One of the Best Times to Trade In a Smartphone


Smartphones can become obsolete before you blink. They’re certainly not long-lived, but even if they were, the constant introduction of new models leaves most people wanting the best and newest products.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Trade Up

Still, smartphones aren’t cheap, and retailers must offer sweet deals to entice customers to trade up. Some dealers offer cash buybacks, but most tempt return customers with trade-in deals. All this leaves one wondering, “When is the best time for clients to trade in a smartphone ?”

Considering that smartphones, like new cars, depreciate as soon as you begin to use them, it would seem logical to trade it in as soon as possible. But smartphones still hold significant value after one year. iPhones are worth 40% of their original value at the year mark, and Samsung phones are still valued at 30%.

The Second Year Is Usually the Right Time

The problem is that these phones cost a lot of money and most people can’t plunk down the initial $600 to $800 or more to buy them outright. They depend instead upon subsidies obtained by signing contracts, and contracts are usually for two-year periods. The second-best time for customers to trade in a smartphone then is at the two year mark.

After two years, the iPhone is still worth 25% of its initial cost, and the Samsung Android is worth 20%. Dealers value other brands such as Blackberry or Motorola at only 5%. The best bet is to buy a good phone and then trade it in every two years.

But What If Your Clients Want the Newest Phone?

Most people, though, want the newest phone as soon as it comes out. If one waits even a couple of months after such phones hit the shelves, the trade-in value dives. Clients should look for a service that lets them lock in a price just before the manufacturers release the new phones. Then the client has time to find a really great deal and trade in their phone for the locked-in price, all the while keeping their present phone until they’re ready to trade. Some dealers allow up to fifty days to complete the transaction.

Even a damaged phone can be successfully traded. After six months, a decent phone can still be worth 16% of its original value. But one shouldn’t put off trading it in beyond that, though, because after six months that percentage reduces by half.

Interested in more information on how a smart recommerce program can help your business? Then contact us today.

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Justin Finkelstein

Co-Founder & CTO at Sourcely; server swiss army knife; flavor architect; the wildcard.