How does Apple Trade-in Work? | 2021 Guide

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I always want the best out of the things I own and that includes my iPhone. With a new iPhone releasing every year I am always drooling over them for the bleeding edge in smartphone technology. And I love to get my hands on them, but paying the full price of an iPhone every year is not a good financial decision. Check out our “How does Apple Trade-in Work?” guide for all the details.

But with the help Apple’s trade-in program, this is now possible and more economical to my wallet. Give away your old iPhone to Apple and get a hefty chunk of discount on your new iPhone. And from my experience, Apple’s trade-in can’t be any smoother or convenient.

Apple trade-in is a device replacing program. You can use Apple trade-in to reduce the cost on the purchase of your new iPhone. If you are looking for a new iPhone upgrade, this can be a nice way to reduce some cash on your purchase.

If you have an iPhone that you don’t require anymore, you can opt for the Apple trade-in program. And this will require you to send in your old iPhone to Apple and you will get credit for the same.

How does Apple Trade-in Work?

Apple Trade-in is fairly simple. All the consumer has to do is choose the phone you want to buy, either from a physical Apple store or from Apple’s website. You can ask for a trade-in at the store or choose the option while you check out. And in both cases, you’ll have to pay upfront.

But if you are using Apple Card and paying in monthly payments, then the estimated value of the phone will be factored in and the resulting monthly value will be shown to you.

You will also get 3% cashback of the full value of the new iPhone when using your Apple Card. Buying online or in-person involves the same steps for trade-in. Both are done by post. So, all steps after this apply no matter which method you use to buy your iPhone. The whole trade-in process is done by post.

Apple will send you a box by post. This is the box in which you should return your old iPhone. The value of your iPhone is checked by Apple or a partner company, they will determine a value for the same. The amount is credited back to your original payment method. So, it’s a nice discount.

Since you have to pay the full cost for your new iPhone upfront, you can always opt out of the trade-in program. Apple gives you 14 days for you to send in your old device. If you don’t send in your old iPhone by that time, Apple cancels the trade-in for your and you won’t get any cashback.

This won’t affect the 3% cashback you received if you used Apple Card at the time of purchase.  It is wise to go through with the trade-in because you have opted for it and now that you have already spent a lot on your new iPhone. This is the most convenient way to trade your old iPhone and dealing with Apple gives you a certain peace of mind. 

Apple Trade-in Program

After you have made up your mind to follow through with the trade-in, you still have things to take care of. These are things you have to follow if you want to trade-in your old iPhone. And if fail to do so, you won’t get paid for your old iPhone.

These are things you have to remember while selling any of your devices, not just when you trade them back to Apple. You have to set up your new iPhone and you can do the by backing up your old iPhone. For this 

  • Back up your old iPhone by going to the Setting app, 
  • Tap on your name, 
  • And then tap on iCloud. 
  • Scroll down till iCloud Backup and tap on it. 
  • Tap on back up now and wait for your iPhone to get backed up. 

You will also have to unpair your Apple watch if you have one. Now you can set up your new iPhone by putting both phones next to each and follow the prompts.

It can take a while for transferring the data. And you will have to set up certain apps from scratch, these include bank apps because you have to provide with identity details, and follow certain procedures. This will all take anywhere from a few hours to a few days’ time, depending on the number of apps and files you have.  

After all your backup is done, you’ll have to wipe your phone completely. This is an important step in the Apple trade-in process, failing to this will rescind your trade-in eligibility. This is to make sure, others can you use your iPhone as Apple’s activation lock means nobody can use the without knowing your passcode. 

To do this:

  • Back up your old iPhone 
  • Open the settings app on your old iPhone  
  • Tap on your name in the settings app 
  • Tap on the sign out option 
  • Choose Sign Out of iCloud and Store 
  • Enter your password and confirm and turn off your device 

Now you can wipe your whole iPhone. For this:

  • Open the Settings app 
  • Then navigate to General option and tap on it 
  • Scroll down till you see the Reset option and tap on it 
  • Choose erase all content and settings 
  • You will be prompted for your passcode twice, but it will proceed to wipe everything off of your iPhone after that.   

Now all that’s left to do is sending back your old iPhone to Apple. Power down your old iPhone, and pack your old iPhone in the box Apple delivered you before. Send it in the local post office within the 14-day limit.

By two or three weeks, the whole process will be completed, you’ll get notified that the trade-in is complete and you will be paid to the original payment method of your old iPhone.

Devices accepted for trade-in with prices 

You can’t trade all your iPhones; only selected models are available for Apple Trade-in program. These are the models and the prices you can get for them:  

  • iPhone SE (First generation): Up to $30 
  • iPhone SE (Second generation): Up to $210 
  • iPhone 6: Up to $30 
  • iPhone 6 Plus: Up to $50 
  • iPhone 6s: Up to $60 
  • iPhone 6s Plus: Up to $80 
  • iPhone 7: Up to $100 
  • iPhone 7 Plus: Up to $140 
  • iPhone 8: Up to $140 
  • iPhone 8 Plus: Up to $210 
  • iPhone X: Up to $250 
  • iPhone XR: Up to $250 
  • iPhone XS: Up to $300 
  • iPhone XS Max: Up to $370 
  • iPhone 11: Up to $350 
  • iPhone 11 Pro: Up to $450 
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Up to $500 

The final price is decided after the phones are gone through some testing to make sure they have no damages or significant problems. Liquid damage can also be something that can reduce the cashback of your phone.  

Special Offers 

There are special offers that you can avail when choosing to trade-in your carrier locked iPhone on apples website. Some of them listed on the website are: 

T-Mobile/Sprint Special Trade-in Offer 

To get this offer, you will have to trade-in directly with Apple, either using the online or in a physical store. You will get an additional $100 credit in the form of a virtual prepaid Mastercard from T-Mobile/Sprint. After you place the order, you will get an email with the promo code and steps.  

Verizon Special Trade-in Offer 

Trading with Apple online or in a physical store will allow you to avail this offer.

AT&T Special Trade-in Offer 

You will have to trade-in directly with AT&T for this offer. So, you have to choose No for the trade-in option in the Apple online store. You will get 30 days of time after activating your new iPhone. An email with the steps will sent to you from AT&T.    

Alternatives 

You have the option to go with different third-party companies providing buybacks. While most of them do pay more, they are not as convenient or easy to deal with. Apple offers the best trade-in experience, and for this convenience, you will be getting a slightly reduced price. It lies on you to choose the best option for you, but personally I would go with Apple’s trade-in program just for the peace of my mind.  

How does Apple Trade-in Work? – Takeaway

If you are looking to upgrade your iPhone, you can use your old iPhone to fetch in a nice sizeable discount for your new iPhone. Apple trade-in program is a nice way to do it. The whole process is simple, convenient and quick.

If you don’t have any plans for your old iPhone and don’t want to go through the time consuming and inconvenient process of selling it on craigslist or eBay, Apple trade is the best option.

Apple also offers the most convenient option when coming to trade, compared to other buyback providers. Choosing Apple trade-in is convenient and quick, which will want you to do the same for your future purchases from Apple. Check out our “How does Apple Trade-in Work?” guide for all the details.

Is Apple trade in a good deal?

If your planning trading an Apple phone for another one, then it’s honestly a terrific deal. It can safe you a lot of money. Especially, if your looking to have the latest smartphone every year. Even the process of the trade is made much more convenient by Apple. So, check out our “How does Apple Trade-in Work?” guide for all the details.

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