Selling a phone for the first time
March 31, 2015 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Due to some changes in my wireless plan I have a basically new Samsung Galaxy Five that I need to sell, which is a Verizon phone. I tried an ad on Craigslist and got 0 hits. If you've sold a phone in similar circumstances before, what do you recommend for success?

It's in like new condition. It comes with a case, and a well-applied screen protector, as well as everything that comes with it from the factory and an additional charger. I've seen prices that average to around $350, but I'm worried about the Galaxy 6 on the horizon, and the fact that it's tied to Verizon (blech). I'd be happy with around $300, but I'd like to avoid dealing with scams, and would be willing to go a little lower if it meant I could eliminate some hassle.
posted by codacorolla to Shopping (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've sold quite a few on eBay with surprisingly good success.
posted by brokeaspoke at 1:42 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

+1 eBay.

Do a search for your phone, including condition, and restrict results to items that have sold. That will give you a ballpark price, but also a template for a successful ad. There's a "sell one like this" button that lets you copy the ad wholesale and change it as needed.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:50 PM on March 31, 2015

Response by poster: I've largely avoided eBay for my entire life because I associate it with scams. This is likely an outdated conception of the service. Should I expect having to wade through a bunch of scammy attempts to steal the phone without paying for it?

Also, I threw out the box for it like a dummy. Is that something I should mention in the listing, or that will affect interest at all?
posted by codacorolla at 1:52 PM on March 31, 2015

I sold my iPhone on Glyde and it could not have been more hassle-free. You'll know up front what they will give you - I'm sure it's less than eBay, but it's a lot less work and no chance of a scam. Similar thread with other options.
posted by desjardins at 1:59 PM on March 31, 2015

When I sold my own iPhone, I just advertised it as the phone; seems like people say the box/accessories are included if they are.

I got two inquiries about it from places I wasn't going to ship to (sorry Belarus, too complicated at best) but quickly sold it to someone in the next state over.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:01 PM on March 31, 2015

I sold my last phone on Ebay without incident but have used Swappa in the past, too.
posted by houseofdanie at 2:10 PM on March 31, 2015

We've bought many phones from CL locally (and never from ebay, fwiw). Check out recent prices on both sites and then underprice a bit. Be willing to meet in the parking lot of the store that services the phone, if it's not unlocked, so the buyer can check it out with the carrier if they so choose. Good pics, obvs. Answer inquiries quickly and don't be sketchy. Nothing wrong with insisting on cash. Nothing wrong with insisting on meeting in a public place. Nothing wrong with insisting that a buyer come to a location that is convenient for you. Nothing more to it, really. We usually go with someone who is a bit underpriced, not sketchy and not demanding as a seller. If they indicate at all that they are meeting with others at the same time or attempting to put us into a bidding war, we walk away.
posted by vignettist at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2015

If you get tired of the whole process, you can always punt and sell it to Gazelle for $210. That's the current price that resale service is paying for "flawless" Samsung Galaxy 5's from Verizon. I realize that is lower than you are hoping for, but that is as zero hassle a way to unload a phone as I am aware.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:25 PM on March 31, 2015

Glyde and swappa are both pretty easy. The only annoying thing is that with glyde I had a bunch of people cancel their orders shortly after placing them-I think the structure might encourage 'holding' a phone by buying it. Overall though pretty easy. Glyde sends you a prelabeled, prepaid box to pack your phone in to make the while thing even more hassle free.
posted by geegollygosh at 2:28 PM on March 31, 2015

Best answer: I have used swappa to sell and buy a few phones in the past. Was easy, quick, and hassle free.
posted by Quack at 2:39 PM on March 31, 2015

I sell a ton on ebay, have a lot of experience with craigslist, and swappa was far and away the easiest and best site i've used to sell much of anything electronic. I definitely plan on using it in the future. Also, no stupid fees for you to pay after the fact like ebay. It's just deducted right then when someone pays, and you know up front how much you're getting total.

Ebay can also be a real nightmare if you get an asshole customer to wants to try and rip you off by telling lies, be a huge stickler about some tiny scratch that didn't quite show up in photos, etc. I've had sooo many hassles with ebay over the years("the dvd drive doesn't work!" "i said in the ad i tested it, worked when i mailed it" "well it wont play my random DVD" yea dude who knows your scratched to hell sound of music DVD probably wont play on half the players out there)

and the fact that it's tied to Verizon (blech)

Verizon phones are factory unlocked and work fine with t-mobile and at&t. People know this. They also work on any carrier internationally outside of like, china.

People troll the verizon section of swappa for unlocked phones, and verizon phones are often worth more than att/tmobile phones(and especially sprint phones) for this reason. Other than the tmobile model when unlocked, you probably have the second best S5.
posted by emptythought at 3:24 PM on March 31, 2015

FWIW, Verizon gave me what I considered an adequate trade-in allowance when I upgraded my phone recently.

Not clear from your question why you're so down on Verizon. I'd be interested in that if you feel like sharing.
posted by JimN2TAW at 3:26 PM on March 31, 2015

Response by poster: Looking at the Swappa trend graphs, it seems like I can get more or less how much I want after shipping, so I think I'm going to move forward with that.

RE: Verizon, it has pretty good service, but it's just so expensive. AT&T has had more or less the same service so far, and is much cheaper. I was saying 'blech' mostly because I was under the impression that phones attached to specific carriers were less desirable than completely unlocked phones, although it appears that's not the case.

Regardless, thanks for everyone's input!
posted by codacorolla at 3:45 PM on March 31, 2015

« Older Prepaid sim with global roaming and cheap data?   |   Intermediate level multi-day guided hiking/camping... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.