How To: Prepare to Sell That Old iPhone
It’s that most magical time of year: the time before a new iPhone launches. This means that for many people, it’s time to sell that old phone to buy the new one. For those looking to ditch their phone, here’s three handy tips to make sure everything goes smoothly in transitioning to the iPhone 5.
Make Sure the Phone is Backed Up
There’s no real need to start fresh with any missing contacts or apps when using a new iPhone. Follow our handy guide to setting up backups via iCloud or iTunes. Then, when the new iPhone is purchased, simply restore to the backup of that phone. On iTunes, this is just as simple as selecting the device from the list when choosing what to restore from. For iCloud backups, make sure to log in to the same iCloud account when restoring on the new device. It may be a good idea to note which iCloud account is being used on your old iPhone. Remember as well that backups are cross-compatible, so even an iPod touch backup could be used to restore to the new iPhone
Make Sure the Phone is Erased.
No one wants to accidentally hand over a phone with all their contacts, saved payment information in apps, and their most embarassing photos to a stranger or even worse: a family member! Thankfully, erasing a device is easy. Just go to Settings -> General -> Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase all user data on the phone. Make sure it’s backed up first! This will leave it in a state where it will be possible to restore to a new device. If you’re selling it to someone you don’t know, you may want to set it up as a new device just so they can test the features out, while showing how to erase it so they can set it up themselves, possibly even from a backup they made!
A website like Gazelle or a store like GameStop may make it easy to sell the phone quickly and securely, but this will not net as much as selling it directly to another person will. Selling via eBay or Craigslist is a good way to quickly sell the phone, but it comes with the inherent risk of dealing with strangers. Hold on to the original receipt if possible in order to ensure that you have proof that you purchased it in case someone tries to claim that the phone was stolen. Especially log your phone’s IMEI or ESN, a phone's unique identifying number, if possible, as it is what the carriers use to track stolen phones. Here's how to find this information on the iPhone itself. Having a log of this may help if a scammer tries to claim you sold them a stolen phone.
Good luck out there!