Why You Should Sell Your Old Smartphone Every Time You Buy A New Phone

There’s a very good chance you are sitting on a few hundred dollars worth of old smartphones.

A new study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners says less than 20% of smartphone owners sell or trade-in their old phone when they upgrade to the latest model.

If you are one of the 80% of people that are just putting your phone in a drawer, you should really reconsider.

Last Friday, UBS put out a report on the state of smart phone upgrades. In its report, it included a chart showing the average selling price for the most popular premium smart phones.

An iPhone 5 is going for $US225, according to Gazelle. A GS4 is going for $US160. You can get better prices on Craigslist and eBay, but you have to work a little harder for it.

In the U.S., when you get a new phone, you generally re-up for a two year carrier contract. Your new phone usually costs $US200-$300. What this means is that you could be getting your phone for free if you were selling your old phone! And if not free, then at a nice discount.

And yet, 80% of people are just sitting on the free money. Huge mistake, people!

Quick story about me: Over the weekend, I decided to jump from Verizon to T-Mobile.

The reason I jumped? Price.

Verizon was charging me $US180 pre-tax for two lines using 6 GB of data. T-Mobile will charge me $US120 for three lines, and one of those lines gets unlimited data, the other is 2.5 GB, and the third is 500 MB.

(In case you’re wondering, so far T-Mobile’s network isn’t all that great. I’ve given up my Verizon LTE connection for a life of slower 4G T-Mobile speeds. But, you get what you pay for. If I really hate it, I’ll bail to AT&T, or Verizon again.)

T-Mobile’s cheap monthly plans weren’t the only reason I jumped, though. T-Mobile was willing to pay my $US193 termination fee from Verizon, plus throw me $US206 for my 32 GB iPhone 5.

This is what pushed me over the edge, and convinced me it was worth switching. T-Mobile basically paid me ~$400 for my old iPhone, which, I should mention, had dents on the sides from dropping it a few times.

T-Mobile doesn’t do traditional iPhone subsidies. I have an option of paying $US650 for my iPhone up front, or $US27.50 per month. So, I’m not getting $US206 for the phone straight up. I’m putting that towards covering the cost of a new iPhone. Still, if I had kept my phone, then I’d be paying full price, which is silly.

The point of this quick story? Sell your old smartphone! Don’t let the money just sit around!

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.