Before you sell your device, you'll want to perform these prep steps to ensure that your device is clean (both outside and inside) and no longer contains your personal data.
Disable Find my iPhone
Before you can erase an iOS device, you must first turn off Find my iPhone. To do this, perform these steps:
- Open Settings
- Navigate to iCloud | Find my iPhone
- Turn the Switch for Find my iPhone to the OFF position (Figure A)
Turning off Find my iPhone means that the device can now be erased without issues.
This will remove your device from the Find my iPhone section of iCloud so that it no longer reports its location to iCloud if it's ever lost or stolen.
Erase your device
Before selling your device, you'll want to ensure that all of the content is erased from your device. However, you should back up your device first with either iTunes or iCloud so that you can restore your content to a new device down the road. After that's done, follow these steps to erase your content:
- Open Settings
- Navigate to General | Reset
- Tap Erase All Content and Settings to have your device completely erased (Figure B). You'll need to confirm that you want to proceed with this process by entering your passcode, since it will erase all of your content from the iPhone.
Erasing content from your old iPhone.
This process will take a few minutes, depending on how much content you had on your device.
Where to sell
Used iOS devices can go for a lot of money, so when you go to sell your device (depending on where you sell it), you can make a good bit of money to put towards the purchase of your next device.
Most carriers offer trade-in programs, which let you trade in your device in exchange for discounts or cash-back towards the purchase of a new device on the same carrier. This is great if you're sticking with your same carrier and wanting to rid your old device at the same time you go into the store to perform the upgrade.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer trade-in programs. Here's their average trade-in prices for the iPhone 6 16 GB:
- AT&T: $300 (iPhone 6), $325 (iPhone 6 Plus)
- Sprint: $335 (iPhone 6), $340 (iPhone 6 Plus)
- T-Mobile: $351 (iPhone 6), $361 (iPhone 6 Plus)
- Verizon: $335 (iPhone 6), $340 (iPhone 6 Plus)
There are many trade-in programs that will purchase your device for a specific price. Often times, these programs provide the lowest offers, but it's still worth considering if you're looking to get cold hard cash in your hands for your device.
Here's the top trade-in programs to sell your old iPhone:
- Gazelle: $301 (iPhone 6), $326 (iPhone 6 Plus); "Best Price Guarantee" in effect until 9/9/2015
- NextWorth: $350 (iPhone 6), $385 (iPhone 6 Plus)
- Amazon: $360 (iPhone 6), $389 (iPhone 6 Plus), $175 (iPhone 5s); paid in Amazon gift cards
Many stores include the ability to trade in your phone to get either a gift card or money towards the purchase of a new device in the store. Apple offers an in-store reuse and recycling program as well, which will give you in-store credit when you go to purchase your new device on launch day. Be sure to check with these stores to see how much you can get for trading your device. Many stores offer an incentive to have the money towards the purchase of a new (more expensive) device instead of a gift card.
- Apple Store: (iPhone 6 / 6 Plus prices not yet available)
- Best Buy: (iPhone 6 / 6 Plus prices not yet available)
What other tips would you suggest before selling your old iOS device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
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Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.