Apple is set to announce the iPhone 5 on October 4, if the latest rumors are true, and will likely launch it within a month. But paying for an iPhone 5 can put a dent in your wallet. You can soften the blow by selling your iPhone 4 before the iPhone 5 is officially announced through services like Gazelle. In fact, you can offset the entire purchase price of a new iPhone by selling your old iPhone.
Gazelle, next value and similar services buy, clean, and resell used gadgets. The great thing about using the services is that they are relatively hassle-free compared to selling with services like eBay and Cragislist. You know exactly how much cash you will receive and you don’t have to deal with strangers and complaints.
There are many services that will buy tools from you, including famous retailers, but my primary service is Gazelle. They always seem to have good offers and they make the whole process a breeze. I sold them old camera equipment, iPhones and iPads.
The key to getting the best value from Gazelle and other services is to beat the crowd. Most people interested in upgrading from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 will wait for Apple to make an official announcement. After all, it’s good to know what features your new phone will have before throwing away your old one. But the problem with waiting is that everyone will try to sell their old iPhones at the same time, and the value of obsolete devices will come to a head.
To get started, go to. Search for “iPhone 4” in the search bar and select your device from the drop-down list. Make sure you choose the appropriate carrier and capacity.
Next, select the state of your iPhone. Gazelle will pay a premium for a perfectly used iPhone 4, but about 90% of iPhones fall into the good category. The current offer for an iPhone 4 running on AT&T with 32GB capacity is $241. The same iPhone in perfect condition will set you back $310. If the iPhone isn’t functional, you’ll only get $85 for it.
Another nice thing about Gazelle is that you can choose PayPal, check or Amazon gift card as payment method. You can earn extra 5% points by converting your used iPhone 4 to Amazon gift card. Once you’ve chosen your payment method, you’ll need to tell Gazelle where to send you the money.
By default, Gazelle will send you a box with a prepaid shipping label, meaning you don’t have to find your own arm. Once you get your box, simply put your old iPhone in it and drop it off at the post office.
But wait. Who wants to say goodbye to their iPhone before they have a shiny new iPhone 5? Nobody. That’s why you’ll want to keep the box and your iPhone 4 until you’ve secured your iPhone 5 and transferred everything to it. Gazelle’s offers are good for 30 days. This gives you a lot of room to move, allowing you to get today’s selling price without selling it until after the official iPhone 5 announcement.
Since selling my original iPad earlier this year and my iPhone last year, Gazelle seems to have reduced the number of steps taken to sell a device. Earlier, Gazelle asked if your Apple devices have original boxes and power adapters. The company doesn’t ask too many questions, instead categorizing everything as broken, good, and flawless.
Before you hurriedly sell your iPhone 4 ahead of the iPhone 5 announcement, be sure to contact AT&T or Verizon to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade for each iPhone in your account. Both my wife and I bought iPhone 4s on the same day, but only I am eligible for an upgrade, whereas it will have to wait until February 25, 2012. You’ll need to budget an extra $300.
If you’re hoping to get rich by selling all your old gadgets in a hurry, you’ll be disappointed. While Gazelle and its competitors always offer high prices on iPhones and iPads, offerings on other devices can be disappointing. For example, my MacBook Air, which is less than a year old, is only worth $542, despite being flawless and about $2,000 cheaper than a year ago.