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How to sell your old phone to buy a new iPhone 11

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Can you sell your old iPhone to help pay for your new iPhone 11?

The iPhone 11 has arrived. One aspect that's not surprising? The $1199-plus price tag. How can you afford that and not end up trapped on a 24-month contract?

The big problem with buying a phone on contract is that by the time your contract runs out the plan itself is likely to be poor value.

Data allowances on phone plans get higher each year, and SIM-only plans often have more generous inclusions than contract plans.

Being able to switch plans at will means you can compare your options and pick out a plan with more data or other features as your needs change.

So it can make a lot of sense to buy a phone outright and go with a SIM-only plan instead. But that presumes you have that spare $1000 or so lying around.

You can ease that burden by selling your old iPhone. There are a range of ways to do that.

Whichever method you choose, you need to be realistic. If your iPhone is in near-new condition and you still have the original packaging, then you'll be able to get a top price for it. If the screen is cracked and you've lost the charger, temper your expectations.

Also: the more memory your device has, the more you'll get back. The top prices quoted here are for the highest-capacity models.

The easy and lazy option is to use Apple's own buyback scheme, Apple Trade In.

If you're happy to buy a phone direct from an Apple Store or the Apple website, then Apple will offer "up to" a set figure through its partner, Brightstar. For the iPhone X, the most you'll get is $725.

Bear in mind that the phone was launched with an entry-level price of $1579, so you're getting well under half the original price.

If you're looking to offload an older device, the returns are even lower.

Want to trade in an iPhone 7? $320 is the most you'll score.

You can also consider third-party mobile buyback sites. The table lists the current maximum offers for a range of iPhone models through four prominent local buyback providers (Cashaphone, Fonebank, Mazuma Mobile and Mobile Monster):

Again, those maximum prices assume the phone is in excellent condition. The prices are a little more generous than through Apple Trade In, but still mean that you'll get back, at best, around half of what you originally paid.

There's a widely held belief that iPhones retain their original value much better than most consumer goods, but that isn't matched by market reality.

The last option is to sell your phone yourself, using a site such as eBay or Gumtree. While this may mean you'll get more for your device, a sale isn't guaranteed.

Recent sales on eBay indicate very few iPhones sell for more than the price offered through buyback sites.

The bottom line? If you have a recent iPhone and you're ready to upgrade, selling your old device will help pay for it. But it certainly won't pay for it all.

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Angus Kidman is the tech and telco editor at finder.com.au.
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