Nowadays, our lives are quite literally on our phones. Everything from emails, to text messages, call logs, apps, passwords, credit cards, health insurance, bank accounts, and more can all be accessed through that one tiny device.

For the most part, this is super convenient, as things are easier to get to than ever before. But, when it comes to trading in your old phone, this convenience works both ways – if you’re not taking the right steps to secure your old data when you trade in your old phone, someone can collect some serious data on you and cause you a lot of trouble.

So, is it safe to trade in your old phone? Can you trust resellers to clear your data and sell to reputable buyers, or should you take matters into your own hands to protect your data?

If so, what are the steps you should take to prepare your phone for trade-in?

In this guide, we will answer all of these questions and more, to help you keep your data safe, while still getting fair trade-in value for your old phone.

Is it Safe to Trade In Your Phone? 

It’s common to be worried about your personal data when you consider trading in your phone. A lot of people are worried about privacy, but rest assured, as long as you go through a few steps to prepare your phone before trading it in, the process it is perfectly safe to trade in your phone.

What’s more, reputable sellers will give you the option of not just trading it in for cash but, trading it in for store credit that you can apply towards a new phone.

Is it Safe to Sell Your Old Phone?

Again, you might worry that selling their old phone might leave them susceptible to privacy concerns, or that you will be taken advantage of by an unreputable reseller. It’s true, there are some less than reputable resellers out there, but the key is to work with an honest, established company.

A reputable phone reseller should give you: 

  • Fair Market Value
  • A Transparent Buying Process
  • Tracking Numbers
  • Warranties
  • Money-Back Guarantees
  • Order Confirmation 
  • Dedicated Customer Support 

These should be your top priority when it comes to trading in your old phone. As long as you focus on finding a reputable company that takes the necessary steps to keep the process easy, transparent, and safe for you – the trade-in process should go smoothly, and you’ll be one step closer to getting rid of your old phone and upgrading to a new one. 

However, no matter how reputable the reseller you choose is, there are still some things you will be responsible for, such as deleting your old data, and making sure your phone is safe to trade-in. 

But what does this entail? How can you get your phone ready for trade-in, so you can trade your phone in safely? 

how to prepare your iphone for trade in

How to Get Your iPhone Ready for Trade-In: 6 Easy Steps 

Step 1: Make Sure Your Device is Eligible

Check your device for things that could decrease its trade-in value, or disqualify it all together, such as:

  • Missing buttons or malfunctioning buttons
  • Severe cracks, no scratches, or dents to the phone housing
  • Malfunctioning screen with pixel loss, visible lines, or a non-functioning backlight
  • Software installed issues
  • Issues powering on or off
  • Issues holding a charge or charging 

As long as you took decent care of your phone, and there is no major damage, you should be able to get a fairly reasonable trade-in value for it. Most resellers expect a certain amount of wear and tear, and establish quality standards to determine the value of your old phone based on its condition.

In most cases, the problems listed above won’t disqualify your phone, but it will decrease the resale value you are offered. Even completely broken or dead phones can usually be bought and sold for scrap – meaning you might even be able to get some value for that old phone that’s been collecting dust in your drawer since the last time you upgraded.

Step 2: Back up Your Data

You’ll want to take the time to backup your data so that you can easily transfer it to your new phone when you upgrade. To do this on your iPhone, simply:

  1. Tap the settings button
  2. Click on the iCloud button
  3. Select storage and backup

This feature might already be enabled on your phone but if it isn’t, you can enable it and then complete the process by pressing “back up now”. With iPhones, backup data is automatically encrypted so you don’t have to go through an extra step to do so.

This process stores all of your data in the cloud so that you can access it again with a new iPhone – making the process very easy for iPhone users. 

You can also backup your data using iTunes. Depending on the availability on your computer, you can plug your phone into your computer and store backups of your data onto your PC or your Mac. 

Step 3: Unpair Other Devices (Like the Apple Watch)

If you have a device that is connected to your iPhone, or paired with it, such as an Apple Watch or Bluetooth Stereo, you need to unpair it. 

This process is fairly simple, just follow these steps: 

  1. Move your Apple watch and your iPhone close to one another and:
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your phone.
  3. Select the my watch Tab and choose your watch
  4. Tap the information button next to the name of your watch
  5. Tap the button to unpair Apple watch

You may have to enter your Apple ID password to confirm this action. When it comes to unpairing other devices, such as Bluetooth, you simply need to go into your Settings, select Bluetooth, then click the device it is paired with and go to options, then unpair them. 

Step 4: Sign Out of All Apps & Services 

Make sure you sign out of all apps and services that are connected with your iPhone. Be sure to keep your login information so that you can use it to get access to all your data on your new phone. 

This is a very important step for securing your data. The last thing you want is to accidentally forget to sign out of your apps and services after you have gone through so much effort to clear all your other data. Especially when you consider this includes highly sensitive data like: 

  • Bank Accounts 
  • Trading Accounts 
  • Social Media Accounts 
  • Apps 
  • Email Services 
  • And More…

Just think about everything you keep on your phone: emails, passwords, credit cards, banking information, documents, the list goes on. Without signing out of your apps and services before trading in your phone, you are exposing a lot of your data to potentially malicious buyers in the marketplace. Do yourself a favor and be very diligent with this step. 

Finally, once you have signed out of all of your apps and services, sign out of iCloud, iTunes, and the app store by visiting the settings and tapping the sign out button. Tap it twice for good measure. Then, tap the button to delete your device under settings to confirm the process. 

Step 5: Complete a Factory Reset

With your data now wiped from your phone, it’s time to perform a factory reset. This will restore all of your settings back to the factory defaults, which is good for resellers who prefer to receive all their phones in a condition that is easy to use, make changes to, and run tests on. 

To factory reset your iPhone, follow these quick steps:

  1. Open the settings menu
  2. Tap the general button
  3. Select the reset button
  4. Finally, select “erase all content”

This will restore the phone to its original condition, erasing anything that you have added to it. It’s important to make sure you logout of all apps and services prior to this, because you can’t get back to them once you have done this step – which could leave you open to some level of data insecurity.

Step 5: Remove Cases, Screen Protectors, Etc… 

If you added any extras to your phone, such as a case, pop socket, or screen protector, now is the time to remove them. If you have an older model of the iPhone and you added an extra SIM card, pull it out and save it for later.

how to prepare your android phone for trade in

How to Get Your Android Ready for Trade-In: 5 Easy Steps 

Step 1: Backup Your Data 

Back up all of your data somewhere secure so that after you have traded in your Android you can move your data over to your new phone easily. It’s also not a bad idea to have an extra copy of your data somewhere in case of emergency.

To do this, you will need a USB cord charger. The process is super easy, simply:  

  1. Plug your phone into your computer
  2. Copy all of the files directly from your Android device
  3. Store them in a place you will remember and can easily access 

For people who are not as tech-savvy, there are some very helpful apps you can find in the Google Play Store that can help you create backup files:

  • MyBackup Pro
  • G Cloud Backup

You can, of course, use the Google sync feature to automatically backup all of your phone settings, contacts, photos, and videos under your Google account. To do this:

  1. Visit the Settings menu
  2. Go to Accounts and Sync
  3. Enable Google Sync

Even once you have enabled sync, you will still want to create a backup just in case. 

Step 2: Encrypt Your Old Data

If you are using an Android phone, you have to manually encrypt your data before trading in your old phone. To do this:

  1. Open the settings menu
  2. Click “more”
  3. Click “security”
  4. Activate the option that says “encrypt device”

This process will start automatically and as soon as it’s over, all of your data will be encrypted and protected from any outside devices. 

Another important thing to do once you have encrypted your data is to go back through all your old apps and services and sign out of them. This will help to keep your data safe and add one more degree of certainty to the process. While this isn’t necessary on Android phones thanks to data encryption, it’s a good way to be super sure your data is safe when trading in your old phone. 

Tip: If you upgrade to another Android device, do this as soon as you get the new phone as well. It will keep your data safe from any harmful nearby devices trying to steal it. 

Step 3: Restore Factory Settings

Do not manually delete everything off your phone. Not only is it time consuming, but you might miss something. 

Using the factory reset to wipe all data from the device and put everything back to its original default condition is the best way to make sure everything is done properly. This takes the phone back to the same settings it had when you first purchased it. 

To restore factory settings on your Android: 

  1. Go to the menu button
  2. Select “settings”
  3. Click on privacy
  4. Then press the button for factory data reset
  5. Press “reset phone” to remove all data

Step 4: Remove Your Accessories

If you had extra accessories, cases, screen protectors, etc… now is the time to get rid of them. You will also want to take out any SD card that you had to expand your phone capacity. 

The removal procedures for SIM cards and SD cards will vary by phone model so it’s important to check your owner manual or take it to a physical wireless provider to get some help if you’re having trouble.

If you are having trouble removing SD or SIM cards, the best thing you can do is ask for help, whether on the internet or in a physical store. They are very small, and extremely easy to break – which is a mistake that can cost you a lot in lost resale value. 

There are tons of resources on the web that should be able to help you get everything removed properly, and help you prepare your phone for a safe trade in. 

Step 5: Unpair Devices and Clean

The factory reset should have unpaired all of your devices, but it’s always good to check and make sure. If you have any devices paired through Bluetooth, simply go to Settings > Bluetooth > Device, and then unpair them there. 

You will also want to take the time to clean your phone as best you can. This will help you get your phone in the best possible condition for resale – and can help improve your value slightly. 

In order to determine the condition of things like the screen, you have to make sure it’s been cleaned with a dry cloth. Remove any dust or particles from all the ports. Exterior dust won’t necessarily impact these fair market value you get, but it’s always courteous nonetheless. 

A Safe Place to Trade-In Your Phone – Glyde

Want a safe way to trade in your old phone and still get paid fair value for it? At Glyde, we have a quick and easy trade-in program that allows you to get paid in cash for your old phone, or build store credit towards a premium used phone. To get started, take this quick 7 Question Quiz to help us learn more about your phone. Then, we will calculate the value of your phone, and walk you through the next steps towards a safe trade-in.


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