy option.

In addition Amazon.com has a trade-in option available now and they will provide you a gift card for their store in exchange for your older iPhone. According to this ZDNet article, Amazon.com seems to provide the best prices for used iPhones.

Original Article…

The recent release of the iPhone 4S prompted me to upgrade. I’m extremely happy with the purchase. The fact that Siri can take dictation notes hands free is worth the price by itself.

In the mean time I had several older phones that I wanted to sell. I decided to try several services that I’ve mentioned but not personally experienced before. Here is my final review, the results, and my recommendations after personally testing three different companies to sell my old iPhones:

(1) Hello Totem – Cellular Distribution Strategies LLC www.hellototem.com 888-224-7231

I used Hello Totem to sell an iPhone 3G 16 GB for $77.23. The entire process took 22 days (11/11/11 to 12/2/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. They are highly rated by other web sites.
In a second instance, I sold them my iPhone 4 32 GB for $222.76. The process took 26 days (10/27/11 to 11/16/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account.

Although they have free shipping of the device there is no tracking # on the US Postal Service First Class box they send which makes me a little nervous. Their prices were very good though it took a while to get the money.

(2) Gazelle.com – Second Rotation Inc. www.gazelle.com

I used Gazelle to sell an iPhone 3GS 32 GB for $131. The entire process took 23 days (10/31/11 to 11/22/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. If you’re doing holiday shopping at Amazon.com, you can choose to get an Amazon Gift Card as payment and they’ll add 5% to your total.

(3) CashForiPhones – LDR LLC www.cashforiphones.com

CashForiPhones is a family of web sites cashforlaptops.com, etc. I completely lost trust in them as they provided a bait and switch tactic by quoting a higher price on the front end and then lowering it once they had my phone. They also made the process difficult through poor customer service requiring me to resubmit my order online.
Their web site quoted a decent price for an iPhone 3G. I sent in the unit and they said they found a slight crack and scratch on it and would give me $15. My phone was in identical condition to the one I sent to Hello Totem and got $77.23. The entire process took 17 days (10/31/11 to 11/16/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. Once they have your phone you have little recourse. I could ask them to send it back but then I’d have to pay for postage.

Update 1/1/13: I do NOT recommend Hello Totem for selling your old phone. Also stay away form CashForIPhones.com. I feel they ripped me off.  (Since writing this article I’ve had a few people with strong opinions recommend never using Hello Totem. Not sure if they are legit…just a caution.) Use Amazon.com or Apple directly…the easiest and most trustworthy options.


Tim Cimbura – CEO and System Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make your business more efficient, productive, and profitable. He specializes in FileMaker application development (certified in versions 8-14) for Mac OS, Windows, iPad/iPhone as well as integration with the web using WordPress, PHP, and AppleScript. He knows Apple technology and Windows systems inside and out.


  1. John hyde says:

    Radio Shack gave me $125 for my 3GS at the time I got my 4s. No waiting. Got it the day after launch.

  2. I just sent in my undoubtedly working phone into HelloTotem. They said it did not work and offered me a lower price.
    Don’t use HelloTotem. Either their technicians are incompetent or they are frauds.

  3. We own a buyback company swell, where you can trade in your iPhones or other gadgets.

    We understand the issue of peoples gadgets getting “re-quoted”, and when we first started CashitGadget nearly 2 years ago, it was out most important concern to address, and this is what we at CashitGadget decided to do!

    We have a system, where if you feel that something was wrong with the quote, all you have to do, is press a button, and get it sent back.

    We won’t charge to have it sent back like other companies either, instead, its free of charge for using CashitGadget

    You can also check out Facebook page, and read comments from other people. Every-time we do a business transaction, we ask that the person leave us feedback concerning our service so that we can improve later, and there actually has been several times where we re-quoted for a iPhone, in this case, like i mentioned, we would offer to return the item if necessary.

    It also is interesting to note that only 10-20% of the items that come to CashitGadget must be requited, and so far to date, we have never lowered the price bellow $20, of the original quote.

    Were happy to do business with you, if you want to check out, and we will make sure that you are happy enough when leaving CashitGadget, that you will tell your friends and come again.

    Thanks for reading.


  4. I wish we were around when you did this article. We started http://www.gadgetgobbler.com a few months ago and have seen tremendous growth already. We understand that in this business some people do try to rate their phone as in better condition than it actually is. That is why at http://www.gadgetgobbler.com if they do not agree with the re-quote they can have their phones sent back for free. First and foremost customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of our business.

  5. Apple Shark gave me way more for my iPhone and it only took 2 days to revive a check. Paypal takes even shorter. After check out you print the label your self so you dont have to wait for a box. They buy any apple product to. I highly recommend them to anyone. There site is http://AppleShark.com

    Let me know what you guys think about them.

  6. JimTdog says:

    I used CashitGadget, and they are good, gave me a good price, and no reductions. Check took about 5 days, if it could have been sooner that would have been nice, however overall it was good. Don’t know anything about Hello Totem.


  7. Hello Totem is a scam. They show receipt of phone delivery and do not pay. Emails go unanswered. Thank goodness I tried them with a BlackBerry that was given to me. It has been a few months and they still haven’t replied to my emails or paid. I just used eBay InstantSale and got $260 for an iPhone 4S (16g). I have one pending with Amazon trade-in (I wanted to compare). I am getting $175 for an iPhone 4. (16). Avoid Hello Totem!

    • Hello Totem has not paid me either, and they show receipt of receiving my iPhone 11/30. I’ve been told that the in-charge department is working on my order. But still no real answer on when I’ll receive my payment. I really wish I had gone else where.

  8. Thought i’d mention my company here also. Here at http://DeviceFlip.com, we not only offer the best prices but we offer the best level of service. If you send an iPhone to us and for some reason the price must be decreased, here at DeviceFlip, we actually given you the option to have it returned to you for free. We loose the shipping money, but at least you are happy in the end! This is just an example of how we treat all our customers respectfully and kindly at every stage, making us different from many other competitors!

  9. If you checkout eSelliPhone, they also give a copmpetitive price compared with the others, at least its worth a try to at least compare. iPhone 4S 16gb = 279, and iPhone 4S 16gb on other websites = $240 ish. Ebay you can get much more, but not through instant sale, http://eSelliPhone.com, is best though for best price, and seems legit also.

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