Do you hate money? If the answer is yes then by all means, use Apple’s new in-house smartphone trade-in program when upgrading from an old Android handset to a new iPhone; as we reported late last month, Apple now accepts Android devices as trade-ins and it gives shoppers a credit toward the purchase of a new Apple product.
As is the case with the trade-in programs offered by wireless carriers here in the U.S. though, you’ll get far more money for your old Android phone if you sell it privately, or even if you use one of several popular phone buying services.
The fact that Apple’s Android trade-in program isn’t a good value at all is not exactly a surprise. Actually, the same can be said for its iPhone trade-in program. Along with carriers and big box gadget retailers, companies like Apple take advantage of the general lack of consumer awareness by paying out as little money as possible for used phones.
Of course, it’s also much more convenient to trade your old phone into Apple or to a carrier, but that convenience tax is ridiculously high.
To help illustrate that point, used smartphone selling aide Flipsy did a quick analysis and compared the prices Apple is willing to pay out for certain phones to payouts found using its search engine and average selling prices for private sales on services like eBay. The results are pretty painful.
For example, Flipsy found that Apple was willing to pay $170 for a used 16GB Verizon Galaxy S5 in good condition. The best price found through its own service was $219 and on the private market, the phone fetches an average of $320, or $150 more than Apple was willing to pay.
Apple will pay $95 for a 16GB Galaxy S4 on Verizon, while Flipsy’s buyback search found offers up to $136. Meanwhile, the average private sale brings in $190, or exactly twice what Apple is willing to pay. For an LG G2 from Verizon, Apple offers $65 while the average private sale amounts to $156, more than double what Apple is willing to pay.
Long story short, if you’re lazy and you value convenience over getting top dollar for your phone, Apple’s Android trade-in service is a terrific option — just like carrier trade-in services. If you want to make twice as much money selling your used phone, look elsewhere.