Update 10-5-12 I highly recommend Amazon.com for trading in your old iPhone. They gave me $175 for my iPhone 4…no hassle…I didn’t even include the charger or earphones.

Update 8-30-12: Soon the rumored iPhone 5 will be coming out…and now there are new options for selling your used iPhone. Apple will now buy back your old phone. Check out the service on their new Apple reuse and recycling web page where they’ll tell you how much it’s worth. In the future, I would tend to go directly with Apple as the most trustworthy option.

In addition Amazon.com has a trade-in option available now and they will provide you a gift card for their store in exchange for your older iPhone. According to this ZDNet article, Amazon.com seems to provide the best prices for used iPhones.

Original Article…

The recent release of the iPhone 4S prompted me to upgrade. I’m extremely happy with the purchase. The fact that Siri can take dictation notes hands free is worth the price by itself.

In the mean time I had several older phones that I wanted to sell. I decided to try several services that I’ve mentioned but not personally experienced before. Here is my final review, the results, and my recommendations after personally testing three different companies to sell my old iPhones:

(1) Hello Totem – Cellular Distribution Strategies LLC www.hellototem.com 888-224-7231

I used Hello Totem to sell an iPhone 3G 16 GB for $77.23. The entire process took 22 days (11/11/11 to 12/2/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. They are highly rated by other web sites.
In a second instance, I sold them my iPhone 4 32 GB for $222.76. The process took 26 days (10/27/11 to 11/16/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account.

Although they have free shipping of the device there is no tracking # on the US Postal Service First Class box they send which makes me a little nervous. Their prices were very good though it took a while to get the money.

(2) Gazelle.com – Second Rotation Inc. www.gazelle.com

I used Gazelle to sell an iPhone 3GS 32 GB for $131. The entire process took 23 days (10/31/11 to 11/22/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. If you’re doing holiday shopping at Amazon.com, you can choose to get an Amazon Gift Card as payment and they’ll add 5% to your total.

(3) CashForiPhones – LDR LLC www.cashforiphones.com

CashForiPhones is a family of web sites cashforlaptops.com, etc. I completely lost trust in them as they provided a bait and switch tactic by quoting a higher price on the front end and then lowering it once they had my phone. They also made the process difficult through poor customer service requiring me to resubmit my order online.
Their web site quoted a decent price for an iPhone 3G. I sent in the unit and they said they found a slight crack and scratch on it and would give me $15. My phone was in identical condition to the one I sent to Hello Totem and got $77.23. The entire process took 17 days (10/31/11 to 11/16/11) from getting the online quote to receiving the money in my PayPal account. Once they have your phone you have little recourse. I could ask them to send it back but then I’d have to pay for postage.

Update 1/1/13: I do NOT recommend Hello Totem for selling your old phone. Also stay away form CashForIPhones.com. I feel they ripped me off.  (Since writing this article I’ve had a few people with strong opinions recommend never using Hello Totem. Not sure if they are legit…just a caution.) Use Amazon.com or Apple directly…the easiest and most trustworthy options.

Tim Cimbura

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make your work more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in FileMaker application development (certified in versions 8-16) for Mac OS, Windows, iPad/iPhone as well as integration with the web using WordPress, PHP, and AppleScript. He knows Apple technology and Windows systems inside and out.