June 8, 2008

How to get Top Dollars for your old iPhone 1.0?

While all eyes are on WWDC tomorrow 6/9 1:00PM EST; some of you guys are trying to figure out a way to finance your next 3G iPhone 2.0. The obvious way is through the worlds most infamous auction site: eBay. the mobile experience will share a couple of tips to help you maximize your equipment and get top dollars from eBay.

1.) Sell your components separately: don't dump your stuff as one package. That is what everyone is going to do; when all the components are sold together, they drive the value of each of the Apple accessories down. In my personal experience, I have never even bothered to open up the OEM headphones or USB Cable for any iPods I've owned... largely because I find OEM headphones inferior and use my own as well I have a few USB data cables laying around. List your headphones (in this case, it has a built-in mic so it should have higher value), USB Cable, Dock, Charger separately. I won't be surprised if you can get $15 to $30 a piece with shipping charge. In the worst case scenario, if you end up getting $10 for each item, you are already up $50. I would guess the value for all the said components add up to $60-80 easily.

2). Sell your iPhone in OEM Condition; assuming you've taken good care of your iPhone (no scratches, dents or physical damage) and can prove that you've taken good care of your iPhone (show a few pictures of it inside a sleeve or protector), you are likely to get $200 to $275 out of it. Considering AT&T will sell a refurbished 8GB for $250, this is very likely to be your max. However, if you unlocked, activated and jailbroken your iPhone, it can command more value, see my next section.

3). With your iPhone unlocked, activated and jailbroken, you may be able to get a little more depeding on the condition of your phone, age of your phone and how you have marketed ths phone. For the marketing part of it, see my next section. For now we'll stick with unlocking. If you haven't tried unlocking your iPhone, it doesn't get much easier than go to ZiPhone.org and download your choice of Windows or OS X ZiPhone 3.0 application to do everything in one simple step. If I have to guess, you can probably get anywhere from $300 to $350.

4). How to market your listings better? Take lots of photos, good high resolution photos of your phone to give buyers confidence. They will want to buy from a seller who's honest with their description and showcase as much as possible. Upload your high resolution images on Flickr or PicasaWeb and provide a link on your listing. I sold some phones in the past where there are minor scuff marks, I took close up images of it and spelled it out exactly as is. Buyers feel more confidence with all the information and they can make a decision based on all the facts. Spend a little more and get a thumbnail image along with a subtitle with as much information as possible. Let them know when it was purchased for and why you want to sell it. eBay buyers love information, so give it to them, the more the merrier. Keep all the little things and give them to your buyer, for example, the iPhone box, inserts, flyers, original receipt (if no confidential information is on there) and even that orange AT&T plastic bag are all good measures to give it to your buyer. The more legitimate you can present yourself, the more likelihood you'll get top dollars for any eBay listing.

One last bit of warning: As I have mentioned about the iPhone NAND memory before, your personal data may not be wiped clean just by restoring your iPhone's firmware. An expert may be able to retrieve your personal login, password and records. For the time being, I don't know for sure if there are ways to wipe it clean 100%, so sellers beware!

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