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How to Sell Your Old iPhone Like a Champ

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In just a few hours, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage and unveil the company's new iPhone lineup. While we may not see a full-fledged iPhone 5 this go-around, the new model will be a hit with a rabid crowd.

But what about the members of the formerly rabid crowds who grabbed an iPhone in recent years and are looking to upgrade devices one or two iterations deep? CNet's Marguerite Reardon has the answer.

A reader writes in to CNet asking the best option in reselling an older iPhone model. Reardon responds, "One of the best things about Apple products is that they have great resale value. Even your iPhone 3GS, which first debuted more than two years ago, can still fetch a good price today."

She elaborates that perhaps the only problem with selling off an old iPhone is the overwhelming number of options to choose from. Sure, there are eBay auctions and Craigslist ads, but for those who don't want to host an auction or field a dozen emails, Reardon lists the top sites in which you can trade in your iPhone for cash.

Listing the price rundown for sites like Cash for iPhones, eBay Cash-in, and Sell Your Cell, Reardon compares the amount you would receive from seven sites for a 16GB iPhone 3GS, a 16GB iPhone 4 on AT&T, and a 16GB iPhone 4 on Verizon.

According to Reardon, your best choice for the 3GS is Cash for iPhones, which will give you $206 for that model. Conversely, Totem and Gazelle skimp on the payment and only offer $114 and $126, respectively.

As for the iPhone 4: If you're selling off an AT&T model, go with eBay Cash-In which -- as of yesterday -- will give you $307. For Verizon models, eBay is still your best choice, but will only give you $280.

Reardon notes that, except for iSell My iPhone, each vendor buys Verizon models for a significant price reduction compared to AT&T devices. She attributes this to AT&T being a "world phone" and having a SIM card that can be swapped out. Meanwhile, Verizon has substantially less coverage worldwide and its iPhone doesn't have a swappable SIM card.

But of course, your mileage may vary.

At any rate, if you're an iPhone owner itching to grab the latest iPhone incarnation -- or interested in jumping aboard the Android train -- it would behoove you to weigh your iPhone vendor options before diving in.

Check out Reardon's rundown here.

(See also: Is Apple's iPhone 5 a Mirage? and New Service Handles Your Passwords After You Croak)

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