Want to know the most annoying sound in the world? No, it’s not Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber. (Close, though.) It’s the terrifying sound of your expensive iPhone hitting the pavement and getting damaged as a result. Not only are you hearing the sound of it pretty much coming apart, but you can also slightly hear the sound of your wallet moaning, knowing that the repair could take a nice chunk of change out of it.
Hey, cracked phones happen. They drop on the ground due to clumsiness or due to things out of our control (looking at you, doggie). Sure, you can shell out for a durable case and heavy-duty screen protector, but even those can’t guarantee your device is protected.
So, klutziness aside, what’s an iPhone user to do when they have a cracked back on their iPhone or an otherwise-not-working device they need to get rid of? Is there still hope? Can you trade in cracked iPhones? When faced with this type of situation, you might be stuck with these questions. Fortunately, you have some options when it comes to mending your broken iPhone screen – and your heart, if possible. These include:
1: Trying to make do with a broken device and explaining to your friends that it happened by battling ninjas one day. (They’re sneaky!)
2: Trade in your cracked iPhone through Apple
3: Sell Your Damaged Phone on eBay
4: Trade in your cracked iPhone through a buyback website
5: Trade in your cracked iPhone through a retail store
Since your phone isn’t going to magically trade in itself, let’s look at each of these options and see how they’ll play out.
Trying to make do with a broken device and explaining to your friends that it happened by battling ninjas one day. (They’re sneaky!)
While the ninjas story could be cool to some, others just won’t buy it. And besides, dealing with a cracked screen means eventually cutting your thumb and having to try and have the device read your freshly applied Band-Aid.
On top of that do you really want to be the person with a cracked phone? Even if you can handle the gossip behind your back, you’ll also risk looking unprofessional in work settings or during meetings. (“Bob, come into my office and bring everything in your desk with you.”) Plus, it’s pretty challenging to do anything other than make necessary calls when your smartphone is shattered. That’s certainly not worth the expensive monthly phone bills most phones come along with.
Pros: You don’t pay anything monetarily, and you have a cool (if somewhat unbelievable) ninja story
Cons: You’ll pay in spades socially, and possibly with your work – and that will cut into your money anyway
Trade In Your Cracked iPhone Through Apple
Arguably one of the easiest options, going to Apple to trade in your damaged iPhone is undoubtedly a quick process. However, it’s not what anyone would call painless. You’ll take a hit in your wallet for sure with this option. Why? Because Apple offers absolutely nothing if you want to trade in your broken iPhone. Instead, they’ll “recycle” it for you for free. Thoughtful? Yes. Leaving you with nothing in return? Also yes.
The only way to get any trade-in value from Apple is to fix your damaged iPhone and then trade it in. Apple offers repair services for those in need, so you definitely can get your damaged iPhone screen fixed through them.
However, getting the screen repaired by Apple typically costs about $150. Unless you had the foresight to invest in AppleCare+, that is. Then the fix will cost you a mere $29. So, while you may get more money for your trade-in, the amount spent on the repair probably isn’t worth it.
Plus, if you fix it, then you wouldn’t want to get rid of it, right? So you may as well just do a repair and not a trade-in – or recycling, in this case.
Pros: Quick process, could help the Earth
Cons: Less (or no) cash, might as well just repair instead of trading in
Sell Your Damaged Phone On eBay
eBay can be a good option if your phone is still in working condition, but the market can be competitive. However, while people will buy a shattered iPhone, you won’t get much if it’s an older model. Auctions can be tedious and take more time than other online marketplaces. Plus, you have to pay eBay’s fees on any sale you make.
Then there are also returns to consider. If you aren’t precise with your eBay auction (with words that are clear to understand, like “OH HEY MY PHONE IS BROKEN”), you could very well be facing a refund situation with return shipping on top of that. And you just don’t win that way.
Overall, listing on eBay is a bit of a wild-west situation. There are quite a few people there, and you’re in charge of all the dirty work. It’s a slower process than other sites, and you end up with more headaches than what your iPhone trade-in might even be worth. As of this day, there are thousands of cracked iPhones for sale on eBay right now – so even if you have a newer model, you’re in for some stiff competition.
Pros: A large number of buyers all in one place, the potential for a higher payoff than other sites (depending on model)
Cons: Lots of waiting for money, heavy competition, the pain of having to take back a return if your listing isn’t precise
Trade in your cracked iPhone through a buyback website
Several online sites make it simple to trade in any device, even a damaged or broken iPhone. Most of these sites make it a breeze to get cash in your hand quickly despite your iPhone having a little (or a lot) of damage.
Not all sites are created equal, so let’s break down some of the most popular. Starting with us, of course
Trade In Broken iPhones With GadgetGone
GadgetGone offers fast, free quotes for all types of devices. You can ship your cracked, damaged or broken iPhone for free to GadgetGone (with the prepaid label we provide), and once we receive it, you’ll get paid ASAP. Payment comes in the form of a mailed check, eCheck, or PayPal. It’s quick, easy, and you’ll definitely get more money than what Apple will offer (which, as a reminder, is nada if they’re recycling.)
In the unlikely event we have to offer you a revised quote and you don’t like what you see, you have the option to have us ship the device back to you for free. You’ll never pay for shipping, so there are zero risks. Plus, you’ll save time and energy, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of listing your item yourself to sell it.
Pros: Quick money, fast and painless process, high payouts even for cracked or damaged phones
Cons: Maybe not getting as much back as you would on eBay – maybe
Trade In Broken iPhones With BuyBackWorld
Trade in cracked iPhones (or a wide range of other items like DVDs, gift cards, or even gaming consoles) for cash at BuyBackWorld. This site accepts all models of iPhones in all conditions. Simply find out what your item is worth with an instant, upfront quote. Shipping is free and you get paid quickly upon receipt of the device. Overall, it’s a smooth process, but their buy back prices aren’t exactly what you’d call competitive.
Pros: Trade-ins for damaged iPhones and many other items, quick payouts, free shipping
Cons: Payouts usually not as high as some sites, like, um, us
Trade In Broken iPhones With MaxBack
Like other online sites to trade in a cracked iPhone, MaxBack also offers immediate quotes and free shipping, and they accept damaged devices. MaxBack is fast and relatively simple to use, though payouts aren’t as high as GadgetGone.
Pros: Easy for anyone to use, free shipping, payouts in days upon receipt
Cons: Again, less money than us
Trade in your cracked iPhone through a retail store
You can also take your broken iPhone to a big-box store for a trade-in, but you might be surprised at how little you’ll be offered. Here are two popular stores and what you can expect.
Trade In Broken iPhones At Target
At Target, you can trade in your broken iPhone either online or in-store. The online trade-in site is a bit difficult to navigate. After filling in the same details as the rest of our quotes, the site came back with an offer of a mere $15. Ok, so it’s something, but probably not worth the effort.
Pros: Cash through PayPal or a gift card upon receipt of the device, fancy store design
Cons: Incredibly low payouts and not the greatest website to navigate
Trade In Broken iPhones At Best Buy
Although it’s certainly better than Target, Best Buy isn’t your best bet if you want to do an online trade-in for your cracked iPhone. They do not specify a timeframe for when you will receive a finalized quote, so you’re stuck waiting for them to receive your device.
Plus, if you dispute the adjusted offer, you have to pay for them to ship it back (unlike GadgetGone, which offers free returns of your equipment if you happen to receive an adjusted quote you don’t agree with). For Best Buy trade-ins, your best bet is to go in-person.
It’s important to note that they only offer payment in the form of a Best Buy gift card. Not to mention that some stores are subject to management approval for final buyback, which can take a while.
Pros: Same-day offer and payout if you go in person, though it can take a bit.
Cons: No free shipping, no evaluation timeframe, money only paid via Best Buy gift card
So, to reiterate, there are a number of options when it comes to dealing with your damaged iPhone. Yes, you can keep it and bear the weight of social embarrassment (even ninjas can’t save you!) or work issues.
Yes, you could sell to another website and see what lower offers you can get. And, yes, you can take it to a store and roll the dice on getting anything back. Or you can simply check out our price quote option for GadgetGone below, send your item off, enjoy your cash and move on with your life. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple!
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