Have an old cell phone? Here's how you can sell it

Have an old cell phone? Here's how you can sell it »Play Video
A screen shot from the electronics buying website Gazelle.com

If you’re playing with a new smart phone you got for Christmas, that means you probably also have an old phone sitting around that is now just collecting dust.

But that old phone isn’t just an overpriced paperweight; you might actually be able to sell it for cash.

There is a hot market for many used phones right now. People who want to buy cheaper used phones, folks traveling overseas who need an unlocked phone and others are eager to snap them up.

We stopped by to talk with Nick Robitsch at CompRite in Beaverton about the used phone market.

“Here’s the thing, when you’re trying to sell a used phone, there’s a lot to take into consideration,” Robitsch said.

Here are the steps we recommend:

  • Check Craigslist to see prices for similar phones
  • Check the price list on pacebutler.com
  • Check phone-buying sites like Gazelle.com. There are others, as well.
  • Check trade-in sites like Amazon
  • Check with local used electronics stores. For our story, we visited CompRite
  • Check for complaints about sites and/or businesses with the Better Business Bureau
  • Beware of very high offers in Craigslist ads

    To compare prices, we went through the process of selling an eight gigabyte iPhone 4. Pacebutler.com (think of it as the Kelley Blue Book for phones) said that iPhone is worth $70.

    “Most of the cell phone buyers in this area will go off this list,” Robitsch explained. “Anyone reputable will.”

    The electronics buying site Gazelle offered $95, while Amazon offered a $150 credit for the used phone.

    “Even with the flip phone there is still a market for it because not everybody wants the latest and greatest smart phone,” Robitsch said.

    You might also need to determine what kind of shape your phone is in. Many electronic stores will give your phone an once-over to determine the quality.

    They will look for things like water damage on the battery. Still, even broken phones can be worth something if it is fixable.