Beating The Coming Phone 4 Resale Value Plummet

With the new iPhone, in whatever form it ultimately materializes, coming October 4 — according to Al Gore — current model iPhone 4 resale values can reasonably be expected to take a nosedive.

CNET’s Josh Lowensohn reports that many iPhone 4 owners are opting to sell them now to beat the anticipated price plunge that will follow the new model announcement(s), with third-party electronics trade-in service Gazelle telling him that people trying to flog their used iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3GSs and iPhone 4s have spiked up 84% compared with two weeks ago.

“This launch has been so delayed and overdue, there’s definitely a lot more of a hype,” Anthony Scarsella, Gazelle’s “chief gadget officer” told Lowensohn in a phone interview. “For us, this is really an unprecedented behavior, as gadget owners always wait–usually until a new product is announced — to trade in.”

THe tricky part of getting a jump on the price crash is of course what to do for a handset in the interval between selling and getting one’s hands on the new model (which may be announced before it’s actually available, although Apple is rumored to be building stock this time prior to the announcement in order to prevent a replay of what happened with the iPad 2 last spring), at least for folks who don’t have more than one phone.

Anyway, Lowensohn says Gazelle is offering a 30-day price lock, guaranteeing the price even if it goes down during the time lag between making the provisional transaction and the device reaching Gazelle for inspection.

Selling Your Old iPhone

AppleHeadlines’ Brian offers some tips on getting top dollar for your old iPhone, including:

• Stay jailbroken

• Wait till Apple signals a forthcoming announcement and then act act quickly, which would mean soon if Gore was correct, although you might need a tide-you-over cheapo phone for a few weeks

• Craigslist, not eBay, based on Brian’s personal experience

He also has some interesting analysis of pricing.

Speaking of which, this graph from NextWorth, another consumer electronics trade-in service, shows how trade-in values will likely start to drop rapidly prior to, and after, the new iPhone announcement.

To help consumers make an informed decision about when to trade in their current model, NextWorth looked at what happened after last year’s iPhone 4 announcement and the subsequent decline in trade-in values of the iPhone 3G and 3GS.

The data show that trade-in values of previous phone models begin to drop even before the actual announcement of the new version (now, in this instance).

Noting the potential difficulties associated with trading without the new model available for purchase, NextWorth will lock in a trade-in value for 21 days, so users can start trading now in anticipation and not be without a phone, or at least be without it for a shorter time.


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