Smartphone resale values explained: Samsung

Chase Bonar
 from Winter Springs, FL
Published: March 5, 2013

Samsung smartphones sell like Ice Cream Sundaes at a Summer camp. Simply put, Samsung's sales are nothing short of stellar. No manufacturer in the mobile arena can get within spitting distance of them. However, the King's reign is coming to an end as the Android ecosystem beckons a successor to the Galaxy S III.

Yesterday, the often credible @evleaks tweeted the image above, which is nothing but a mock-up from a retailer. Our own Alex Wagner broke the news first. You can check out the retailer's page and all of its rumors at their own site for more details.

Long story short, we know as much (or little) about Samsung's Galaxy S IV as we did yesterday before @evleaks posted the images. So, if you're still just as excited as I am to see the next big thing in all of its glory, you probably have a smartphone lying around to sell.

Personally, I have the most experience buying and selling Apple's products, and I've explained my take on the matter in my last resale values editorial about HTC. In essence, the Apple Rule need not apply to HTC and their products, but I've noticed Samsung is not far behind in resale value as compared to the fruit company. Good news for those who plan on picking up Samsung's next intergalactic device.

Buying and selling smartphones is no easy feat but if you have an Android phone, the Galaxy S brand is the most widely recognized. This helps consumers identify with the product before it's even sold. In my experience, brand recognition is half the battle when reselling.

But like anything that can now be labelled "old" or "last-gen," there will be some difficulties unloading the device for a decent price.

I've always been the sort of person to at least attempt to sell my device. My idea of selling is simple. If you can say you made a counteroffer to whatever was pitched to you, you're trying to sell. There's a salesman in all of us, you just have to find that person.

If you're the sort of person who doesn't have any interest in selling, I'm talking to you here as well. Regardless of your ideas of the latest gadgets or buying tendencies, there's no reason not to want to make as much money as you can by selling your old smartphone.

In this case, I'm talking to the largest audience of smartphones in the Android ecosystem: the Samsung Galaxy S III.

As you know, Samsung's ability to get the same device on each of the four major wireless carriers in the States was part of the reason the device was so successful. Samsung hit the nail on the head and they're still pinning new records into the Android Wall of Fame.

Yet, it's not all good news for those who are trying to sell their Galaxy S III. Selling a carrier-locked presents consumers with different values depending on their mobile provider. To top it off, you're about to join a non-exclusive crowd of second-hand Galaxy S devices.

To those looking to get rid of your Galaxy S III for the S IV, I've done some research for you in hopes of easing the pain. If you want to make a little cash in the process to cover the value of the 2-year commitment you plan to sign for the new Galaxy S IV, here's what you can expect when you try to sell that dusty Galaxy S III.

I have gathered a sample group of smartphone values across the nation. Here are my results.


Samsung Galaxy S III - AT&T

- Retail: $549.99
- Market value: $395.60
- Gross margin: 72% of retail value
- Forecasted value in one month: 60%
- 60% of retail: $330.00
- Tip: The AT&T Galaxy S III holds its value the best out of all carriers. Expect to sell it for no less than $330.00.

Samsung Galaxy S III - Sprint

- Retail: $549.99
- Market value: $320.00
- Gross margin: 58% of retail value
- Forecasted value in one month: 50%
- 50% of retail: $275.00
- Tip: The Sprint Galaxy S III has taken the biggest hit in the second-hand market. Selling it as close to $300.00 as possible is a good target.


Samsung Galaxy S III - T-Mobile

- Retail: $599.99
- Market value: $395.30
- Gross margin: 66% of retail value
- Forecasted value in one month: 50%
- 50% of retail: $330.00
- Tip: An LTE Galaxy S III with the 1700MHz flavor of T-Mobile's LTE band just passed through the FCC, so expect the original Galaxy S III on T-Mobile to take a pretty big hit in value when the Galaxy S IV arrives at the carrier.

Samsung Galaxy S III - Verizon

- Retail: $599.99
- Market value: $370.90
- Gross margin: 62% of retail value
- Forecasted value in one month: 55%
- 55% of retail: $330.00
- Tip: The value of the Verizon Galaxy S III IS relatively stagnant, possibly because of the Black color. This should not be a hard variant to sell for around $325.00.


Note: The average market values are based on data gathered from and The average market values are pre-negotiation. Retail values are based on carrier's retail prices. I assume no responsibility for the success or failure of selling your smartphone. May The Force be with you, Dear Reader.

If you're looking to pick up the Galaxy S IV, you're not alone! You can almost guarantee it will sell as well as its predecessor. But with that comes an increased level of saturation in the second-hand market. In other words, make sure you're negotiable and willing to sell your smartphone. Your level of negotiation and leverage is extremely low at this point in time. Let me know how I can help you unload that old Galaxy S in the comments below. If you have any questions, ask away. Thanks!