The Best Time of Year to Sell or Trade in Your Phone

Every year, you see a new batch of phones enter the market, improving on the older models and offering new features. While some of the upgrades will only appeal to a niche audience of tech enthusiasts, there will often be cutting-edge technologies included that are enticing to the average consumer. As the features that these phones provide become the standard, it gets harder to hang on to your old phone.

To keep up with modern society, you often find that buying the most up to date devices becomes almost a necessity. If you work in a field that requires you to be on the go, working remotely on a variety of devices, the need for a new phone is even stronger. Many consumers upgrade their phone regularly, and if this is you, you'll need to know the most cost-effective ways that you can do so.

What You Shouldn't Do

To know what you should do, you need to know what you shouldn't do first. A study in the Journal of Marketing Research found evidence that suggests that consumers treated their devices with less care when they were faced with an appealing, upgraded phone. Even though they didn't own the newest devices, they still began to treat their current phones with neglect and carelessness.

To explain why this took place, the authors argued that consumers wanted to upgrade to the most recent device, but did not want to appear wasteful. Intentionally or not, consumers will begin to act recklessly with their current devices in hopes of damaging them so they have an excuse to buy a new phone.

Even if you don't engage in reckless practices with an old phone when you are interested in a new phone, you may engage in practices that don't help you get the most value out of your phone. For instance, old phones will often get thrown in a drawer or stored in a box, without anyone ever using them again. Even worse, many phones will get thrown away without following proper recycling practices, leading to environmental issues.

What You Should Do

Instead of throwing your phone away or stashing it in a drawer, never to be used again, you can sell your old phone, giving it a new life and providing you with some cash. Even if your phone is no longer usable, companies will still buy it from you, and if they are reputable, they will recycle your phone in the most environmentally conscious ways.

To sell an old phone, you can use an ecoATM for an easy way to trade in your phone and receive cash on the spot. Before you take it to the kiosk, you can get a free quote online for your device. Once you see the quote and are satisfied, you can find a kiosk nearby and earn some money for your device right on the spot.

When to Sell Your Phone

So, you know that eventually, you'd like to sell your phone and make some of the money you invested in it back, but you don't know when you should start looking to sell to get the best value. Similar to a car, phones depreciate quickly after purchase. Though you won't receive the full price that you paid back, you can maximize the value of your old phone by selling early — before new phones are announced, at least.

1. If Possible, Sell Early

People looking to always have the most recent phone will pay a hefty price to purchase a device brand new. If you're one of those people, you'll probably want to be to get some of your money back.

The earlier you sell your phone, the more money you'll receive for it. You'll get more value for your phone if you can sell it before a newer model comes out. For example, after Apple releases their newest iPhone, the prices on their previous models drop. As such, the amount resellers will pay you for the past models will go down as well.

One way to get the most back for your phone is to sell it before the newest model release. To do this, you'll need to have a spare phone to tide you over while you wait for the new release.

2. Before New Phones Are Announced

If you don't want to get rid of your current phone so early, you can be strategic in the time you bring it to resellers. When major cellphone carriers, like Apple or Samsung, announce their newest cellphones, their competitors will drop the price the prices of their current models. For example, after Apple's announcement of the iPhone 8, AT&T and T-Moble began to offer a buy one, get one free deal for the competing Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ models to entice buyers.

If it's possible, you'll want to avoid selling your phone after new models have been announced, as they will almost immediately lose their value, as evidenced by the Samsung example. If you are planning to sell your phone, you should know the times that cellphone retailers often announce their newest phones:

• Apple: Since Apple has a track record of releasing or announcing the latest iPhones in September, you'll want you to sell your phone a few months before the new line drops.

• Samsung: Like Apple, Samsung tends to drop their flagship Samsung Galaxy series at certain times. Instead of releasing in September, they do so during the second week of March or April.

If you're looking to sell your phone, you should do it a few months before the newer models are announced. Doing this will provide you with the most money for your old phone. Of course, Apple and Samsung are not the only phone manufacturers, so if you're looking at other brands, you should check when they typically release their phones. 

What Determines a Phone's Value?

When you take your phone to a buyback company to see how much they'll pay for it, they'll run it through some criteria to see how much it costs.

• Model: The first thing a buyer will look for in your phone is going to be its model. Figuring out how long the phone has been on the market and how popular the brand that carries it is will assist in a company's ability to determine its value.

• Value in Secondary Markets: When you sell your device, the company will often sell it to a secondary market. These secondary markets exist all around the globe and give devices a second chance at life. If a phone is performing well in one of those markets, companies will pay consumers more for the device.

• Condition: A phone with a broken screen or water damage is going to be worth less than a phone that has not experienced damage. Performance issues can also give a buyer pause and reduce the amount of money they will offer you. Additionally, your battery's condition will also affect its value. 

Facts About Buying and Selling Phones

From your phone's depreciating to information about a phone's impact on the environment, here are a few extra facts that you should know about while you decide when and if you should sell your phone:

1. Samsung Galaxy Phones Depreciate Significantly

One of Samsung's latest phone, the Galaxy S9, lost almost 60% of its retail value within its first nine months of being released. This loss of value is a trend among Android phones in general, as they face steep competition from each other, unlike those that Apple releases.

2. Apple's Depreciation

Though iPhones don't depreciate as fast as the Samsung Galaxy or other Android phones, they still depreciate significantly. For instance, on average, Apple's entry-level phones drop by 17% annually. However, this stat only covers unused phones, as a used phone will depreciate much faster. In 2017, a study found that after the iPhone 7 had been on the market for a month, its value went down by 34%.

3. Selling Your Phone to a Trusted Retailer Is Better for the Environment

E-waste occurs when consumers and companies do not recycle their phones properly. Throwing an old phone in the trash or into your roadside recycling bin can result in negative effects to the environment and human health, as the phones will often end up in a landfill or be shipped off to a company that does not engage in healthy recycling practices.

Even if you don't think anyone can use your phone anymore, you can still sell it to companies like ecoATM that will recycle the phone in the most environmentally responsible ways possible if it's no longer usable. If it is usable, they will resell the phone, which will give it a longer life and delay the need to recycle it.

Where to Sell Your Phone?

One of the easiest ways to sell your phone is through a specially designed kiosk. This option is easy to use and will let you receive cash for your device in a matter of minutes.

Mentioned previously, ecoATM kiosks provide a convenient place for people to sell their phones. They offer a shorter selling process than online options, as they can immediately evaluate the price of your phone and pay you cash on the spot. All you have to do is bring your device to your local kiosk, and you'll get paid.

How to Sell Your Phone at a Kiosk

Before bringing your device to a kiosk, you'll need to prepare it by returning it to its factory settings and ensuring that any data or content is completely erased from the phone. After completing this preparation, selling your phone at an ecoATM is a simple three-step process:

1. Bring your device to an ecoATM and place it in the ecoATM station. You don't need to worry about the safety of your device, as these test stations are designed to keep your device secure during the examination process.

2. After receiving your phone, the ecoATM will examine the device and then provide you with the best price. The kiosk will price your device based on the current market value, condition, and model. Along with pricing at the ecoATM, you can get a sense for how much money your phone is worth by pricing it online before you go to drop off your phone, making the selling process transparent.

3. Once the evaluation is completed, you'll be offered a price for your device. If you decide to sell your device, you'll receive cash on the spot. With cash in hand, you can be confident that your old phone is going to have a second chance at life or be recycled responsibly

Why Sell Your Phone Instead of Trading It for an Upgrade?

Many carriers allow consumers to trade in their phones to upgrade to the newest model. With these deals, a consumer will turn in their old phone and receive a new phone at a discounted rate from their carrier.

While there are some benefits to these trade-ins, ultimately they come with several negatives that make selling your phone a more attractive option.

• No cash: By trading in your phone, you will not receive any cash. Instead, you'll get a discount to purchase a newer device that is already on the market. For consumers who want to be paid for their old phones, this option isn't for them.

• Not the best value: If you trade in your old phone for a new one, you will not be getting the most value for your phone. As the latest model has already been announced and is on the market, ready for consumers to buy it, the value of your phone will have dropped significantly. Additionally, companies have some incentive to give you less money for your phone, as they know consumers will be more focused on getting the newest phone they're offering.

• Long-term contracts: Sometimes phone carriers will offer consumers the chance to trade-in their competitor's devices for a new phone. In these deals, they'll also make sure that you are switching your service to them. Even though you'll make some money back on your old phone, you'll be committing to a long term contract that doesn't guarantee you'll receive the latest phones or will have the best terms for service.

You can sell your phone to a reseller to get cash, a better valuation, and the freedom not to have to buy into a long term contract.

Ready to Sell Your Phone?

If you're ready to sell an old phone, consider taking it to a local ecoATM kiosk that will pay you cash on the spot. Instead of trading it in for a lower value at your cellphone carrier's store or taking the time to ship it to a reseller, you can get the best value, quickly, at a kiosk.

You can get an estimate on your phone and prepare it for sale today. If you're satisfied, you can take it to a local kiosk and get paid cash, all in a single day.