Tips on selling your iPhone online

If you’re hesitant to send your old iPhone off into the oblivion, hoping to receive a check in the mail at some point, you’re not alone.

As our cash for iPhones business on Long Island and New York City has grown from our walk-in customers, they’ve shared their past experiences: horror stories, broken promises, and bait and switch scams from a wide variety of “mail in websites”.

The Top Dollar Promise, Shattered – The Classic Bait and Switch Explained:

When you visit one of these mail-in websites that purchase devices, they boast high prices for used iPhones. However, this becomes an illusion once you read the fine print. Only a very small fraction of people that send in devices actually receive this pricing. According to the leading mail in sell your iPhone for cash website, “Only 10% of their devices received fit the bill for “Flawless” condition, of which is their top paying price.”

Here is where the real problem lies though. You’ve decided to take a chance, and sell your old iPhone for cash to this new mail in website:

  • After navigating a mail in website, you find out your iPhone is worth $250 (according to them). Wow! You’re happy and excited, let’s do this!
  • You’ve been instructed to mail in your device to this business, or they send you a package to mail in your device. You carefully package it up and send it off.
  • A few weeks go by, no word from the company, no biggie right? Anytime I’ve ever mailed anything it’s taken forever.
  • You decide to contact the company, “What’s the deal? I mailed in my iPhone a month ago, I haven’t heard anything”

Well this is where it starts to get interesting. Realizing that they have your property, there’s a little bit of fear setting in. What if they just don’t answer? Was this a bad idea?

They quickly respond “We’re terribly sorry, due to the volume of iPhones being mailed into our facilities; we’re very much backed up and will surely get to your device shortly”

Well, that’s a relief. So many people just like me are cashing in their iPhones for top dollar; I’ll wait my turn and be raining in the cash sooner than later at this point.

After a few more days, you receive a response! They’ve evaluated your device! But, it goes something like this:

“Unfortunately, we’ve noticed a few problems with your device”

  • You selected “Flawless” condition, and your iPhone is “Good” at best. (Subjectivity at its finest! – deduction!)
  • Your iPhone shows small signs of water damage. Don’t worry this is common, it could be from listening to music while showering etc. (But, hey it’s still a deduction!)
  • Your device’s battery has to be replaced, it’s not holding a great charge (Well, what older phone does?, that’s why I’m trading it in! – you guessed it.. deduction number 3!)

Here comes the finish line for the scam:

“We unfortunately cannot offer the $250 we had originally offered because your iPhone does not fit our extensive criteria; we can however offer you $150 because of the condition, water damage, and battery issues.

If this is not acceptable, we can mail your device back to you for a $25 service charge plus shipping, and this can take up to 3-4 weeks.

Now it sets in. You’re a victim of a bait and switch, and you’re realizing it. You are forced to make a financial decision, just take the $150 for your iPhone and be done? Or take a penalty and have it mailed back, if it ever comes back. Either way, the negotiations at this point are slated. You have no leverage, they have your device, wait, did I wipe all of my data off this device before I sent it? Now these people have that too!

At this point, it will be over a month before you receive payment for your device, should the check ever arrive. Our walk-in customers have been through even worse horrors: checks never being received, checks that bounce, and over a year long run-around from this mail in companies, still with no payment.

As a disclaimer, we’re sure there are legitimate mail in websites that exist where you can sell your iPhone for cash, this article explains just a few problems our new customers have experienced in the past.