You are at the end of a two-year contract with your mobile carrier, realizing that you finished paying off a few hundred dollars for a device just when it’s time to start the whole cycle all over again.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little financial booster launching you into your new contract? If you answered that question with a clear and resounding “Yes,” you should consider selling the phone you now own after faithfully paying off monthly installments.
Whether you own a mobile device you just paid off or still have some other used cell phones from friends and family members on your shelf, here are the most convenient places to sell used cell phones fast.
eBay Instant Sale is not like the usual eBay auctions the online marketplace is known for. You could certainly opt to sell your device through an auction, but we promised listing solutions that are fast — and eBay auctions are everything but fast considering the amount of time that goes into posting, promoting, packaging, and mailing out your product.
With eBay Instant Sale, all you have to do is complete their quote form, indicate the condition your device is in, and submit. eBay will come back to you with an offer as well as a free shipping label for you to mail in the device you just sold.
According to the online retailer, “The Amazon Trade-In program allows customers to receive an Amazon.com gift card in exchange for thousands of eligible items including video games, Kindle E-readers, books, and more.”
This option might not provide you with instant cash, but it certainly is easy and fast. All you need to do is either mail in your device — Amazon provides a free shipping label — or drop off your used cell phone at one of Amazon’s processing centers. Once they received the product, it will only take a day or two for them to make you an offer.
As soon as you accept the trade-in offer, you will see the amount appear in your gift card balance.
Another online platform you can sell your used device on is Craigslist. The posting process is pretty simple and fast as it only requires you to provide a brief description, your price offer, and the location (city) in which you are selling. (Tip: Posting photos can help increase your chances of finding a buyer.)
While the posting process might be fast, the selling end of the spectrum can take a little bit more time because you will have to field a series of e-mail offers from potential buyers and most likely meet the buyer in person.
Similar to Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace allows you to post your product at your desired price point without any fees or strings attached (unlike eBay auctions, where trying to cancel an auction can involve an elaborate and time consuming process.)
The upside of Facebook in comparison to Craigslist is that you can opt between public and private postings. The public posting pretty much follows the exact same steps as Craigslist, including the fact that you might have to meet the buyer in person.
The private posting option allows you to share your listing with Facebook friends only, which can increase security — since you are not interacting with strangers — and in many cases keeps you from having to deal with overly aggressive negotiators.
If you live near a Best Buy, this might be another attractive option to sell your used cell phone fast. You can either get a price estimate using their online trade-in page and then mail in the device, or walk into a retail location and get an offer as well as complete the transaction there.
Like Amazon’s trade-in program, Best Buy offers gift cards in exchange for your used device. One thing to note is that not all Best Buy retail locations participate, so to avoid wasting time make sure to check their online trade-in page first and see if your location is listed.
The main thing to understand and consider is the difference between selling to a person (Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace) and selling to a company (eBay Instant Sales, Amazon Trade-In, Best Buy Trade-In).
Companies that are interested in buying your used cell phone are most likely going to sell it to a another party. In order to make money, they have to account for a profit margin, which is why they will offer you less than the actual value of your used device.
When you sell to a person, however, there is no middleman to account for and you can ask for 100% of your used cell phone’s value.
Before selling, make sure to not only clean the device externally, but also internally. This means erasing data and apps, clearing camera rolls, disconnecting email as well as bank accounts and the likes — anything that might compromise your personal information.
Once you are done cleaning your device, you are ready to make some money with peace of mind. Don’t forget, a simple phone certification can help you get the true value of your device. After that, you’re free to find your next smartphone!