Friday, May 23, 2014

The Gazelle Orange Book: What Is Your Smartphone Worth?

The Gazelle Orange Book: What Is Your Smartphone Worth?
If you have ever traded in a car, or purchased a used one, then you most likely have used the Kelley Blue Book; a standard in the automotive industry for determining the value of used cars. Gazelle, a company that buys back used electronic devices, recognized the wisdom of just such a guide and based upon the data collected from the nearly 2 million trade-ins they have received, has created their own — the Gazelle Orange Book. The Gazelle Orange Book is an inside look at the ever-changing landscape of used electronics and how to get the most value from trading them in.

According to the Gazelle Orange Book, the values of used smartphones varies based upon age, brand, storage and trade-in condition. Here is what they found... 
  1. Time is money - Smartphones lose value as they age. By leaving a handful of phones in a desk drawer as “backups” you leave money on the table. You wouldn’t keep your old car as a backup when you get a new one, so trade in your phone as soon as possible to earn back the most cash. Much like cars, phones are worth less as new models are introduced and the older models age.

  2. Brand name matters - According to Gazelle's historical data, iPhones tend to hold their value longer than most other smartphones, with Samsung Galaxy phones coming in a close second. Both Apple and Samsung beat other manufacturers by a large margin because of strong global demand. While HTC phones are the third best in terms of holding value, there is a tremendous drop-off between a Samsung Galaxy and HTC. So, if trade-in value is a priority, iPhones and Galaxy phones should be at the top of your list, especially if you plan to upgrade consistently.

  3. Extra storage costs you more at trade-in - Buying additional storage may make sense if your playlists read like novels or you are a shutterbug who takes (and keeps) a ton of pictures and video. But there is a low rate of return on capacity (click here to see Gazelle's chart on trade-in values based on capacity), consider online storage (“the cloud”) rather than paying for an asset that will diminish sharply in value immediately. The dollars you invest in gigabytes will, in fact, look like pocket change when you trade your phone in.

  4. Take care of your asset - Obviously, a phone that looks brand new is going to be worth more than one that has taken a bath in the washing machine. But you may be surprised that even broken phones have value. When it comes to phone cases, in the battle between fashion and function, function always wins. Despite an initial investment of $20-60, a quality case is a wise purchase when it comes trade-in time. You could lose as much as $100 by breaking your two-year-old phone. But don’t forget, your broken phone is not worthless it’s just worth a lot less.
    Purchasing a smartphone is a matter of preference and priorities, but it helps to know what will be worth more down the road when it is time to trade it in. With these tips, you will be able to recoup cash to offset the cost of your newest upgrade, more valuable than letting your old phone clutter up a desk drawer — or worse — litter up a landfill. Gazelle buys used electronics for cash, even damaged ones! More than 600,000 consumers have used Gazelle to sell nearly two million gadgets. Gazelle offers trade ins for everything from smartphones to laptops to e-readers... the list goes on. So whether you have a soggy smartphone or a cracked Kindle, they'll take it off of your hands, keep it out of the landfills and give you money in return. 
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