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Can You Sell a Prepaid Phone with Minutes?

Want to sell a prepaid phone with minutes? Carriers like Tracfone do not offer refunds on minutes, but you can still sell your prepaid minutes when you sell your phone. Here’s how to do it.

The biggest hurdle to selling a prepaid phone with minutes is the number of service days left. For example, Total Wireless and Straight Talk minutes are only good for 30 days, so you’ll need to sell your phone in time for the buyer to use them before they expire. Tracfone sells minutes that are good for up to 365 days, which can lend more time to find a buyer.

Online buyback stores do not pay more for remaining minutes, so the best places to sell a prepaid phone with minutes are online marketplaces like Swappa and eBay or local options like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Based on eBay sales, in general you can expect to get the value of your phone plus around 25 to 50 percent of the original value of your minutes. You won’t get full price – if buyers wanted to pay that they’d buy from the carrier – but you can recoup some of your cost. That could be significant if you have, say, $300 in airtime minutes loaded on your phone. After all, $150 is better than nothing.

After you sell a prepaid phone, you’ll need to transfer ownership to the buyer. In the case of Tracfones, you go online and remove your personal information from the device. The buyer can then set up their own account, and any unused minutes will automatically transfer with the phone.

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