Your Money Matters: Tips on trading in your old iPhone

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Bree Fowler, Senior Electronics Editor

Consumer Reports

Bree's Tips:

Offers generally come with conditions, so be sure to read the fine print. You can't trade in a phone that isn't fully paid off, for example. That means you're on the hook for any outstanding balance, even if it simply gets transferred to the new deal.

You’re also going to get more money the earlier you trade it in. New models on the market mean more people are trying to offload their old phones, sending the price you’ll get for it down. So, if you can get away with it and want to trade in something for an iPhone 10, so it now rather than in November.

The carriers will probably announce new iPhone Ten-focused deals when pre-orders start, since their goal is to get you to buy from them. Even people who don’t want to switch carriers have options. You can always buy from the Apple store, or retailers like Best Buy or Target.

On the other hand, according to the rumor mill, there may not be enough of the iPhone Tens to go around, which means consumers may not have the kind of shopping leverage their used to. If you want one of these phones right away, or in a particular storage size or color, you may not be able to shop around much.

But if you’re looking for in iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, make sure you scope out the deals before you buy.

All deals are contingent on your delivering the old phone in the condition you promised. If a buyer thinks it’s not up to snuff, you may end up with less money or no deal.

If you’re only going to get a couple hundred bucks for your phone, though, you might be better off just hanging onto it. If you take out the SIM card, making the device Wi-Fi only, you can still use it to take pictures or keep a fussy child happy with games on a long car trip.

If you’re thinking of getting one a phone for the first time, a hand-me-down is a good way to go, especially if you’re worried about the child losing or breaking it.

If the worst happens and your beautiful new iPhone 8 breaks, your old phone can be a lifesaver. Instead of rushing to the Genius Bar to get it fixed, just pop the SIM card into your old phone and use it until the new one gets repaired.