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What to Do with Your Old iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or iPad Once You Upgrade

If you plan to upgrade your iPhone to the latest iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C or get your hands on one of the newest iPad models, don't forget that your used iOS mobile device still has some value. Jason R. Rich explores what you can do with your used iPhone or iPad after you upgrade to a newer model.
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It's that time of year again. AfterApple released the new iPhone and iPad models, millions of dedicated Apple users clamored to get their hands on the latest and greatest iOS mobile devices. As a result, there are countless older and used iPhones and iPads being deactivated.

In many cases, these devices are being stored in drawers, never to be used again. Some people even throw away their used iOS mobile devices, thinking that the outdated models have no value whatsoever.

The truth is that used iPhones and iPads do retain some value, even if they're broken. They can easily be sold on the secondary market. Plus, there are numerous schools and charities that welcome the donation of used iOS mobile devices (and provides the donor with tax incentives).

Deactivated iPhones and iPad Wi-Fi + cellular models, as well as older iPad Wi-Fi Only models, can also continue to be used as Wi-Fi Only devices, with no ongoing monthly fees, for a wide range of tasks. This makes them the perfect "hand-me-down" item for your teenagers or kids.

Some parents of infants or toddlers who were hesitant to allow their youngsters to touch their iPhone or iPad sometimes invest in a padded, child-proof case for their used device, load in educational apps designed for young kids, and then allow their kids to use their old device as an electronic learning tool.

Squidoo and Fisher-Price, for example, offer toddler-friendly protective cases. You'll find numerous infant and toddler-friendly apps available from the App Store.

In addition, by swapping out the micro-SIM chip within an older iPhone (GSM) model and unlocking the device (a task that can be accomplished easily and within minutes), it can continue to be used with a pay-as-you-go or prepaid cellular service for a flat monthly fee (typically between $35.00 and $70.00 per month for voice, text, and data service), without having to sign a two year service agreement.

Options for Selling Your Used iOS Mobile Device

Your used iOS mobile device, especially if it's still in working condition, continues to have value and can easily be sold. How much you'll receive for your used device depends on a handful of factors, including the model and configuration of your iPhone or iPad, the condition of your device, where you sell it, and supply and demand.

In general, the longer you wait to sell a used device and the more outdated it becomes, the less you'll be able to sell it for. Thus, if you have a used iPhone 5 after upgrading to the iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C, consider selling the older phone as soon as possible.

You can typically earn the most money if you sell it yourself on a service like eBay.com or Craigslist.com—directly to another person. However, there are several national retail chains, such as Best Buy, GameStop, and Radio Shack, that will either offer you cash or a store gift card for your used smartphone or tablet. This is typically the fastest way to get cash in hand for your used device.

It's also possible to sell your used device using an online service, and never have to leave your home or office. Services such as Gazelle, Cash For iPhones, Smart Phone Trade In, and BuyMyTronics.com invite users to visit their respective websites, select the make and model of their used equipment, briefly describe its condition, and then lock in a sale price. The company then sends the seller a prepaid shipping box or provides preprinted and prepaid shipping labels, and upon receiving the used equipment, sends the seller a check for the agreed-to amount, typically within a week to 10 days.

Meanwhile, popping up in malls and other locations across the country are EcoATM machines that allow you to immediately receive cash for your used smartphone or tablet by using an automated, self-service, ATM-like machine. To find a location for one of these machines, visit http://www.ecoatm.comhttp://www.ecoatm.com/find-a-location.html.

Keep in mind that you'll always receive the most money if your iPhone or iPad is in good condition—in other words, if it still works, and the screen isn't cracked. However, you can also sell broken iOS mobile devices and earn some cash for them as well.

That old iPhone 3Gs or original iPad you still have lying around is probably worth between $50.00 and $100.00, whereas a newer iPhone or iPad model could be worth between $200.00 and $400.00 (or more), depending on how you sell it. To earn the most money possible, you'll definitely want to explore the various options.

While selling your used device via eBay.com or Craigslist.com will typically earn you the most money, this will take a bit more effort on your part.

If you opt to go with a national retail chain that buys used equipment, it's more convenient and you can receive your money that same day. But retailers tend to pay less per device. Online services such as Gazelle pay less than selling the device yourself, but pay more than the retailers. The drawback is you must wait a week to 10 days to receive payment.

That being said, some retailers run short-term promotions and invite customers to trade in a used iPhone or iPad in order to upgrade to a newer model. In this case, you're often guaranteed a preset amount for your used device. Others offer a store gift card for a predetermined amount in exchange for any used iOS mobile device.

Microsoft is using this type of promotion to lure iPhone and iPad users into trading in their Apple devices in favor of a Windows Phone or Microsoft Surface tablet. Currently, if you visit any Microsoft Store, you'll be offered $200.00 for a used iPhone if you "upgrade" to any Windows Phone, or $200.00 for a used iPad if you "upgrade" to a Microsoft Surface tablet.

See the Microsoft website for details on these offers. The obvious drawback to this if you're a dedicated Apple user, is that you'll now own a Windows-based device.

Use eBay.com to Sell Your Used iPhone or iPad

By investing a little bit of time and then allowing up to a week for your item to sell, using eBay.com to sell your used iPhone or iPad often makes the most financial sense.

To use this service, you'll need to set up a free eBay.com account if you don't already have one. Then simply go to the eBay website and click the Sell option that's displayed near the top of the home screen. If you haven't already done so, log in to your eBay account by entering your username and password.

Next, from the Sell screen, you'll be prompted to enter a headline for your item. Here, you can type a one-line description of the phone or tablet. However, you'll save time by just typing iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, for example. This will cause a new menu screen to appear that displays photos and prewritten descriptions of all iPhone or iPad configurations for the model you enter.

Click the Sell One Like This option that correlates to the photo and description that matches the device you're selling.

eBay will automatically create a listing for you, plus choose an appropriate selling category. From the screen that's displayed next, you'll be asked to describe the condition of your device. To do this, tap the Select the Condition option and choose between New, New (Other), Manufacturer Refurbished, Seller Refurbished, Used, For Parts, or Not Working.

If you want to edit the prewritten product description and include some unique information about the particular device you're selling, tap the Edit option that's displayed to the right of the Listing Title.

It's then possible to add details about any accessories, such as a case, that you're including with the iPhone or iPad; or a description of the device, such as "Used, but in like-new condition with no screen scratches or cracks."

Next, choose a starting price for your eBay auction and/or a Buy It Now price, or enter in a fixed selling price. Before doing this, explore eBay a bit and see what similar iPhones or iPads are currently selling for, keeping in mind that pricing for used devices changes almost daily.

Keep in mind that eBay charges a listing fee and a percentage of the sale, so calculate that into your price. You can also set how long the auction will last. Your options include one, three, five or seven days.

After selecting how you'll ship the item to the seller, and deciding who will pay for shipping, one of your other options is to upload your own photos of what you're selling. When eBay creates your listing for an iPhone or iPad, your listing will automatically include one stock photo of a new device. You might want to add your own images that showcase the actual item someone would be buying, along with whatever accessories you'll be including. To do this, click the Add Photos option.

Once all of the details have been added to your eBay listing, click the List It button. Within a few minutes, your listing will be published on eBay and potential buyers will be able to bid on your used iPhone or iPad, or purchase it at the Fixed Price or Buy It Now price that you preselected.

After your item sells on eBay, the fastest way to get paid is via PayPal, so you'll also need to set up a free PayPal account that's linked to your bank account. However, other payment options are available.

When shipping your used iPhone or iPad to a buyer, always ship it using a method that offers package tracking, signature confirmation upon delivery, and insurance. The U.S. Post Office Priority Mail service offers this, as do FedEx and UPS. Make sure you request and pay for all these extra services.

If you're not familiar with how eBay works, be sure to read the online tutorials that are available. Simply tap the Need Help? option that's displayed on the screen. For a general overview about selling items on eBay.com, visit http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/index.html. To calculate the fees and commissions charged by eBay once your item is sold, visit http://www.fees.ebay.com/feeweb/feecalculator.

Remember, how long it takes to get paid for an item(s) sold through eBay.com varies. You must wait for the item to actually sell, ship the item to the buyer, and then wait for your payment to be processed.

Donating Your Used iPhone or iPad

Instead of selling your used device, if you want to do something good with it, you have the option of donating it to a charity or a school. Almost any school will accept the donation of a used iPad, while many charities and nonprofit organizations will accept used iPhones or iPads as donations.

For example, Cell Phones for Soldiers accepts donations of working smartphones and will put them in the hands of active military personnel serving overseas, allowing them to more easily and affordably call home to their loved ones.

Meanwhile, the Secure the Call organization accepts iPhone donations and provides them to senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, and people staying at domestic violence shelters.

The Phones/4/Charity and Computers with Causes organizations also accept donations of used iPhones and iPads, and puts them to good use by working in conjunction with other reputable charities.

To learn more about organizations that accept used iPhones and iPads, visit any Internet search engine and type in the search phrase, "Donate an iPhone" or "Donate an iPad."

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