Pros and cons of using the Apple trade in program

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UPDATE: 01/05/2023 07:15 EST BY ROLAND UDVARLAKI

We have updated the trade-in values for Apple Watches, iPads, Mac, and Android devices.


Everyone wants to save money in this day and age, and as the economy takes a hit by current events, it’s important you explore different options to get more for your hard-earned cash. If you spent a significant portion of your money on a device a few years ago, you might be inclined to give Apple trade-in a try and recoup some of your investment in the form of a discount. While trading-in isn’t always the best solution, and there are many horror stories out there, like my own experience, it’s important to weigh your options and see which of these provide the best solution for you.


Apple is constantly adjusting its trade-in values to ensure it has high profits, and provides a better deal for customers. As a result, some devices’ trade-in values dipped a little, while some have gone up ever so slightly. If you don’t want to deal with selling the device yourself, you might be interested in these values, as it could help you save on your future Apple purchase. Before we talk about the advantages and the disadvantages of trading in your old device, let’s take a look at the prices to get a better idea if they’re worth considering:


Trade-in prices for iPhones, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac & Android smartphones

The trade-in prices often change, and we try to keep the list as up to date as possible. Due to recent changes, Apple has increased the trade-in value for some devices, and lowered it for older handsets. If you’re looking to buy or upgrade to one of the latest iPhones, such as the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, you might want to take a closer look at the new values as you could save quite a bit on your next smartphone, or even the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Trade-in prices for iPhones

Product Trade-in value
iPhone 14 Pro Max Up to $650
iPhone 14 Pro Up to $570
iPhone 14 Plus Up to $470
iPhone 14 Up to $430
iPhone SE (3rd Generation) Up to $160
iPhone 13 Pro Max Up to $580
iPhone 13 Pro Up to $480
iPhone 13 Up to $370
iPhone 13 mini Up to $320
iPhone 12 Pro Max Up to $450
iPhone 12 Pro Up to $360
iPhone 12 Up to $250
iPhone 12 mini Up to $2200
iPhone SE (2nd Generation) Up to $80
iPhone 11 Pro Max Up to $300
iPhone 11 Pro Up to $250
iPhone 11 Up to $200
iPhone XS Max Up to $170
iPhone XS Up to $140
iPhone XR Up to $140
iPhone X Up to $120
iPhone 8 Plus Up to $90
iPhone 8 Up to $60
iPhone 7 Plus Up to $50
iPhone 7 Up to $40

Trade-in prices for Apple Watches

Product Trade-in value
Apple Watch Ultra Up to $425
Apple Watch Series 8 Up to $190
Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation) Up to $120
Apple Watch Series 7 Up to $160
Apple Watch Series 6 Up to $115
Apple Watch SE (1st Generation) Up to $90
Apple Watch Series 5 Up to $90
Apple Watch Series 4 Up to $60

Trade-in prices for iPads

Product Trade-in value
iPad Pro Up to $580
iPad Air Up to $325
iPad Up to $260
iPad mini Up to $260

Trade-in prices for Mac

Product Trade-in value
MacBook Pro Up to $1,070
MacBook Air Up to $570
MacBook Up to $150
iMac Up to $460
iMac Pro Up to $550
Mac mini Up to $450
Mac Studio Up to $1,360
Mac Pro Up to $1,000

Trade-in prices for Android smartphones

Product Trade-in value
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G Up to $340
Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G Up to $230
Samsung Galaxy S22 5G Up to $190
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G Up to $160
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Up to $135
Samsung Galaxy S20+ Up to $100
Samsung Galaxy S20 Up to $95
Samsung Galaxy S10+ Up to $90
Samsung Galaxy S10 Up to $70
Samsung Galaxy S10e Up to $55
Samsung Galaxy S9+ Up to $40
Samsung Galaxy S9 Up to $25
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Up to $165
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Up to $120
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Up to $90
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Up to $60
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Up to $35
Google Pixel 6 Pro Up to $140
Google Pixel 6 Up to $110
Google Pixel 6a Up to $100
Google Pixel 5 Up to $60
Google Pixel 5a Up to $60
Google Pixel 4 XL Up to $40
Google Pixel 4 Up to $35
Google Pixel 4a Up to $35
OnePlus 10T Up to $70
OnePlus 10 Pro Up to $70

The full list of all the values and products can be found on Apple’s website.

What are the benefits of trading in?

The first and most obvious benefit is that there is supposed to be no hassle, and it’s far more convenient. If you don’t like dealing with customer service and other people, it’s a great and quick way to get rid of your old electronics and receive money for them.

Trading in is as simple as selecting a few options on Apple’s website, getting a quote, and sending the product back to Apple via a paid shipping label. Once your item is reviewed, you’ll instantly get the gift card or the value taken off your newly purchased product, which can apply to other Apple products, including iPhones, Apple Watch, iPad, and other products and accessories. Users also have a choice to return their devices free of charge, should they change their minds or receive a different value after inspection. Apple also offers free recycling for devices damaged beyond repair.

Using Apple’s trade-in system is also often one of the best ways to maximize the return on your investment, as Apple often offers the highest prices for its products. That being said, it’s always best to check other third-party trade-in services as they may offer better deals from time to time.

Apple also runs special trade-in and other promotions that let you receive additional gift cards around Christmas, and it’s an excellent way to save money on some of the most expensive technology on the market.

If you have a fully broken and unusable device, you might want to remove it from your house. Electronics must always be recycled responsibly, as they contain a lot of components that could be reused in new devices. They have a lot of copper, gold, and other essential materials that could be used in new products. Apple does this well, and it can do that free of charge.

Related: How you can ethically get rid of your electronics

How can you trade-in?

Apple currently offers two different ways to trade-in.

  1. Online: Apple lets you request a quote online by submitting some information about your device’s overall condition, such as serial number, storage configuration, model, and whether it turns on, and the display is still working.
  2. In Store: You can walk into any Apple Store and receive help to back up your data and prepare your device before switching or upgrading to a new Apple product.

It’s worth noting that if you’re not ready to upgrade or buy something right away, Apple will provide you with an Apple Gift Card that you can use anytime at Apple.com.

Why should you avoid trading in?

Apple Trade in iPhone

Source: Apple

While there are a lot of benefits to using the Apple trade-in service, there are also a lot of drawbacks. The first and most important factor is that you get credit in gift cards that you can apply and use towards other purchases inside the App Store and the Apple Store. There is no way to get physical money for your returned items, so you can’t make a quick few bucks by trading in.

I’ve had a typical horror experience using Apple’s trade-in program, which shows that customer service depends on the warehouse and technicians you send your device. Each place is different, and just because you receive a fair quote for your device, you may be offered absolutely nothing, or significantly lower values in exchange. There are also a lot of satisfied customers, though, and many have claimed that it was a relatively quick and pleasant experience, but it’s something to keep in mind.

It’s also worth noting that shipping an item to Apple’s partners involves shipping and using various transportation methods, increasing the time and entire process. It could take multiple working days, or worse, weeks, until you receive your credit. You’re only allowed to send in your old devices using the Apple trade-in kit, which Apple sends out to you, and it includes extra padding to protect devices. (You’re not required to send back any chargers, accessories, bands, and straps, but Apple can recycle them for you free of charge if you decide to do so)

Last but not least is the valuation. There are other services that offer physical cash for your devices and include a much higher price than Apple. The Apple credit you receive from Apple can only be applied towards purchases and gift cards, and you’re unable to spend any of your credits outside of the Apple Store.

Should use you use Apple Trade-In?

It depends on the product you want to trade-in, and your expectations. It may be worth considering if you’re happy with the quoted amount that you’re expected to receive from Apple, and plan on using that towards another purchase.

However, if you need cash and want to make a few bucks quickly, Apple might not be a great option, since you’re forced to spend your credits at Apple.com, or in physical Apple stores.

There are also many other options out there, such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Swappa, and Craigslist, to mention a few. All of these services offer up to 50% more for your old devices than Apple, and although it requires you to communicate and manage the sale yourself, you’ll remain in control. Ebay, for example, protects you, the seller, and the buyer in case there are inconsistencies with the product’s quality, description, or shipping. These are much better options if you’re looking to make some money, or you want more for your devices, but it also requires a little more work from your end.

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