CashForiPhones Keeps My iPhone, Cuts Cash Offer By $222

Image courtesy of Rayce Sugitan

Apple announced new iPhone models earlier this week, which means that for many people, it’s time to trade up. While your mobile phone carrier might offer a sweet trade-in deal, some customers are able to get even more by using outside trade-in services. That’s what Steve tried to do, selling his iPhone 5 to the site The site offered him $263, but once they had the phone, only sent him a check for $41.

“I was offered $263 for my iPhone 5 which is in excellent condition. They sent me a prepaid mailer, and I sent the phone to them,” he writes. Simple enough. With most services, the next step in the process is that the company sends the seller their revised estimate once they’ve inspected the condition of the iPhone.

Here’s a screen shot from the company’s site. You’ll notice that there’s something missing from this process: the part where sellers get to confirm the real trade-in price for the item they’re buying. Maybe they do that, but Steve says that wasn’t his experience.

cashforiphones process

“Two weeks later, I received a check in the mail for only $41,” he wrote. “At no time did they inform me of the lowered offer, or give me the option to refuse the offer and get my device back.” His estimate is that his phone must be worth at least four times that much, and more likely about $200.

The site’s terms and conditions spell out what’s supposed to happen in this situation. Spoiler alert: it’s not “we short you two hundred bucks and keep your phone.”

F. Should we, upon inspection of your device, decide to offer you a lower price than originally quoted, you will have three days to either accept or reject that new price quote. The three days begins to run upon inspection of your device, our e-mailing you notice of payment and our sending you payment either pursuant to the original quote or such value as we determine in our sole discretion. If you reject the price quote and payment made prior to the elapsing of this three-day period, you must return the payment and we will return your device to you within five days thereafter.

Did Steve miss an e-mail, or did something go awry? That’s possible. Still, there’s an important lesson in here for everyone getting in the real-life and virtual lines for a new iPhone. Be careful where you trade in your own cast-off phone, and learn the details of the process before you ship off your once-beloved device. With this much money in the balance, take the time to read the details of the site’s policies before you commit to a quote. Be realistic about your device’s condition so you don’t get a nasty surprise when the company finally comes up with a total.

We tried to get a comment from the company regarding Steve’s issue, but eCycleBest, the parent company of this site,, and some other sites, couldn’t put us in contact with anyone who is authorized to speak to the media.

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