Cell phones are a big investment. As time goes on, the value of cell phones depreciate. As you continue to use your smart phone, its battery life and processing power slowly degrade as well. Proper care is essential if you plan to trade your phone in when a new one is released, purchase a phone to use as long term as possible, or if you want to get the maximum value from your phone when you sell it.
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Keep Your Cell Phone Safe
Many companies purchase or allow trade-ins for broken phones, but the fact of the matter is that a working phone will always sell for more. Likewise, taking the extra care to ensure your device stays in good working condition will prevent you from having to replace it very often.
Keep Your Phone Away From Keys and Heavy Objects
Protect your phone from getting bumps, dents, or scratches by keeping it separate from heavy or sharp objects like laptops, textbooks, keys, or loose change. Not only does the damage compromise the integrity of the phone, but any imperfections will decrease the value of your phone in the long run.
Use a Screen Protector
A good screen protector will do just that. Plastic screen protectors are super cheap, but are more likely to scratch and may need replacing more often. Glass screen protectors cost more, but are sturdy, scratch resistant, and you won’t have to replace it unless it breaks (which probably means that it saved your phone’s screen!)
Protect Your Phone With a Sturdy Case
We never intend to drop our phones, but… gravity. In order to give your phone its best chance, a solid case is a must. There are plenty of design choices out there so have some fun with it!
Protect Your Phone From the Weather
Protecting your phone from the elements is vital to its survival! Unless yours is waterproof, phones and water do not mix! Also, try not to let your phone sit in direct sunlight for too long either as the internal components can overheat and get damaged. There are waterproof accessories for phones these days, if you must. Or a ziplock works wonderfully in a pinch!
Extend Your Phone’s Life
If you’re not the type to upgrade every year, make sure you take steps to ensure your cell phone stays in optimal working condition for as long as possible. Small and simple changes can enhance the life and the value of your phone.
Restart Your Phone Frequently
The longer your phone is on, the slower your processor will work. You should restart your phone once every other day at least. Many phones have the option of simply clicking a “restart” button, and the phone restarts automatically for you. This is called a soft reset, and while it might help with your phone’s speed temporarily, it does not fully restart the processor and therefore isn’t effective. You need to turn your phone completely off and then back on manually for the best results.
Charge Your Phone Before It Dies
It’s no secret that phone batteries begin to degrade over time. The battery will never be quite as powerful as it is in the beginning. When you first get a new phone you’ll need to charge it fully for around 2-3 hours. After that, it’s better for your battery if you begin to recharge it when it’s only partially depleted. Don’t wait until it’s dead! According to experts, you only want to fully deplete your battery then charge it every 30 charges, or once a month.
Don’t Use Your Phone While It’s Plugged In
Because of the way Lithium ion batteries degrade, using your phone while it’s plugged in encourages the battery life to get shorter significantly faster. But more importantly, using your phone while it’s plugged in can cause damage to the charging port which is not a cheap fix.
Keep Your Phone Clean
Routinely cleaning your phone serves multiple purposes. For one, it keeps your phone looking nice which improves the resale value. Two, your phone is a disgusting germ-fest. Think about how many door knobs you touch, all the things you touch in the bathroom, all the nasty stuff on money. Just be careful when cleaning not to damage the device. Use a clean microfiber cloth, and never spray cleaner directly onto your phone. Baby wipes are a great option!
Protect Your Investment
More and more cell companies switching away from the forced-contract model, which is what allowed them to leverage the promise of payment for 2 years and offer discounted smartphones. Nowadays, you’re likely to pay full price, even if that’s in the form of monthly payments. The latest models released are typically around $700.00. With a little bit of foresight, you can maximize your return on that investment when it comes time to trade up or sell.
Save the Package Your Phone Came In
When you first purchase your phone it comes in a nice box, packed with instruction manuals, chargers, and sometimes other accessories like earphones. The phones that sell for the most money come with all of the original content included. The boxes are pretty small and relatively easy to store. The box is also a good way to keep your phone safe when you have to pack it away with heavier objects, like when traveling.
Don’t Use or Open the Included Accessories
Nobody wants reused headphones. Keeping them unopened for when it’s time to trade in or sell is a great way to boost your sale and give you an edge over sellers with no accessories. A used charger is fine since most people are just happy to have one included so keep yours in good shape!
Consider If Insurance and an Extended Warranty is Worth It
Insurance and extended warranties sound great, but do you really need them? According to a survey by Consumer Reports, only 15% of consumers bought a new phone to replace a broken phone, and an even fewer 2% bought a new phone due to a lost or stolen phone. If you live in an area where cell phone theft is common, or if you have a history of clumsy accidents, you may think about getting insurance. But this comes with a costly $5.00 to $9.00 a month plan, and when something does happen to your phone you may have to pay as much as $200.00! What’s even worse is when your phone is replaced, you may not get a new model. In fact, you’re much more likely to get an old refurbished phone. Here’s a better idea: protect your phone with a case and screen protector for a smaller, one-time cost.
Sell Your Phone Independently
GizmoGrind offers a fair price for your used and broken phones, and it’s simple and easy to use. No creating lengthy listings, no sifting through emails and meeting up with strangers who may or may not show up. All you do is send in your phone for free since shipping costs are 100% covered, and cash in your cheque (they offer PayPal, or Apple gift card payments too!) You may even get more than you would trying to sell it yourself.
Phone companies often offer incentives to trade your old phone in for the latest and greatest model. But consumers aren’t paid for this, they’re only offered small discount on the newer phone – In some cases no matter what their old model is worth.
Independent sources will also purchase older phones, in many cases even if that phone is broken!
Auction sites like eBay are a great place to list your phone for a decent price. The more accessories and original packaging materials you have, the easier the sale will be. Of course, this also requires making a listing, trying to write a compelling sales pitch for your phone, hoping to get traffic and interest, and dealing with negotiations. Don’t forget the fees associated with selling online (eBay and PayPal each charge their own fees for every transaction). Make it easier on yourself and sell to an independent company.
These tips work for all of your mobile devices, so remember to take extra care of your tablets and iPods, too!