How to Upgrade to the Latest iPhone for Free

Unlocking a Little Bonus

If you want to grab a little cash above and beyond what you could normally ask for, you can go through the trouble to unlock your iPhone. If you’re not familiar, unlocking is the process of opening up your iPhone to any carrier. It’s a little more in-depth than jailbreaking and requires a bit of work, but it’s possible to unlock pretty much any iPhone available today. People who aren’t savvy enough to unlock the phone themselves are often willing to pay a little extra for the convenience.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to be careful about it. It’s very important that you explain to the buyer what it means to have an unlocked phone, even if they already know. You don’t want an angry buyer who didn’t understand that Apple won’t fix the phone and that they won’t necessarily be able to update to the latest version of iOS—at least not as easily as everyone else. While you can make a little extra money this way, be clear when selling it or you could cause some unwanted trouble for you and your buyer.

Don’t Forget to Reset

Chances are you don’t want your precious data in the hands of your buyer, so you have a couple of options. First, you can just do a restore of your phone by plugging it into you computer, clicking Restore in iTunes, and then preventing the phone from syncing back up when it’s all done. Alternative is resetting all your iPhone data directly from the phone. To do this, go into Settings on your iPhone, choose Reset, and then tap Reset All Content and Settings. This will fully wipe your phone while still retaining the standard apps (which is great for your buyer for testing purposes).

Making the Sale

Making the sale is easy if your iPhone’s in good condition and you kept all of the accessories. All you really have to do is find a buyer and make the sale. While you can use sites like eBay to quickly sell online, you pay a fee. Craigslist costs you nothing to post and claims no fees for your sale, plus you get paid in cash. While most sales on Craigslist will result in less money for you, the iPhone is an exception. For a pristine iPhone, you can expect to make back more than you paid for it—but don’t expect to get your set price. People on Craigslist like to haggle, so be sure to set the price about $20-25 higher than what you expect to get for the phone. Most people will lowball you, but they’re often willing to pay more. Generally people are willing to pay full price but want to feel like they got a great deal. Price it higher than what you’re hoping to get and then you both get what you want.