7 ways to resell your phone in Singapore

Don't want to trade your phone in? Check out your options here, and you might even make some money out of it too
7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

Every year, gadget makers such as Apple and Samsung religiously release new versions of their phones to get loyal users to part with their money.

So what can you do with your barely one-year-old smartphone besides trading it in at authorised telco retailers? Are there better ways to derive more value from reselling it? And with prices of the iPhone 5S plummeting, what is the fair value you can expect out of your phone?

Here's a handy cut-out-and-keep guide on the 7 best places in Singapore to resell your old device. DISCLAIMER: Prices stated within this article tend toward the more realistic. If the phone is in perfect condition, it might fetch a higer price than those stated.

1. Heartland shops

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

Heartland shops, colloquially known as "Ah Beng handphone shops", are one of the first few places to consider selling your pre-loved mobile phone. There are many of these shops around in housing estates and you can't help but keep bumping into one, so why not go in and try your luck?

Pros: You might just be able to get a better price as compared to trading it in directly at the telcos. A second-hand iPhone 5S, for example, can fetch a cool S$50 more than if you were to trade it in.

Also, you can always hustle for a better price even though the shop owners can drive a hard bargain. And if you can get chummy with them, they could even give you a better deal. It boils down to how far you want to carry out your negotiations. And we suspect they might be nicer to you if you are female.

Some places that are popular for buying and selling used mobile phones include Uwin Mobile and Cheers Communications at Hougang Central, which are crowded on weekends.

Cons: Tiny scratches on the phone or any small defects will cause resale value to plunge precipitously. They would also usually insist on having the full set with box intact as well as other original paraphernalia, which you might not have sometimes.

You'd also need to submit your personal particulars, in the event the mobile phone you're selling is actually stolen goods, which means there's a level of hassle involved.

Plus, you won't be the price maker, so do expect to get a bit lower than you expect if you're desperate.

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: S$150

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: $220 to S$250 depending on condition and if it is a complete set

Image: AsiaPartTime

2. Apps

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

For a more up-to-date venue for carrying out transactions of pre-owned goods in the 21st century, head to Carousell. This is an app for buyers and sellers to contact each other directly, negotiate prices, and meet up to exchange goods for money.

Pros: This app has an amazing user experience, mainly because it is idiot-proof, which makes it easy to navigate and search for products. Anyone who can take a picture and write a one-liner is now an official merchant. This allows sellers a better chance of landing better and numerous prospective buyers, as browsing is easy. Phones in good condition can naturally fetch better prices, and the ball is in the sellers court: You can just camp out for the person willing to offer the highest bid.

Cons: A lot of low-ballers trying to cut basement prices and trying their luck. There are trolls as well who just want to start a chat and waste the sellers' time.

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: Anything from S$100 to S$200

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: Below S$250

3. Social media

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

If downloading an app and linking it to your current social media account sounds like work, then why not just proceed to Facebook and Twitter to hawk your wares?

This might just be the most straightforward way to unload pre-loved items. Using a status update, you can inform everyone who is your friend or follower that you have something on sale. Might as well tap into a ready audience who has already tolerated your incoherent social media updates, drunk photos, and unusual location check-ins, such as at Orchard Towers.

Pros: You are selling a phone to a friend or an acquaintance, which would help to make the transaction more cordial.

Cons: Or not. That's when no one actually responds because maybe you have too little friends or because you aren't the most likable person around and no one wants to conduct any form of transaction with you?

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: Around S$200

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: Around S$250

4. Online classified listings

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

If you don't like the idea of selling to people you know, you might want to consider putting it up on the classified listings online, such as Gumtree Singapore, ST Classifieds or even craigslist.

These are the so-called "proper" avenues to sell, because the user-generated listings are categorised for detailed browsing, and people visit these pages not for fun but with a sense of purpose.  

Pros: Serious buyers will go look for products at these places.

Cons: These sites have user interfaces that look quite dated and stuck in the early 2000s, which is a deterrent to the younger crowd who are more used to apps like Carousell and Snapchat and who are also less careful their money. So, you might be missing out on a potentially large group.

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: Around S$200, with a bit of luck

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: Around S$250, with a lot of luck

5. Forum

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

And if you really want to drill down to the most dedicated pages online to hawk your used gadget, why not try your luck at forum pages that have been specifically set up from day one to buy and sell hardware, such as HardwareZone.

Pros: Massive number of users go to the forums daily to trash talk and check out scandalous news items that are trending in these channels. So, once in a while, someone will actually buy something sold by another user. The odds are pretty good if what you have on hand is a relatively new phone that's still very attractive.

Cons: The number of listings and items on sale can be daunting to navigate as the forum threads are fast-moving. Plus, there's a tendency for lingo-speak in these nether regions of the Internet that is not conducive for first-timers or someone who is new to these channels. Any faux pas committed might be inexcusable in the eyes of forum veterans.

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: Around S$200

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: Around S$250

6. Online auction sites

7 best places in Singapore to resell your phone

If haggling isn't your thing, then your next best bet is to try to flip your phone to the highest bidder on a proper auction site, such as ebay.

Pros: The functionality of a site like ebay, for example, makes it easy for buyers to narrow searches down to the price range, new or used and model of mobile phone.

And to attract sellers, ebay has a marketing component known as "trending" price, where all sellers are ensured at least this amount for their product. If it sells below this price, sellers can claim a US$100 coupon from ebay.

There is even a referral programe where you can refer a friend who is also selling a phone to put it up on ebay, and the referrer will be awarded a US$15 voucher.

Cons: Too. Many. Listings. This is perhaps the curse of having too many choices. Sellers are going head-to-head with all kinds of other sellers, from those who want to sell a lone phone to merchants who probably have a whole shipment of used phones to offload.

iPhone 5s 16GB expected resale price: S$200

iPhone 5s 32GB expected resale price: S$250