Free shipping box
Competitive prices paid
Too much communication
Slow overall process
Potentially misleading pricing offers
When you've upgraded or simply outgrown your iOS device, don't just let the device languish in a drawer. If you sell it to a used iPhone or iPod reseller, you can turn it into cash.
There are a lot of companies offering to buy these devices. CashForiPhones, which buys all kinds of electronics not just the titular laptops, is one of them. CashForiPhones offers a number of positive and appealing features in comparison with its competition—especially a free shipping box and good communication—but it also has some hazy areas that you should be aware of before selling.
Selling Your Device
Selling your iOS device to CashForiPhones is pretty similar to using any of the competing sites, with one major change: it’s got fewer steps. Normally fewer steps in a process is a benefit, but as we’ll see here, that’s not entirely the case with CashForiPhones.
As with many other, similar sites, the process of selling your used iPhone or iPod to CashForiPhones begins with identifying what you have to sell. Once you’ve selected what model and capacity device you have available, you click a button to get a quote. You then include some very basic condition information: does the phone work or not? With other used resellers, this step tends to involve somewhat more detailed description of the condition of the device, what accessories you have to sell with it, and other information that relates to what the device is worth. Not so with CashForiPhones. Instead, you are immediately given a quote. In my case, my 32 GB AT&T iPhone 4 was quoted at US$273.
If the price quoted is acceptable—and it was to me; it was about $90 higher than most other sites were offering—CashForiPhones then dispatches a free, pre-paid shipping box to you to return the device in. This is a particularly nice aspect of their service; a number of similar companies don’t offer a shipping box or used to and no longer do. Not having to track down an iPhone-sized box to ship the phone certainly made the transaction smoother.
Good--or Too Much?--Communication
Of all the used iPhone and iPod companies I’ve sold my devices to, CashForiPhones unquestionably had the greatest amount of communication with me during the process. Whether this is a good thing or not, though, depends on your feelings about follow-up phone calls. After I’d received the shipping box, but before I’d sent it, I got at least one call from a live person asking if I’d sent it yet and one, maybe two, automated calls reminding me to do the same that went to voicemail.
One call was nice (though I’d also gotten an email with the same reminder); more seemed a little annoying to me.
Once I did send the iPhone to them, communication continued by email—including emails to let me know that the box had arrived at the CashForiPhones offices and that they had inspected it and were ready to make a final price offer. Here things got a little difficult again.
Between my sending the iPhone and getting an automated email notification that it had been inspected, a relatively speedy 7-8 days passed. In the email that announced the completion of the inspection, I was told to confirm my phone number so they could call me with the final price. I did this, even though my phone number hadn’t changed since I’d registered for my account a few days before.
Instead of a phone call, though, three days later I got another email, this time saying that they couldn’t reach me (this despite having not missed any calls from CashForiPhones during that time). I again confirmed my phone number on the website and waited for my call.
The next day another email arrived saying that they couldn’t reach me, though again there had been no missed calls. I waited another few days and, when nothing had happened, I called them. And, again, things were a bit confused.
When I had gotten my original quote at the CashForiPhones website, the site had offered $273. When I spoke to a representative, he informed me that due to some scratches on the back of the phone, the offer was now $180.
Though I’d argue that the scratches were relatively minor, the $180 seemed fair; it was right in line with what all the other sites, sites that took more detailed condition information before giving their quotes, offered.
In these sorts of situations, one is always on the watch for being ripped off, quoted one price and then offered another. I don’t think that’s exactly what happened here, but I do think the CashForiPhones quoting process is flawed. If I had to guess, I’d wager that the quote is the highest price they’ll pay for a perfect-condition phone. Had my phone been in that perfect condition, I suspect I would have gotten my $273. However, because the quote form only allows for working/not-working as a condition, it can’t give me a more accurate quote.
On one hand, this may work to CashForiPhones' advantage, since it makes it appear that they offer unusually high prices. On the other, it tends to breed unhappy customers who feel they’re being low-balled once their iPhones have already been sent.
I’m not one of those customers. As I said, the price was right in line with other services and seemed fair. But if you plan to sell to CashForiPhones, prepare yourself for the fact that the prices you’re quoted may not be the amount you receive.
With the call out of the way, though, my check arrived a few days later, as promised.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, my experience with CashForiPhones was mixed. The company’s communication was good at first, then a tad excessive, then a bit confusing. The quote I got was excitingly high, but the price actually paid much more average. The inclusion of the shipping box is very nice, though.
CashForiPhones isn’t a bad service. It could be better—especially its quoting tool—but as long as you understand the potential problems introduced by that tool, it’s a solid service that you may find rewarding.