Why Shopping Around Can Get You The Most Cash For Phone Trade-Ins


 Published November 2nd, 2015, updated July 30th, 2016. Prices accurate as of July 30th, 2016.

The new iPhone release is about a month away, how can I get the max value for my old device with the least amount of effort?

With smartphone use at an all-time high, and the new iPhone release right around the corner – many of you will be looking to cash-in some of your old smartphones to pick up some spending money. Recent studies by the Pew Internet and American life project, 64% of Americans now own a smartphone. Smartphone technology is advancing rapidly, most of the major flagship manufacturers now release multiple new phones a year. With more and more people upgrading annually, the topic of cashing in on your old device rises to prominence.

For the purposes of this guide we will be covering solutions that do not require you to leave your house. Every major carrier has some sort of trade-in program available, and there are scores of retail stores that will pay you cash on the spot for your old phone. Typically, retail trade-in prices pale in comparison to online offerings – so, we won’t be comparing too many of those.




For pricing comparison, we will be using an iPhone 6s Space Gray from AT&T with 16GB of storage in average condition as our baseline.

Retail Stores

Best Buy – $63.30

Gamestop – $325

AT&T Store Carrier Trade-In  – $300


Gazelle – $280.00

Usell – $293

Nextworth – $300

BuyBack World – $325

Exchange It – $370.00

There’s More Than Just Price To Consider

If selling your phone online, you should be looking for a company that guarantees satisfaction. Some companies have policies in place that protect the customer by allowing the device to be returned free of charge if the original quote changes in any way.

Also, speed of payment may be of concern to you. Some sites give a general idea of how long it takes them to process a device. This can range anywhere from three days to two weeks. Exchange It, for example, promises that your device will be processed and paid for within 24-hours of receiving it.

It’s not just order processing either, what about the time that it takes for you to receive your shipping materials? Again, Exchange It guarantees shipment of your shipping kit (hey!) within 36-hours of your order being placed (as long as the mail is running.) We have no estimates of ship time from other companies.




Final Thoughts

If you need cash today, the best option for you would be to use one of the retail stores. If considering an online trade-in company, one needs to look at speed of payment, satisfaction guarantees – and, of course, price. Exchange It tries to blend the best of both worlds, with logistics in place to get you paid in just a few days with a higher offer. No matter which route you decide to go, prices offered gradually fall over time. Now is always the best time to get rid of your old phones.


How much will Exchange It pay for my phone? CLICK HERE


What To Do If You Lose Your Phone

Lose your smartphone? You’re not alone.  In 2013, 4.5 million phones were lost or stolen in the United States.  That means, as a country, $30 billion is lost annually via smartphone misplacement or theft. Follow the steps below to keep your personal information and property safe after a smartphone loss.


Track Your Device Via Find My iPhone

With Apple products, it is incrediblyeasy to track a lost or stolen phone via the Find My iPhone app. FInd My iPhone is enabled by default, so unless you have purposely gone in and disabled it you will be able to track the device.


1. Go to iCloud.com and sign-in.

2. Click “Find My iPhone”

3. Click “All Devices” and select the device you would like to track.

If the phone has been turned off or had the battery removed it will not track. Some thieves are aware of this, so if your phone has been stolen it is important that you file a police report as soon as possible.




WIpe Your Personal Data & Lock The Device

Perhaps more important than retrieving your device is ensuring that all of your personal information has been securely erased. If you are using an iPhone, Apple has made this an easy process. NOTE: This will also lock the device and make it permanently unusable without your iCloud login and password. Phones that are locked in this manner are virtually worthless.

1. Go to iCloud.com and sign-in.

2. Click “Find My iPhone.”

3. Click “All Devices” and select your device from the drop-down menu.

4. Click “Erase” and then “Lost Mode.”

All of your data will now be secure.



Report Your Device Lost/Stolen To The Carrier

Reporting your device lost/stolen to the carrier will add it to the national blacklist of IMEI numbers and will make it unusable within the United States. Any user will still be able to use the device via WiFi but will not be able to use it with a cellular service.  NOTE: If you locked your device via iCloud it will be unusable anyway.




Guide To Selling Broken iPhone

Here at Exchange It, we love to buy broken iPhones. In fact, our broken condition pricing is something that we are quickly gaining notoriety for. We wanted to write an in-depth guide that explains the different “levels” of a broken iPhone and how they impact the devices value.

Sell your broken iPhone or iPad.

Sell your broken iPhone or iPad.

Cracked Or Bad Buttons

This is the best kind of broken, if your device is cracked we can guarantee that you will receive 100% of your quoted amount. The same applies to phones with non-functional or bad buttons. We will always pay the full offered amount for these devices. Also, we believe that we continually offer the highest prices on the internet for these items.

 Cracked With LCD Damage

This condition is the same as above, as long as there is some kind of visual movement on the LCD when the phone is powered on. If the screen is all black (or any solid color) it is likely that the phone has serious logic board damage. We will likely return all black screen devices.

 Tampered Devices

If you or a friend has attempted to repair your iPhone and wasn’t able to complete the job  it is likely that some of the screws and parts are missing from the inside of the iPhone. We will accept these devices as long as there are no parts missing and there was no catastrophic damage caused during the repair (e.g. the phone powers on and boots normally.) These will also receive 100% of the quoted amount.

Recovery Mode Loop Devices

We do not accept devices that are stuck in a recovery mode loop. Often times these devices will spout errors during the iTunes restore process. These phones usually have serious logic board damage which drastically lowers their value. We will likely return devices that are stuck in recovery mode.

No Power/Water Damage

Spilling or dropping your phone in water is really the worst thing that can happen to your phone. We do not accept devices that do not power on or devices that do not boot normally.


There we have it! If you have a cracked or broken iPhone we are looking to offer you the highest prices on the internet. If you have any questions regarding our fast and easy process, feel free to contact our amazing support team.

Exchange It offers guaranteed 24-hours order processing, and payouts that are 20% higher than other sites. We also provide a FREE shipping kit, that includes packaging, a sturdy box, and a return shipping label.

Click HERE to see how much your phone is worth!

Essential iPhone/Android Apps Pt. 1

Here are some of our favorite iPhone and Android apps along with why we use them. This is part one in an ongoing series that will be revisited on a frequent basis (as we discover new apps.) If you have any suggestions, please let us know in the comments below.

cPro Craigslist Client

If you buy and sell on craigslist frequently, check out this nice app. It formats all of the listing data neatly and allows you to search deep into craigslist just like you were on a desktop computer. It also makes it easy to contact sellers and post items up for sale. Managing ads can be done in-app as well. This is a must-have for anyone looking to sell somethings around the house for extra cash.

cPro Craigslist Client (iPhone)

cPro Craigslist Client (Android)

Nike+ Running

Nike+ Running makes it easy and fun to manage your runs. It utilizes the built-in GPS of your device to track distance, speed, and the elevation changes (iPhone 6 and up.) It also plots your route as you go and displays it on a nice little map. The timed run feature is excellent and informs you of milestones within your workout.

Nike+ Running (iOS)

Nike+ Running (Android)


For iOS users, we no longer have access to push Gmail – UNLESS you have the official Gmail app. Luckily for us, the iOS version of Gmail is up to par.  This app allows you to receive your email instantly, rather than having the default iOS mail client fetch it every hour or so. The design of the app is not perfect, but it is good enough for Gmail users to make it their staple email client.

Gmail (iOS)

Gmail (Android)



We Are Now Accepting Android Devices

Exchange It is proud to announce the opening of our Android marketplace. We are taking the same great customer service and value we bring our iPhone customers and expanding it into the Android arena. Currently, we are accepting most popular LG, HTC, and Samsung products. We look forward to giving our Android customers a safe and rewarding place to get quick cash for their old devices!

How To Safely Buy a Used Smartphone

Are you in the market for a used smartphone? You’re not the only one.  There is a major consumer trend world-wide that shows used smartphones are cannibalizing new smartphone sales by as much as 15%. The rise of the discount wireless carrier has contributed heavily to this. It just makes sense to buy used for a lot of consumers, especially if having access to the latest and greatest model isn’t of high-importance.

It’s also never been more dangerous to purchase used without doing some research first. After reading this quick guide, you should be fully prepared to safely purchase a used smartphone.

Check the ESN

Buying a used phone with a bad ESN number will quickly result in a broken heart and an empty wallet. A bad ESN typically means that the phone cannot be used without a bill being paid by the original owner, but it can sometimes mean that the phone has been reported lost or stolen (read more on what a bad ESN is here.) Listed below are some helpful links that will allow you to check the ESN of a device before purchase:

For T-Mobile devices, click here.

For Verizon devices, click here.

For Sprint devices, you must contact their support team directly (more info here.)

For AT&T customers, you can contact their support department here.

Make sure iCoud/Find My iPhone has been disabled (iOS Devices)

In case you didn’t know, an iPhone that is locked to the previous owner’s iCloud account is an expensive paperweight. If you see an iPhone that hasn’t been reset to factory settings (and some that have been) there is a high-probability that the phone has Find My iPhone enabled.

Have the seller wipe the device for you prior to the sale

It’s a good idea to have the seller of the device restore it to factory settings before the sale. This will allow you to ensure that the device is clear of any locks or passwords and that the device is ready to be setup for a new user.


Use these tips, along with a little common sense and you will increase your chances of having a hassle-free used phone purchase.

What is a bad ESN, MEID, or IMEI?

ESN, MEID, and IMEI numbers are unique identifiers that are assigned to every cellular device. These are numbers that help identify your device with the carrier. These numbers can be used to check if a device is clear for activation with a new account with the cellular provider. A bad ESN, MEID, or IMEI number is usually caused by one of three things:

1. The device is still active on the previous customer’s account.

2. There is an unfulfilled contract or money owed to the carrier.

3. The device has been reported lost or stolen.

Before sending your device to Exchange It, please make sure that:

1. The device has been removed from your wireless account and is clear for activation.

2. The device has not been reported lost or stolen.

3. There is not an outstanding balance with the carrier of the device.

4. iCloud/Find My iPhone has been disabled on Apple devices.

If your device has a bad ESN because it is still attached to a previous owner’s account you will be offered the “broken” condition pricing that correlates with your model. We will absolutely NOT accept phones that have been reported lost or stolen.

How To Get Your iTunes Backups To Save Your Email Account Passwords

Considering upgrading your iPhone in the near future? What if you drop it in the toilet and have to get a new one? One of the great things about the Apple ecosystem is the stellar backup abilities that all of their products possess. With the iPhone and iPad, we can backup our entire phone to iTunes and move it to a different device in about 20 minutes. Text messages, browsing data, contacts, photos, all of them get saved. The one feature that most people miss out on when backing up their Apple device is mail account passwords. If you are using good passwords, then they will be long and tedious to enter. Fortunately, Apple has implemented an easy way to get mail account passwords included in your iTunes backups.

1. Connect your device to your PC or Mac and fire up iTunes

2. Give it a few seconds and then go to your device page within iTunes (upper right-hand corner)

3. Under “Backups”, select “This computer”

4. Underneath that, select “Encrypt iPhone backup” and set a good password that you will remember (or, write it down!)

Your backup now syncs your mail account passwords, next time you restore your backup to a device your mail accounts will be ready to use with no additional setup needed. Woohoo!



The Definitive Guide To Cleaning Your iPhone 4 or 4S

It’s been 4-years since the initial release of the iPhone 4, and we’re certain that many of you are still using one. If you’re willing to deal with some sluggishness that was brought along by iOS 7, the iPhone 4 is still a viable smartphone choice. As time marches on, dirt and grime march in. Cleaning your device can give it new life and give you a new appreciation for what is undoubtedly one of the greatest smartphone designs of all time. In this guide we will offer a step-by-step method for getting your iPhone 4 or 4S as clean as possible.

Cleaning cloth and SIM eject tool.

Cleaning cloth and SIM eject tool.

For tools, all we need is a SIM card tool (or any object that is similar and size and not too sharp), a microfiber cloth (or your T-shirt), and a small cleaning cloth. Alcohol and a small needle or utility knife are optional but useful.

1. The Bottom Speaker Grill and Dock Connector

Dock connector and loudspeaker grille (before)

Dock connector and loudspeaker grill (before)

This is a big one for dust and lint. The bottom grill openings are for the loudspeaker and cleaning them can actually increase the clarity and volume of your notifications and speakerphone conversations. You’ll want to lightly dampen the cleaning cloth and move it around the inner-perimeter of the speaker grill opening as shown. This may take several passes. Although the loudspeaker grill is much stronger than the earpiece grill, you still need to practice caution with the amount of pressure applied to avoid denting the grill.

Cleaning the loudspeaker grille

Cleaning the loudspeaker grill

For the dock connector, you can use the SIM card tool to gently remove the dust and lint from the opening, as pictured below.

Removing lint from the dock connector

Removing lint from the dock connector

NOTE: Do not use a damp cleaning cloth in the dock connector, as it can trigger the liquid damage sensor inside and can possibly damage the part itself.

Dock connector and loudspeaker grille (after)

Dock connector and loudspeaker grill (after)

2. The Silent/Vibrate Switch

Silent/vibrate switch with grime and dust build-up (before)

Silent/vibrate switch with grime and dust build-up (before)

It is very easy for grime to get into the depths of the switch, this causes an unsightly appearance and can make the switch itself difficult to toggle. Use a lightly dampened cleaning cloth (alcohol is an option here, although water will work fine) and the SIM card eject tool to clean out the inside of the switch as shown. A needle or utility knife is useful for getting the inside remnants left in the corners of where the switch and bezel meet. This part is a little more resilient than the others, so it is OK to use light-to-moderate force when cleaning the silent/vibrate switch. Make sure to move the switch into silent mode and clean the other side.

Cleaning the silent/vibrate switch

Cleaning the silent/vibrate switch

After cleaning your switch should toggle back-and-forth with ease.

Silent/vibrate switch (after)

Silent/vibrate switch (after)

3. The Earpiece Speaker Grill

Dust build-up inside earpiece speaker grille (before)

Dust build-up inside earpiece speaker grille (before)

It is very common for dust to buildup inside the earpiece speaker grill. Dust and grime buildup inside the earpiece speaker grille can significantly reduce the clarity and volume of your phone conversations. It is very, very easy to damage it – so, we need to proceed with extreme caution. Do not apply pressure beyond a light touch, and if you choose to dampen your cleaning cloth (it will help to grab the dust in the innards of the earpiece inlet) you need to ensure that you are using as little moisture as possible. Take the cleaning cloth and SIM eject tool and lightly move it around the perimeter of the earpiece speaker grill as shown. You can use a needle or the tweezers to get any dust that is trapped between the edge of the glass and the grill.

Cleaning the earpiece speaker grille

Cleaning the earpiece speaker grill

NOTE: Be very careful with this step, it is very easy to dent the earpiece grill or to damage the speaker itself if your cloth is too damp.

Earpiece speaker grille (after)

Earpiece speaker grill (after)

4. Antenna and Outer Bezel

Grime can buildup on the edges of the chrome antenna which can be unsightly. To clean the antenna, take a cleaning cloth and wrap it tightly around the SIM eject tool – dampen the cloth and go around the edge of the phone as shown. You can finish using just your fingertip and the cleaning cloth, use some force so that the cloth presses all the way down into the corners. Make sure to do this for both the front and back side of the antenna and go all the way around the phone. Once finished, take the damp part of your cloth and go around the exterior of the chrome antenna.

Cleaning the edges of the antenna

Cleaning the edges of the antenna

5. The Front and Back Glass

Fingerprints and grime on front glass (before)

Fingerprints and grime on front glass (before)

The last step is the easiest and should leave you with a totally cleaned iPhone 4 or 4S. Simply take a microfiber cloth (or your T-shirt) that is free of debris and gently wipe any fingerprints and smudges from the glass. It is best to use a circular motion and then finish up with one long wipe from top to bottom to remove any remaining dust. If there is a buildup of grime on your glass, you may use a damp cleaning cloth and then finish up with a microfiber polish.

Cleaning the front glass

Cleaning the front glass

There we have it! A clean phone is a happy phone, If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, this should bring new life into your device. Feel free to post your own cleaning techniques or tips in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

The finished product

The finished product