Given today's great turnout for the iPhone 3G S, there will be no doubt be plenty of users saddled with their last-gen handsets stashed in an old-tech closet.
Instead of letting that old iPhone 3G (or even older model) collect dust, why not trade in the relic for some cash? The following sites are buying up iPhones at decent prices right now.
This is not a comprehensive list, so if you have others to share, go ahead and chime in at the bottom. (All trade-in cash amounts were real at the time of this writing, but can fluctuate daily. Values were based on a device in good condition or with normal wear and tear, and with all accessories, including the box.)
NextWorth: BlackBerries are also accepted as well as other gadgets, like digital cameras, laptops, game consoles and GPS units.
•Payment: checks, PayPal or gift card (Amazon or Target)
•Shipping: NextWorth pays for shipping
•(As of this writing) iPhone 3G 16GB: $191.25/Payment in approximately 2 to 3 weeks
Gazelle: The site takes 60+ brands of cell phones, plus practically anything electronics you can think of, including computers, PDAs, GPS devices, game consoles, camcorders, satellite radios, video games, movies, calculators, LCD monitors, Blu-Ray players and even camera lenses. (Personal note: I was shocked to discover that Gazelle would buy my ancient Palm Lifedrive for $51. Beats sending it to the scrap heap, where it was about to go.)
•Payment: checks, PayPal or charitable donation
•Shipping: Gazelle pays for shipping
•iPhone 3G 16GB: $190/Pays in approximately 2 to 3 weeks
BuyMyTronics: There are 48 brands of eligible cell phones listed, in addition to iPods, Zunes, game consoles, digital cameras, computers and camcorders.
•Payment: checks, PayPal
•Shipping: Sellers pay for shipping
•$232.78/Payments initiated in 48 hours of item's receipt
CashforiPhones: A website name can't get any clearer than that. The site gives cash for iPhones, iPods, BlackBerries, and 12 other brands of smartphones, as well as laptops.
•Shipping: CashforiPhones pays for shipping
•iPhone 3G 16GB: $215/Payments initiated in 24 hours of item's receipt
Flipswap: The company claims to take any cell phone in any condition. If they don't offer a cash value for something that's, say, too old or broken, it offers to recycle it for free.
•Payment: checks, Amazon gift card, charitable donations
•Shipping: Flipswap pays for shipping
•iPhone 3G 16GB: $240.11/The company will contact sellers when payments are processed.
In general, cash values vary depending on the condition of the phone and demand for the unit. Right now, demand seems to be pretty good. In nearly every instance, these sites were even buying dead iPhones (except for Gazelle, which offers to recycle it for free). The cash amounts range from $36 to $89 dollars, so even if it's just a sleek paperweight, you might still be able to get a few ducats.
Last but not least, don't ever sell a smartphone, PDA, laptop or anything else that has sensitive info on it without wiping it first. Most companies may offer to do it for you, but even at a predominately honest company, all it takes is one crooked staffer to steal your identity. But if you take the safety precautions, and describe your device accurately on the site, you could be in for a simple and even pleasant trade-in experience.
Could you get more selling it on eBay or Craigslist? Probably. There are plenty of people looking for unlocked or secondhand iPhones. But for minimal risk and a no-hassle transaction, trade-in sites don't seem like a bad way to go. I haven't tried any of these myself, but based on what I found out here, I?m pretty tempted. (If you've ever dealt with any of these companies, let us know how it was.)