News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday April 10, 2013.
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T-Mobile will begin selling the Apple iPhone 5 on April 12, and T-Mobile will employ a sales trick typically associated with car dealerships to attract new buyers for the long-awaited Apple device. Rather than charge customers an initial $99 down payment, T-Mobile will take used phones as a way to eliminate up-front costs.
T-Mobile has announced a trade-in offer that will allow current iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S owners to handover their smartphones and upgrade to the iPhone 5 for no money down. T-Mobile will also evaluate the quality of the phone and provide up to $120 credit that can be used towards a monthly bill, so users may receive a maximum $220 for their phone. The condition of the phone determines how much money is received, so consumers won't know the full value of the phone until they visit a T-Mobile store.
It may be better to try to sell the phone to another consumer rather than turn it over to T-Mobile. A quick check of eBay shows that the iPhone 4S regularly fetches at least $300. Some auctions I looked at reached as high $400, which is significantly higher than what T-Mobile offers. Even an iPhone 4 sold for $180. The trade-in program may be a quick fix to cut costs and make upgrading to an iPhone 5 more affordable, but someone willing to be patient and sell the phone to another person may earn a much higher value.
Selling an iPhone independently takes extra work and fees from eBay and PayPal eat into proceeds, which may be more than some owners wish to face. T-Mobile customers who just want a fast solution for buying an iPhone 5 have the option of just trading with the carrier to save money.source: T-Mobile
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.