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Date: Apr 22, 2013
Just Like Comic Books and Records, it's all About Condition.

For collectors, the ultimate value of an item is tied directly to the condition of the item. That goes for whatever’s being collected – beer cans, baseball cards, pieces of vinyl, classic cars – whatever. And, that rule of thumb also holds true for non-collectibles, like smartphones and tablets on the resale market.

Now, no one buys an iPhone for a collection, (or do they), but there is a big market for used iPhones. As Apple packs in better technology with each new model, the temptation to upgrade is overwhelming for fanboys and power users. Beyond keeping one around as an emergency backup, older iPhones represent a lot of ready cash kicking around in the back of your sock drawer.

As mentioned above, condition is critical, and even minor scratches depreciate iPhone resale value. Depending on the model, carrier and capacity, a phone in just ‘good’ condition can be 2-10 percent less valuable than an iPhone in ‘flawless’ condition. Good condition, by the way, is usually defined as showing ‘normal wear and tear.’ This includes scratches and other minor cosmetic imperfections. One iPhone scratch makes the difference between ‘flawless’ and ‘good.’

Not only do scratches depreciate iPhone value, you need to know that if any function on your phone no longer works, it really brings down the value. Phones can be almost worthless if broken, or fetch only about a third of what they command when they are fully functional.

Add up all of this information and it drives home the need to properly protect your devices, and we aren't talking about just slapping on an iPhone screen protector. Water damage or a cracked screen sends the value of your iPhone into the dumpster and even an iPhone scratch or two erodes value.

A flawless phone is not only a source of pride today, it can be a significant source of income tomorrow. With LifeProof iPhone cases, you can check the ‘flawless’ condition button when you go to one of the sites that buy used iPhones. And, the same principles apply to the iPad. Those can also be resold online if you decide to trade up, and condition is also important. Also, keep original packing.

Here are the essentials:

• There's a big market for used iPhones
• When selling used iPhones, condition is critical
• Scratches bring down iPhone resale value
• Broken iPhones have either low or no value
• LifeProof cases keep your iPhone in flawless condition