HandsetsTips & Tricks

From the Galaxy S5 to Galaxy S6: how to get top dollar for your smartphone trade-in


Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S5 DSC08959

With carriers ordering more than 20 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to sell this April we’re sure there are many looking into their upgrade options. One of the most popular options for upgrading is to subsidize the payment by trading in your old phone to go toward the latest and greatest.

So how do you get the most out of your trade-in? NextWorth’s suggestion is to try and trade your old device in ahead of the arrival of the new one. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S5, the company suggests the trade-in prices drop by as much as 15% as soon as the newest smartphone in a series is available for purchase.


The obvious answer is to trade your device in before the new one launches, but that’s not the most convenient option for most folks — what the heck are you going to use as a phone until you actually get the new one in your hands?

In the event that you don’t have a backup, NextWorth’s 30-day PriceLock guarantee is actually pretty handy. It allows you to get a quote for your current device right now, and with a comfortable 30-day window to ship your device at the price you originally received you don’t have to worry about cutting it close.

There aren’t many other trade-in services doing this right now. USell has a similar 30-day guarantee, though USell is more like Craigslist than it is a trade-in company — that is, it’s more like a network of sellers and buyers instead of one company setting a standard trade-in price. Gazelle once ran a promotion like this, but it was only for the iPhone 5’s launch (and in case they’re confused, this is our half-hearted plea to consider making it a standard feature of their service).

Some fine alternatives

But the absolute best way to get the most for your trade-in — whether you can trade-in now or have to wait until the device you want is available — is to simply look around and find the best deal.

Most places will give you a quote before asking for your device so it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to see who offers the best prices. Here’s a quick list of good places to trade your devices in if you need to fund a Samsung Galaxy S6 purchase:

  • Your carrierSprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular all offer convenient trade-in programs. Most carriers even accept devices meant for use on other networks. Note that some carriers will only issue funds as store credit, so don’t go this route unless you plan to spend all of the money with them.
  • Amazon.com — they accept a metric crap-ton of stuff, including — you guessed it — smartphones. They get bonus points for allowing their trusted users to receive trade-in credit before shipping the devices off. Like the carriers, Amazon only dishes out store credit.
  • Gazelle — without a doubt, one of the best third-party trade-in companies. They specialize in mobile phones so they have a pretty good feel for a device’s worth.
  • USell — you’re connected to sellers more than you’re trading devices in through a company, but they’re a very solid middleman for finding people to buy from or sell to. They also have a 30-day guarantee similar to NextWorth.
  • Best Buy — because they’re the biggest electronics retailer in the United States and there’s no reason to question their legitimacy. Might as well see if they can get you the best price on your next trade-in.

Of course, the only way you can get the most value out of your current device is to sell it yourself. The eBays and Craigslists in the world make it quite easy to do that unless making a sale listing, having to handle shipping and dealing with potential headaches like missed payments and returns is too much of a hassle for you. Feel free to choose any route that best suits your needs and let us know which one you’ll be taking once April 10th arrives.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

B&H lists HTC One M9 with March 25th release date, quickly removes date from website

Previous article

Watch the HTC One M9 selfie camera destroy the iPhone 6 [VIDEO]

Next article

You may also like


  1. Trade? Bah…. sell it on Craigslist and get top dollar and cash.

    “Feel free to choose any route that best suits your needs” .. oh, ok, thanks.

    1. I prefer the non-mugging place on Amazon ;)

      1. I have bought and sold maybe 10 phones on CL.. never an issue. Meet in public.

        I just got my girl a BNIB M8 in 32gb in gold for $325 + free case from a CL seller. VZW wants $500 plus tax.

        On some places a trade in might get you $150 as they need to retail at say $225. Why not just retail yourself and get the $225.

        1. I got you, was half joking. I’ve tried to sell some things on there and only get spam from people in different states trying to use paypal or some stupid crap. Its easy on Amazon and I always make money. I sold my G2 for $350 when I got my G3. Still thinking of posting my G3 before the G4 is announced….

  2. I just sell my old phone on Kijiji or pass it down to the wife. She’s still using my Note 2.

    That’s one advantage Apple has, VERY easy to resell at a good price.

    1. so true, every time the wife gets a new iphone, we usually score when we sell her old one!

      1. It’s crazy, back when I put my 5S on the site, sold it within 15 minutes for 475$ (october 2014). My wife’s old Galaxy S3 is still in some drawer somewhere, was never able to sell it for a decent price.

        1. that is crazy! was that on kijiji??? I’m a big fan of selling stuff on Amazon. Feels secure in so many ways. better than using paypal in my opinion.

          1. Yeah Kijiji, in Montreal it works great. I’ve tried with amazon in the past but they keep a cut if I recall. You meet some freaks at times, just gotta be in public.

          2. they do….they keep too much some times. I try to up the price by 20 of what I’m wanting to get so I can recoup whatever they steal from a listing

          1. what a great awesome way to reuse a hard-to-sell old phone!

          2. yeah pretty slick. stick it in the corner, put a power cord on it, walk away.

          3. hah nice, I’ll look into that

  3. I have a 32GB Black Note 4 from AT&T. I don’t use a case so the exposed aluminum is scuffed up. I hope to be able to make an near-even trade/sell to get a Black S6 Edge.

  4. No love for Swappa?

  5. Why would anyone consider trading an S5 for a pice of crap like the S6?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets