Guide to successfully trade in your cell phone

Technology moves fast. What is the latest and greatest today may be considered outdated by consumers in just a few months. For those looking to capitalize on successfully trading in an old cell phone for the latest iPhone or just a newer smartphone, take full advantage of the market and prepare your phone for trade. Without the proper preparation and ‘cleaning’ of your old mobile device, you face many obstacles in trying to trade in or sell your cell phone.

Here is simple guide to follow to ensure your iPhone, Galaxy, or Android cell phone is ready to go somewhere new:

Clean it inside and out

To get the best trade or price for a pre-owned cell phone, you should be diligent in making it clean on the outside as well as the inside. A cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol is a safe way to remove fingerprints, oils, makeup, and other debris from the exterior of your phone.

Cleaning the inside of your cell phone refers to the data your phone holds including photos, texts, and call histories. Depending on the brand of phone you have, you’ll have to research the correct method for properly erasing all data on the phone. Smartphones can contain as much information as a laptop computer! If you don’t completely erase the information, you could be compromising your own security. Back up all of the data from your current device if you don’t want to get rid of it permanently before deleting it from the phone.

Remove the SIM card and unlock your phone if possible

If you have a cell phone that uses a SIM card, you will not need to include that as part of your mobile phone trade in, but you will want to unlock your phone and have your phone released by the service provider you use, if possible. This will enable the phone to be used again by another user and by any cell phone service provider, without a contract. It is not an absolute requirement to unlock your phone in order to sell or trade your iPhone or other cell phone to Cellmefree, but it is recommended as it will give you the most money for your device.

Unlocked iPhones and cell phones make it possible to use your mobile device everywhere and on any carrier - even abroad. Each carrier has its own policy in term of unlocking. See the links for each carrier: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint.

Deactivate find my iPhone features

If you have enabled the Find My iPhone feature on your iPhone, you’ll need to deactivate the service before to trade it in. Deactivating this feature can be done through your Apple account. If this feature is not deactivated, the phone cannot be used by another person. Save yourself time and get paid for your phone trade in faster by ensuring the Find My iPhone feature is deactivated before you send it in.

How to deactivate Find my iPhone

Put away your cell phone accessories

When trading in your old cell phone, you will not need to include your accessories including chargers, headphones, special cases, or books. Remove all SIM cards and SD cards. Be sure to remove any personal accessories you’ve added to your phone before trading it in.

The better prepared you are for trading in your cell phone, whether you are trading in an iPhone, an Android, Galaxy or other brand, the more you will earn towards your trade in and the faster you will get paid. While all phones will be thoroughly checked by professionals for compliance, it is worth your own peace of mind to be diligent about making sure your personal information is not compromised before parting with your cell phone.


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