It is estimated that nearly one-third of smartphone owners currently have a cracked screen and that they drop their phones a minimum of four times a week.  Once it’s time to purchase a new device, many smartphone owners think their damaged, old phone is beyond repair.


Consumers Are Getting Great Deals from Trade-Ins

Nothing could be further from the truth. Here at Assurant, we keep careful track of data related to the trade-in market. Right now, a pre-owned iPhone 10 with a cracked screen is still worth $95. For comparison, the average trade-in value for a pre-owned smartphone of any brand is around $105. In other words, you’re still getting a very good deal.

If you have a phone with a cracked screen that you’ve been thinking of replacing, you’ve probably learned enough—go trade it in now! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about why damaged phones can still keep much of their value, feel free to keep on reading.


Retailers Can Still Make Money on Less-Than-Perfect Phones

The basic trade-in model works like this: if you trade in your old phone, you get a credit towards your new phone. Meanwhile, your smartphone gets sold into the secondary market, where its selling price makes up for the cost of the trade-in. It’s a simple formula.


What happens to that equation when you introduce a damaged phone?

First, let’s consider that the most likely areas to be damaged are either the phone screen or the rear casing (if it’s made of glass). Because it can be easily fixed and resold as a working phone, there is still value in offering trade-in for the device.

Even a phone that won’t power on still has some value towards trade-in. Phones contain precious metals such as gold or palladium, and it’s much easier and better for the environment to harvest these materials from an existing phone as opposed to mining them out of the ground.

This brings us to our last point. Trading in your old smartphone (especially if it’s damaged) places it into a responsible recycling stream that keeps it out of a landfill. Electronics make up 70% of the toxic waste in an average landfill, so throwing your smartphone away is really bad for the environment. No matter how broken your smartphone is, you’re doing a good deed when you trade it in.


Best Option: Protect Your Phone

A damaged phone will always be worth less than a pristine device at trade-in time. If you want to preserve the value of a phone when you are ready to upgrade, use a case and a screen protector, and be sure to purchase device protection. Even if you do none of these things, your damaged phone will still be able to net you a credit toward a new phone or a reduction in your phone bill.