Resale value of cell phones

A commonly held view is that the resale value of an item is the best indicator of a product’s value.  This is certainly the view of Priceonomics who recently studied the resale value of several cell phones to determine which ones are the best value.  The results of the study showed that after 18 months of use, iPhones retain 53% of their value while Android and Blackberry retain only 42 and 41% respectively.  Included in the study were all current models of iPhones, 70 Android devices and 30 Blackberry models.  Authors of the study also found out that even if you pay extra money upfront for a model with increased memory capacity, for example a 32GB model of the iPhone 4S costs $100 more than the 16GB model, this only adds $10 to the resale value.  Their advice is that if you plan to sell your cell phone on the secondary market it is best to buy the model with least memory.  They also found that some inexpensive Android phones retain their value more than the more expensive models.  

There are a number of places where you can sell your used cell phones, Craigslist or eBay, comes to mind.  Another option that might be more convenient is Gazelle (gazelle.com).  At their website you can actually get a quote almost instantly after you answer a few questions concerning the device’s condition.  As a test, I tried to see how much I could get for my 16 GB iPhone 3G that I paid  $299 more than 3 years ago, on contract to Rogers.  Since my device is in good condition with only normal signs of wear and tear I could still get $44 for it from Gazelle.  If I had paid $100 less for the 8 GB model I would still get $43.  If you are considering upgrading your cell phone this may be something for you to think about. 

Sources: Priceonomics and PC World  

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