What you need to do before selling an iPhone

17 July 2017

If history repeats itself, your precious iPhone will drop in value the moment Apple announces a newer model. So if you want to make some money on it to put towards a new phone, the time to act is now.

But before you go rushing off to turn your phone into cash, there’s a few personal security steps you should take. 

Read on to find out how to protect your info before selling, and how to get the most dollars for your old iPhone.

Read more: How to swap from an old iPhone to a new one

Backing up and resetting

You absolutely must wipe your iPhone of its personal content before giving it to someone else. You never want to let any of your personal information, especially security information, fall into unknown hands.

Before wiping your phone’s memory, make sure that you have all your content backed up either on iCloud, Google, or on your home PC or laptop.

iCloud backup

If you’re using iOS 5 or later, then iCloud should automatically back up the most important data on your iPhone once every 24 hours. For this to happen your device has to be connected to a WiFi network, plugged in to a power source, and screen locked.

To manually backup go to [Settings] > [iCloud] > [Backup].

Once the backup is complete, remember to deactivate the iPhone from your iCloud account.

Go to www.icloud.com/find, click on 'Devices' at the top of the screen and select the iPhone you are selling and choose Remove from Account.

iTunes backup

You can manually back your iPhone up to a PC, Mac or laptop via iTunes.

Right click on your iPhone in iTunes under Devices and click [Back Up]. Wait until the process is finished before disconnecting; this could take a while, depending on the amount of stuff on your iPhone.

Resetting your iPhone

This part is easy. 

Go to [Settings] > [General] > [Reset] > [Erase All Content and Settings]

This will completely wipe your phone clean and reset it to its out-of-the-box factory default settings.

Auctioning on eBay

There are a few options in Australia for trading in iPhones - but remember, the following figures and numbers are subject to change.

eBay is always a good option. We recommend using the Australian eBay and not the American one: it makes shipping easier, and often ensures a better price for gadgets, as Aussies are (unfortunately) used to paying a premium for tech.

Make sure you include your model type, colour, and on-board storage size, i.e. “iPhone 7, 16GB model, Rose Gold”. It’s a good idea to start your auction a bit lower than the current going rate of similar models that already have bids running on them. You should also pay attention to trends, like how a white model is more likely to sell for less than a black one.

How much can I get?

At the time of writing, a used 32GB iPhone 7 lists as a 'buy it now' item for up to $850+ on eBay, although auction prices are usually lower. Sellers should remember that, more than anywhere else, eBay prices are subject to change - and if you're listing an item at low cost hoping to spark a bidding war, you may be disappointed. 

To maximise your phone's selling potential, do your own search for other models of your type currently being sold and price your device accordingly. Try your best to pack it up as you originally bought it, and if you still have the box, use it. If possible, include all the original accessories; if you don't have them, you'll probably need to lower your asking price.

Trade your iPhone for cash

If you’d prefer not to roll the dice with strangers, there are businesses that make selling your old phones very easy, and from personal experience these services are painless to deal with and quick to pay once they have received your handset.

You select your phone model, answer some basic questions about the condition of your device, and the website gives you a quote. The company then sends you out a box to safely post your phone back. Once they have inspected your handset and ensured its in the condition you described, you receive your money via cheque or direct bank transfer.

Essentially, these business work like pawn shops, so they are required to operate like them. This means you'll probably need to send them a photocopy of your I.D. before they can take your old phones.


Mazuma is a trade-in site that will give you actual money for your device, and accepts models from the iPhone 2G all the way up to the iPhone 7.

You need to specify whether the phone is 'Working' or 'Faulty,' and there are detailed descriptions of what each state looks like. For example: the screen cannot be cracked, the touch needs to be working, and there also should be no water damage.

Once you finish selecting your phone and condition, you'll get a quote from Mazuma. They will then send you a return post bag for the phone, and will deposit money in your account once they receive your device.

Mobile Monster

Mobile Monster is another trade-in site. Currently it accepts all models from the iPhone 3G and up, and has three categories for device conditions: As New, Working, and Dead.

Like Mazuma, Mobile Monster starts with an initial quote, and then adjusts according to your phone's condition. If you've got a working, fault-free iPhone 7, you'll usually get back between $610 and $660, although you'll need to still have the phone's box and manual to get the highest price. 


Cashaphone is yet another trade-in option. Like the others, Cashaphone offers cash for your iPhone, and they’ll even take the iPhone 4 (albeit for a paltry $10).

Cashaphone has three choices for each model: Standard Used, Brand New, and iCloud On. The last in this list refers to the iCloud info in our introduction. If you leave iCloud on the phone is almost worthless to these guys, and the price they pay drops by a huge sum.

For a good-condition iPhone 7 or 7 Plus with iCloud switched off, expect prices up to the following:

iPhone image via Pixabay

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