How to Prepare your iPhone to Sell

So, you are ready to upgrade to the new iPhone. Now what? It’s time to get your used iPhone ready to sell!

There are a number of ways to resell your used iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G, and 2G to offset the cost of your upgrade, and we’ll show you what you need to know to get your iPhone ready to sell.

Step 1: Backup and Restore

Before you do anything, plug your iPhone into iTunes and backup your data. Once you’ve synced with iTunes, you should restore your iOS to the latest version. This can be done on your iPhone’s device Summary page. If you’re jailbroken, you’ll need to restore in iTunes to un-jailbreak your iPhone.  WARNING: if your iPhone is unlocked using an iPad baseband, do not restore your phone.  Doing this can brick your phone, rendering it useless.

Restoring your iPhone to factory settings will remove all your personal data. You can also erase all content and settings in the Settings app on your iPhone. Simply navigate to General > Reset. Tap Reset and then “Erase All Content and Settings.” This process is pretty fast if you have a newer model iPhone, but can take longer on older models. Make sure you’ve got a full charge or plug your iPhone into a power source.



When you’ve restored to the latest version of iOS and removed your personal data, you’re ready to proceed.

Step 2: Remove Your SIM Card

If you are using a GSM iPhone, you want to remove your SIM card. The SIM card is yours, and it’s associated with your phone number and carrier information.

The AT&T iPhone 4 has a MicroSIM that is very easy to remove. Older iPhones use a standard SIM and is easy to remove as well.  Insert the SIM eject too included with your iPhone or a paperclip will suffice.  If you are unsure how to eject your SIM card, please refer to the pictures to see where your SIM tray is located

With a Verizon/Sprint iPhone, it is a little different. Since there is not a SIM card to remove, you need to either activate a new phone on your account or call Verizon/Sprint and ask the carrier to deactivate the iPhone for you. If you’re selling your current iPhone before receiving the next generation model, activating a new phone is not an option. However, if you have an extra CDMA phone lying around, you could temporarily activate it on your Verizon account while waiting for the next iPhone.

3GS/3G SIM Tray

iPhone 4/4S SIM tray

Step 3: Clean Your iPhone

Now that you’ve restored your iPhone, it’s important to clean smudges and dirt from your iPhone so you can assess the cosmetic condition. If your iPhone has a few scratches and scuffs, don’t worry. Your iPhone will still have resale value, but not as high of a resale value as if it were flawless. Just make sure to be honest when describing the condition of your iPhone.


Cleaning the iPhone is very simple.  First, turn off your iPhone.  Use lint-free microfiber cloth to clean dirt and grime off the device’s surface.  Apple advises against using window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, alcohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean an iPhone. If a dry cloth does not clean all the dirt from your iPhone, you can lightly dampen the cloth with water or use an electronic cleaning solution such as iKlear.

Step 4: Get Your Packaging Together


Assuming that you kept the original packaging for your iPhone, find the packaging to include with your iPhone. Having the original packaging can slightly increase the value of your phone and buyers like it when a used iPhone comes in the original packaging.  It shows the previous owner took care of their iPhone.

Step 5: Selling your iPhone

Congratulations!  You are now ready to sell your used iPhone.  If you are looking for an easy way to sell your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, visit our “Sell My Device” page for an instant quote.  We purchase a variety of used electronics and offer free shipping and a quick turnaround when you sell your device.

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