The Best Site to Sell Your Old iPhone or Other Gadgets

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With a new iPhone coming out -- and my early adopter syndrome flaring up -- I compared sites that will buy your old gadgets, without the hassle of selling on eBay, to see who consistently offers the most money.

I’ve got a disease: early adopter syndrome. And while my EAS typically flares up no more than once or twice a year, I’ve had to learn to live with the constant desire to upgrade my only-slightly-used electronics. Today’s new iPhone sparked my latest outbreak.

But how to upgrade from my suddenly outdated iPhone without robbing a liquor store?

One trick I’ve picked up is to sell old stuff to subsidize buying new stuff. I even figured out how to make almost $300 in profit switching iPhones from AT&T to Verizon when the Verizon iPhone 4 was originally announced.

But listing items on eBay and shipping to buyers who may or may not exist can be troublesome, and it often involves hassles that keep ordinary people away – and unused gadgets in the closet. Plus, eBay is an auction. You never know how much money you’ll get for an item until you put it on the block.

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to sell your stuff online.

You can visit one of the myriad of newish sites that let you click a few boxes to describe something you want to get rid of, then provide an instant quote of how much they’ll pay you. But with several sites to choose from, which pays the best?

To find out, I’m going to see how much these sites will offer for my old iPhone 4, as well as some of the other stuff I’ve got laying around, then compare the results to see who pays the most money.

In each case, I’ll simply say the gadget is in perfect condition with all of the original packaging, manuals, and accessories to determine the max I can get, so your results may vary. And, of course, all of these values decrease with time.

iPhone 4 – 32 GB

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$339 Gift card: $295
Check: $192
$195 $250 $250

iPad – 32 GB (First Generation) Wi-Fi

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$318.75 Gift card: $208
Check: $135
$183 $212 $215

Amazon Kindle – (Third Generation) Wi-Fi

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$48 Gift card: $37
Check: $24
$28 $33 $25

Nikon D90 with 18-105mm Nikkor Zoom Lens

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$289.06 (without lens) Gift card: $209
Check: $136
$344 $337 Not found

Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005 Core) with 60GB HD

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$58 Gift card: $35
Check: $23
$23 $17 $30

Apple iPod Nano (First Generation) 4GB

eBay Instant Sale Best Buy Trade-In
$14.18 Gift card: $25
Check: $16
Recycle Recycle $5.10

As you can see, for most items, eBay Instant Sale pays the most. It’s different from listing something on their site: Instead of auctioning to individuals, you’re selling directly to the eBay company.

You mail your gadget to them (they cover the shipping costs too), and they send you a payment through PayPal within five days. And if you have any problems, you can contact eBay customer support – much nicer than tracking down individual buyers.

But if you’ve got something to sell, getting offers from all of these sites only takes a few minutes. So if you’re in the market to sell some of your old electronics, it pays to take the time and check them all out.

While the amount of money offered for something like an iPhone 4 falls as we get closer to the release of a new model, I’m certain I can still get enough cash to cover the $200 or $300 I’ll be spending on a new iPhone when the time comes to buy one. And thus, my early adopter syndrome has been sated for another few months.

Stacy Johnson

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