Don’t Want to Spend $700+ on a new iPhone? Do This Instead

Updated November 28, 2016
by Lisa Rowan
Writer and Producer
cheap iphone

Do you rush out to get the newest phone model as soon as it’s released? Or are you a Penny Hoarder, waiting until the last minute to embrace the newest technology?

If you’re holding on to an old iPhone, it may be time to give in.

Apple recently discontinued support for the iPhone 4 and 4S models, so if something happens to the old model you’re clutching, you may be out of luck.

But the iPhone 7 is ridiculously expensive, aside from that pesky headphone jack drama. What’s a hesitant shopper to do?

Get a new phone. Just… an older new phone. You can order a pre-owned phone and save hundreds over a brand-new, current-model iPhone.

Here’s the deal on older or gently used iPhones you can get from your cellular carrier:

1. AT&T

AT&T only offers the iPhone 6, 7, and SE models new, but from time to time, its online shop offers certified pre-owned iPhones.

In August, it listed a few new iPhone 5 and 6 versions in the $500 to $600 range. Instead of an installment plan or upgrade special you might get on a new phone, you have to pay upfront for these used models..

2. Sprint

Alongside newer models, Sprint still offers new iPhone 5s 16GB models for $300 or 24 monthly installments of $12.50 per month.

3. T-Mobile

Check T-Mobile’s site for certified pre-owned iPhones. The iPhone SE is also available new for $399.

4. Verizon

Verizon offers certified pre-owned iPhone 5s 16GB for $264 and 32GB 5c for $240. As you might imagine, these phones go quickly, so you may have to check back often before there’s a phone in stock.

But those prices are less stressful than the $529 — or more — you would spend on a new iPhone 6s from Verizon.

What about other places to shop? If you have a hard time trusting eBay or Craigslist, you can shop for a used phone online that will actually last you to your next (eventual) upgrade.

5. Gazelle

Unlocked and major-carrier iPhone 5 models start at just $169. Meanwhile, iPhone 6 models start at about $328.

Just make sure to get the amount of memory you need — there are many more 16GB models available than phones with larger memory.

6. GameStop

You might be surprised to learn that, along with video games and consoles, GameStop also sells used smartphones. I spotted an 8GB iPhone 4S for $99, but the site also lists 5S, 6 and SE models from about $250.

7. Swappa

Swappa is a person-to-person marketplace like eBay, but each listing is reviewed by staff to fight fraud and verify accuracy.

The site offers models all the way back to the iPhone 3, but even better is the link to easily view phones priced under $200.

8. Glyde

Unlocked and major-carrier phones on Glyde start at $151 for a 16GB iPhone 5S.

Like Gazelle, this site has a lot of 16GB options, so if you want more memory, you’ll have to pay a bit more.

Your Turn: How have you saved money on your iPhone?

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. She bought a used iPhone 6 one week before the iPhone 7 was announced. (She’s not patient at all.)

by Lisa Rowan
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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