Where do I get the most money for my used cell phone?

Smartphones that are no longer used are stored in many households. They are too good to throw away or to put in the drawer, so it is often worth selling them. But where do users get the most money for their used smartphone? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON did the test and compared the offers.

Many users change their smartphone regularly. Either because their contract entitles them to a new model every two years. Or because they always treat themselves to the latest version. The old device then usually goes dead in the drawer – unless it is passed on to friends or family. The used cell phones are mostly still fully functional and sometimes even receive updates. It is therefore worth selling here. Many buying portals on the Internet advertise with good prices and a simple sales process. Alternatively, there are also platforms such as Ebay classifieds and Shpock, which get by without intermediaries and where the sales price to be achieved is therefore often slightly higher – at least that is the assumption. But is it also true? We tried to answer the question

Two Galaxy smartphones compete

So that we can get an insight into the real prices offered, we have offered two used smartphones for sale. On the one hand, there was the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) in the original box and with complete accessories. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S8, also in the original box, but with incomplete accessories – the headphones are missing. Both phones show slight signs of use, but are otherwise in good condition. There are no major scratches in the glass or notches in the case.

The devices offer the following basic equipment:

Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) Samsung Galaxy S8
Display 5.6 inches, SuperAMOLED, 1480 x 720 pixels 5.8 inches, SuperAMOLED, 2960 x 1440 pixels
processor Exynos 7870, Octa-Core with 1.6 GHz Exynos 8895, Octa-Core with 2.3 GHz
Storage 32 GB expandable, 3 GB RAM 64 GB expandable, 4 GB RAM
Front camera 16 MP 8 MP, f / 1.7
Main camera 16 MP 12 MP dual-pixel, f / 1.7
links NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, WLAN a / b / g / n, LTE, micro USB NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, WLAN a / b / g / n / ac, LTE, USB-C
battery pack 3000 mAh 3000 mAh, wireless charging
system Android 8 Oreo, update to Android 10 available Android 7 Nougat, update to Android 9 Pie available
miscellaneous Dual SIM, jack socket, fingerprint sensor Dual SIM, jack socket, fingerprint sensor, iris sensor, IP68
Launch May 14, 2018 April 28, 2017
RRP 339 euros 799 euros
current price for a new purchase from 199.95 euros from 295 euros

Sale on classic buying portals

Buying portals differ significantly in the sales process from competitors such as Ebay classified ads, where you sell your used smartphone privately. Because behind reBuy, cleverbuy and all the others there are companies that don’t keep old devices themselves, but rather refurbish and sell them.

However, through the intermediary – i.e. the buying portal – there is a margin between the price you get for your old smartphone and the price that the new owner pays in the end. However, buyers of used smartphones have the advantage of getting a checked and cleaned device. In addition, it is easier for them to return it should a problem arise – the dealers usually give a guarantee on their processed goods.

Sell ​​a used smartphone at reBuy

One of the largest and most famous buying portals is reBuy. Shipping for products with an estimated value of 10 euros or more and the return of used smartphones are free of charge. But this is not the case with every portal. Therefore, check carefully before shipping whether you might have to pay for the return shipping yourself. However, reBuy is customer-friendly here.

If owners want to sell their old cell phone at reBuy, they first enter the model in a search mask and select it from the results displayed. reBuy differentiates between the models in terms of color, memory and dual SIM capability, for example. Then sellers are forwarded to the questionnaire, which is limited to five queries:

  • Is the device fully functional?
  • What is the condition of the battery?
  • What is the condition of the display (are there scratches, etc.)?
  • Is there any damage to the back or the frame?
  • Is the original charging cable available?

At the end, the seller receives a price proposal that he can either accept or reject. If it is rejected, the sale will be canceled, otherwise the owner must send their old smartphone to reBuy for further examination. In our case, checking the device took four working days, not counting the weekend in between.

That’s how much money there was at reBuy

For our Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) with slight signs of use and complete accessories, reBuy estimated a value of 53.84 euros according to our initial assessment. We were honest and pointed out a small scratch on the back. After sending the device and the internal check, the portal confirmed the price.

However, it is different with the Galaxy S8. Here we assessed the condition better than with the Galaxy A6 (2018). Because we couldn’t see scratches or other flaws despite closer inspection. And so, based on our information, reBuy issued a value of 196.44 euros. According to their information, however, the testers found scratches in the display. These must be microscopic because we couldn’t see them at all. But they were enough to lower the value of the Samsung Galaxy S8 to 154.28 euros – a good 40 euros less than initially estimated.

reBuy estimated price price paid
Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) 53.84 euros 53.84 euros
Samsung Galaxy S8 196.44 euros 154.28 euros

The sales process at reBuy is very convenient for the seller. The portal bears the costs for shipping. All you have to do yourself is assess your used smartphone as honestly as possible in order to avoid later disappointments due to a possible price difference. In one case it didn’t quite work out for us – the price difference of a good 40 euros is already significant in the total amount.

Sell ​​on Ebay Classifieds and Shpock

Ebay classifieds is certainly the first port of call for many users who want to sell their used smartphone. Not without reason, because the platform makes it possible to create private advertisements quickly and easily and to adjust them afterwards. In addition, sellers do not have to pay a fee – as is the case with Ebay, where sellers have to surrender 10 percent of the sales price.

There are now more and more alternatives to Ebay classified ads. The Shpock flea market app, for example, uses the same principle, as does the aforementioned markt.de platform. They all rely on the principle of a private advertisement: Sellers put a product on the website, set a price and, ideally, include meaningful images and a clear description in the offer. Interested parties can then strike, but in most cases they make counter-offers that can be accepted or rejected.

And this is exactly one of the problems with selling on classifieds portals. Sometimes the seller has to first separate serious inquiries from senseless reactions without interest. In our test, too, we didn’t have to wait long until e-mails with the question “What is the last price” fluttered into our mailboxes – an old joke on classifieds portals.

A lot of interest, but not reached the desired price

For the Galaxy A6 (2018) we have estimated a fixed price of 100 euros on both Ebay classifieds and Shpock. That was almost double what we were offered on reBuy, but less than the value that the test on myhandycheck gave us. So it’s a good mean. We did the same with the Galaxy S8. With an estimated price of 200 euros, we were exactly between the retail price offered by reBuy and the retail price recommended by myhandycheck.

The first reactions were received shortly after the advertisements were online. Many inquiries were very brief, but at least (relatively) politely worded. In general, there were significantly more reactions to our advertisements on Ebay classified ads than to those on Shpock – logical, after all, the platform is not as well known as the industry leader.

It is also interesting to see which smartphones were more popular on which portal. The most interest in the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) was on Ebay classifieds. A good two thirds of all inquiries related to this model. On Shpock, however, the Galaxy S8 was more popular. Of the already few reactions, around 80 percent related to the former Samsung flagship.

Those shoppers who showed genuine interest were, overall, very much in agreement about what they would pay for the smartphones. The sums were at a very similar level, as our overview shows:

Ebay classifieds Price in the ad Price proposals from buyers
Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) 100 euros 60 to 80 euros
Samsung Galaxy S8 200 euros 150 euros
Shpock Price in the ad Price proposals from buyers
Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) 100 euros no price proposal
Samsung Galaxy S8 200 euros 120 to 150 euros

We would have received more money for the Samsung Galaxy A6 if we had sold it on eBay classifieds than we would have received through reBuy. The sum that we were offered for the Galaxy S8, however, was at the level of the reseller. However, none of our advertisements reached our actual desired price, which was also below the value determined by myhandycheck.

Device check at home with myhandycheck

The myhandycheck app offers an interim solution for all those who have difficulty assessing the value of their used smartphones, but do not want to sell them on buying portals either. The developers have developed a test procedure with which users can check their cell phones at home in a short time and then receive a price recommendation.

The myhandycheck test procedure includes 39 individual tests. In addition, there is information on the condition and available accessories of the device, which the user must enter in a mask. At the end of the day, the used smartphone is rated – in our cases we achieved the “perfect condition” rating twice and a correspondingly high price estimate.

Does a test certificate increase the value?

First, users have to download the free myhandycheck app onto the Android smartphone or iPhone that they want to sell. You should also have a mirror, headphones and the charger of the device ready and take a photo of the mobile phone and accessories – you will have to upload this later in the process. The actual test procedure takes about 20 minutes – depending on how skillfully users are doing. We had our problems with the first run, because the implementation of some commands was a bit tricky. For example, we had to position the smartphone in a certain window on the display while the cell phone was reflected in the mirror. myhandycheck wanted to check the quality of the screen and take photos later. Sometimes we held the smartphone too close to the mirror,

Other tasks, such as the touchscreen test, plugging in the headphones and confirming that you can hear certain sounds, however, were done quickly. Our advice: Take your time for the test procedure and repeat certain entries with patience if necessary. At the end, you receive a certificate that provides precise information on whether and, if so, where the device may have problems.

After the test, myhandycheck set a value of 155 euros for the Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018). For the Samsung Galaxy S8, the recommended retail price was even 265 euros. Together with the certificate, the used smartphone can then be advertised on markt.de.

However, our self-experiment quickly showed that we could not achieve the price given. Because buyers can make counter-offers like on Ebay classified ads – and they were well below our desired price.

markt.de Price in the ad Price proposals from buyers
Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) 155 euros 70 to 85 euros
Samsung Galaxy S8 265 euros 130 to 160 euros

In the end, testing our smartphones, which took some time, wasn’t really worth it. We were far from being offered the sums spent. In fact, the suggested prices were very close to what we got on eBay classifieds. In the end, it is also a bit of luck on which platform a serious buyer is looking for the smartphone of their choice and whether we are currently advertising this model there.

Conclusion: not a clear winner

The conclusion of our attempt to sell a used smartphone shows that there is no clear winner among the sales platforms. Often, a slightly higher profit can be achieved on Ebay classifieds and markt.de – depending on the model – as our summary shows:

Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018) Samsung Galaxy S8
reBuy 53.84 euros 154.28 euros
Ebay classifieds 60 to 80 euros 150 euros
Shpock no price proposal 120 to 150 euros
markt.de 70 to 85 euros 130 to 160 euros

But sellers also have to deal with some nonsensical and even outrageous inquiries. If you have little patience here or are not ready to respond to inquiries promptly, you should opt for a more convenient sales method. Our test reBuy turned out to be such. At first we thought that the buying platform pays significantly less than the classifieds portals – after all, the reseller wants to earn money from the resale – but in the end it turned out that the offers are not that far removed from those that are interested in eBay classifieds , markt.de or Shpock.

The check via myhandycheck, however, was not worthwhile in our test. It takes a comparatively large amount of effort to check your old cell phone and in the end you get a sum that sounds great at first, but could not even come close to being reached. Our tip: Put your old cell phone on several portals at the same time and compare the offers from the buying platforms. If you have collected several price proposals, you can accept the best one and thus still sell your used smartphone well.

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