How to Pawn A Cell Phone in 2020

March 06, 2020 - Electronics

Wondering how to pawn a cell phone in 2020?

78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

So, if you find yourself in a bind financially, you are not alone.

Pawning a cell phone is a great way to get instant cash in hand for your phone instead of waiting for a buyback company to send money to you.

Get local cash offers for it – free, fast & easy.

Pawn or Sell My Item

If you found this post in the process of looking for information on how to pawn your cell phone as collateral for a cash loan, we will tell you all about how that works. If you were looking for information on how to sell a cell phone to a pawn shop outright for cash without a loan involved, we will also help you with that.

If you’ve never pawned a cell phone, we need to tell you a few things that will help you get the most money possible for your phone with minimal hassle.

We will break down what you should expect when you begin the cell phone pawn process, as well as tips on how to pawn a cell phone in 2020 so that you get the most value out of the transaction.

Want to get started with pawning your cell phone right now? At PawnGuru, we make the pawning process convenient and easy, even if you are a first-time pawner. There’s no need to feel intimidated—this process is quick and easy.

Sign up for PawnGuru for free, post your cell phone (or smartphone) for sale on our site, and watch your local pawn shops bid on your cell phone today. There is no obligation on your part.

The preparation of pawning your cell phone is actually more work than pawning it. Can you believe that? Fortunately, pawning or selling your cell phone is easier at a pawn shop—and it takes less time than the more well-known methods of selling a cell phone.

Please note this post applies most specifically to smartphones. If you’re trying to pawn an old school flip phone and such, you can still try to pawn it, but you won’t get as much money. Keep in mind that the functionality is also different from what is discussed below.

Do Pawn Shops Buy Phones?

In short, the answer is yes!

However, whether a specific pawn shop buys cell phones is up to their own discretion. They may also base their answer on the reason why you’re selling the phone. If it’s to get a loan, the answer may be different than if you just want cash.

One other thing to keep in mind is the possibility that the pawn shop may worry that the phone you’re selling is stolen and, well, worthless.

Is It Better to Pawn or Sell My Phone?

Before you take out costly personal loans you may have opportunities for quick cash closer than you think.

In fact, that smartphone you’re staring at is one of the top 3 items to pawn! You have extra income right there in the palm of your hand.

Make sure you make the right choice between a loan or a sale. Here’s how to decide whether to pawn or sell phones.

Are You Done With The Phone?

One of the first questions to ask when deciding between pawn vs sell is if you are done with your phone. The answer might surprise you.

With smartphones becoming obsolete approximately every 2 years, you may be ready for an upgrade in devices sooner than you think. In that case, it is time to sell.

But if you just want a quick loan and are in love with your phone, pawning is the way to go. You should make sure you bring the charger and accessories along to get the best loan price.

Reasonable Expectations

Before you consider selling or pawning your phone it is important to set some realistic expectations. Some phones are so outdated you may be better off donating them instead of selling.

Since smartphones upgrade so often, you may find that a device you have had for a short period of time isn’t as valuable as you thought. Like everything else, the price you get will boil down to demand.

Selling To A Pawn Shop

Even if you decide to sell rather than simply pawning, a pawn shop may be your best bet for cash.

If you’ve ever tried to sell anything on the Facebook marketplace or Craigslist, you already know that you have to handle multiple inquiries, questions, and offers.

With pawnshops, you cut out the troublesome work of haggling with multiple buyers who may or may not be serious about their offers.

Reasonable Expectations

Before you consider selling or pawning your phone it is important to set some realistic expectations. Some phones are so outdated you may be better off donating them instead of selling.

Since smartphones upgrade so often, you may find that a device you have had for a short period of time isn’t as valuable as you thought. Like everything else, the price you get will boil down to demand.

An easy way to get an idea about the value of your phone is to call your local pawn shop. You can tell them over the phone the condition and the model.

How Do I Find a Cellphone Pawn Shop?

We can get you a cellphone pawn shop. Just list your item on PawnGuru and the cellphone pawn shops in your area will bid on your phone.

It’s that simple, really!

Now that you’ve found a way to get a pawn shop or two that accepts cell phones, it’s time to learn what you need to do to sell yours.

It’s important to take your cell phone to the correct pawn shop. Different pawn shops specialize in different areas. The right pawn shop will offer you up to 167% more than the wrong one!

Let’s get to it.

How to Pawn a Cell Phone in 2020 Effectively: Preparation Steps

1. Get to Know Your Cell Phone

If you want the largest chunk of cash possible for your cell phone, take just a couple extra minutes to become acquainted with the exact type of cell phone you have and its features.

This might sound trivial, but it is actually crucial for getting the best offer.

  • Find out the model. Is your iPhone the X or X Max? The Galaxy S10 or S10 Edge? This makes a difference in terms of value.
  • Know your carrier (e.g. Verizon). The offer you get for your cell phone can be more or less depending on what the carrier is. It might sound crazy, but it’s true.
  • Know your cell phone’s storage limit. 16GB will get you a smaller offer than 64 GB or 128 GB. Check the surface of your cell phone for any damage or wear and tear.

2. Learn the Value of Your Cell Phone

Check out our cell phone pawn price data and keep this price range in mind when you go to pawn your cell phone. The following articles display the average cell phone pawn prices by brand and generation:

3. Back Up & Wipe Your Personal Data

If you want to know how to pawn your cell phone in 2020 in the safest way possible, make sure to back up your personal data and then wipe it off your phone. By personal data, we are referring to files, contacts, music, movies, photos and apps.

Back up your data elsewhere for your future cell phone using an external hard drive or computer. You don’t want to lose all your contacts, media, and apps!

For iPhones, connect your phone via USB to your laptop and open iTunes. Sign in with your Apple ID (or other ID) in iTunes on the computer, then go to File>Devices>Back Up.

If you don’t have an iPhone, note that the method for backing up data may vary from cell phone to cell phone. Perform a quick Google search for the instructions for your specific phone. It’s simple!

Wipe all this data afterward by performing a factory reset (instructions below). This is important if you don’t want to be a victim of identity theft or have anyone else’s eyes on your personal data.

4. Disable “Find My iPhone” or “Device” & Restore Factory Settings

When you disable “Find My iCell phone” (or “Find My Device” for Android), this may actually increase the value of the cell phone you’re pawning.

To disable Find My iCell phone, go to Settings>iCloud>Find My iCell phone. Disable that feature using the toggle.

Perform a factory reset on your cell phone to wipe your phone clean of your personal data. To do this, go to Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings.

5. Unlock Your Cell Phone

Since unlocked cell phones typically get the highest offers, you might try to unlock it prior to selling or pawning it. Follow these instructions from Apple for unlocking your iCell phone.

6. Gather Any Original Components

If you have any of the original boxes, manuals, chargers, or USB that came with your cell phone, include those with your cell phone in the transaction. This could get you a better offer.

How to Pawn Your Cell Phone in 2020 for the Most Cash

1. List Your Cell Phone Online

Use PawnGuru to list your cell phone for sale online so that only your local pawn shops can see it. This is free and only takes a couple of minutes.

Choose “sell” or “pawn” depending on what your goal is.

  • Pawning your cell phone will require you pay the pawn shop back within a certain time frame to get your phone back after they hand you money for it.
  • Selling your cell phone will allow you to sell the phone for cash and be done with it for good.

2. Receive Bids from Pawn Shops

Once your cell phone is listed on PawnGuru, you’ll start to see local pawn shops bid on your item promptly. You’re not obligated to accept any offers, but you can get great deals from these shops.

Now that you know how to prepare your cell phone for pawning or selling, you are equipped to get the best cash offer possible.

3. Get Cash in Hand

After you accept an offer from a local pawn shop, bring your cell phone to the pawn shop and get cash in hand the same day.

Pawn or Sell Your Phone Today

Like all other items, it makes sense to research a bit before starting your negotiation, That way you can set a baseline value and get the best dollar for your phone.

Pawning or selling your phone really isn’t that difficult, especially now that you know how to do it! Also remember, you can also sell your cell phone to a pawn shop, you’ll get more money for it!

And if you’re still looking for more help and advice on pawning your items, check out the rest of our blog!

Get local cash offers for it – free, fast & easy.

Pawn or Sell My Item

David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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