Selling your phone? Do these things during and after the sale

The Samsung Galaxy S8LG G6, HTC U 11, and OnePlus 5 are all beautiful new devices that are tempting customers to open up their wallets. If you’re in the market for a new device, an important factor in your decision might be how much you can get for your old device. It’s a lot easier to drop a ton of cash on a new flagship if you know your old device is worth $200 – $300, right?

The difference between a quick sale at the top of your asking price and a long, drawn out sale where you don’t net as much could come down to a few simple details. In this guide, we’re going to give you some tips on how to maximize what you can get for your device.

This is part two of a two-part story about how to get the most money for your device. If you’d like to read our on what to do before you post your phone for sale, check out part one here.

Selling your device

Where to post

You have several options of where to sell your device to maximize the amount you’ll get back. The three most popular options are eBay, Swappa, and Craigslist.

eBay is known all around the world and can attract a diverse audience. If you choose to, you can allow international customers to bid on your auction and ship it off to another country. This will give you a much bigger group of people to sell to thereby increasing your chances of getting a higher fee. You’ll need to consider that you may have to pay higher shipping costs in this scenario. eBay has higher fees than the other two sites and you will have to pay PayPal if you’re accepting payment through it as well. A good rule of thumb is to budget about 20% of your device’s sale price for shipping, eBay and PayPal fees.

Swappa is the most popular choice for Android enthusiasts in my personal experience. Swappa offers excellent buyer and seller protections that eBay does not. Each device has its IMEI checked to make sure it isn’t blacklisted or on a payment plan from a carrier. The pictures of the device are also inspected by Swappa staff to make sure they match the description as well. Swappa recently introduced a new fee model where you’ll pay less to sell cheaper devices and more to sell expensive devices.

Sold Price Swappa Fee

flat fee
paid by buyer

eBay Fees 

paid by seller

Glyde Fees 

15% + $1-6
paid by seller

$0 – 100 just $5 up to $10 up to $21
$101 – 300 just $10 up to $30 up to $51
$301 – 500 just $15 up to $50 up to $81
$501 – 700 just $20 up to $70 up to $111
$701 – 1000 just $25 up to $99 up to $155
$1000 – 1999 just $35 up to $199 more than $300
$2000 + just $50 more than $200 more than $300

Chart provided by

Craigslist is always another popular option due to the lure of fast and easy cash. There are no fees associated with Craiglist but since your audience is much lower than on a site like eBay or Swappa, you may not be able to get as much for your phone. You also have the added risk of unsavory characters trying to pull a fast one on you. As someone who has been robbed during a Craigslist sale, I’ll never buy or sell another high dollar item on the site again, but some police stations and local government offices are now offering safe and secure spaces to conduct your transactions.

Be informative

As I said in the picture section, when you’re spending money on a phone you want to know everything about the device. Be sure to write out any damage to the device like scratches, dents, or scrapes. Also be sure to include if the device has been repaired or had a part like the battery replaced. Sometimes this can work for you or against you, but you should always be honest about your listing. If not for it being the right thing to do, then do it because a buyer can always reverse a transaction if you’re found to be lying about the device.

Be sure to list all the accessories that come with the device and what shape they’re in too. There’s a big difference between telling someone it comes with a case and a screen protector and telling someone it comes with a $100 Mophie case and a $50 tempered glass screen protector. You’re selling this device for the most money you can get, don’t be afraid to include details like this.

Pricing and offers

It’s a good rule of thumb never to post your device for the lowest price you’ll take for it, even if you’re trying to sell it quick. Everyone loves a deal and you’ll almost never find someone who is willing to pay asking price for your device, no matter how reasonable it might be. You’re always going to get an offer or two so post slightly above what you’re willing to take (even if it’s just $10!) to give yourself some wiggle room. Then you can sell it for a price you’re happy with and your buyer can feel like they’re getting a deal.

Also, on sites like Swappa and eBay, potential buyers can make offers. It’s important to respond firmly but courteously to any offer, even if it’s a lowball offer. Other potential buyers are watching these conversations and might not want to deal with a pain in the butt!

Once you’ve found an offer you’re willing to accept, be decisive and move quickly to wrap up the deal. Remember that you’re not the only fish in the sea and there are always new devices posted every day so once you’ve found something you can live with, it’s not worth haggling over a few dollars.

After the sale


Pop pop pop

Do not cheap out on shipping! Be sure that you’re properly packing the device and its accessories in an appropriately sized box before you send it off. I’ve had a few boxes show up at my door that look like they’ve gone through hell but because the seller properly packaged the phone, everything came out fine. I prefer to ship smaller boxes with USPS because I can purchase and print postage right from my computer and have it picked up the next day with my regular mail. FedEx and UPS also perform scheduled pickups in some cases.

I have invested in this pretty cheap roll of bubble wrap on Amazon. I keep it stored until I need it then wrap the hell out of the products I’m shipping out. It’s very convenient to have it laying around and my daughter appreciates popping the bubbles every once in a while. If you don’t have room for a roll of bubble wrap then try using plastic bags from the grocery. They work well too!

I would also encourage you to purchase insurance. I know the argument against it is that you’re paying for something you’ll probably never use, but I’d much rather pay $10 for shipping than have to refund someone $500 out of pocket for a lost or broken phone and have no recourse with the shipping service.


I’m a technology addict so I go through plenty of devices. These steps have never steered me wrong and I hope they help you out a little too. The thing I try to remember at all times is to be honest about the device. You’re trying to get the most money you can for your device, but if it arrives and the buyer isn’t happy, you’re going to have a headache on your hand.

This is part two of a two-part story about how to get the most money for your device. If you’d like to read our on what to do before you post your phone for sale, check out part one here.

If you have any more suggestions of apps to help back up data before selling a device, tips for selling or shipping your device, please post down in the comments section!