Every year new smartphones come out, instantly outdating your existing model. If you’re anything like me, you like to have the latest and greatest devices, but how can you turn that old stack of smartphones in your drawer into cash so you can upgrade faster? Believe it or not, there are a ton of sites out there that let you easily and painlessly sell your cell phone instead of letting it just gather dust in your drawer. You’ll need to take a few steps before you part ways with it. In this article, we’ll tell you everything from the preparations you have to make to the end result of gaining some cash when selling or trading-in your phone. Let’s begin!

Back it up

It’s extremely likely your old smartphone has a lot of photos, videos, music, and other data on it – and assuming you don’t want all of this data to be lost or fall in the hands of someone that’s not supposed to see them, then you need to ensure you backup your old smartphone before you do anything else. Privacy is your right! And who wants to lose out on things like their kids’ graduation pictures or photos from the day you got your first puppy? Or that video of your housemate hula hooping at 3am while wearing a banana costume that nobody believes you about unless you show them (or that one might just be me)? Nobody.

With an iPhone you have a few choices when it comes to backing up your device, you can use iCloud, you can backup to your computer, or you can use a third-party app. If you have an Android phone, the options are similar, you can backup your settings to Google and you can use additional software to sync your data.

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Factory reset

This next step is super important. In order to protect your data and also for the benefit of the next person who will own the smartphone, you need to perform what’s called a factory reset. Remember to back up your data before doing so, as this process returns your phone to the state it was in when you just bought it. Every phone model out there has a setting that starts this process, so it shouldn’t be that hard for you to perform a factory reset on it – just make sure that there’s nothing else left on it that you didn’t save.

On the iPhone you can find the factory reset option in Settings –> General –> scroll down to Reset –> tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

On Android you can find the factory reset option in Settings, tap on Backup & reset, then tap Factory data reset and Reset phone.

Don’t forget the SIM and SD cards

It is recommended that you take out the SIM card from your old smartphone, especially if you plan to put it in the new smartphone you’re buying. However, that being said, it isn’t really necessary if the new smartphone is coming with a SIM card installed. Perhaps what’s even more important is that you remember to remove any SD cards installed in your phone. If you have an iPhone, this isn’t a concern for you as iPhones don’t have SD card slots, but if you own an Android smartphone and have installed an SD card, you definitely don’t want to forget to take that out for use in your new phone.

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Make it squeaky clean

Don’t forget to clean your old phone. You know, like physically clean it–make that screen shine! The best way to wipe down and clean a smartphone is to use a microfiber cloth and a solution. Eyeglasses cleaner works just as well as a solution if you’re a four-eyes like me. And don’t forget to get those crevices. Ew.

Claim your cash

Finally, you’re ready to turn that dinosaur in and treat yourself. The opportunities are endless! eBay has a service made specifically for selling your phone. It’s easy, and there’s always someone out there who wants your stuff. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, after all. ecoATM is another great, quick way to get money for your iPhone. They have kiosk locations all over in stores like certain Walmart’s and shopping malls. Alternatively, look into local phone repair shops near you and check if they’re buying!


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