January 23, 2017

Selling your Old Smartphone - What you Need to Know

This is a sponsored post on behalf of U.S. Cellular.  All opinions, as always are my own!

What do you do with your old cell phone once you upgrade?  I think that is a question a lot of us face, especially after the holiday season where so many people did get an upgrade to their phone!

I am considering an upgrade to an iPhone 7 myself.  But, if I get that iPhone 7 I will then have several old iPhones.  I think it is about time I start selling some of them so that I can get a little extra money, and not worry about having a bunch of unused devices in my house.

If you need more help after reading my tips, make sure to visit your local U.S. Cellular store – they have an amazing customer service department that will help you with any and all questions (I utilize them frequently!).

The most important thing to consider when selling an old phone is to remove all personal information from the phone.

Many of us keep personal information on our phones, from saved passwords and financial information, to pictures and videos.  What do you do with all that information before you sell your device?


First – back up to your cloud account.  This is really the first step.  You want to make sure that all of your information is saved in your cloud account.  It allows for easy transfer to your new device, and you are able to have confidence that you will not lose anything.

Remove your SIM card.  The SIM card is the external storage device for your phone.  You definitely want to remove this before selling your phone.  It is the small, rectangular shaped card that is usually located near your phone battery.

Log out of services such as e-mail and social media.  You want to make sure that you have logged out and clear all your data from these apps. 

Disconnect from your cloud account.   Make sure that you disconnect your device from your cloud account.  You obviously do not want people having access to your cloud information after you have sold your phone.

Remove mobile payment options.  These days many people are using mobile banking for bill payment and other financial needs, make sure that you remove these options from your phone.

Restore the phone to factory settings.  This should remove all personal information, but I would definitely follow the above steps first, just to make sure everything is really gone from the phone.

Disconnect service.  Chances are, if you upgraded, you have already disconnected service from your phone.  However, if you haven’t, make sure that you do!

Unregister device.  If the phone is registered with Apple by its serial number, remove it by logging into supportprofile.apple.com with the Apple ID information.

Similarly, Androids will need to be unregistered. First, go to the Google Play store from a computer's Web browser. Then, go to the gear icon at the top-right-hand corner of the screen, and select the Settings option. Deselect the device from the Google account under the Visibility option. This will hide select devices from appearing in the Play store when attempting to download a new app.

And finally, if you are looking into purchasing a used device, it is recommended that you wipe your new phone clean before personalizing it with your own information.  That will ensure that the device settings, data, and apps are yours only.  You will start with a clean slate!


Did you upgrade your phone over the holidays?  What do you do with your old phone when you do upgrade?

27 comments:

  1. I keep telling my husband that we need to sell our old phones. He has a pile of them in a box dating back to like 2010 lol.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has a box!

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  2. I'm always Leary about giving away my old cell phone even though you remove all data. I just give it to my kids to play with until it completely kicks the bucket. Then we like to have a smashing party lol where my son smashes the broken electronic to pieces.

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    1. My kids definitely have claimed a couple of our old phones as well.

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  3. Beyond helpful! I have been nervous about selling an old cell phone because of the stuff I have on it, and not being confident about how to remove it properly. You made it so easy!

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  4. This is a good tutorial especially for those who aren't tech savvy. I will pass this around.

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  5. I never thought of some of these - this is great I haven't yet had the opportunity to sell one yet though this will all be great to remember

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  6. These are all great tips! I've sold my phone before and you have to make sure whatever you need is saved and completely wipe the phone being sold.

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  7. We've sold our old phones before, usually when it is upgrade time and we definitely should have done this, much safer alternative!

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  8. Ooh this is such helpful information!! I'd like to upgrade my phone soon (maybe once the next iPhone comes out with a headphone jack) and I will definitely do these steps when I sell my old phone!

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  9. I've never thought about selling our old smartphones. We currently have a kitchen drawer full of them. Haha!

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  10. I just got a new phone and am sending my old one to my sister. I am so glad that I did all the steps on your chart, that was close. It is my sister, though, I guess I am safe!

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  11. This is great advice when selling a smart phone. I wish I had seen this article a couple weeks ago. LOL

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  12. These are GREAT tips! And timely too. We are embarking on a declutter mission for 2017!

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  13. These are some great tips!! When I hit my new phone I sold my old one online to a store online. Pretty handy!!

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  14. I always sell my phones after upgrades there is a local pawn shop that gives a great price on phones so I usually go to them. I always make sure to delete all of my personal information before hand very important to remember

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  15. This is a great post! My husband and I upgrade our phones each year. Instead of selling it back to Apple, we keep it and sell it on our own. We usually make way more.

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  16. These are good tips but I'm leary of selling my smartphone. There was just an investigative piece on the news about this and people were able to get everything off of them.

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  17. This is such a useful post! I never really knew how to go about selling my old phones so I've always given them to family members in the past

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  18. We do this a lot, sell our old phones. But you know what? I have NEVER done some of these things before selling them!!!

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  19. I think a lot of people forget about logging out of Cloud accounts. That's really important. You don't want other people to see your private stuff.

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  20. Usually when I get a new phone and the old one is still working I will keep it just in case something happens to the new one and I need a quick replacement!

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  21. All of these tips are so important. SO many people forget to reset their phones and delete information that would be personal before selling.

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  22. I have only ever sold or given my phone to a close friend or family. It is kind of scary thinking about giving it to people that I don't know.

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  23. Great tips. It is important to set to the factory reset. I however have always turned in most of my phones.

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  24. These tips are so important to know. I wish I would have read this before upgrading my cell phone.

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  25. Surprisingly a lot of people forget to do these things. With all the technology out these days it's easier than ever to steal someones information. Thank you for sharing this!

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