We're just a few weeks away from seeing what Samsung has in store for the 10th anniversary of its Galaxy S smartphone lineup. And so far rumors surrounding the Galaxy S10 are promising a lot of new features — and, potentially, higher prices for the newer models.
But there's a way to take the bite out of upgrading your phone after the Galaxy S10's big reveal on Feb. 20. You can turn in your current Galaxy phone in exchange for credit (and sometimes cash) that you can put to the purchase of a new smartphone.
With smartphone prices now approaching $1,000, both wireless carriers and phone makers have gotten in the habit of offering rebates on newly released phones when you trade in your current model. That's likely to continue once the Galaxy S10 debuts, but we won't know how much those rebates are worth until Samsung and its carrier partners announce Galaxy S10 deals. But we do know what kind of return you can expect if you were to sell off your old Galaxy smartphone right now.
To find out just how much money you might be able to get back for your old phone, we checked prices at several resale and trade-in sites. We looked up everything from from last year's Galaxy S9 and S9+ to the Galaxy S6 model you might have held onto for four years. Expect these values to fluctuate, especially as we get closer to the Galaxy S10's Feb. 20 unveiling.
Galaxy S9 (64GB) / Galaxy S9+ (64GB)
Selling your Galaxy S9 or S9+ at a trade-in site may prove to be a challenge, as many reseller sites we checked aren't quoting prices for some models of last year's phones. Nextworth doesn't even list the Galaxy S9 or S9+ among trade-in options as of this writing. And if you are thinking of upgrading from an S9 or S9+, you may want to wait to see what trade-in deals Samsung and wireless carriers offer, as new models in good condition will fetch the highest rebate.
That said, Best Buy offers the most return for both the S9 and S9+, if you've got a model that the retailer is accepting. A Galaxy S9 that's tied to AT&T, Verizon or Sprint will get you $310 in credit, while the S9+ tied to those carriers fetches $364. Best Buy currently doesn't list prices for unlocked models or those tied to T-Mobile. If you've got an unlocked S9 or S9+, Amazon and Walmart offer the best prices while T-Mobile users will see the highest value if they trade in their S9 or S9+ to Gazelle.
Note that the S9 prices listed for Gamestop — as well as prices on any Galaxy S model in this story — reflect the regular trade-in credit. Gamestop Pro Members can expect a higher return: between $253 and $264 for the Galaxy S9+ depending on the carrier, just as an example. A Gamestop Pro membership costs $15 a year.
Galaxy S8 (64GB) / Galaxy S8+ (64GB)
If you've been holding on to a Galaxy S8 or S8+, Amazon offers the best trade-in value, particularly if you've got a model tied to AT&T or Verizon or if you've got an unlocked version. Walmart's return for Verizon and unlocked versions of the S8 and S8+ are pretty close to what you can get from Amazon.
Anyone with a Sprint or T-Mobile version of the 2017 Samsung flagships should look elsewhere for the biggest return, though. Nextworth seems to offer the most value for models tied to those two carriers.
Galaxy S7 (32GB) / Galaxy S7 Edge (32GB)
When it comes to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, anyone with a Verizon or unlocked version of that phone figures to get the best return, especially if they head to Amazon or Gazelle to trade in their phone. Otherwise, trade-in values for the Galaxy S7 Edge are fairly consistent, no matter which carrier version you have.
At Best Buy, trade-ins are consistent across the board, with the retailer offering a credit of $55 no matter which model of the S7 you have.
Galaxy S6 (32GB) / Galaxy S6 Edge (32GB)
The older the model, the less likely you are to see any variance in return, and that's the case if we go back the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Again, Amazon offers the best return, but that's for unlocked models or versions tied to Verizon. Otherwise, everyone's in the same $40 to $50 range, regardless of model and carrier. An exception: Walmart, which offers the lowest return for the AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile versions of the S6 and S6 Edge. Also, Nextworth offers more for the S6 than the S6 Edge on some models.
We used a black version of each Galaxy model to get our trade-in value. Other colors may fetch different returns, though in our experience, it's not much of a factor. You can expect bigger differences for phones with larger capacities, though that's more of a case for more recent models.
For each trade-in value we were quoted, we assumed that the Galaxy in question was fully functioning with few scratches and an included charger. The worse the condition your phone is in, the lower the trade-in value you can expect.