The journey your smartphone goes through after you trade it in

It’s become common practice for many of us. After a year or two with a smartphone, we long for the latest and greatest handsets and look towards trading in our old phones for something new. Whether you want to sell your iPhone 7 for a 13 or your Samsung S7 for an S21, however, the best way to ensure you’re making the most out of your older device is to go with a respected reseller.

Usually, if your old phone is in pretty good condition, trade-in companies or carriers can sell it back on their websites with minimal refurbishment. If your phone is quite old or has taken a few bumps and scratches over the years, meanwhile, those companies will sell it on to companies who can make better use of phones that are in a less than ideal condition.

Either way, the journey taken by your old phone after you trade it in is quite an interesting one and it’s one we’ll be shining a light on below.

Grading your phone

The first thing any company will do is to grade your second-hand phone from poor to perfect condition. A phone in perfect condition will be almost factory fresh and almost indistinguishable from a brand new phone. A poor quality phone, meanwhile, might have a cracked screen or might not even turn on.

The quality of your phone will dictate what can be done with it and therefore how much you’ll one reimbursed. A phone in great condition, for example, could net you hundreds of pounds. A poor condition phone, meanwhile, is going to leave you with significantly less. This is because it will either require heavy refurbishment or might even need to be broken or melted down into its component parts.

Finding the right site

There are dozens of sites online dedicated to helping you compare different trade-in options or recycling options for your phone. These will all use a grading system similar to the one above and will offer you a percentage of the perceived worth of your device. You might, however, want to try a few more avenues first, each of which could potentially offer you a greater return.

Direct sale – This could be anything from selling your phone to your friends and family members to selling it at a car boot.

Online marketplace – From Gumtree and eBay to Facebook Marketplace, there have never been more options available when it comes to online sales.
Retail stores – There are retail stores that will take your phone off your hands for a price with the caveat that they refurbish it themselves and sell it for a profit. This is perhaps the most direct way to make money from your old phone but will also probably net you the least profit.