Apple Lowers Maximum iPhone Trade-In Values, Best Deals Now Limited to Trade-Ins with Purchase

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple recently lowered direct trade-in values for iPhones, providing customers with a maximum of $349 when trading in an iPhone without purchasing a new one at the same time.

Apple used to offer a maximum of $500 when doing a direct iPhone trade-in through its trade-in website, and just a few weeks ago, we tested trading in an iPhone X and were offered $500 by Apple. Today, Apple's maximum price for the same iPhone X is $349.

iPhone X trade-in value from April 30 (trade-in site)​

Not all iPhones were worth $500, but for newer models in good condition, Apple was indeed providing credit up to $500 in the form of an Apple gift card that could be put towards a new device purchase.

iPhone X trade-in value today (trade-in site)​

The $349 maximum seems to apply only to direct trade-ins that don't involve a purchase. If you use the trade-in process while purchasing a new iPhone, which puts the cost of that trade-in towards the new device, you can get higher prices.

That same iPhone X that's worth $349 when doing a direct trade-in with Apple is worth $450 if you trade it in while buying a new iPhone XR. At $450, Apple is still offering less than the $500 maximum iPhone trade-in value that was available before, but it's still better than the $349 that's available through the trade-in site.

On its trade-in site, Apple heavily promoted a $449 trade-in price for the iPhone XR when trading in an iPhone 8 or iPhone 7 Plus, but now the advertised pricing is $479 instead of $449. Listed iPhone XR and XS pricing with trade-in has gone up across the board as Apple has dropped trade-in values for all iPhones.


With Apple's direct trade-in pricing drops, Apple is no longer offering some of the best iPhone trade-in pricing, and it may not be worth an iPhone trade-in through Apple unless it's done when you're purchasing a new iPhone.

Maximum trade-in values when purchasing another iPhone​

If you do a trade-in while purchasing a new device, you can get up to $450 for an iPhone X, up to $350 for an iPhone 8 Plus, up to $270 for an iPhone 8 or 7 Plus, and up to $200 for an iPhone 7 or 6s Plus. Other devices have trade-in values below $200.

Apple's iPhone X trade-in offer today when purchasing new iPhone​

Apple has a prominent section on all iPhone purchase pages that asks "Do you have an iPhone to trade in?" and if you select yes, you can go through the steps to get the upgraded pricing.

Trade-in pricing on other devices has also dropped. Apple now offers a maximum of $367 for tablet trade-ins, up to $965 when trading in a computer, and up to $173 when trading in an Apple Watch. That's down from $405 for tablets, $1100 for computers, and $191 for an Apple Watch. Trade-in values do not differ on non-iPhone products between the trade-in site and a trade-in with purchase.

The new trade-in pricing system is confusing and could potentially lead to some customers getting lower value for their iPhones if they're not aware of the disparity in pricing between doing a direct trade-in through Apple's trade-in page and doing a trade-in when purchasing a new iPhone.

Apple's new direct trade-in pricing is comparative to trade-in pricing from other sites like Gazelle, but you're always going to get the best price selling direct on a site like eBay or Swappa.

Article Link: Apple Lowers Maximum iPhone Trade-In Values, Best Deals Now Limited to Trade-Ins with Purchase
 

mgollaher92

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2016
48
979
I have a 2015 13” MacBook Pro w/ 256gb of storage and entered my serial number into their trade-in value checker last night. It thought it was a 2010 15” MacBook Pro with 500gb of storage. And yes I checked my seriously number several times. Maybe something is buggy with it at the moment. Not trying to defend them or anything but it’s possible? Not sure.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,197
34,202
In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.
I’d say a large part of the consumer market reflects your attitude currently, and they have the money to upgrade, but they don’t see the need to when their current iPhone does everything they require and more.

I’m similar to your thoughts as well, I was one that upgraded every single year with the iPhone/pre-ordered at midnight, but I’ve reached a point where my iPhone meets *all* my expectations with Face ID, the camera is outstanding, the processor has more than enough speed for what I am using my phone for, etc. The market is definitely saturated.

My next upgrade likely won’t be until 5G, so likely 2020.
 

minik

macrumors 65816
Jun 25, 2007
1,271
91
Bellevue, WA
I traded in my iPad 3 w/LTE weeks ago for $53 and $200 Apple gift cards towards an iPad mini. However for iPhone, I never felt the need to trade them in even I upgrade every year.
 

G5isAlive

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2003
867
1,157
Trade in services have never been a great value, but I sometimes used them because they were easy (the watch for example). It makes sense that they would offer better values for trade in for like like versus straight out pay me the cash. One can hope for better, but Apple has never been a non-profit.
 
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kofman13

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
314
81
But this is what happens every year. Halfway through the yearly cycle, the trade in value lowers. Why is this news? Trade in prices are always higher during the first half of the iPhone cycle because they want to give incentive for people to go get the latest iPhone
 
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Justanotherfanboy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2018
795
1,308
Trade in services have never been a great value, but I sometimes used them because they were easy (the watch for example). It makes sense that they would offer better values for trade in for like like versus straight out pay me the cash. One can hope for better, but Apple has never been a non-profit.
Maybe they’re trying to come up with ways to cover the loss from their accessories tax jumping from 10% to 25%; without having to raise the price... who knows? Lol.
 

jacjustjac

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
208
311
New York, NY
I looked at trading in my iPhone 7 Plus, 2013 MacBook Pro, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 6 Plus to Apple, but none of the employees seemed to know what was going on, whether or not I needed to buy a new phone on the spot, nor the exact trade in values. On top of that you need to mail in computers. Having to look up prices online and mail things in completely took the convenience fee of trading into Apple away. I’d be willing to take a hit in price if I could just go into a Apple Store with all my old tech and leave with a gift card to new tech, in one trip. But lately, it seems like nothing can get done in a single trip to the Apple store.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,197
34,202
FFS ... just sell it on Ebay or Offer up.
eBay is the _last_place I would recommend, full of fraud, especially given the amount of Apple popularity on that site. Swappa is a decent alternative.

Otherwise, I’d suggest selling locally if someone doesn’t want to trade in, it’s cash in hand, just meet at the police department/local public area when doing so.
 

anshuvorty

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,141
768
California, USA
This is obviously to nickel and dime the customer into buying the latest iPhones because organically, the iPhones aren't selling as well as Apple would like it too.

When the iPhone was selling like hotcakes, Apple could afford to offer the customer the highest value possible with only a trade-in without requiring the customer to buy the latest iPhone. But now that iPhone sales has plateaued, Apple is trying to find every possible way to get the customer to buy the latest iPhone because on features alone/specs alone, customers aren't biting. Their old iPhone is just as good as the latest ones in their eyes....and the customer isn't wrong.
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
6,503
7,446
Last edited:

mac4good84

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2012
236
147
I think my wife got $135 for her iPhone 6s last November when I gave her my iPhone 7. I got the X for $650 after a sale and the trade ins, but if it wasn’t for the 6s having an issue with the silent button, we would have continued using our respective phones. I LOVE my iPhone X, but upgrading every 2 to 3 years is just so pricey so our goal has been 5 years at the minimum or more now. Our phones are in perfect working order so it will be hopefully a long while before we have to upgrade again.
 

kofman13

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2009
314
81
I think my wife got $135 for her iPhone 6s last November when I gave her my iPhone 7. I got the X for $650 after a sale and the trade ins, but if it wasn’t for the 6s having an issue with the silent button, we would have continued using our respective phones. I LOVE my iPhone X, but upgrading every 2 to 3 years is just so pricey so our goal has been 5 years at the minimum or more now. Our phones are in perfect working order so it will be hopefully a long while before we have to upgrade again.
lol i upgrade every year with apple trade in and pay like 500-550 for the latest phone its not bad, hopefully this is just the the yearly " trade in value decreases second half of the year as always" and not a permanent drop. every year, the trade in value is highest 1-6 months after latest phone release, and goes down later in the year, right about now.
 

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
6,138
11,225
Sales have likely improved as we saw last quarter. Yes, iPhone revenue declined 17%, but many feared worse and the fall has probably somewhat normalized.
 

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,593
2,701
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.
Yeah, if people want to keep getting the latest and greatest... good for them, it's their money to spend. But my 6S is still working well and does everything I want my phone to do - so I plan to hang onto it for at least a couple more years.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,344
4,058
La Jolla, CA
In the past I was considered to be an enthusiast. Now I am sticking with a phone for 2 or more years. Even though I could afford the upgrade costs, I do not _want_ to afford it anymore. It feels like a rip off.
I always updated every two years. The last couple of generations, I have been holding for three years. Honestly, I might hold on for four years with the current prices. The only thing that might entice me to upgrade is if I get a BOGO deal from my carrier. I honestly cannot fathom paying more than $800 for an iPhone. Apple got to get back to earth. Their prices are just out of this world.
 
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