How to Buy & Sell Smartphones Without Interacting with Anyone


  • Tips for how to buy and sell smartphones without interacting with anyone.
  • The spread of COVID-19 means it’s dangerous to interact with other people.
  • You can still make money or find good deals on smartphones, even without having to interact with other people.

These days, most of us are avoiding leaving our house if at all possible. You might go out to buy groceries, but buying or selling a smartphone feels a little bit less essential right now. However, there may still be a lot of reasons that you want to buy or sell a smartphone. 

Maybe you’ve been saving up the money and now you’re ready to take the plunge on a new phone. Or maybe your old phone is ready to die, and you need a replacement. 

On the flip side, maybe your hours have been cut, and you need to make some fast money by selling your phone. 

It can be hard to buy or sell a smartphone when you can’t leave the house or don’t want to interact with other people. There are some different possibilities, but each has their own highs and lows. Read on to find out your best option for buying or selling a smartphone without interacting with any other people.

  • UpTrade – In my opinion, when you want to buy or sell a smartphone without interacting with anyone else, going through UpTrade is your best option. UpTrade is unique from all of the other options listed here. They buy and sell pre-owned phones, have better deals than regular retailers and are safer than buying or selling P2P.

On UpTrade, you can view the exact phone you are purchasing. Instead of getting a generic stock photo, you can see precisely what kind of shape each phone is in and decide for yourself if you’re ready to buy it. They do all kinds of quality testing, and you can watch it on video from the safety of your own home. Plus, because UpTrade doesn’t have any stores, they can offer lower prices on their phones compared to the major retailers. 

  • Manufacturers & Cell Carrier – You can buy a new smartphone directly from your carrier or a phone’s manufacturer. That’s what most people do. And under normal circumstances, you can usually also trade in your old phone with your carrier for some credit towards a new one (although you won’t get as much credit from them as you would selling it yourself). 

These days, though, you can’t go to a store and check out the phones for yourself, and you can’t do trade-ins through most carrier’s  websites. Selling your phone to your carrier was never the best way to get your money, but now you can’t do it at all without breaking quarantine. There are much better ways to buy and sell smartphones than turning to your cell carrier or buying directly from the manufacturer.

  • Big Box Stores –  Your second option for buying or selling a smartphone without leaving your house is to turn to the big box stores. Best Buy, for example, accepts trade-ins online. And there are some good deals on older generation and pre-owned phones.

The drawback with going this route is that you won’t find the best deals or get the best trade-in prices. Even though you’re not going into the store, you’re still paying for these companies to run their stores. The building costs, utilities, and labor all get added into what you pay for a phone. But at least you can trade in a phone, unlike most carriers these days.

  • Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces (P2P) – P2P marketplaces are where you go if you want to buy from or sell directly to another person–no big companies involved. P2P includes sites like Craigslist and Facebook marketplaces.  Under normal circumstances, these sites are where you can find the best deals and make the most money selling your old phone.

But right now, when most places are under some type of stay-at-home order, P2P is less of an option. The great deals you can score come at too big a risk. When buying a phone P2P, it’s very important to see the phone first hand and test it for yourself. You can’t do this safely right now with COVID-19 spreading. And you run a very high risk of getting scammed if you skip this step.

Buying or selling a smartphone right now is more complicated than usual. But it is still possible. With reliable sites like UpTrade out there, you can still get a good deal on a smartphone, or get the money you need selling your phone, without risking your health or having to interact with anyone.