Like most of the Apple faithful I've been completely brainwashed into thinking I need the latest and greatest iOS device when it's released. I've been plotting a way to obtain the iPhone 5 since its release last fall--despite my contract with Verizon not being up for renewal until February.

Today I finally achieved my objective... and it only cost $69. Here's how I did it.

There are many businesses that offer to buy your old electronics and give you cash, but they all seemed rather shady to me. Enter: Gazelle.com. Gazelle specializes in buying older iOS Apple products, and makes the whole process easy and painless.

Simply find your device on Gazelle.com, select the carrier (where applicable--it's important to note that AT&T iPhones sell for more than Verizon ones), the storage capacity, and the condition of the device and Gazelle will make you an offer.

Gazelle offered me $120 for my Verizon 32GB iPhone 4. Granted, that's a little lower than the going rate on eBay or Craigslist, but this way I don't have to deal with the spooky people that come from those sites. With a $10 bonus Gazelle emailed me at Christmas, I was getting $130 for my old iPhone.

I upgraded my device on Verizon and purchased the Apple 16GB iPhone 5 for $199. After I applied the money from my Gazelle sale, my brand new iPhone 5 only cost $69. Nice!

The cool part about Gazelle is the customer service. I've read numerous reports of Gazelle actually giving sellers more money for their devices because the quality was better than expected. Sellers have reported getting an additional $5 to $10 from Gazelle. They print all the shipping labels, and even send you the box. They take care of everything. It's definitely the way to go.

Gazelle.com