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How to get the most money for your old smartphone

So, the latest and greatest smartphone is just on the horizon and you want it, you want it badly. Trouble is your only half way through you current phone contract and there is going to be a cost implication involved. And probably a large cost implication.

You have two choices: You either buy out of your contact early, or you buy your new device SIM-free and use it with your current contract or a pay as you go SIM. Depending on how long you have left on your contract will determine which option you go for.

Now I am a sucker for new tech, I really am. When I want something I just have to have it and ill do anything possible to get my hands on the latest smartphone. Yes it usual costs but if your clever about it you can minimise this cost a great deal. The trick is to use your current smartphone as equity towards your new one.

I have compiled this short guide to help you in getting the most money for your current smartphone, and as such avoid having to pay out too much towards your new one.

Apologies if your not from the UK. Although this article is based on UK prices etc, the concepts should still be relevant no matter where you live.

1. Think phone value.

You need to be smart right from the beginning and consider the future value of your phone. If like me you change your device IMG_0769more often than you change your pants (not literally of course) then this is important. If you sign a new phone contract today, think about how much your new device might be worth in a year. If you don’t know much about smartphones then do your research. Have a look at SIM free prices and consider the actual value of the phone. Remember some branded phones will depreciate in value quicker than others. For example Apple and Samsung branded devices hold their value very well.

2. Be careful if signing up to a contract.

Do not sign up to an expensive phone contract if all you are getting is a entry/mid level phone. Chances are it will only be worth a few hundred quid and if you want sell it in a years time it will have little worth. Also, think about how much you are paying a month and remember that if you do decide to buy out early you will need to pay your monthly fee times by the amount of months you have left. This can be expense so sometimes its a good idea to get a bit of equity in the device from the start.

3. Look after your phone.

This may sound obvious but look after you phone. Insure it, put a case on it and for the love of god don’t keep it in the same pocket that you keep you keys in! The future value of your phone depends massively on its condition. People looking for second hand phones on Ebay will be much more attracted to ones advertised as being ‘immaculate’ as opposed to devices listed as having ‘some light scratches’. Its not difficult to look after you device. Treat it like your own child and it will reward you later in life. Furthermore, make sure you keep the box, instructions and all accessories. This will effect the future price.

3. Know where to sell your device.

Chances are your network provider or local phone shop will give you bugger all for your old phone. To get the best price shop around. There are many different avenues for selling your smartphone. Lets explore these:

4. Ebay

Ebay is a very good means of selling your device. It takes a lot of stress out of the process and sorts most things for you. There is also some comeback if it all goes a bit Pete Tong (That means wrong my American friends). You will have to make sure you Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 20.21.57listing stands out so make sure you use loads of pictures showing off the condition of the device and pay attention to your excerpt. If your device is immaculate then make sure you get this in. Also don’t list it too high or you won’t get any attention. Think about your delivery costs too as anything too high will put people off. One downside of Ebay is the charges. Make sure you know how much you are going to be charged.

Just over a week after the iPhone 6 came out, the iPhone 5S 16GB is selling for around £260 on Ebay in the UK. After you take into consideration the 10% seller fees you are going to get less that £234. You need to decide wether you can get more money via other avenues.

5. Recycle websites.

Recycle websites are great at giving you quick access to selling your phone and you should definitely consider checking them out. The easiest option however is to just log on to a comparison website such as Sellmymobile.com and they will give you the best price. You are still worth checking individual websites yourself as some may be excluded for the comparison website searches. Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 17.49.35

Again, a week after the iPhone 6 came, the best price I could find for the iPhone 5S 16GB was £255. This isn’t bad when you consider this is the actual price you will get and all you have to do is post the phone to them.

6. High Street stores.

You should never discount high street stores as they will often give a good price for your old gadgets. You should definitely pop into your local town/city and explore the local trade in shops. Popular trade in stores in the UK include CEX and Game.

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 18.22.06Again for the 16GB iPhone 5s CEX would give me £258 and Game £260. Clearly this would be the preferable option based on the fact that that there are no hidden costs. These prices do however rely on the device being in perfect condition.

What is good news is that there are plenty of options for selling you smartphone when you decide that its time to get a new one. All you need to decide on is wether you want to sign up to a new contract, or wether you you can afford to buy a device SIM-free. Personally I opt for both options and try to purchase my devices outright whenever possible.

You will certainly save money in the long run if you buy your device outright but of course this often results in a much larger up front cost.  Remember, where there’s a will there’s a way. Think smart and think ahead. There is always a way of getting that shiny new smartphone!