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many other retailers) offer some kind of a trade-in programme and, depending on your phone’s condition, there’s a fairly good chance you’ll be able to walk away with a new one without spending a fortune.
They take care of inspection and transfer right on the spot, and in our random checks, Apple’s Reuse and Recycling program gave the highest payouts of any of the retail stores (even without the small amount extra you’ll get for having the original USB cable and power adapter lying around). Just be in the know that there’s a fair amount of fluctuation (especially around the launch of a new model), so it’ll pay to check all of your options before handing it over.
If you’re willing to invest a little more effort, however, you might be able to get a few extra quid. The website compareandrecycle.co.uk will give you plenty of price comparisons from many sites that will buy your phone for cash, including big names such as EnviroPhone, the mobile networks and Apple’s retail system. There are also other options, including tescomobilerecycling.com from Tesco, mazumamobile.com and many others. In our experience, the retail stores and Apple often offered amounts that were better than many of the online options, though.
But, as with a lot of things, your best bet is eBay. If your contract has finished, most of the mobile networks should unlock your old phone for you without much fuss when requested. And, bear in mind, this will go a long way toward maximising the phone’s value on the auction block. Add an
Most of the mobile networks should unlock your old phone for you without too much hassle
original box and include all the trimmings, and you could be looking at an extra £50 over what Apple gives you, depending on condition. If you don’t want to tie yourself to a single carrier, you can get a decent deal on pay-as-you-go, provided you buy an unlocked iPhone first. But while you’re unlikely to find a bargain on the latest model, you don’t have to drop hundreds on last year’s tech. You won’t find iPhones in Apple’s Certified Refurbished Store, but there are several eBay stores that offer deals on pre-owned, factory unlocked handsets. Factory Certified, for example, (stores.ebay.com/factory-certified) was offering a 16GB iPhone 5 for £314 (including fees), which includes a full one-year Apple warranty. But the real steal was a 64GB version of the iPhone 5 for just £327 – including postage and import fees. That’s more than £200 cheaper than an unlocked 32GB iPhone 5c, despite having practically identical components and double the storage. Elsewhere on eBay, you can grab new 5s handsets for £50 less.
Additionally, Apple has loosened its grip on retail pricing, so if you’re vigilant, there are now some deals to be found at places such as Amazon. You might not see markdowns on the latest models shortly after release, of course, but you can find £40 or £50 or so knocked off the normal unlocked price. The mobile phone networks will also do big discounts on subsidised models with contracts every so often too.