According to multiple sources in the tech industry, Apple will announce the new iPhone at an event on September 12th. The highly desired device will then go on sale Friday, September 21st. Tech journalists have been salivating over the possibility that this may be the first iPhone ever with a bigger screen, and the leaked images and parts seem to confirm that.

I want one... but I don't have a spare $300 sitting around. So what are we going to do? Sell our iPhones to buy new iPhones!

The Basics

If Apple releases the iPhone 5 similarly to how they've released all of the other iPhones, it will be available in three sizes and prices: 16gb for $199*, 32gb for $299*, and 64gb for $399* (*with new two year agreement).

From my experience, and all of the cloud services available, you really don't need anything bigger than 32gb. That's plenty of room for apps, music, and videos. I'm shooting for the 32gb iPhone 5 for $299.

So I need to come up with $300. Here's the fastest way to do it: sell your old iPhone.

Selling Your Current iPhone

iPhones hold their value pretty well. As long as it works, and you've taken pretty good care of it (a few scratches and nicks are okay), you can sell it for a decent price. There are a couple of things to consider though:

  • Carrier - AT&T iPhones are worth more than Verizon iPhones because of the SIM slot. AT&T iPhones can be jailbroken to work with any carrier that utilizes SIM Cards.
  • Condition- If your iPhone has a lot of scratches on the glass, front or back, it will drastically reduce the resale value. While the glass can be replaced, that's an additional cost the buyer may not want to incur. You can however replace the iPhone's glass on your own before selling it.
  • Supply - Apple has sold a LOT of iPhones. The long you wait to sell it, the more the demand declines. If you're rocking an iPhone 4, the time to sell is right now.

Okay, we're good there. But where do we sell it?


Gazelle is a company that specializes in buying older technology like phones, and tablet computers, and putting them in the hands of people who can use them. Gazelle will give you a free offer on your iPhone, send you all of the shipping materials to send it in. And right now they're offering to lock in their offer until after the new iPhone 5 goes on sale.

Gazelle offered me $180 for my Verizon iPhone 4, leaving my difference at $119 for a new iPhone 5. That's a pretty sweet deal.


Okay, maybe Gazelle's sub-$200 offer seems a little low. You can try Craigslist. It's kind of like a seedier neighborhood, but used iPhones seem to be averaging $360 there. Unlike Gazelle's guaranteed sale, you may or may not sell your iPhone on Craigslist.

But if you sell your iPhone for $350 on Craigslist, you'll not only be able to get the iPhone 5, but you'll come out ahead $51.


eBay scares me. It used to be a cool place to find rare and interesting stuff, but now it's scammer's world headquarters. But the iPhone 4 sells for an average of $386 on eBay.

But as with Craigslist, you may or may not be able to find a buyer for your iPhone. As of the time this article was written, there were 1,175 iPhone 4's for sale on eBay.


It seems like it's very possible to sell your current iPhone and make enough to nearly or totally pay for your new iPhone 5. Whatever route you take, the trick is to decide now. When the iPhone 5 is released, no one will want a 4/4S anymore.

Gizmodo has a few more options to consider as well. Good luck and good hunting!

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