How the iPhone exchange works

Who I am
Judit Llordes
Author and references

How iPhone trade-in works

If you want to trade in your iPhone at Apple, there are two ways to do it: you can either physically go to an Apple Store and request an evaluation of your old smartphone or, if you have no way to physically get to an Apple Store, you can request an evaluation of your old iPhone through the Brightstar website (Apple's partner company that deals with device trade-ins).

If you physically go to the Apple Store, you can get an immediate discount on the purchase of a new iPhone or a discount to spend on the purchase of other products available in the store. If, on the contrary, you act through the Internet, you must send your old iPhone to Brightstar (at the expense of the latter) and, after an evaluation of the device made by the technicians of the company, you will receive an Apple Gift Card to spend at the Apple Store.

Either way you have to be at least 18 years of age and must provide an identity document to prove it. On the other hand, you do not need to provide telephone purchase invoices (just state that you are the rightful owners of the device and are therefore authorized to exchange it).

Also note that not all Apple Stores allow you to exchange your iPhone: to go without fail, find the Apple Store closest to your home using the Apple website and contact the latter to confirm the availability of the exchange service.

Rate iPhone for trade-in

Apple allows you to rate traded-in iPhones through the Brightstar website. However, please note that this is an indicative evaluation: the actual value of the discount (or gift card) you get is decided only when technicians closely analyze the device.

The maximum ratings "promised" by Apple on its website are as follows.

  • iPhone 5 - 70 €
  • iPhone 5c - 60 €
  • iPhone 5s - 105 €
  • iPhone SE - 200 €
  • iPhone 6 - 225 €
  • iPhone 6 Plus - 255 €
  • iPhone 6s - 290 €
  • iPhone 6s Plus - 320 €

The discount you actually get depends on many different factors, such as the storage capacity of the phone, its condition, the presence of the original packaging and charger, etc.

How to trade in iPhone

To have an indicative assessment of your iPhone remotely (and possibly innovate iPhone get a gift card by mail), connected to the Apple website and click on the item Find out how much your smartphone is worth> located at the bottom of the page.

On the page that opens (ie the Brightstar website), type the serial number ol'IMEI of your iPhone in the appropriate text field and click the Search button.

If you do not know how to find the serial number or the IMEI number of your iPhone, go to impostazioni device (the gear icon on the home screen) and select the items General and Info from the menu that opens: there you will find both codes.

At this point, you should be in the presence of a questionnaire with some questions related to the state of the iPhone to evaluate.

  • Does the device turn on and work normally?
  • Is the screen in good condition? (Normal signs of wear and tear are allowed)
  • Is the case / back cover in good condition? (Normal signs of wear and tear are allowed)
  • Do the buttons function properly?
  • Are there obvious signs of contact with liquids on the device?

answer Yes or No to all questions and, when you have completed the entire questionnaire, click the Continue button to get an indicative rating of your "iPhone by".

If the rating provided by Brightstar suits you and you wish to proceed with the exchange of the iPhone remotely, click the Accept button and fill out the form that is proposed to you with all your personal data: email address, name, address of residence (where you will be sent the Apple gift card), etc..

Choose, therefore, whether to send the iPhone to the technicians who will have to evaluate it using a Your Package or whether to use the return package provided directly by Brightstar, which must arrive within 5 days after the request.

Finally, place the check mark next to the items under the heading Final Checks and Confirmation (to confirm that you have reset the device, removed the SIM, etc.), click the Continue button and your redemption procedure will begin.

Before sending your iPhone to Brightstar, please take care to reset the device (if you don't know how to do this, read my tutorial on how to reset the iPhone), remove the SIM from the iPhone and to fully charge the iPhone. Also verify that the service is not active on the Find My iPhone device (If you do not set up a new Apple ID on your phone after resetting it, it should already be disabled).

After submitting your iPhone to Brightstar, if the indicative trade-in value is confirmed, you will receive the Apple Gift Card in the mail directly. If the indicative trade-in value is revised by Brightstar technicians, you will receive a communication and you will have 14 days to accept or decline the new offer.

If you have any questions or problems, you can send an email to and receive real-time information on the status of the trade-in.

IPhone alternative to the exchange

The exchange iPhone is convenient enough but, as mentioned above, it is not very convenient. The second-hand market is very booming and Apple smartphones maintain excellent valuations even when they are no longer very recent: why not take advantage of it?

Ad sites

If you're willing to waste some time and negotiate with potential buyers, log on to ad sites like, Kijiji and Shpock and see what the ratings are for iPhones similar to yours. Then open an ad for the sale of your "iPhone" proposing a price in line with that of your "competitors" and you should be able to close the deal in no time.

I recommend, to increase the chances of selling the iPhone, create a clear ad, full of information and with real photos of the device for sale. Do not omit any defects of the phone (e.g. scratches or malfunctioning keys) and specify if there is any warranty, charger and original packaging. For other "tips" on how to sell used phones, you can read the tutorial I published on the subject.

Markets on Facebook

A good alternative to classified sites are i Facebook Marketplaces. If you connect to Facebook and search for tech marketplace or tech marketplace [name your city], you will find many groups dedicated to selling smartphones, tablets, computers and other tech devices.

Some groups are "closed," so before posting your ads you will need to request access and wait for approval from the administrators.

Sites that buy used smartphones

If you don't want to negotiate with potential buyers, but at the same time feel that Apple's ratings are too low, you can opt for a "middle ground" by contacting TrenDevice.

If you have never heard of it, TrenDevice is one of the best sites dedicated to Apple products that allows you to sell and buy all bitten apple devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. It also offers the ability to evaluate your devices remotely and immediately collect a figure through which the site buys the product and then resells it. The figures proposed by TrenDevice are lower than those that could be obtained by selling the phone on advertising sites, but are higher than those proposed by Apple through its iPhone trade-in program.

If you want to evaluate your iPhone on TrenDevice, connect to the site and click on the sell button located at the top right. On the page that opens, click on the Start here button, select the iPhone from the list of available devices and indicate the iPhone model you want to evaluate.

So, specify the memory cut, the coloring wishing iPhone condition (perfect, normal wear, minor damage, damaged but working or not working), indicate if you have power supply and original box, specify the country where the phone was purchased (city or abroad) and click on the currency button to get your rating.

The rating is indicative. If you accept it (by clicking the Yes button , proceed), your iPhone will be picked up by courier and, after a live verification of the device by TreDevice technicians, you will receive payment by bank transfer. Usually the procedure lasts 1 week, if the rating of the phone changes from the one provided by the site, you will receive a communication and you can decide whether or not to accept the new offer.

add a comment of How the iPhone exchange works
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.