How To Pawn Your Cell Phone In 5 Easy Steps

Your cellphone is a pretty valuable piece of technology, so if you’re looking to make some extra money pawning your cell phone can be a good move.

Whether you’ve upgraded and want to sell your old phone that is in decent condition, or you simply want some extra money and don’t need your phone anymore, there are a number of ways to get the money you need from your phone.

There are a number of ways you can sell your goods, social media buy and sells, classified websites, and pawn shops are all options you can legally sell your phone on. However, for those of us who have dealt with the trolling, low balling, and sheer number of communication associated with buy and sells and classifieds, we know that if you want a quick, fair, and hassle-free option, a pawn shop is usually the best option.

However you choose to sell your phone, there are a number of things you should do before you put that “for sale” sign on your personal property. Here are the steps you should take to safety and swiftly pawn your cell phone.

1. Do a full factory reset of your phone

This may seem obvious, but it is important to remove 100% of your personal information from the device. Your phone hosts contact information for all your friends and family, emergency numbers, bank information, email addresses and logins, and all your search history. You should also be sure to disable “Find My Phone” and remove the device from any of your other devices such as laptops or smart speakers. If a stranger were to have this information it could be incredibly dangerous — so do not miss this step.

2. Unlock your phone and make sure everything is in working order

Make sure that after your phone has been reset that you unlock it. Some cell phone providers will have phones locked so that SIM cards other than the one you purchased the phone from don’t work, but if you phone and ask your provider to unlock your phone they are required to do so.

3. Get the facts straight

Make sure you have the year you bought the phone, model number, storage limit, and any other information that would be pertinent for a buyer to know (this includes if you have had the screen replaced or replaced the battery). People like to know the background of anything they buy second-hand. It is a good idea to gather all the original packaging such as the box and instruction manual, this proves that you are an original owner of the phone and is a nice way to hand the phone off to its new owner.

4. Learn what your phone is worth

It’s important to do research on how much your phone is worth before trying to sell. The 14-year-old Nokia flip phone is not worth $800, regardless of the nostalgia. Check what people are selling phones similar in age/model to yours to figure out a range you may get for your phone — timing also matters, you may not get as much right after Christmas, but in August there may be a selection of parents looking to buy their child a cellphone for their first day of junior high. Make sure you’re educated about what your phone is worth before trying to sell, that way your buyers will make you honest offers.

Wondering how much a pawn shop will pay for your cell phone? 

 Because you can simply walk in, hand over your cell phone and get the cash rather than dealing with all the hassle of selling it yourself online (like answering questions, arranging a time to meet, and low-ball offers that are a waste of time), you may find that the pawn shop offers you a few dollars less than if you sold it on your own. This, of course, is the price of convenience.

5. Sell that phone

You can list your phone online (make sure there are two or three good photos that show the screen quality, if the charging or headphone receptacles are damaged, and relative size to something known such as a playing card). When posting online, you should also include a description, model number, any important information like “never been dropped,” “comes with the case,” or “no scratches or markings.” It is also a good idea to let people know if the phone came from a smoking home or not as that can be a selling feature. 

If you decide to go directly to a pawn shop, the process is a little easier. Bring your phone in the original box if you have it to your local pawnshop. There, an appraiser will look at your phone and make you an offer — easy-peasy! There is one really great advantage to pawnshops, and it’s right in the name. If you’re temporarily strapped for cash you can take your phone to a pawnshop and use the phone as collateral for a loan. You’ll get your money and then have 30 days to come back and buy it back, which is great if you’re particularly attached to your rose gold iPhone.

When selling or pawning valuable items (especially ones that once held personal information) it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your safety. Follow these steps and not only will you keep your personal data safe, you’ll also get a good price for your phone!