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How to recycle, trade in, donate or sell your iPhone 12

Now’s the time to upgrade and earn some cash to spend on one of the new phones Apple is set to announce this week.

Image: Shutterstock/ANGHI

It’s that time of year again when Apple tempts iPhone fans with the latest and greatest model. If you can’t resist the allure of a new phone, it might be a good time to trade in your old phone to fund the purchase of a new one. 

Many companies prefer to buy unlocked phones. That means you’ll need to contact your carrier to get the company to release the phone. Once that step is complete, you’ll need to remove the SIM card. 

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SEE: iPhone 13 wish list: The top features businesses and professionals want

The other crucial step is to remove all of your personal information from your iPhone. That means unpairing devices, signing out of services and deleting credentials from browsers. You’ll want to back up your data first and then reset your phone to factory settings.

Now you’re ready to sell and look forward to reducing the price tag on a new phone with the potential proceeds. If you’ve been delaying the purchase of a new phone, you may still be able to get a few dollars for an older model, or it may be time to recycle your device. 

We’ve got all the options covered, regardless of how old or new your device is.

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Sell or recycle with Apple

One place to start is at the mothership. You can trade in an eligible device and get credit toward a new phone or an Apple gift card. The iPhone 12 is the latest device from Apple so there isn’t an option to trade those phones in, yet. That will change with the announcement of the four anticipated iPhone 13 models. Here is Apple’s estimated credit for these devices:

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max Up to $540
  • iPhone 11 Pro Up to $500
  • iPhone 11 Up to $390
  • iPhone XS Max Up to $330
  • iPhone XS Up to $255
  • iPhone XR Up to $240
  • iPhone X Up to $220
  • iPhone 8 Plus Up to $180
  • iPhone 8 Up to $120
  • iPhone 7 Plus Up to $120
  • iPhone 7 Up to $70
  • iPhone 6s Plus Up to $70
  • iPhone 6s Up to $50
  • iPhone 6 Plus Up to $40
  • iPhone 6 Up to $30

The company also offers a prepaid trade-in kit to send the device back for selling or recycling. If your phone or iPad is too old for credit, Apple will recycle it for you. The company also takes tablets, computers, watches and other devices.

Sell at GadgetGone

This service is quick and easy. First, you fill out a form to get an estimate of how much your device is worth. If you decide to sell the device, the company provides a prepaid shipping label. When GadgetGone receives your device, you can get paid via a check, Amazon gift card or PayPal. The company claims the process can be completed in two days.

Sell at Gazelle

The resell process is easy with this site also. You click on an image of the iPhone you want to sell, select the version and carrier and then answer a few questions about the condition. Gazelle will make you an offer and pay shipping costs. You get paid via Amazon gift card, PayPay or check once the company has received and examined your phone.

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Sell at BuyBackBoss

The process is similar with this well-known site: Pick your model, answer a few questions about the condition and get a quote. BuyBackBoss will pay you via check or PayPal, or you can choose to donate the value of your phone to a charity.

Donate to Mobile Medics

This group takes phones, tablets and accessories and recycles or refurbishes the devices to fund open source software for health workers in Africa and Asia. The company has people in 14 countries who build resources, documentation and support for healthcare workers who work in the hard-to-reach communities. You can print a prepaid shipping label from the site and download a charitable donation form as well.

Donate to Cell Phones for Soldiers 

Since 2004, this group has provided 400 million minutes of calling time, recycled more than 20 million cellphones and mailed about 2,500 calling cards each week. You can donate one phone or many to the organization via mail or in-person drop off. The group sells or recycles the phones and uses the profit to donate phones or calling cards to U.S. military members.

Recycle at Best Buy

You can recycle lots of electronics at this retailer, including your iPhone. Most stores will take up to three items per household per day. You’ll need to check on state-specific information and limitations on TVs, monitors and laptops.

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