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July 29, 2022

How to Check iPhone Trade In Value

When it’s time to let go of your current iPhone and upgrade to a better model, you’ll need to decide what to do with your current cell phone. Some opt to keep it as a backup, others sell it, and some decide to trade it in. In fact, some Apple aficionados can’t help but trade in their current iPhone every time a new model comes out. Whether you count yourself as someone who always needs the latest Apple product or just feel like it’s time for an update, you can easily find out the trade in value of your iPhone to help you decide what to do with your mobile phone.

What is Trade In Value?

Trade in value is different from resale value. Companies who sell iPhones, be it Apple or a wireless carrier, often allow you to trade in your iPhone to allow the value to go toward a new device. The process is similar to trading in a car as you purchase another one. If you’re trading in your phone online, the company typically gives you an estimate and then provides a shipping label or prepaid box so you can send them the phone. Once the company receives the phone and sees the condition, they will give you a final value. If you trade in your iPhone in person, the process is much quicker.

If you decide to resell your iPhone, you can determine the resale value by checking out our blog How to Calculate the Resale Value of Your iPhone.

What Affects Trade In Value?

There are many factors companies use to determine the trade in value of a used iPhone. The age and model of your iPhone are key determinants of its value. The newer the phone and the newer the model, the more you’ll receive for your trade in. Another important factor is demand for older iPhone models. If more people want to purchase older iPhones, then the price goes up due to demand. Other factors include the authenticity of the parts in your iPhone, the cosmetic condition, and the storage size.

How Do I Trade In My iPhone to Apple?

Since you’re trading in an iPhone, one of the easiest places to trade in your cell phone is through Apple. Note that while most people trade in their old iPhones to go toward a new device, it is possible to trade in a device for a gift card to be used at a later time. 

To trade in your iPhone through Apple, you must have an iPhone model that falls between a 6s through a 12 Pro Max. Apple does not currently accept trade-ins of iPhone 13s. 

If you prefer to trade in your iPhone online, visit the Apple Trade In Page. Follow the prompts on the page and answer a few questions about the iPhone you’re trading in. You’ll receive an estimate. If you agree to the online estimate, Apple will help you send in the iPhone so they can inspect it. If all goes well, you’ll receive a credit toward your purchase method and Apple will send any remaining balance on an e-gift card. 

If your iPhone’s condition doesn’t match what was described, you’ll receive a new estimated trade in value. You can either accept it or reject it. If you reject it, your iPhone will be returned to you for free.

Trading in your iPhone at an Apple Store is just as easy and even quicker than trading it in online. You’ll just take the device in, answer a few questions, have it inspected on site, and receive an instant credit.

iPhone Trade In Value

How Do I Check the Trade In Value of My iPhone Through Apple?

Just visit the Apple Trade In Page and follow the prompts. After answering a few easy questions, you’ll receive a trade in value. 

How Do I Trade In My iPhone to My Wireless Carrier?

Many wireless carriers offer trade in value for iPhones. To learn about some of the carrier deals, visit Apple’s iPhone Carrier Deals page. Trade-ins through wireless carriers tend to be more specific, but you may be able to find a great deal!

Are Trade In Values Worth It?

Only you can decide if you’d rather trade in your used iPhone or sell it. While the value may not be as great as a resale, you’ll save yourself time and hassle. 

Is There an Apple Trade In Calculator?

Apple can provide iPhone owners with an estimate related to the value of their current iPhone. Owners need to submit details about the phone to receive an estimate. If they are happy with the offer, they can trade in their phone at an Apple Store or ship it to Apple.

What is an Apple Trade In Value?

There are many different generations and iterations of the iPhone. Each phone can have a different valuation when used as a trade in. While Apple offers a general valuation on its site related to the trade-in estimates of certain phone models, two iPhones that are the exact same model might not be worth the same amount. The reason can be related to condition and other factors. iPhone owners can request a trade-in value to receive an estimate from Apple; just visit Apple’s trade in page to begin the process.

Why Do Apple Trade In Values Vary?

Not all iPhones carry the same value. Again, Apple offers an estimate related to how much an iPhone model could be worth, but each phone could have a different value based on how well it was maintained and other factors, too. Owners can use the estimates provided by Apple as a guide, but they need to submit more info about their phone to get a meaningful valuation for their device.

iPhone Trade In Value

Can Owners Trade In iPhones at a Store?

iPhone owners can trade-in their iPhone at an Apple Store location or a store associated with their cell service carrier. Other stores like Best Buy also could accept iPhone trade-ins. Again, trade-in values can vary. However, even a $60 trade-in can help offset the price of a new iPhone.

Why Won’t Anyone Accept My iPhone Trade In?

Every year, Apple typically releases a new and improved iPhone. This means that earlier versions become less valuable and desirable (especially to those who prefer the newest model). As new models are released, older models can further decrease in value. Some models fall out of favor and become too outdated for the resale market. In addition, some iPhones could be too damaged to be accepted as a trade-in.

If an iPhone wasn’t accepted by Apple or the individual’s cell phone carrier as a trade-in, the phone can still be recycled by either Apple or the carrier. While recycling won’t result in a credit, recycling is a more sustainable way to dispose of the phone and maybe even give it another life.

Can Apple iPhone Trade In Values Be Determined by the Owner?

iPhone users might feel that their current phone is valuable. After all, that phone might have cost hundreds of dollars when it was purchased. Unfortunately, technology doesn’t gain value; as new iPhone models are released, older models become less desirable and decrease in value.

Owners cannot determine the trade in value of their phone. In order to receive an estimate, they need to contact Apple or visit a store associated with their carrier for a valuation of their phone. However, an iPhone could be resold via a site like Swappa. Before selling an iPhone, though, research the proper procedure for removing data and personal information.

While selling a phone via the secondhand market could help owners maximize the amount of money they receive for their phone, they won’t be able to resell the phone for the original purchase price. Again, older phones decrease in value.

Applying an iPhone Trade In Value to Another Purchase

An iPhone trade-in doesn't have to be used towards the purchase of another new iPhone model. Some owners might trade in an older phone because they have no use for it. A trade in credit can be applied to a gift card that can be used for another Apple product. Allocate that trade in towards a new pair of AirPods, a case for an iPad, etc.

iPhone Trade In Value

Why are iPhone Trade In Values So Variable?

According to Apple, the estimated trade in value for an iPhone 12 is $200, but an iPhone 12 Max is valued at $420. Why are the prices so variable? While Apple releases new iPhone models each year, they also offer different options for these models. The iPhone 12 should be considered the ‘base trim’ for that iPhone model, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a higher end premium upgrade. Thus, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is worth more via a trade in.

Where Can I Trade In My iPhone?

While iPhone owners can trade in their phone through Apple or at an Apple Store location, they also could opt to trade in their phone via their cell phone carrier. In addition, stores like Best Buy offer trade-ins.

How to Check iPhone Trade-In Value

The best way for iPhone owners to check the trade in value of their phone is to work through Apple (online or in-store), their cell phone carrier or even a store like Best Buy. The phone will be assessed and the owner will receive a trade-in estimate for their phone. Some owners might decide to get an estimate from multiple sources.

What Other Products are Eligible for an Apple Trade In?

iPhones aren’t the only products accepted by Apple or other stores to use as a trade in. In fact, Apple lets owners trade in their tablet (iPad), Apple Watch and computers, too. Again, owners can receive a trade in estimate from Apple in-store or online. Best Buy also could accept trade-ins for other Apple products.

Is an iPhone Trade In Calculator Available Online?

Unfortunately, the condition of devices can vary from owner to owner and this means that an online valuation tool might be inaccurate. While there isn’t an iPhone trade in calculators online, Apple provides estimates related to the value of certain iPhone models. However, owners need to reach out to Apple about their device to receive an accurate valuation for their trade in.

Is an Apple Trade-In Estimate the Guaranteed Trade-In Offer?

Apple includes a value estimate for certain iPhone models on its trade in page online. These estimates are not guaranteed trade-in values. Owners need to submit info related to their specific iPhone to receive an estimate for their device.

How Accurate is an Apple Trade In Value Check?

When iPhone owners contact Apple in-store or online to receive a trade in value, the offer should be accurate. In addition, any in-store offer from the individual’s cell phone carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) also will be accurate.

Again, owners might check multiple sources related to the trade in value for their phone. Many owners like to trade-in their phone via their carrier as it’s an easy exchange and often enables them to upgrade to a new phone model.

Some Really Old iPhones Might Hold More Value

While older iPhone models tend to decrease in value as new models debut, there are exceptions to this tech rule. The first Apple iPhone (in its box) could be quite valuable to owners. The first product of a device can hold value to collectors; obviously, this product won’t be used as a phone for everyday use. Instead, it’s more of an archival or collectible acquisition.

CBS News reported in February that one first-edition iPhone (in the box) sold for more than $60K. If an owner has one of those early Apple products, they might want to hold onto it or perhaps consider selling it!

Unfortunately, first-edition iPads don’t seem to be quite as collectible. The Apple discussions board revealed that these early tablets sell for less than $200. However, the newest response on the thread was from 2018. These early iterations of Apple’s popular tablet could be priced higher now, but owners also might want to hold onto any first-generation tech from Apple regardless.

Some Phones Can’t Be Used as a Trade In

An iPhone owner might want to trade in a newer iPhone only to come away without a trade-in offer. How is this possible? Some individuals might find an iPhone and think they can trade it into Apple for a credit. If a phone is on a blacklist (Apple and carriers check the IMEI), these phones can’t be used or connected to cell phone service.

Blacklisted phones also could be in arrears with the cell phone carrier. This means that the individual owed the carrier money for service.

A carrier or company (like Apple) that finds that the IMEI number on the phone is on a blacklist isn’t going to accept the phone for a trade-in or offer money for it. The owner should uncover why the phone is blacklisted. If they purchased it secondhand, they need to reach out to the seller.

What to Do With an Old Phone That Can’t Be Used as a Trade-In

Again, an older iPhone model might not be accepted by Apple as a trade-in. However, the owner could choose to let Apple recycle the phone. Some families keep an older smartphone to give to a child as their first phone. Parents might feel that an older phone is a good ‘starter’ phone for a tween.

Some iPhone owners keep an older model until it cannot be used any longer. The choice to trade-in a phone really depends on the individual. Smartphones are an expensive purchase, and not all consumers want or need the newest iteration. However, when an iPhone owner is ready to trade in their phone, there are numerous resources available to find the best price.

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