When you purchase a cell phone, it begins to depreciate in value rather rapidly. This is somewhat like what happens to brand-new cars. The resale value of phones and new cars both drops dramatically as soon as you begin using either of them. In the case of phones, we’ve got some tips for ways you can keep this depreciation to a minimum. This way, when you go to sell your phone, you get the most you possibly can for it.
Smartphone Selling Tips
Get a phone case as soon as you purchase a new phone. Make sure that as soon as you open the box you’ve got the phone in the case. Carrying the phone around without a case for any length of time is a surefire way to have the phone get cracked or scuffed when you inevitably drop it. Yes, we understand that many modern smartphones are gorgeous and feel great in the hand. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a case.
Your phone’s case is its first line of defense against being out in the world. Dropping it, banging it into things and scratching it can all be ways to reduce your phone’s value. One you’ve got a case on it, don’t stop there: unless the case is a full-enclosure that covers the screen, you need a screen protector. This acts as a second screen, protecting the actual screen from scratches and cracks. Ideally, you should grab a glass screen protector, as they’re more durable and can absorb more shock than plastic covers.
When you get a new phone, don’t discard the original packaging. Set it carefully to one side, and keep as much of the original material that came with it as you can. When you go to resell the phone after you’re ready to upgrade, you’re going to want to have this stuff on hand. The same goes for the original charger and headphones that come with the phone.
This is because you get the most money from your old phone by selling it yourself on Craigslist or eBay. Instead of selling it to your phone carrier, selling it to a private individual allows you to set the price to whatever you think is fair. Then, by including the original packaging, headphones and charger, you can charge a good bit more than other sellers who are just selling the handset. You could even include the case and screen protector as part of the price, too.
Clean it Up
No one wants to buy a grungy old handset. This is another huge plus to having a case: typically, your phone’s case will keep the handset from getting too dirty. However, if you intend to sell the phone and its case, both need to look pristine. There are a number of ways to safely clean electronics, so make sure you clean your phone carefully. Don’t use dish soap or harsh cleaners: specialized electronic cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth are what you’re looking for.
Repairing the Screen
Do a bit of research if the screen of your phone is cracked. If you find that people selling the phone with a cracked screen are fetching a much lower price than a pristine phone, you need to look into repairing the screen. Find out whether it’s more expensive to get the screen repaired than the difference in price the phone would fetch.
For instance, if people are selling the same phone as you for $500 used, but phones of the same model with a crack are selling for only $400, then an $80 screen repair nets you an extra $20. We’d call that a good value.