As Apple IPhone 5 Release Date Nears, Should You Sell Your IPhone Now?

In other words, trade your phone in now and you could get a pretty penny, but once the release date is officially announced, and again when the phone hits stores, the payment you can get for your existing older-model iPhone will most likely drop sharply, according to experts. It’s happened time and time before, they say, plus you’ll get to avoid the frenzy of getting rid of a phone on or near a launch date, which can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming.

Huffington Post presciently points out that the biggest drop in what companies will pay for the iPhone 4S will likely come on the day a reliable source reports that a solid release date has been announced, as happened on Sept. 21 last year. All Things Digital broke the news that the iPhone 4S would be revealed on Oct. 4. That report trumped Apple’s official announcement and even the release date in its effect on the price companies were willing to pay for an iPhone 4.

The way many trade-in services like NextWorth work is by offering a bid on on your device that you can choose to take or leave on the table over the next few weeks, after which the bid will expire. So CNN Money suggests a little bit of a tricky maneuver that can help you get the absolute best deal with the least headache:

“Smart traders play arbitrage: Lock in a price now, then wait until you have the new phone in hand to actually send in your old model,” the site suggests.

And you can get some good cash for an iPhone from Nextworth. A 16 GB black iPhone 4S will get you $300, and a 16 GB black iPhone 4 gets you $175. Not bad for something that some people will consider obsolete when Apple’s iPhone 5 hits the shelves sometime in the coming months.

Joe McKeown, a marketing vice president at trade-in service ReCellular, told CNN Money that the prices will likely drop quickly:

“Two weeks from now, we’ll probably see lower value,” he said.

So if you want to go ahead and trade your iPhone in sometime soon, check out the following websites: Gazelle, ReCellular and NextWorth.

Some prognosticators predict that the iPhone 5 release date will be announced during a Sept. 12 Apple event, and some say it could hit stores as soon as Sept. 21. There is no official word yet from Apple, however, so for now all we can do is keep reading all the rumors and wait. And maybe sell our current phones in the meantime.

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