There’s never any shortage of ways to get rid of your old smartphone — especially if it’s in good condition. You could trade it in at a carrier, sell it on eBay, or find a third-party buyer. But the key question is: How can you get the highest value possible?
While selling your Pixel or Pixel 2 can significantly offset the cost of a new device (the new $799 Pixel 3, for instance), it’s hard to know what route to choose. Options like selling it directly to a buyer might seem a little risky, while trading in a device may not provide you with the highest payout. It’s all a bit overwhelming and time-consuming. Thankfully, we’re here to help with that. Below is a comprehensive guide to selling your Pixel or Pixel 2, as well as how much you can expect to earn from the sale.
One of the simplest, and thus most appealing, options is to trade in your Pixel through Verizon and Project Fi (the exclusive U.S. carriers), Google’s own website, or stores like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. However, this will only provide you with credit, not cash — so it will help you with the price of the new device, but won’t give you the freedom to do whatever you like with the proceeds of your sale. Still, it’s an easy way to get rid of your device. Additionally, while it might not be the most lucrative way to get rid of your old phone, the compensation is more than reasonable in most cases.
To get the credit, you’ll need to either bring your Pixel into a store or go through an online process in which you evaluate the condition and worth of your device. If it’s got a cracked screen or other issues, the value drops precipitously, but there’s no point lying since they’ll easily find out and cancel the credit. Before you hand it in or send it off, just make sure you’ve backed up all your data and wiped your phone.
Selling your phone directly to another person takes more time, but can be more financially rewarding. It depends greatly on the market environment when you put your Pixel up for sale, though, which is in itself an ever-changing thing. The best time to sell your phone is generally before a new generation comes out, but since that’s not possible with Pixel 2, you’ll have a bit of competition. Still, there are plenty of people looking for inexpensive Pixel 2s following the Pixel 3 launch (especially the notch haters out there), so it shouldn’t be too hard to find an interested buyer.
On Craigslist and eBay, you can set your own asking price. It’s worth it to put a little extra time into making your listing well-written with appealing photos — you’ll gain buyer trust and get higher offers. Make sure that you account for shipping so that you don’t end up with an unimpressive net amount. If you’re handing the device off in-person instead, make sure that you keep in mind basic safety precautions. Meet in a public space, or with a friend. Also, make sure all your data is scrubbed off the device.
For the risk-adverse, Swappa is an even better choice. It’s an online marketplace dedicated to mobile devices where each ad is verified by Swappa staff. You’ll have to go through a few extra steps of verification, there’s an added sale fee, and you’ll have to send the device out within two days if it’s purchased, but those are reasonable hoops to jump through for a little more peace of mind.
If you’d rather skip interacting with individual buyers as much as possible, there are several companies that make the process easier by buying up old smartphones (and subsequently reselling them). Among the most trustworthy options are Gazelle, uSell, Decluttr, and Glyde, which is a hybrid between a marketplace and an electronics purchasing site. As with trade-ins or Swappa, you’ll have to go through an appraisal process before the company makes an offer, then your site of choice will provide a postage-paid packing label for you to send the device away. Once the company has received it and verified the condition, you’ll receive your cut through PayPal or check.
Now that you have all the options, let’s take a look at how they stack up, price-wise, with a few Pixel and Pixel 2 models. Keep in mind the following caveats: this information is accurate as of the time of publication — October 19, 2018 — and is based on the values provided for good condition Pixels with base levels of internal storage and the original charger (if the site asks for it).
The eBay prices listed are averages based on data from Bidvoy, while Glyde’s numbers are recommended listing prices, not guaranteed sales amounts.
As for getting the best price on your new phone — take a look at our buying guides. Hopefully, with the credit or cash you earn from letting go of your old Pixel, you can get the shiny new device you’ve been hoping for at a reasonable price.