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I've upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 (and my wife's as well). The new phones came with their own US/AT&T microSIM cards and have been activated. So we still have our old phones with the old SIM cards in them. I've deleted the data off of the old phones, and I would like to sell them.

What do I need to do to sell the old phones? Do I remove the SIM from the phone and expect the buyer to put their own SIM in there? How do they go about getting a legit SIM from AT&T to put in the phone? Or do they use the SIM that is in there? How can I be assured the old phones cannot be linked to my current account in any way?

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I wouldn't sell it, before they fix their antenna ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jul 14 '10 at 19:35
I was actually going to put a "no antenna jokes" line in the question... – Chris Jul 15 '10 at 1:40

One easy option, if you can use the store credit, is to sell them to Radio Shack for $200 [1].

If you prefer cold hard cash, or think you can do better than $200, there's a market for them on eBay, and it's easy to search for the going rate. The phones will be easier to sell for more if you can jailbreak and/or unlock them in advance. (How to do that is best left for another question.)

As for how a conscientious buyer activates your old phone through the proper channels, it's my understanding that once you've upgraded your line, your old phone can simply be brought into any AT&T store and associated with a new account. I.e., you can & should sell the phone without a SIM.

Once it's been wiped and no longer has your SIM, the phone is no longer linked to you.


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The fetch much more than that on eBay, but that is good to know.… – Chris Jul 14 '10 at 19:32
You should also consider Craigslist. I've heard the demand for used, out-of-contract iPhones is high. – Evan Kroske Jul 14 '10 at 19:38
I've actually successfully sold all three of my prior iPhones on eBay (one 2G and two 3G's) -- but for me, the time, effort, and trouble isn't worth it for the price premium over Radio Shack's offer. Especially for items like iPhones, there's a non-trivial risk of fraud on eBay; and even if you're eventually made right, the resolution process can be incredibly painful. – Anonymous Jul 14 '10 at 20:06 specializes in buying and reselling or recycling old gadgets. They pledge to completely remove any user data.

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Neat idea. But for a perfect condition 32GB 3Gs with all cables, etc, they will pay only $168. – Chris Jul 16 '10 at 14:20

Technically, once you get a new SIM, the old one is deactivated and no longer associated with your account, so you don't have to bother taking it out. I still would, just to be safe though.

I'm actually looking to buy a 3GS for development. I have a 3G and a 4, but would like that as well. So if you're looking to sell, you can reply to this post lol :-).

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It's in pristine condition and I would sell it for $350. Write me at if you are interested. – Chris Jul 14 '10 at 20:13
An old SIM may no longer be associated with an active line, but my understanding is that it's not actually deactivated -- specifically, if you stick it in a random phone, it will enable you to dial 911 (which you cannot do without a SIM). I don't really understand how much information it retains, but the fact that it's functional has always led me to remove them before selling, to be safe. – Anonymous Jul 14 '10 at 20:13

Nextworth seems to be a neat site for selling old electronics.

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