Can Pawn Shops Buy Cell Phones?

Answer: Yes, pawn shops can buy cell phones. However, it is up to the specific pawn shop whether they will purchase cell phones. The reason for this is, at times, cell phones being sold to a pawn shop could be stolen merchandise. This makes it a risky business for pawn shops to purchase cell phones. So, how do you sell your cell phone to a pawn shop?

What to Know About Pawning

Firstly, you want to keep in mind is whether or not you’d like to make fast cash. Pawn shops are usually really good for making fast money. You walk into a pawn shop and they offer you an amount of money for your device. As a result, you can accept that amount and walk out of the store with cash. Sounds simple, right?

On the flip side, you may be able to make more off of selling your cell phone on online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Swappa. You may also be able to sell your phone back to your carrier to upgrade and lower the cost of a new device. Thus, it is dependent on what you’re looking for and how quickly you’re looking to receive money back for your device. 

Hands pulling a $50 bill and $20 bill out of brown wallet with light green shirt in background

What to Consider

There are a few things you should consider before selling your device – the age, condition, activation eligibility, and name brand of your device.

Age of Device

It is important to consider the age of the cell phone you are trying to sell. This is important because it can help increase the value of your device. If it is a newer cell phone it will be worth more. Typically, after 3-4 years of the release date of the device the value will drop. This will also determine whether or not the shop will be able to resell the device.

Condition of Device

The condition of your device is a determining factor in selling the phone. In other words, if you have a severely cracked screen, or the charging port doesn’t work could be a factor. Anything defective with your device may cause it to malfunction, making it unable to resell. With that being said, this could lower the value or mean you will be unable to sell the cell phone. It is worth a shot to see if or how much a pawn shop would be willing to purchase the device. 

Activation Eligibility

When purchasing a cell phone, most people go through their carrier. Carriers include AT&T, Verizon, Mint Mobile, or T-Mobile to name a few. The device you are trying to sell may be locked to the carrier. It is important to realize that phones locked to carriers such as Sprint, may decrease the value of your device. You may not be able to sell this device at all. To clarify, Sprint was a carrier that was bought out by T-Mobile. Thus, the device you are trying to sell may not connect to another carrier. Phones that are not eligible for activation eligibility are usually resold for parts. 

Name Brand of Device

The name brand of your device could also determine the capability of the cell phone to be sold. Manufacturers such as Apple or Samsung are of higher value. This is due to the fact that they are some of the most popular name brand phones. 

How to Pawn Cell Phones

1. Finding a Pawn Shop

One of the most important things you’re going to need to do is find a pawn shop that will purchase cell phones. After taking into consideration all of the information provided above, you’re going to want to research which shops will purchase a cell phone. Look into pawn shops in your area and call them. This eliminates the running around to different shops and is more time efficient. It lessens the frustration of being unable to sell your device in person.

2. Know What You’re Selling

The second most important thing to do is to know the device you are selling. Discussed above, activation eligibility is something that is important to know. Coupling that, it is important to know the make and model of your cell phone. How much storage does your phone have? What are some of the important features of your device? What is the current operating system? Knowing the details of your cell phone will help you be able to sell your phone and sometimes for more money. 

3. Research Resale Value

Researching the resale value of a device you’re selling is equivalent to looking up the value of your vehicle on Kelley Blue Book. This makes you prepared to know what the price you are willing to sell your cell phone for. This also makes you aware of what you are willing to negotiate with the pawn shop. You can determine the fair market value by cross checking online platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, or Swappa.

4. Back-up Important Information

Fourthly, you are going to want to go to your ‘Systems’ app on your phone. This will allow you to back up all of your important information, photos, passwords, and messages. This allows your cloud to be able to transfer the information to your new device. This also prepares you to factory reset your device.

5. Factory Reset the Device

Factory resetting your device that you want to sell is going to be very important. This is important because if you sell a phone with your information still on the system you could get hacked. The person purchasing the phone from the pawn shop could have access to your passwords for your banking information if you use the ‘Save Password’ function. Even if you don’t use that function you could also be opening up yourself to someone who can access your messages, photos and other sensitive information. 

6. Be Prepared at the Pawn Shop

When going to the pawn shop, once you have completed the previous steps, you’re going to want to be prepared with your Photo ID. This is how you will be able to sell your device. Another thing you should be prepared to do is negotiate. This is why knowing the resale value of your device will help you. Knowing your resale value will help you come to a better price for your device. You will have to compromise and understand you may not get the value that you are looking for when you walk through the door. 

For example, you are trying to sell your Samsung Galaxy J7. The condition is lightly used. You did a really good job at taking care of your device. There are no scratches on your screen; the operating system is as up to date as it can be and there is no internal or external damage. The release date of your device is July 2015. There is potential that you can make anywhere between $40 to, roughly, $100 selling your device according to prices on eBay. You are going to know right away that you may not be able to get the $100 for your device, especially, if there is no retail packaging, and you’re keeping the charger.

When going to the pawn shop shoot for the $100 but be willing to negotiate. Middle ground would be about $65 for your device. 

Cost Effective Devices

Multi View (Front Back Side) of Black Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

The Google Pixel 3 is a great phone to replace your old device you sold at the pawn shop. The most impressive part of the Pixel 3 is the AI features. This helps make your day-to-day much more functional and easier to use. The AI features include Google Lens, Gmail’s Smart Compose, Google Assistant and being able to screen your phone calls through “Screen call” when an unknown phone number is calling you. Original retail price of the Google Pixel 3 was $799. At Mr Aberthon you’re getting an amazing deal! Click the button below!

LG K40 Gray Multi View Front Side Back

LG K40

The LG K40 is a really fantastic option for a new phone! The most impressive feature of this device is that it has passed the MIL-STD-810 test. That means that it has been able to withstand multiple climatic and environmental conditions! Something that is also remarkable is the capability of adding a microSD card up to a terabyte (TB). This increases the memory significantly. This means that you are allowed to not only store more photos, music and videos but you can also store documents and other files. By clicking the button below you can check out the LG K40 for yourself!

Multi View Front Side and Back of Black Alcatel Verso

Alcatel Verso

The Alcatel Verso is the best bang for your buck! This phone is a smartphone. You get access to all of your favorite apps through the Play Store! The Alcatel Verso is simple and affordable. This device is a really good device to use daily. One of the best features of this phone is that it has a removable battery. This is a great feature because it increases the longevity of your phone! Check it out on Mr Aberthon by clicking the button below! 

Specifications for Cost Effective Phones

Front View of Google Pixel 3 (left) LG K40 (center) Alcatel Verso (right) All Black Devices
SpecsGoogle Pixel 3LG K40Alcatel Verso
Phone StyleSmartphoneSmartphoneSmartphone
Screen Size5.5″5.7″5″
4G LTE Bands/FrequenciesB1, B2, B28a, B3, B32, B12 (700 ac), B13 (700 c), B17 (700 bc), B18 (800 Lower), B19 (800 Upper), B20 (800 DD), B25 (1900+), B26 (850+), B29 (700 d), B30 (2300 WCS), B38 (TD 2600), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B40 (TD 2300), B41 (TD 2500), B5 (850), B66 (1700/2100), B7 (2600), B71 (600), B8 (900)B1, B3, B20 (800 DD), B7 (2600), B8 (900)B2, B12 (700 ac), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B5 (850)
Android Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 (Pie)Android 9.0 (Pie)Android 7.0 (Nougat)
Internal Memory128 GB32 GB16 GB
MicroSD Card SlotNoneUp to 2 TBUp to 128GB
Resolution Size2160 X 1080 pixels720 x 1440 pixels480 x 854 pixels
Battery Power2915mAh Li-Po3000mAh Li-Po2050mAh Li-Ion
Removable BatteryNoNoYes
Charging Port TypeType CMicro USB 2.0Micro USB 2.0
Fast ChargingYesYesNo
Hours of Battery LifeAverage of 15 hoursAverage of 12 hoursAverage of 10 hours
Front Camera Resolution8 MP8 MP2 MP
Rear Camera Resolution12.2 MP16 MP5 MP
Fingerprint SensorYesYesNo
Woman in a brown and white striped shirt wearing glasses sitting in black leather chair shaking hands with a man in a black shirt and light jeans who is standing

Can Pawn Shops Buy Cell Phones?

Yes, pawn shops can buy cell phones if they so choose to. If you’re going to sell your device do your research. Doing research is the best way to be successful at getting the amount you are looking for from selling your device. Here are some key takeaways: Know the product you’re selling, set reasonable expectations for what you’re willing to negotiate and make sure to back up your information for when you factory restart your phone. Pawn shops are a great way to get quick money. If you follow all the steps above you should not have to worry about selling your cell phone! 

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