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How to trade in your old Pixel phone

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If you want to buy the Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL without paying full price, trading in your old Pixel is a smart way to do that. But, to get the most value out of your phone, you’d best trade it in sooner than later. Once Google’s next phone is in the wild, the value of your older Google Pixel or Google Pixel 2 phone will greatly diminish.

When the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are announced, many will decide whether they’ll go for the latest or instead buy a lightly used phone from an older generation that will suit their needs without breaking the bank. If you’ve got an older Pixel model and are ready for an upgrade, here are a few steps to take to get your device ready for selling, followed by how much cash you can expect to earn back.

Inspect your phone

If your old Pixel device is in good condition, you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding a new owner. As mentioned in our guide on selling your iPhone, having a phone in good condition is crucial in finding a buyer who’s willing to pay top dollar.

Even if your phone isn’t in the best shape, you should still be able to get something for your trade. Take into consideration its blemishes, including scratches, dents, cracks, and any other quirks that the next owner should know about. Be honest, or else it will probably come back to bite you.

Erase your phone

If your Pixel or Pixel 2 has the most up-to-date Android Pie software, erasing your phone starts with navigating to the settings menu, then to “Google services and preferences.” Once you’re there, click “Google account” to drill down another level, then hit “security.” Scroll down until you see “your devices,” then click the device you’re using and select “remove.” This will sign you out of the device that you’re trading in.

The next step is to factory reset the phone. Back at the main settings menu, select “system” and then hit “advanced” at the bottom. If you plan to restore your phone on the Pixel 3 or 3 XL, make sure you’ve backed up to Google Drive recently. Otherwise, going into “reset options” will take you to the final step. Select “erase all data (factory reset)” to completely wipe the device’s storage.

Find the best offer

As for where you can sell your old Pixel phone, Swappa.com is a top pick with a healthy community of buyers and sellers. At the time of this writing, you stand to get more for your Pixel here than most other places. And unlike selling IRL through Craigslist, Swappa.com protects both ends of the transaction with PayPal.

Google’s own trade-in program can be accessed during the checkout process for a new phone. Put plainly, Google doesn’t offer all that much for your old Pixel, but it’s a good option if your phone isn’t in the best shape, or if you’re willing to settle on getting a smaller return in exchange for immediate cash back.


For the original Pixel in good condition with 32GB of storage, you’re looking at up to $200 back in your pocket, minus any fees you agree to pay by selling on Swappa.com. If you own the 128GB model, add another $50 or so to that. No matter the model you’re selling back, if you purchased your Pixel through Verizon, its locked bootloader means that you’ll be looking at a slightly lower value, despite it being able to work on any carrier.

Selling on Google via its trade-in program will get you a flat $130 for either the 32GB or 128GB model, regardless of carrier. Should your device be cracked or have a malfunctioning screen, Google will give you up to $105.

The selling price for the Pixel XL on Swappa.com currently starts around $230 for the 32GB model in good condition, and works up to just about $270 for the 128GB version. Again, Verizon’s locked bootloader affects the trade-in value here, as it does for the smaller Pixel.

Contrary to the trend on Swappa.com, Google will pay you more if you sell back a Pixel XL that was purchased at Verizon. Trading up with Google offers $153 for the 32GB model from Verizon, or $183 for the 128GB on Verizon. If your phone isn’t from Verizon, the 32GB model will fetch $143, and the 128GB version will get you $171. Should your 32GB trade-in be cracked or have a minor screen malfunction, you’ll get up to $110. $123 is headed your way for a slightly damaged 128GB model.


Google’s Pixel 2

Google doesn’t currently accept the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL for trade, as the new phone isn’t available yet, though we expect this to change following the Pixel 3’s announcement on October 9th.

Heading over to Swappa.com, you’re likely to get around $400 in cash if your Pixel 2 is in good shape. There are currently but a few 128GB models listed, so if you have one to trade in, it still holds close to $500 in value. As is the case for the first-generation devices, the Verizon-sold Pixel 2 isn’t as valuable, though you’re only looking at about a $20-50 difference in trade-in yield.

The Pixel 2 XL, despite its higher purchase price, has lost quite a bit of value in the past year, according to Swappa.com’s current set of listings. While bad for those who are trading in, it’s great if you’re a buyer. If you trade in now, you can get just over $400 for your 64GB Pixel 2 XL. For a 128GB in good condition, you’re looking at a near $500 return. It’s not particularly surprising to see that the white and black Pixel 2 XL fetches a higher price due to the stock shortages of this model at launch.

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