Money Saver India
Getting the best price for your old phone

Getting the best price for your old phone

We tell you whom you can approach to sell your phone, what price you should expect from each mode of sale, and even what to do if your phone’s now absolute junk.

You may not want your old phone when the next big thing is launched, but there’s always a market for it. So, instead of just locking it up in your cupboard, check out our list of places to sell your old device for the best price possible. It doesn’t even matter if it doesn’t work anymore. There’s a resale value for all phones in our list.

Mobile dealers Branded stores won’t buy back your phone, but dealers will offer you a price. It’s hassle-free and you’ll get the cash on the spot. The newer your phone is, the more likely you’ll get a better deal. The reason for this is that prices of mobile phones drop quickly, more so if there’s less demand for them. So even if it’s in excellent condition, don’t expect much. When we took an eight-month-old Samsung Galaxy Y-series (purchased at Rs6,999), in very good condition, to a local dealer in Mumbai, we were offered Rs3,700 for it. So in just under a year, it lost 48% of its value. Then again, the brand new version of the phone is now selling for Rs5,200 at Flipkart (as on July 1, 2013).

Exchange offers One Indian store, Complete Entertainment Exchange (CEX), which is available in many Indian cities, including Mumbai, Lucknow and Bangalore, allows you to exchange your old phone (they’re also available online). For the above-mentioned eight-month-old Samsung Galaxy Y-series, we were offered Rs3,400 at the store in Mumbai, if we wanted to exchange it for another phone. However, you can only trade it in for another second-hand phone here, which means it’s only a good option if you’re willing to buy a second-hand phone. If you’re only turning this option down because second-hand phones may not be in good condition, CEX offers a 12-month warranty on every phone it sells, the same as a brand new Samsung or Nokia.

Selling method When to go? What to expect? Hassle free?
Mobile dealer When it’s in good condition and you want the cash immediately 20-60% of price, depending on age and condition Yes, but you’ll have to leave the house
Exchange store When you’re looking for an expensive second-hand phone Less than what a dealer offers Yes, they’ll even pick it up from your home
Company offer When the company is offering it A great deal if you want to upgrade to an expensive phone Yes, but you’ll have to leave the house
Online portals When your phone is in great demand Price set by you No, expect a delay
Recycle When your phone is completely damaged 2-5% of the price Yes, they’ll even pick it up from your home

Company offers You may also want to keep an eye out for special offers from the companies themselves. This works particularly well if you’re looking to switch from a cheap smartphone to a really expensive one. For example, Samsung was offering Rs10,000 off if you traded in any old smartphone for the Galaxy S4. Similarly, Apple was offering Rs7,000 off on the iPhone 4S. You may even receive a discount of more than what you paid for your old phone in such an offer. But do keep in mind that you’re also spending a lot of money to get the discount.

Online portals Selling to a consumer directly is a good way to getting a better price and a better deal for the buyer too. Quikr, Olx, Ebay and even Sulekha allow you to cut out the middleman. All you have to do is post an ad regarding your phone and buyers will get in touch with you. But be prepared to wait it out as finding the right buyer for your phone could take a while. We put up an ad of the Samsung Galaxy-Y series for a price slightly higher than what was offered to us by the mobile dealers, but haven’t received a single inquiry for five days.

Recycle your phone Atterobay is the only website in India which will recycle your phone and pay you for it. They’ll even pick it up from your house! While they’ll also buy your phone if it’s working condition, in which case it will presumably be resold, it’s only a good option if your phone doesn’t function at all anymore. For the eight-month-old Samsung Galaxy Y-series, we were offered Rs2,655. If it wasn’t working, however, it would only fetch Rs500. Not much, but still better than nothing.

So if your high-end smartphone is now not working, here’s what it’s still worth:

Recycle value of damaged phones on Atterobay Price
Blackberry Torch Rs1,972
Apple iPhone 3G S Rs3,028
Samsung Galaxy S2 Rs1,140
Blackberry Storm Rs1,085
Nokia Lumia 800 Rs836

What matters?

When selling your phone, here’s what’s taken into consideration.

Condition Condition, of course, is a big factor. Even scratches will cause the price to drop. No prizes for guessing, but non-functional and heavily damaged phones are valued the least.

Packaging, accessories & invoice An old phone’s resale value increases if it still has its original ear-phones, battery charger, manual and CD for software installation. As an add-on value, the original box and your phone’s invoice is preferred too.

Brand If there’s good demand for a brand on the resale market, you’ll get more money for it. Expect less for a Nokia or Blackberry, as compared to an Android.

Timeframe The older the phone, the less value you should expect from it. Phone prices drop quickly, as newer models are introduced. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Y-series cost Rs6,999 eight months ago, but now sells for just Rs5,200.

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