Selling your broken iPhone? Repair it first!

Broken iPhone 4

Are you thinking of selling your broken iPhone? Think twice before you sell it as it is!

As you would expect, mobile phone recycling companies pay more for fully functioning iPhones than they do for damaged or non-functioning iPhones. But does it make financial sense to repair the device before selling it? We’ve taken a look at eBay and some recycling websites (, and to see how the numbers stack up.

We used an Apple iPhone 4 (16GB) as the basis of our pricing comparison, and it does seem that repairing your device is worth it.

If you’ve got a broken screen, will pay you £33.75 for your iPhone, whereas they will pay you £135 a fully functioning iPhone. So, with the cost of a repair (a Lovefone screen replacement costs £69), your repaired iPhone will net you an additional £32.25 (after repair costs, £66 in total).

The figures get even better for an iPhone with a faulty home button or a broken back case. Again, will pay you £33.75 for your faulty iPhone and pay you £135 for a fully functioning iPhone. As the home button repair costs £34, repairing your iPhone before you sell it will mean you receive £67.25 more than you would for selling the faulty phone (after repair costs, £101 instead of the £33.75). With the back panel replacement costing £25, you receive £76.25 more than you would for selling it with a broken back.

It seems that it is a similar story with other recycling companies too. Whether the damage is major or minor they simply pay out a low flat rate, but will pay significantly more for fully functional device. If you want to use eBay, it’s even better! For a functional iPhone, eBay buyers will pay in the region of £200–£220, but will pay only around £30 for a damaged one.

Have you ever sold a damaged iPhone? If so, how much did you get for it?

(Prices are correct on 23 November 2012.)

© Image Peter Werkman

November 28, 2012