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Is it Worth it to Trade in Your Apple Products? Here’s What Apple Offers vs. Your Other Options

A small shopping cart full of cash sitting on a desk next to a MacBook
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Ready to upgrade to the latest model of your Apple product, but you’re not sure what to do with the old one? Apple products are really expensive, so it would be a shame to let your old device go to waste. That’s why Apple has a trade-in program—you turn in your old device for a rebate on the new one or credit toward a future Apple purchase. 

Sounds great, right? 

Well, the general consensus has been that Apple’s trade-in rates aren’t the best, and despite inflation, Apple has lowered the trade-in amount for each model, prompting Apple users to ask: Is trading in my old Apple product really worth it? And if not, what are the alternatives?

If it still works, it could be practical to give your old iPad it to a friend or relative, or even donate it to a good cause such as a school program or senior center. Or perhaps there are other ways to cash in on your Apple product that will get you a higher price than Apple ever will.

In this article we’ll go over the details of Apple’s trade-in program and the latest 2022 rates. Then we’ll discuss other avenues for cashing in on old devices, methods for donating them, and how to properly dispose of products if they are no longer in working condition.

Apple’s latest trade-in rates

Apple has made cuts on the trade-in value of many of its products three times this year—in January, in May, and at the beginning of this month, July. So, it can be challenging to keep up with the constant changes. 

You can see all up-to date rates on Apple’s website at Apple Trade In – Apple, but we wanted to show you a comparison of the current and previous trade-in rates.

Upon visiting the website you can select the type of product you are trading in to see the potential maxiumum trade-in value. Categories include iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. And there are two new categories—Apple’s trade-in program has expanded to include Android smartphones and “other products.” 

iPhone

There are many iPhone models, so we won’t list them all. Starting with iPhone 6 and up to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, you can get anywhere from $25–$600. You’ll notice that the iPhone 13 models aren’t yet listed. Apple doesn’t accept trades for current generation iPhones, meaning you’ll have to wait until the new models have been announced before you can trade in the (then) latest generation.

ModelCurrent trade-in valuePrevious trade-in value
iPhone 12 Pro MaxUp to $600down from $650
iPhone 12 ProUp to $500down from $550
iPhone 12Up to $400down from $420
iPhone 12 miniUp to $300down from $320
iPhone SE (2nd Gen)Up to $140down from $150
iPhone 11 Pro MaxUp to $400down from $420
iPhone 11 ProUp to $300down from $350
iPhone 11Up to $230down from $300
iPhone XS MaxUp to $220Down from $250
iPhone XSUp to $170Down from $200
iPhone XRUp to $160Down from $200
iPhone XUp to $150Down from $170
iPhone 8 PlusUp to $140Down from $160
iPhone 8Up to $90Down from $100
iPhone 6s PlusUp to $40Down from $50
iPhone 6sUp to $25Down from $30

iPad

ModelCurrent trade-in valuePrevious trade-in value
iPad ProUp to $555down from $655
iPad AirUp to $275down from $290
iPad Up to $180down from $190
iPad MiniUp to $185down from $200

Mac

ModelCurrent trade-in valuePrevious trade-in value
MacBook ProUp to $1000Down from $1350
MacBook AirUp to $400Down from $490
MacBookUp to $200Down from $315
iMac ProUp to $1350Down from $1500
iMacUp to $830Down from $850
Mac ProUp to $1800Down from $2000
Mac MiniUp to $400Down from $450

Apple Watch

ModelCurrent trade-in valuePrevious trade-in value
Apple Watch Series 6Up to $150N/A
Apple Watch SEUp to $105Down from $120
Apple Watch Series 5Up to $115Down from $120
Apple Watch Series 4Up to $75Down from $85
Apple Watch Series 3Up to $40Down from $50

Android

In case you were thinking of converting, Apple will now allow you to trade in your Android devices for Apple credit—a clever way to indoctrinate people who are on the fence.

ProductModelsTrade-in value range
Google Pixel3a, 3a XL, 3, 3XL, 4a, 4, 4XL$30–$130
Samsung Galaxy Note8,9,10, 20, and Ultra$55–$295
Samsung GalaxyS8, S8+, S9, S9+, s10e, s10, S10+, S20, S20+, S21 5G, S21+ 5G$25–$290

Other Devices

Apple also allows you to trade in other devices for recycling only, meaning you won’t receive any monetary value toward a new product, but you get to safely dispose of your electronics—good for the environment and your digital privacy. They will provide with a postage-paid label. Products include: Apple TV, Airpods, iPods, printers, and cables. 

 trade in other devices on Apple’s website

Alternative options for trading in your Apple products

Apple’s trade-in program is great but it’s not the only option for riding yourself of outdated electronics. There are tons of options out there for trading your iPhone or other Apple device for credit toward a new device, or for cash.

OWC’s product trade-in and life extension program

OWC’s trade-in program pays you for your old iPhone, Mac, or iPad, and ensures they don’t end up in a landfill. The product will be refurbished and find a new home.  Any parts removed are cleaned and assessed for either reuse or recycling. In return, you receive a fair offer in the form of a credit toward a new product, or they’ll cut you a check. 

And before your hardware is kaput or outdated, you can extend the life of your Apple computer with memory or storage upgrades—a service that OWC is reputed for. Head to the OWC trade-in page and see what your device is worth.

Third party trade-in programs

Electronics superstores like Best Buy have a recycling program that ensures the safe disposal of products both for the environment and for your digital information. There’s a chance you could get a little cash back on your item, though Best Buy’s values are rarely better than Apple’s own. Use the Best Buy trade-in calculator to see what the store is currently offering.

Then there are the *dun dun dun* mobile carriers, who often offer lucrative trade-in deals at the launch of a new device, mid-way through a generation’s lifespan, or to entice you to switch from another carrier. BUT…

The carrier options come with significant caveats. In general, carriers like to split their (often inflated) trade-in values across the length of a 24-30 month payment plan. So, if you get a trade-in estimate of, say $600, you would divide that by the length of the contract. If you divide $600 by 30 months, you end up with a monthly credit of $20 per month. In other words, they don’t give you the lump sum of your trade-in up front. They give you a $20 bill credit for 2-1/2 years.

Here’s the rub: if you decide to switch carriers, switch devices, or even payoff your device early at any point in that payment plan period, you forfeit whatever trade-in value you promised at the beginning. It’s a clever way of ensuring that you stay put on your mobile plan for as long as possible.

Sell your iPhone, iPad, and other devices on eBay

Which leads us to the most lucrative way of getting cash out of your old devices—selling them to someone else. eBay is probably the best option for this, though we must note: you do this at your own risk and thus have to take a couple of things into consideration:

1) There are lots of scammers trying to rip you off on eBay. We won’t get into all the ways to protect yourself here, but the safest way to sell on eBay is to avoid auctions and sell with Buy It Now. When an eBay buyer buys through Buy It Now, they must make payment immediately. Auction winners don’t have this requirement and if you get the right scammer, you may never get paid and have to list your device all over again. Speaking of which: never ship anything sold on eBay until you’ve been paid and always ship with tracking.

2) There’s also the fact that eBay takes about a ~13% cut from any tech products you sell on the platform. So if you sell your iPhone for $750, you can expect to receive a payout of about $652.

Long story short: selling on eBay is usually on worth the hassle of listing, protecting yourself from scams, and shipping the device, if you’ll be getting $100 or more over Apple’s trade-in value.

Find other uses for your Apple products

When you think of how much you paid for your iPad it probably pains you to get back a fraction of what you spent. I tried to turn in a 2nd generation iPad a few years ago and the Apple store in Lincoln Center could only offer me $25. 

So, I decided to keep that iPad hanging above my sink so I could watch recipe videos while meal prepping and washing dishes. It can no longer upgrade, so it’s useless for downloading new apps, but it works just fine for web-surfing.

Donate your Apple products

If you want to see your device make a difference in someone’s life, you can send your old iPhone to Secure the Call. Some of their initiatives include phones for seniors, phones for victims of domestic violence, and phones for COVID patients who come in without a way to contact loved ones.

So with all of these options, it’s worth seeing which one will get you the biggest trade-in value or which option will leave you feeling satisfied with how you have disposed of your outdated electronic. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Tara Purswani
the authorTara Purswani
Contributing Author
Tara is an accomplished content writer. She got her start at Gotham Writer’s Workshop and continued to hone her craft at NYUSPS where she got certified in Copyediting, Proofreading, and Fact-checking. She is a part of the Blade Ronner Media writer's network.
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2 Comments

  • It has never been worthwhile for me to attempt to trade in an old Apple product via Apple, and I would not have even attempted to bring them to Best Buy or other box store. I keep them for far too long a time – because they cost so much to purchase in the first place.

  • In Australia there’s a problem with privacy with the company that does the Apple trade-in business. This company wants quite excessive personal information before accepting phones for trade-in. The information wanted has nothing to do with the trade-in process and more about collecting personal data. Surprisingly this company does not want proof of ownership. I spoke to my US mates who said they didn’t have to provide such information when they traded in their iPhones.