Chances are you’ve heard it before: The sickening thud of an expensive iPhone hitting the pavement and shattering on impact. The vibrations of the sound thud in your ears as you realize that your phone will never, ever be the same. The blood rushes to your stomach as if you were sucker-punched and your shocked brain finally gets the message that this is going to cost you—big time.
Like death and taxes, cracked iPhone screens are pretty much par for the course in today’s society. Sure, you can shell out for a durable case and heavy-duty screen protector, but even those aren’t foolproof. In most cases, when your phone takes a tumble, so does your bank account. This is especially true if you were hoping to make a dent in the cost of your upgrade by trading in your old phone.
So, what’s a hard-working (yet clumsy) iPhone user to do when they have a cracked back on their iPhone or an otherwise-not-working device they want to unload? Is there still hope? Can you trade in cracked iPhones? When faced with this type of situation, you might choose to cry and search for the meaning of life. Fortunately, you have some options when it comes to a broken heart—er, iPhone screen. These include:
Since your phone isn’t going to magically trade in itself, let’s look at each of these options.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart, or those who don’t want to replace their bandage stash continuously. Aside from the possible daily nicks and cuts, you’ll also deal with a hit to your social currency. Do you really want to be the guy or girl with a cracked phone? Even if you can handle the gossip behind your back, you’ll also risk looking unprofessional in work settings. 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.
Cons: Loss of dignity, stuck with an old phone
Arguably one of the easiest options, going to Apple to trade in your cracked 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. How thoughtful of them!
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.
Pros: Quick process
Cons: Less (or no) cash
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.
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. Overall, 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 the date of this article, there are thousands of cracked iPhones for sale on eBay right now—so get ready for some steep competition.
Pros: A large number of buyers all in one place, the potential for a higher payoff than other sites
Cons: Lots of legwork, competition is high
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:
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, 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 $0).
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 process, high payouts even for cracked or damaged phones
Cons: Might not be able to get as high of a price as eBay
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.
Pros: Trade-ins for damaged iPhones and many other items, quick payouts, free shipping
Cons: Payouts usually not as high as some sites, like GadgetGone
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: Less money offered than GadgetGone
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 $32.61. Ok, so it’s something, but probably not worth the effort.
Pros: Cash through PayPal or a gift card upon receipt of the device
Cons: (Very) low payouts, tricky trade-in site
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. However, it’s important to note that they only offer payment in the form of a Best Buy gift card.
Pros: Same-day offer and payout if you go in person
Cons: No free shipping, no evaluation timeframe, money only paid via Best Buy gift card
So, if you want to get the most money back and reduce the stress of having to sell the item yourself, consider GadgetGone whenever you need to trade in your damaged iPhone.