If you plan to update your smartphone but be careful of a high price, permits are a great way to cut costs. Companies like it Apple is Samsung it can discount hundreds of dollars (depending on your phone model) and, above all, save you the hassle of reselling, allowing you to exchange your phone for a new one.

However, the negotiation process of a smartphone can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. We have compiled a step-by-step guide to help you get the highest discount from your next smartphone.

Identify the conditions of your smartphone

Before you start packing your phone for shipping, it is important to identify the condition it is in. Are there visible scratches? It turns on? Are there cracks? Depending on the condition, the exchange programs will offer you more or less a discount – in some cases, nothing for those who are just … unusable.

Here is a checklist required by most companies for permits:

  • The device can turn on, hold a charge and won’t turn off unexpectedly.
  • There are no dead pixels or black dots on the screen.
  • All ports (charging, headphones, etc.) are working properly.
  • The device is fully paid and not blacklisted.
  • The device does not suffer water damage.

If you meet the requirements, inspect your device to check for cracks, scratches and dents, the more value you get, the more you get from your phone. It helps take photos and videos of the phone with an emphasis on any wear and tear, in case unexpected damage occurs during the shipping and handling process.

Choosing an exchange program

AT&T shop

There are a lot of companies that are willing to offer you discounts or store credits for your phone, but choosing the right one is essential if you want to get the most out of your budget.

Here are the exchange programs that we recommend:

Apple

It shouldn’t be surprising that Apple is the best place to trade if you have an older iPhone, but it’s more than just a matching game. Apple trade-in program continues to expand and offers generous discounts for used iPhones and offers free consultations if you trade directly in the shop. If you decide to ship your phone instead, a prepaid shipping label is provided. The exchange value of your device can go towards a future purchase or an Apple Store gift card, which never expires.

Samsung

Samsung offers some of the best trade-in values ​​for Android and iOS devices, especially if you’re looking at a new Galaxy smartphone. In the past, trade-in values ​​have gone up to $ 700 – one of the highest rates we’ve ever seen – and you can apply the discount on a new phone before you even ship the old one. We also recommend Samsung for its occasional cracked screen offerings. While most exchange programs do not accept cracked screens as they are considered unusable, Samsung offers you a fixed quote regardless of the device you are sending.

Gazelle

Maybe you are undecided on which device you want to update or you just want fast money. Gazelle is a site that buys and sells phones, but unlike eBay and Craigslist, the company offers hassle-free transactions. All you have to do is declare (honestly) the conditions of your phone to receive a predetermined quote and send it to be paid.

Here are some other options worth considering:

Backup and transfer of data to the new phone

Genevieve Poblano / Digital trends

Once resolved with an exchange program and updated to a new phone, it’s time to back up and transfer your data. Here are some guides we have written to help you with the procedures.

On an iPhone:

  1. To back up your data to iCloud, tap Settings> [your name] > iCloud, and make sure all apps are turned on for syncing.
  2. You may need to opt for a larger iCloud storage plan if you have a lot of data that needs to be backed up.

For more details, see our full guide on how to backup an iPhone with iCloud.

On Android:

  1. You can back up your data to Google by logging in to Settings> Accounts> Google> Sync account. Note that the path will appear different depending on the Android device you are using, but it will vary only slightly.
  2. For Samsung users, you can also back up your Samsung account by logging in to Settings> Accounts and backups> Backup and reset> Data backup.

We also have an in-depth tutorial on how to backup an Android phone.

To transfer your data from one phone to another, consult our guides below:

When all files are backed up and transferred, turn off your old phone and remove any SIM and MicroSD cards from the device. Turn it back on and if it’s at 50% battery or above, you’re ready to restore your phone to factory settings.

Factory reset of the phone

Restoring factory settings may seem like a one-step process, but it’s essential to completely clean the device so that no personal information remains once it’s out of your hands.

On an iPhone:

  1. Start by logging out of iCloud and the iTunes & App Store. If your iPhone is running iOS 10.3 or later, go to Settings> [your name], then scroll down and tap Disconnection. Enter your Apple ID and password, then tap Switch off.
  2. If you have an earlier version of iOS, go to Settings> iCloud> Exit. Tap Disconnection again, then tap Delete from My [device] and enter your Apple ID password. So go to Settings> iTunes and App Store> Apple ID> Exit.
  3. Go to Settings> General> Reset> Clear all content and settings, enter your Apple ID and password if prompted, then tap To delete [device].
  4. In case you’ve switched to an Android device, make sure iMessage has been canceled.

For more details, see our full guide on how to restore the factory settings of an iPhone.

The steps will differ depending on the brand you have. However, there is only a slight variation and you should still be able to restore your device to factory settings by following the instructions.

On a Samsung phone:

  1. Start by going to Settings> Screen lock and security> Screen lock type and choose None.
  2. To remove your Google Account, go to Settings> Cloud and Accounts> Accounts and touch Google, then touch the three vertical dots at the top right or More> Remove account.
  3. Finally, go to Settings> General management> Reset> Factory data reset and then tap Reset device. You will be asked to enter your Samsung account credentials to disable it.

On a Google pixel:

  1. Remove the screen lock by logging in Settings> Personal> Security> Screen lock and choose None.
  2. To remove your Google Account, go to Settings> Accounts and sync> Google and tap the three vertical dots at the top right, then tap Remove the account.
  3. Go to Settings> Backup and reset> Factory data reset and then tap Reset phone or Reset device.

For more details, read our guide on how to factory reset an Android phone.

Pack and ship the phone

FedEx Van
Erik Leenaars / Flickr

If you’ve successfully backed up and deleted your phone, it’s time to pack it up and ship it for evaluation. Although the inspection depends on the exchange program itself and may take a couple of working days or more, there are a few simple steps you can take to speed up the process.

It is very useful if your phone is well charged and will save the inspector some time during the exam: something more than 75% will be enough. Make sure your device is turned off when it’s packed because you don’t want it to work idle and slowly discharge during the shipping process. Ideally, you should ship your old phone in the package provided. Smartphone boxes are designed to keep your phone safe and protected from damage during transportation. If you can’t find it, it also works by sealing the device inside a padded envelope. Since most trade-in programs only require you to send the phone itself and not the accessories, you should have no trouble wrapping the phone in a pleasant and enveloping way.

As for shipping couriers, the return label provided by the exchange programs should have already selected one. It is better if you stick to it since the label is likely to have a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA). If you decide to ship with your label, choose a courier that offers traceability and insurance (if you want to be safer). Just make sure you leave a slip of paper inside the box that indicates your name and order information, so that the inspector knows who the phone came from.

Once the phone is delivered, it may take up to a month for the exchange program to check it completely. Be patient and enjoy your new update.

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