It doesn’t matter if you’ve already bought a new phone or if you are still planning that purchase – you likely have the same question in mind – what should I do with my current phone? You could simply set it in a drawer or you could give it away to a friend or family member, but a better option would be to use your current phone to lower the cost of your new phone.
This leads to the real question of whether or not you should trade in your current phone or sell your current phone. In truth, both are great options to consider, though, they are both great for different reasons.
Trade-in vs. Sell: What are the differences?
By definition, a trade-in is “a used article accepted by a retailer in partial payment for another.”
When talking about smartphones, or some other gently used tech, this can mean using a program offered by a manufacturer, such as Apple or Samsung, or a program offered by a retailer or marketplace that specializes in this type of service, such as Swappa.
Essentially, your device is going to a company with a trade-in, and your device is going to an individual when you sell it. Trading and selling are both relatively easy, but, selling takes a little more time and effort. Of course, that time and effort come with a reward.
- Trade-in: A trade-in is generally a quick and easy process. Trade-ins require less effort on your part, but also mean less money as compared to selling directly to another person.
- Selling: Selling is generally easy, but it isn’t always as quick as a trade-in. Selling your gently used tech requires a bit more effort, but also means more money as compared to trading in.
Perhaps the best way to put this is that you trade value for convenience when you use a trade-in service. Getting less money certainly isn’t for everyone, but sometimes you just want simple.
Trade-in vs. Sell: How do they work?
Each trade-in program and each online marketplace likely has different requirements, policies, and procedures when it comes to trading in or selling so it doesn’t hurt to consider your different options before making a commitment. But that said, the basic process to trade-in, and the basic process to sell will be similar regardless of the trade-in program or online marketplace you choose to use.
How does a trade-in work?
A trade-in generally begins with you entering some basic details about your device. These programs tend to ask if the device is fully functional, if it has any cracks in the glass, whether it holds a charge, the condition, and in some cases if any accessories are included.
You then get a quote based on the answers you provided to the questions. If you accept the quote you pack and ship the device. The money you receive from the trade-in is put towards the cost of the new device you are purchasing. Or, in some cases, you’ll receive that money back in the form of a gift card.
How does selling work?
Selling generally begins with listing your item for sale in a marketplace. Creating a listing to sell your device will have you answer some of the same questions you’d get asked when doing a trade-in. But creating a listing has a few extra steps, such as crafting a good description and showing the device in several pictures. You may also have to answer a question or two from a potential buyer.
Because you will get more money when selling direct to another person, writing a description and taking a few pictures will be worth your time. And, when you sell direct you get paid direct, which means you can use that money how you see fit.
Should I trade in or sell?
The bottom line is that if you want quick money you should trade in, and if you want the most money you should sell.