What’s the Best Place to Sell a Phone in 2019? A Comparison of Selling Options

Looking for the best place to sell a phone in 2019? There’s a lot to consider: total payout, payout type, convenience, associated risks and how long it takes to get paid. We compared popular phone selling options to help you decide where to sell your used phone.

Total payout and payout type

ModelKiosks (cash)Carriers (credit)Online Market- places, after fees (cash)Local Buyback Stores (cash)Local Market- places (cash)Online Buyback Stores (cash)
iPhone XS$350$405$611$450$703$582
iPhone X$310$325$480$400$551$457
iPhone 8$160$185$285$210$317$263
iPhone 7$75$100$170$105$185$146
Galaxy S9$125$185$258$150$270$236
Galaxy S8$60$95$179$90$184$153
Galaxy S7$40$46$87$45$84$76
LG G7 ThinQ$0$80$165$25$155$120
LG G6$0$20$78$25$70$70
LG G5$10$10$57$25$34$31

Retrieved 9/11/2019, base models compared on Verizon network in “good” condition. Kiosk prices via ecoATM. Carrier prices via Verizon. Online marketplace prices via Swappa lowest recently sold price. Local buyback store prices via Best Buy. Online buyback store & local marketplace prices via Flipsy data.

Local marketplaces like Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo and Facebook Marketplace tend to offer the most for used phones because there are no fees or middlemen. Online marketplaces like Swappa and eBay typically offer the second-highest payouts, though selling fees and PayPal fees can cut into your take.

Who pays more? Swappa, eBay or Flipsy?  Find out

Online buyback stores are a close third, followed by local buyback stores like Best Buy and carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. ecoATM kiosks pay the least.

Note that carriers pay in store credit, while the other options offer cash payments.

Convenience and time investment

Selling OptionProcessApproximate Time Investment
KiosksLocate and drive to kiosk location

Initiate trade-in & verify identity

On-site cash payout

1 hour
CarriersVisit carrier trade-in page

Accept offer & print shipping label

Package & ship phone

Payout typically delivered as bill credit within 2 billing cycles

30 minutes
Online MarketplacesList phone for sale with description & photos

Answer buyer questions

Check site/email for questions & winning bids

Print shipping label

Package & ship phone

Cash payout, time varies

1 to 3 hours
Local Buyback StoresLocate and drive to store location

Get a buyback offer in-store (potential negotiation)

On-site cash, check or store credit payout

1 hour
Local MarketplacesList phone for sale with description & photos

Answer buyer questions

Check site/email for questions & sold status

Negotiate price

Arrange place & time to complete sale

Meet buyer in person

On-site cash payout

1 to 4 hours
Online Buyback StoresGet offer from buyback store

Accept offer & print shipping label

Package & ship phone

Cash, check or PayPal payouts within 1 to 3 days of receiving your phone

30 minutes

Online buyback stores and carriers take the least time and effort to sell your phone. There’s no need to create a detailed listing, wait for bids, negotiate prices or meet buyers in person.

Kiosks and local buyback stores take a little more time and effort since you need to drive to their locations and, in the case of local buyback stores, you might need to negotiate with the buyer.

Online marketplaces and local marketplaces take the most time and effort. You must create a detailed listing, add photos, answer questions, potentially negotiate prices and wait for a sale. In the case of local marketplaces, you also need to arrange to meet the buyer.

Selling on Craigslist? Stay safe with our  Craigslist used phone selling checklist

Time to get paid

Selling OptionTime to SellPayout TimeTotal Time to Get Paid
CarriersInstantWithin 2 billing cyclesUp to 60 days
Online Marketplaces1 to 14 days (or more)3 to 21 days3 to 35 days+ depending on time to sell; typically, around 7 days after it sells
Local Buyback StoresInstantInstantInstant
Local Marketplaces1 to 14 days (or more)Instant1 to 14 days (or more)
Online Buyback StoresInstant1 to 3 days7 to 14 days

Kiosks and local buyback stores offer the quickest payouts since you can be paid on the spot. Online buyback stores are fast, too, with instant sales and payouts issued 1 to 3 days after the buyer receives your phone (the entire process usually takes 7 to 14 days with shipping).

Did you know? Many phones are worth $100+. Find the value of your phone.


Local marketplaces offer quick payouts, but the total time to get paid depends on how long it takes to find a buyer. The same goes for online marketplaces: there’s no telling how long it will take to sell your phone, and it could take 3 to 21 days for your funds to be available after it sells. Though carriers offer instant sales, it can take up to 60 days for your payout to be applied as a credit on your wireless bill.


Selling OptionRisks
CarriersGenerally, pay the quoted price based on condition and submit payment on time. Must wait up to 60 days to receive credit
Online Buyback StoresGenerally, pay the quoted price based on condition and submit payment on time. Some stores have been known to delay payouts. Avoid issues by selling to Flipsy Trust Verified Stores
Local Buyback StoresMay need to share driver’s license or identification card. Some stores or pawn shops could be in high-crime areas. May get a low offer or need to negotiate a fair price
KiosksNeed to share driver’s license or identification card. Some kiosks have been targeted by criminals who steal phones. Machine could be out of cash (in which case you will be issued a check)
Online MarketplacesUnscrupulous buyers can return the phone or try to scam you by saying they never received it. Could take a long time to sell or your phone might not sell at all
Local MarketplacesLittle or no moderation of sales. “Buyers” could attempt to scam you out of your phone or steal your data. Buyers might not show up to complete the sale. Criminals can set up meetings with the intent to rob or harm

Carriers and legitimate online buyback stores pose few, if any, risks. They typically pay the quoted price based on your phone’s condition and they submit payment on time.

It’s not inherently risky to sell to local buyback stores and kiosks; however, some stores are in high-crime areas and criminals have targeted kiosks because they know users are carrying cash.

ecoATM: Quick cash or criminal honeypot?  Learn more

Though online marketplaces and some local marketplaces have worked to reduce the risk of selling on their platforms, they’re still hotspots for scammers who might attempt to steal your phone, money or both.

What’s the best place to sell a phone?

The best place to sell a phone depends on your priorities. Do you want a fast and convenient sale, or are you willing to wait to get more money? Keep in mind that phones lose value over time, so the longer you wait, the less you’ll get. Would you prefer to sell locally or ship to an online buyer? Are you confident you can mitigate potential risks if you sell via an online or local marketplace? Do you want paid in cash or are you fine with store credit?

IMPORTANT: Protect your data before you sell. Here’s how to reset your iPhone and how to  reset your Android phone

The answers to these questions will help you decide the best place to sell a phone. For example:

  • If you want to get the most money and you’re comfortable with the risks, sell to a local buyer via a local marketplace
  • If you need fast cash and you’re willing to take a lower payout, sell to a local buyback store or kiosk
  • If you’re willing to deal with buyers, wait for a higher payout and you’re comfortable with the risks, sell via an online marketplace
  • If you want convenience and you’re OK with waiting to get paid store credit instead of cash, sell to a carrier
  • If you want a balance between a high payout, convenience and quick cash payments, sell to an online buyback store
Did You Know? Even broken phones are worth money  Learn more

How to find the best deal for your used phone

We make it easy to see how much you can get for your phone. Our suite of free tools includes:

  • Price comparisons: Instantly compare how much dozens of Trust Verified buyback stores will pay for your phone
  • Phone blue book: See how much you can expect to get if you sell to a private buyer, based on real-world sales data
  • Price lock information: Price locks let you lock in a price now, yet wait up to 30 days to sell your phone, so you can avoid the 15 to 40% price drops that occur after a new flagship is released
  • Bulk phone selling tool: Sell multiple devices at once for the highest price

Related Help

> Where to get the most for your phone?: Swappa, eBay or Flipsy

> Verizon trade-in program: Is it a good deal?

> AT&T trade-in program review: Good deal or not?

> Sprint trade-in program: Fast money or bad deal?

> Is the T-Mobile trade-in program a good deal?

> ecoATM prices: Good deal or not?



FREE MONEY: The average household has $265 worth of old gadgets.