The economics of upgrading to iPhone HD by selling an old iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by tsg20, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. tsg20 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2007
    So, after spending two years with my first gen iPhone, I upgraded to a 3GS on launch day last year, obviously with no penalty. I'd quite like to upgrade again this summer, but of course I won't qualify for a full subsidy. The obvious thing to do is to sell my 3GS to subsidise the new phone - it's jailbroken/unlocked and in mint condition, so I presume I could get a reasonable amount for it.

    I'm sure quite a few people did this for 3G->3GS last summer, so I'm wondering - when did you sell? Before the announcement of the new phones, or after? How much did you get? etc.
  2. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    I've been investigating this too.

    I've seen unlocked 3gs going for at least $500 on ebay and craigslist.

  3. LSUtigers03 macrumors 68020


    Apr 9, 2008
    I waited until after the 3GS was already released and I sold my 16gb 3G to someone on craigslist for $350. My 3GS ended up costing around $100 after tax for the 16gb.
  4. ThE.MeSsEnGeR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2009
    Caracas, Venezuela
    so, guys, I'm kinda new to the "Upgrade Path" you've all went through before, and are gonna go through this summer... I still have an 8GB 1st Gen iPhone in really good condition! :eek: :cool: (even with the box :p )

    and I couldn't upgrade to the 3GS last year because i was going through some rough financial times...and because I don't live in the USA so, it was hard for me to get the 3GS in a respectable price. Apple doesn't officially sell the iPhone here... so, the 3GS is currently costing at aroun 1,100$ (16gb) and 1,300$ (32gb)!! :eek::eek::eek: it's cheaper if i buy a ticket to the USA! :p

    well, this summer I am going to the USA for an Exchange Work & Travel USA Program, only for 4 months (July to October). and I'm planning on getting the HD (if that's its name)...

    so, any comments, tips, advices??

    personally, I would like to keep the 1st gen, because I'm starting to feel that in a couple of years, it'll become a classical "collectionist" product :p and I don't think anybody would buy it... and it's always good for testing purposes... what do you all think?

    Thanks in advance! :D
  5. Ab10la macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2010
    Sold my unlocked 3gs 16gb yesterday on eBay for $530. Even though I described the phone as having a tiny piece broken of the back an hairline crack by the headphone Jack. Buyers on Craigslist were offering me $400 for it.
  6. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2007
    It doesn't really matter when you sell it - the hardware is still great and people on other networks or that don't want to pay the iPhone data plan will pay the upfront cost to get it. Even when the new ones are released Apple won't just be giving away the old ones.

    I've made money upgrading on every iteration of the iPhone - if you carry a large enough voice contract the upgrade is yearly and not every two years so I get it each time it's released.

    I sell my old phone after I buy the new one. Then I take the headphones, wire, charger from the new phone and include it with the one I'm selling. Buyers like this, getting the new accessories make it easier to believe your item has been well taken care of. The one exception was on the 3GS they gave headphones that did things the 3G didn't support, so I kept those.

    Jail-break/Unlock it - get together all the stuff you have with it - set up an eBay auction and TAKE GOOD PICTURES. Better to be honest about condition and give people the whole story than miss buyers because you had crappy pics.
  7. mpossoff macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2010
    Wow! I've had my refurbished iPhone from Best Buys for 2 weeks and keep it in an Otterbox Defender case. My iPhone is flawless. I be sure to take good care of it just in case I decide to sell it like you and use the funds towards the newer iPhone.

  8. Krayzie116 macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2010
    I have a question about the new iPhone when it comes out. I'm on a family plan right now I have the iPhone 3GS. We sign up in August of last year so we wont be a year in until then. I'm wanting to get the new iPhone soon as it release. So how do you about that, forgot to mention that I will be giving my mom my iPhone 3GS. Would I have to pay the full price of the new iPhone. I remember when I was on Verizon when a new phone came out they just another 2 year to our contract do you know if AT&T does? Thanks for you guys help
  9. tikitommy macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    I plan on selling my jailbroken 3G when the HD comes out.

    What's the best thing to do prepare for sale?

    Format and let the next guy to the jailbraking/unlocking

    Or jailbreak/unlock myself and sell?

    Obviously, I would take out the sim, but how do i make sure that no personal data remains on the phone without deleting the jailbreak/unlock. I'm also assuming that i should not upgrade anything and keep my 3.1.2 jailbrake for better marketability.

    Thanks for the help in advance,
  10. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    If everyone on your family plan signed 2 year contracts then you're pretty much out of luck. The soonest (maybe) you'd be eligible for early upgrade would be in August.
  11. Vegeta-san macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2006
    I don't understand how AT&T can possibly penalize you for something like this if you buy an uncontracted iPhone. So say, if I sell my 3GS and get like 550$, then I should be able to turn around and, keeping the same exact plan I have and not extending it at all, purchase an unsubsidized new iPhone HD. Right? They can't make me sign a new 2 year agreement if I don't buy the phone subsidized right?
  12. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    Yeah that's correct. If you pay full price then there should be no contract involved.

    -Take out the SIM
    -Restore the iPhone to factory 3.1.2.
    -Don't set up the iPhone just ignore iTunes when it wants you to activate
    -Run blackra1n
    -Download cydia to phone
    -Run blacksn0w
    -Sell the phone as jailbroken/unlocked
    -Pocket cash
  13. tikitommy macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
  14. mjz147 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2009
    I would highly advise selling about 2-3 weeks before release of the next iPhone.

    Their are always people who are going to want the 1st gen, 3G, and 3GS iPhone.

    However when the newest one comes out it is going to bring a kick ass feature to it, and everyone is going to want it. That means everyone can sell their old ones for a decent price. But after the new one is released people will want the newest one. If you sell it two weeks before and use a razr, you can get at least $50-$100 more for it.
  15. bmwhd macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2008
    I've upgraded twice by selling my current iPhone after the release of the new one. I've always covered 100% of the cost (full list) of the new one. There's a huge non-US demand for the previous gen iPhone every time a new one comes out.
  16. Norskman macrumors member


    Feb 23, 2010
    So, I notice some people are saying "unlocked" rather than Jailbroken. Are some people actually able to get theirs unlocked by either AT&T or Apple?

    My friend keeps trying to get his old 3G unlocked, and AT&T says Apple has to do it, and of course Apple says AT&T has to do it.

    Guessing most people wont' be able to get either to do it, so is it safe to assume most of these "unlocked" phones on eBay are actually just Jailbroken?
  17. tsg20 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2007
  18. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    Selling your iPhone right before the new one is announced is the best thing to do, but on eBay will you only see the higher amount people are willing to pay, as compared to craigslist.

    As weird as this sounds I've made a profit on buying a new iPhone every year.
  19. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Neither AT&T or Apple will unlock a US iphone.
    You'd have to get it officially unlocked from overseas or JB and unlocked.
  20. heavymetalbebop macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2010
    On the other end...buying a used iPhone

    I am currently with Verizon and have held my breath waiting for a VZ iPhone for too long (since the 2007 release). I am still hesitant to switch to AT&T in the event that VZ does get an iPhone in the near future, especially since I have held out this long (and yes, I'm not looking forward to dropped calls either but at this point I'm willing to make the sacrifice).

    If I'm able to get my hands on a 3G or 3GS for a reasonable price (lower than AT&T's ETF), can I go to AT&T and activate the phone as a new user WITHOUT SIGNING A CONTRACT? If the answer is yes, this would allow me to drop AT&T at any time, should the VZ iPhone dream become a reality (I know it is just that, a dream). I'll cross my fingers and eagerly await a response. Thanks!
  21. paulisme macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    Do people really pay a premium for a jailbroken/unlocked iPhone? It's something that's simple enough for the buyer to do, right?
  22. jkozlow3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2008
    Wait, if you've previously upgraded to 3.1.3, isn't it currently not possible to unlock the phone? I'm aware of the Spirit jailbreak, but I don't believe 3.1.3 phones can be unlocked - even by downgrading to 3.1.2 first.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong. I also need to sell my 3G and would JB/unlock first to attract overseas buyers if possible.
  23. phrint macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2006
    Yes because most people would rather buy a phone that is already jailbroken and unlocked by the seller instead of attempting it themselves and screwing it up. They would rather pop in their SIM and go. Plus people who know they have a phone that can be jailbroken at 3.1.2 often advertise it along with the firmware that can be unlocked. So even the non-jailbroken phones still sell at a premium because they can be hacked and unlocked by the buyer.
  24. phrint macrumors 6502

    Feb 8, 2006
    You cannot unlock a phone under 3.1.3. The firmware dictates the unlock and not the software version. The last firmware that can be unlocked is 05.11.07 and that is not the firmware under 3.1.3.
  25. elephunkman macrumors 65816

    Mar 27, 2010
    Based on selling experience, if the iPhone4 can't be unlocked (the 3GS couldn't be unlocked when it first came out but the 3G could), then the 3GS prices go right back up.

Share This Page