Here's What You'll Get for the Top 7 Smartphones on the 5 Best Device Trade-In Sites

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Looking to sell your old, damaged phone? Here's what the top 7 phones, including the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9, are going for on 5 of the most popular device trade-in sites on the web.

Smartphones have really only been a mainstream thing for just over a decade. From the dark ages of the brick phone to this year’s introduction of the latest iPhone, we’ve come a long way when it comes to mobile phone technology. And, with new models being released by most companies just about annually, the future of the phone looks pretty darn bright.

Still, new phones are arriving at a breakneck pace and you might be wondering: what the heck do I do with the old ones? Or, if you’re one of those people who drops yours in the toilet on a regular basis, what do I do with the broken ones aside from putting them in a shoebox cemetery of cracked and waterlogged phones?

The last time I treated myself to a new cell phone, I had the exact same question. Electronic waste has become a huge issue. It encompasses just two percent of trash in our landfills, yet accounts for nearly 70 percent of all toxic waste. Throwing your old phone in the trash isn’t just wasteful. It’s also extremely detrimental to our already fragile ecosystem. 

My phone was dead at the time, so I figured it’d probably be best to just find a place that would handle the recycling properly and send my old iPhone 6 (yes, I know I’m behind) to a better place. But, I was also a little low on cash at the time and wondering if there was something I could do to at least get a few bucks out of the deal.

That’s when I discovered that there are a whole bunch of businesses out there who will pay you cash for your used cell phones and other devices — even if they’ve got a broken screen

Jumped in the pool with your phone and the rice trick didn’t work? Check out Gazelle. Have a slightly older model of a phone that you cared for like your first born and want to get a great price for? Decluttr has got your back.

And, the best thing of all about these sites? They handle the shipping for you free of charge and pay out quickly. You’ll get a prepaid label so all you have to do is drop in your used device, seal it up, and pop it in the closest mailbox. Within a few days, you’ll get your cash delivered to you. It’s that simple!

So, who are these sites? And, what kind of money can you get for trading in your used cell phone with them?

Here we’re going to compare and contrast these five electronics trade-in websites to help you decide which one offers you the best options for recycling your device for cash:

And, we’re going to do it by putting these sites to the test, showing you just how much you can get for trade-ins from these companies when you trade in seven of the best smartphones on the market. These seven phones are the lucky contestants:

  • iPhone X
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • LG V30
  • iPhone 8
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • HTC U11
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Before we get into the price comparisons, let’s find out a little more about what each of these trade-in sites is all about.

The top 5 broken device trade-in sites

Decluttr

Decluttr is a site for more than just used phones. Their aim is to help you reduce clutter in your home by selling everything from used CDs and DVDs to game consoles, books, and even LEGOs. Their free app even lets you scan barcodes directly and get an instant quote on the spot. However, if you’re selling your used smartphone, Decluttr is definitely one of the best options out there.

Here’s how it works:

First, you find your cell phone make and model either by searching directly or finding it in the dropdown menu. Next, they’re going to ask you what the condition of your phone is, asking you to choose from Good, Poor, or Faulty. 

If you accept the offer, you’ve got a few options for shipping, all of which are completely free. You can either print a shipping label and drop the package in a UPS Dropbox or head to any UPS Store, customer center, or authorized retailer to ship your package out. 

If your item passes quality inspection, you’ll receive payment either by check or next-day via PayPal or a direct deposit in your account. If they find the condition is not what you reported, you’ll get a revised offer which you can accept or reject and get your item shipped back to you for free.

Decluttr perks:

  • Get a $5 bonus when you complete your registration.
  • For each friend you refer who completes an order, you’ll get a $5 bonus. You can refer up to 10 friends.
  • Students who are members of Student Beans get 10% extra on every order.
  • Find more Decluttr discounts here.

Decluttr pros: 

  • Accepts most phone brands and models.
  • Next-day payment.
  • Takes broken or damaged devices.

Decluttr cons:

  • Doesn’t provide packaging for shipments.

Gazelle

This site not only buys used tech, but also sells devices that are pre-owned and in great refurbished condition. Gazelle purchases other devices, but smartphones are definitely a specialty for them. Users can rest easy selling with Gazelle: they’ve got an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

How it works:

First, you’ll search for your device or select it from one of their dropdown menus. They’ll then ask a few questions about the condition of the device, including whether it powers on, whether the screen lights up, and whether there’s damage including scratches and cracks. After that, they’ll make you an offer and from that point you’ve got 30 days to mail it in. 

Shipping is handled by UPS or FedEx using labels that are sent to you- sometimes, they’ll also include a box! Payment can be made by check which takes three to 10 business days or by PayPal or Amazon gift card in one or two business days. If your device is in better shape than expected, they’ll actually raise your offer, and if it’s not up to par, you can get a revised offer or have the item shipped back for free. 

But, wait! There’s one more option: the ecoATM. Gazelle has ATM-style machines at locations around the country where you can trade in your used tech and get cash on the spot.

Gazelle perks:

  • If you choose to trade in your item for store credit with them, you’ll get an extra $20.
  • Get $10 for each friend you refer who makes a purchase.
  • Find more Gazelle promo codes here.

Gazelle pros:

  • For some orders, they’ll send you a box for shipping.
  • If you’re near an ecoATM, you can get cash on spot.
  • Accepts broken or damaged devices.

Gazelle cons:

  • They don’t accept as many different models as some of the other sites.

MaxBack

MaxBack operates pretty similarly to the other trade-in sites and specializes in smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and laptops. They update their pricing regularly to keep up with the market and ensure that you’re getting the most competitive price possible on your device.

How it works: 

To get started, you’ll choose the make and model of your device. Next you’ll select the carrier for your device or choose unlocked if your phone isn’t linked to a specific network. From there, you’ll select the condition of your device from their four choices: Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. MaxBack doesn’t accept broken phones, so the varying condition options mostly have to do with cosmetic appearance. 

You provide the packaging and they’ll give you a free prepaid USPS shipping label so you can drop your device in any USPS mailbox. They do offer re-quotes if your device is in better or worse condition than expected and you have full control over whether you accept the offer or not. Payment is made either by check which will take three to five business days or by PayPal which usually takes 24 hours or less.

MaxBack perks:

  • Get a $5 promo code when you register with them.

MaxBack pros:

  • Payments are made quickly, with most folks getting paid out within three days of when they receive your package.
  • Shipping is done via USPS which is usually a little more accessible than FedEx or UPS.

MaxBack cons:

  • They don’t accept broken devices.
  • The selection of phones that they do take is a bit limited.

uSell

When I was selling my old phone, uSell is the company that I used. They were super prompt and even handled a technical issue with ease (pro tip: make sure you turn off the Find My iPhone or other locator functions on your phone!). 

Their pricing is competitive with the other sites and the major perk that they offer is that they send you everything you need to ship your device, packaging included. All business is done through uSell, but their function is actually to match you with professional buyers who will purchase your device.

How it works:

Select your device from their menus and then select your phone carrier or unlocked. You’ll then choose the condition of your device from three options: Flawless, Good, or Damaged. Flawless is reserved for devices that are essentially brand new, while Good is the right choice for most working devices so long as they don’t have major cosmetic damage. 

Once you’ve accepted an offer, they’ll send you a complete shipping package which includes the box or envelope you’ll put your device in. Payments can be made by check or by PayPal and are guaranteed to be paid out within five days of them receiving your device.

uSell perks:

  • Currently, uSell doesn’t offer any special promos. Womp, womp.

uSell pros:

  • They give you everything you need to ship, including the packaging.
  • Accepts broken or damaged devices.
  • Competitive prices.

uSell cons:

  • The selection of phones that they accept is a bit limited particularly when it comes to newer models.

SellCell

SellCell operates a little bit differently than the other sites that we’ve surveyed here. They’re actually a comparison site that helps you find the best possible price for your device from their pool of buyers. SellCell works with Decluttr and a few dozen other buyers.

How it works: 

Search for or select your device from their menu. You’ll then choose your carrier and the condition of your phone from the options Good, New, or Broken. From there, you’ll be able to compare the price offerings from several different buyers and choose which one you want to take. They guarantee the best prices and will even give you double your money if you find a better deal within 24 hours of your sale. Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll be sent to the website that made the offer and then you’ll go through their buying process.

SellCell Perks: 

  • Nothing to see here!

SellCell pros:

  • Saves you time comparing between different sites.
  • Accepts broken or damaged devices.

SellCell cons:

  • Since their a third-party comparison site, you won’t know what the buying process is like for the sites you choose.

The Comparison

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out how these electronic trade-in sites actually stack up against one another!

Here’s a quick breakdown of how we’ve evaluated the condition of the phones in order to separate them into three categories: good, poor, and faulty. Some sites will give you criteria and ask you to choose the condition of your phone while others have you answer questions about your device in order to give you a quote. For the purposes of this article, the conditions listed mean something like the following:

  • Good condition: The device is working and may have some signs of use, but should have little to no cosmetic damage.
  • Poor condition: The device is working, but has fairly significant cosmetic damage including cracks or scratches.
  • Faulty: The device is not in working condition and may or may not have cosmetic damage.

iPhone X (256GB)

Apple skipped over the iPhone 9 and went straight for the X. The latest model of the iPhone features a new screen design, Face ID, and the smartest chip yet. Apple hasn’t announced the arrival of a new model, however if they keep up with their standard trends, it’s likely we may see an upgrade in September or sometime around then. If you’re looking to unload one before then, here’s the kind of prices you can expect to get.

iPhone X trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $690
  • Poor condition: $414
  • Faulty: $138

iPhone X trade-in on Gazelle

  • Good condition: $570
  • Poor condition: $220
  • Faulty: $145

iPhone X trade-in on MaxBack 

*Get a promo code for $5 when you sign up

  • Good condition: $535
  • Poor condition: $230
  • Faulty: Not accepted

iPhone X trade-in on uSell 

*Doesn’t have a midway “poor” condition option

  • Flawless condition: $695.70
  • Good condition: $666
  • Faulty: $182.70

iPhone X trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $742
  • Good condition: $732
  • Faulty: $400

The winner:

SellCell has it on this one, but Decluttr is a close and respectable second.

Samsung Galaxy S9

This latest model of the Samsung Galaxy boasts an infinity screen display, facial recognition, a super slow-mo camera, augmented reality emojis and many other fantastic features. This version was dropped in March of 2018 and folks online speculate that the next version may arrive sometime early next year. If you’ve got a broken one of these bad boys or one in good shape you want to get off your hands, these are the best prices:

Samsung Galaxy S9 trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $470
  • Poor condition: $282
  • Faulty: $70.50

Samsung Galaxy S9 trade-in on Gazelle

*Only accepts the 64GB model.

  • Good condition: $385
  • Poor condition: $140
  • Faulty: $100

Samsung Galaxy S9 trade-in on MaxBack

  • Good condition: $377
  • Poor condition: $162
  • Faulty: Not accepted

Samsung Galaxy S9 trade-in on uSell

The S9 is not accepted. The most recent model they do accept is the S7 at these rates:

  • Flawless condition: $161.10
  • Good condition: $136
  • Faulty: $22.10

Samsung Galaxy S9 trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $490 
  • Good condition: $480
  • Faulty: $90

The winner:

SellCell just barely nudges out Decluttr again for the best price.

LG V30

The V30 was released in fall of last year. LG is a little underrated these days, but the V30 has some great features like the point zoom function on the camera which allows you to zoom from any part of the screen and a water-resistant exterior. The V35 was released this June and the V40 is expected out later this year, so if you’re looking to upgrade or just try something new, check out these rates:

LG V30 trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $222
  • Poor condition: $133.20
  • Faulty: $44.40

LG V30 trade-in on Gazelle

  • Not accepted

LG V30 trade-in on MaxBack

  • Not accepted

LG V30 trade-in on uSell

The V30 is not accepted, however you can get these rates for the V20.

  • Flawless condition: $90.90
  • Good condition: $90
  • Faulty: $1.80

LG V30 trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $287
  • Good condition: $277
  • Faulty: $60

The winner:

SellCell wins again!

iPhone 8 (256GB)

It might not be the latest model of the iPhone, but it’s certainly not passé. The iPhone 8 is made with durable glass, is resistant to both water and dust, and has gorgeous visuals with their Retina HD screen. Still, if you’re ready to upgrade to the X, you can get a great price for your old 8:

iPhone 8 trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $449
  • Poor condition: $272.40
  • Faulty: $90.80

iPhone 8 trade-in on Gazelle

  • Good condition: $405
  • Poor condition: $150
  • Faulty: $105

iPhone 8 trade-in on MaxBack

  • Good condition: $381
  • Poor condition: $164
  • Faulty: Not accepted

iPhone 8 trade-in on uSell

  • Flawless condition: $468.90
  • Good condition: $464.40
  • Faulty: $123.30

iPhone 8 trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $430
  • Good condition: $403
  • Faulty: $225

The winner:

uSell takes it on this one with Decluttr following close behind.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google isn’t just a search engine anymore. They’ve got some incredible tech up their sleeves as well, including this latest model of the Google Pixel which was released last fall. The buzz online suggests that a new model is likely to launch later this year, probably in early October. If you’ve got one of these you’re dying to get rid of, this is the kind of trade-in price you can get:

Google Pixel 2 XL trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $350
  • Poor condition: $210
  • Faulty: $70

Google Pixel 2 XL trade-in on Gazelle

  • Good condition: $335
  • Poor condition: $120
  • Faulty: $85

Google Pixel 2 XL trade-in on MaxBack

  • Good condition: $344
  • Poor condition: $148
  • Faulty: Not accepted

Google Pixel 2 XL trade-in on uSell

They don’t accept the Pixel 2 XL, however you can get these rates for the original Pixel XL:

  • Flawless condition: $204.30
  • Good condition: $184.50
  • Faulty: $9

Google Pixel 2 XL trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $400
  • Good condition: $390
  • Faulty: $70

The winner:

SellCell for the win!

HTC U11

The U11 by HTC is an Android-based smartphone that was released in June of last year. It’s only just this month been succeeded by HTC’s U12+, but definitely still holds its own with features like EdgeSense, a function where you simply squeeze the phone to unlock it and go to the home screen. Still, if you’ve got one kicking around that you’re not using, here’s the kind of pricing you can expect:

HTC U11 trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $212
  • Poor condition: $127
  • Faulty: $21.20

HTC U11 trade-in on Gazelle

  • Not accepted

HTC U11 trade-in on MaxBack

Not accepted. However, they do take the U10 for these rates:

  • Good condition: $84
  • Poor condition: $36
  • Faulty: Not accepted

HTC U11 trade-in on uSell

  • Not accepted

HTC U11 trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $240
  • Good condition: $230
  • Faulty: $21.20

The winner:

SellCell takes it, but Decluttr is right up there as the only other site even accepting the U11.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (256GB)

The Note series by Samsung is known for its large infinity display and ease of use with a stylus. The Note 8 was released in August of 2017 and many people speculate that we’ll see version 9 of the device in August of this year as well. The pricing on the Note 8 is still pretty good, so strike while the iron’s hot:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 trade-in on Decluttr

  • Good condition: $330
  • Poor condition: $198
  • Faulty: $32

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 trade-in on Gazelle

  • Good condition: $365
  • Poor condition: $130
  • Faulty: $90

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 trade-in on MaxBack

  • Good condition: $344
  • Poor condition: $148
  • Faulty: Not accepted

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 trade-in on uSell

The Note 8 is not accepted. The newest model you can trade in is the Note 5 at these rates:

  • Flawless condition: $109.60
  • Good condition: $98.25
  • Faulty: $11.20

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 trade-in on SellCell

  • New condition: $351
  • Good condition: $341
  • Faulty: $75

The winner:

Sneaking in at the last second, Gazelle takes this one with an honorable mention from MaxBack.

The bottom line

Any one of these sites is going to be a great option for trading in your used devices simply and efficiently. However, when we break it down like we have here, SellCell and Decluttr seem to be clear winners. 

Both accept a wide variety of devices and offer top dollar for your used phones. If I had to choose one, I’d likely go with Decluttr since you’ll be dealing with them directly rather than going through a third party. But, if you’re looking for the absolute best price, SellCell really stood above the rest.

1 comment

Mostafa mohib
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Posted on Nov 19, 2013

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Emily Helwig

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