The average time someone has their cell phone, be it a smart phone or feature phone, is about 18 months. Which is surprising as most cell phone plans end at 24 months, giving you the usual discounts that come with renewing your plans. More and more people are buying used and refurbished phones that others trade in to receive cutting edge smart phones as soon as they are released. For example, we saw a big increase of Droid Razr cell phones for trade in’s. And when I say “increase”, I mean from zero trade in’s to actually getting that phone in trade in’s. I mention that because that phone was only two months old when we started getting trade in requests, which is typically unheard of for any cell phone so early in it’s life. This was mostly blamed on the recent release of the Droid Razr MAXX which made many folks immediately trade in their two month old smart phone.
But what about the instances where you may actually have your phone from 18-24 months and want to trade it in? Typically you want to trade in your electronics for cash sooner rather than later as they lose more and more value as time goes by. There are a few exceptions to this time rule, by that I mean they lose value much slower than other cell phones. In this article I’ll mention a handful of used cell phones that hold on to their value a bit longer than normal that they won’t lose too much if you continue to think it over.
The most obvious cell phone to hold it’s value for the longest is Apple’s iPhone. The main reason for this is they are the only ones who make that phone, so the price for it is artificially increased due to high demand. Unlike Android phones, that have multiple companies using their operating system which offer dozens of various smart phones at different prices, Apple is the only place you’ll get iOS. So with that in mind, it isn’t surprising to see used iPhones ranging in the 100′s of dollars even after two generations of phones later. We see an increase of iPhones with every new generation and most of them are two generations old, which is good in a recycling stand point as it shows people tend to hold on to their iPhone for at least two generations (not all of course).
The next used cell phone to look into trading in are series phones. What I mean by “series” is a phone series that is popular, like Samsung’s Galaxy S or Motorola’s Droid Razr. Motorola Razr series had the same effect that iPhones had, in that people bought them because they were pretty darn cool. Razr’s are sleek, fast and typically media machines. When the Droid Razr brought back the old Razr name it came back as a huge hit. People remembered that name for sleekness, and the Droid Razr mirrored that in every respect. So it will be likely, much like Razr’s past, that all future Droid Razrs will have a long profitable (for the consumer) used and refurbished cell phone future. Galaxy S is Samsung’s series of phones that are best known for their incredible screens. When you hear Galaxy S, you immediately think crisp large displays. Even with the Galaxy S 3 looming in the near future, the Galaxy S 1′s are still trading in at a great price!
So if your used cell phone happens to be an iPhone or part of a popular series of phones you can probably relax and think over your decision to trade in or not. But don’t wait too long, though their price holds up a bit longer than other cell phones, they still lose value with time, and it is always better to sell early than to sell late.