Research Shows Consumers Stash Valuable Smartphones in Drawers, Rather Than Cash Them In

eBay News Team

With more than half (57%) of Americans admitting to never having sold an old smartphone, eBay offers new ways to earn the most money on previous generation phones.

When it comes to the fall smartphone season, new research1  finds more than half of Americans (56%) currently have unused smartphones in their home and nearly half (48%) have thrown away a smartphone. With previous generation devices, like the iPhone 8, worth over $450 dollars, eBay is making it easier than ever to earn the most money for phones this fall. Available now, eBay’s new customized Selling Kit offers the most competitive pricing - helping consumers earn 50% more money for their device in just a few simple steps.

U.S. Consumer Smartphone Behavior: By the Numbers
eBay sells millions of phones in the U.S. annually with a smartphone sold every five seconds. As new phones hit the shelves and consumers upgrade to the newest device, eBay’s Fall Smartphone survey shows how much money is routinely being left on the table:

  • “New” Isn’t New Enough: More than half of Americans (54%) expect to upgrade to a new smartphone model less than a year after purchasing their current model.
  • Money Down the Drain: While the average list price of an iPhone 8 on eBay is between $451 - $548, nearly half (48%) of Americans have discarded a smartphone before, rather than attempting to selling it to recoup dollars spent. 
  • Phone Hoarders Beware: 2 in 5 (40%) of Americans currently have two or more unused smartphones in their home, and a majority of Americans (61%) have never sold or traded in one they no longer had use for.

“As the top destination for consumers who want to earn the most money possible for their smartphones, eBay wants to break down barriers for consumers who have unwanted devices, but never considered selling them,” said Alyssa Steele, Vice President of Hard Goods, eBay. “Our research shows that the majority of Americans wouldn’t keep $200 lying around their house, so we don’t know why they’re keeping a lot more than that in previous devices. We’re constantly looking at what’s holding people back from selling the devices they no longer need - and then delivering new ways to overcome these pain points.”

Collecting Cash, Not Dust
eBay’s new Selling Kit offers consumers the most competitive pricing on their smartphones, along with a simplified selling experience for even the most novice of sellers to receive top dollar for their used devices. Here’s how to let your phone collect cash – not dust:

  1. Download the eBay app (via the App Store or Google Play) to list your phone in 60 seconds by providing the make, model and condition.
  2. Use eBay’s simple tips to remove your personal data.
  3. Ship it quickly and easily with a dedicated eBay shipping box.

Sellers who are looking to get top dollar for their smartphone before upgrading to the latest device can make the most money by selling on eBay:

  • You can get up to $199 on eBay for your iPhone 6s
  • You can get up to $306 on eBay for your Google Pixel
  • You can get up to $323 on eBay for your iPhone 7
  • You can get up to $544 on eBay for your Samsung s9
  • You can get up to $794 on eBay for your iPhone X

With selling made simple and safe, eBay is the go-to place to sell your tech and upgrade to the latest and greatest. To get started, visit to find out how much your current device is worth. 


1The eBay Phones Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, between September 20 and September 25, 2018, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.

2Based on comparison of Gazelle, AT&T and T-Mobile online sales.