Are you looking to sell your iPhone or iPad, as many people do to prepare for a new device? Not so fast – there are a few things you should do first. We’ve put together a few tips on how to prepare your device for resale.
Before you try to sell your device, there are a few important steps you may want to take first in order to protect your privacy and your cell phone account, as well as providing a better experience for your buyer.
- Backup & Restore Your Device
The first step you should take to prepare your device for sale is to back your device up to iTunes to preserve your data and settings. Backing up your device is as simple as plugging it into your computer, launching iTunes, right-clicking (or option-clicking) your device from the left-hand column, and clicking “Back Up”
After you have backed up your device, it’s time to restore it. Restoring your device erases all of your data and places a fresh version of the latest firmware on your device.
You can either restore your device in iTunes by selecting your device in the right-hand column in iTunes and clicking “Restore,” or you can wipe your device by opening Settings on your device, navigating to General > Reset, and then tapping Reset and then “Erase All Content And Settings.” This can take a while, so make sure your device is plugged in or has a full charge.
- Remove Your SIM Card/Deactivate Your Device (iPhone and cellular iPad only)
If you have an AT&T iPhone or iPad, or use another carrier that relies on SIM cards, it’s important to remove your SIM card and put it in a safe place. The SIM card is yours, and contains important information to help you device connect to your cell carrier.
To remove your SIM card on an iPhone or iPad, simply find a paperclip or an iPhone Sim Eject Tool and insert it into the small hold on the right-hand side of your device. Press firmly, and the SIM tray will slide out, revealing your SIM card.
If you use a Verizon iPhone or iPad, or a device on some other carrier that does NOT use SIM cards, you must first call your carrier and ask them to deactivate your iPhone in order to remove it from your account and avoid further charges from that phone.
- Clean Your Device
Once you’ve restored your device, it’s a good idea to clean it up so that it looks cleaner, fresher, and more appealing to a buyer. Don’t worry if you have a few minor dings and scratches – most buyers don’t care about minor wear and tear. More significant scratches may affect your resale value.
Apple provides a support document detailing how to clean your iPhone (which also work for the iPad or iPod touch), but it’s really just a matter of using a soft lint-free cloth to remove and dirt or grime from your phone. If dirt or grime is hard to remove, using a slightly damp cloth can help. It’s important not to use cleaning products, as they may damage your device.
- Assemble Your Packaging
If you kept your device’s original packaging, collect the packaging together to sell alongside your device, including the sync cable and charger if you still have them. Many buyers will pay more for a device that includes all of the original packaging and accessories.
Take a nice picture of your device, the packaging, and anything you may be including with the sale (such as a case). A detailed set of pictures can help your device sell better by providing the buyer with more information.
- Jail-breaking & Unlocking
Some people choose to jailbreak or unlock their device before they sell it. Unlocked devices typically sell for a higher price than phones that aren’t unlocked. The same can be true of jail-breaking – a jailbroken device will often fetch a higher price than one that isn’t jailbroken.
If you aren’t comfortable with the jail-breaking process, ask a tech-savvy friend to help you, or read up on jailbreak websites or other internet resources to become more comfortable with the process.
For more helpful tips, check out our full collection of tutorials by visiting our How-To category!
*Note: Updated August 2013 for iPhone 5S launch.