Prepping for Your iPhone X- Fast Charging and Dealing with Selling Old Hardware

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We are down to less than two days left before the iPhone X arrives for those of us fortunate enough to get them on launch day. We’ve already covered the merits of AppleCare+, Cases, and Screen Protectors and dealing with a lack of a headphone jack in preparation for Friday, so the major “extras” are covered. Now is a good time to switch gears and look at some options to enhance your charging experience, as well as options to make some of the $1000+ you just dropped on the X back on some older hardware you may be ready to unload.

Fast Charging

Fast Charging finally has made its appearance on iOS with the most recent Apple mobile hardware. The 10.5” and 12.9” iPad Pros that were released earlier this year, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the iPhone X are all capable of fast charging. So what do you need? The common denominator is that you must currently have Apple’s USB-C to Lightning Cable.

Currently, there aren’t any 3rd Party MFi cables available, so this is your only option if you want the full benefit. This cable will cost you $25, and is available locally from Apple Stores and BestBuy. The same cable is supposedly available from Amazon for only $14.65 used, but buyer beware. That also doesn’t come with Prime shipping. Save yourself the potential trouble and buy the new one from a reliable retail outlet.

Once you have the right cable, you will need to get the right charger. If you are the owner of a MacBook or current gen MacBook Pro, you can use your USB-C charge adapter to fast charge your iOS device without anything else in addition. If you want something smaller, then the official route is to go with Apple’s 29 Watt USB-C Charging Brick.

This charger will set you back a cool $49.00 at Apple Stores and BestBuy. You can save a couple of bucks with Prime shipping from Amazon here.

While you have to use Apple’s cable to fast charge, you can use any 29W and up power adapter that includes the Power Delivery standard. I will be receiving an AUKEY Amp PD Duo 29W USB-C charger from Amazon tomorrow for testing. This was the least expensive Power Delivery-compatible charger that I found at $22.99, but unfortunately it is no longer available. The next model up is AUKEY’s 46W charger, which costs $39.99.

AUKEY also has a dual-port 36W car charger available that is capable of fast charging.

This charger is available for $16.99 from Amazon, is currently in stock, and Prime delivery is available.

Anker is another of the well-known value accessory brands that has several charging options available with Power Delivery and that are capable of fast charging. Unfortunately, their least expensive compatible USB-C charger is ALSO out of stock at Amazon. I guess a lot of iPhone X buyers already got the memo.

Another option for fast charging is a portable battery pack. As long as it uses the Power Delivery standard, it will work just fine with your latest iOS gear.

The three that stand out as being easy to get and the most affordable are RAVPower’s 26,800 mAh model for $79.99, AUKEY’s 30,000 mAh pack for $69.99, and ZeroLemon’s 45W 20,100 mAh JuiceBox for $69.99. All three are available from Amazon with Prime delivery.

I’m not going to make any apologies for Apple not including the right charger and cable in the box to handle fast charging. Whatever their reasons, this is not a customer-friendly stance. However, if you want the added convenience, the support is there to take advantage of with your iPhone X. Hopefully the breaking point between them continuing to support four years of legacy chargers and cables and moving everyone to a new standard (at least on the charger end) will come next year.

Cashing in On Your Older Gear

This used to be a yearly ritual for all of us super-nerds. In the days of the two year cell phone contract, if you wanted to upgrade to the latest phone every year, you had to hustle to make it happen. That or be independent wealthy.

I have done it all. I’ve sold phones and bought a new one at full price for cash. When we got an AT&T Family Pan, I started rotating the upgrades and using them, because no one else in my family cares about having the latest and greatest. I’ve used Craigslist, eBay, Gazelle, and others. You name the service, and I’ve probably done business with them at some point.

This isn’t as big of a deal today. With the dawn of payment plans like AT&T Next and Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Plan that allow for yearly device exchanges, the days of having to hustle to get money for your next phone are pretty much over. I’ll be mailing my iPhone 7 Plus back to Apple very soon to satisfy my Upgrade Plan, and I will happy to do so. However, if you own an older device outright and would like to recoup some of the investment you are putting into the iPhone X, there are still MANY ways to do so.

Craigslist

This is simultaneously the easiest and hardest path to take. It is super easy to list a device for sale and it’s free to do so. However, it is the Wild West out there, and you need to be careful to protect yourself if you go this route. There are a lot of scammers on Craigslist these days, so never agree to mail a device to someone. Handle all sales in person, and my recommendation is to ALWAYS handle your transactions in busy public spaces using cash. I usually prefer a local Starbucks, myself. If a buyer won’t meet in such a place, move on IMMEDIATELY. Also, if you don’t feel comfortable meeting a potential buyer alone, then take a friend (who is comfortable doing so) along and again, stick to public places. I’m not sure I would recommend Craigslist anymore, but its hard to pass on avoiding those fees.

Gazelle

Another of the old standbys. Gazelle is probably the safest route you can take, but this will almost certainly cut your profit by 1/4 to 1/2 of what you can get on your own. Companies have to keep the lights on. However, they are not only still in business, but growing for a reason. They are a go-to option for people who don’t want to deal with the potential hassles of selling devices. Also, since Gazelle will purchase damaged and even non-functional phones, they may be the only viable option for people to make money on some of their devices.

eBay

I’ve sold many things on eBay over the last 20 years. However, as time has gone on, their cut has gone up and the potential for making money has gone down. It is more safe than Craigslist in that there is buyer and seller protection available. There is also more potential to make money here than with Gazelle. However, it can be a lot of trouble to do business at eBay, between taking good pictures, posting, correspondence with potential buyers, and bothering with shipping.

NextWorth

This used device purchase service is lesser-known than Gazelle, but they typically give slightly better payouts. I just filled out the quote form in both locations for my iPhone 7 Plus. Gazelle came in at $325, while NextWorth was a little higher at $344. As with Gazelle, NextWorth will also buy damaged devices, so if you have a broken device, you can still get something out of your old gear here, as well.

GameStop

The venerable old game store is transforming itself to survive in the digital age. As game purchases shift more towards online and the used market is slowly being restricted away by developers looking to maximize profits, GameStop has pivoted to join the used hardware market. Unfortunately, the lights don’t keep themselves on, and that overhead is reflected in how much less they pay than many other outlets. My iPhone 7 Plus would only fetch $295 unless I became a GameStop Elite Pro Member. GameStop is convenient, but there are plenty of better options that are just as convenient, if not more so.

Swappa

In my opinion, Swappa currently has the best mix of potential for earnings and security. Swappa is a fast-growing open market where users can buy and sell tech devices that are confirmed to work, and are backed by buyer and seller protection. Swappa pre-confirms that all devices have clean ESN or IMEIs and will not allow the sale of blocked or iCloud-locked devices. The service also requires the use of payment methods that offer buyer and seller protections, so both parties can feel secure. They go to great lengths to create a safe place for tech enthusiasts to do business. Also, the site is very reasonable about fees, with sellers actually paying no fees at all to list. Buyers will pay a small one added to the seller’s set price, but that’s it.

Here’s the bottom line with Swappa. Not only is it safe, but you can probably make more money here, as well. My iPhone 7 Plus that would bring in under $350 at Gazelle and NextWorth and would get hammered with seller fees on eBay is currently bringing in between $555 and $616 at the site. That is a substantial difference, any way you slice it. You do have to deal with posting and shipping, but its hard to beat the balance between security and value that Swappa has currently struck.

Apple, Other Electronics Retailers and Carriers

One advantage of trading in old gear with a retailer who you are buying a new phone from is that they have some incentive to give you more than what GameStop will for cash. Most, including Apple, will likely give you somewhere between what Gazelle and NextWorth will. However, retailers will occasionally add incentives and in-store credits or rebates to make one-stop shopping worth your while. The biggest advantage, however, is sheer convenience. That is going to be worth something to many people who are looking to make something off an older device.

So that’s about it for fast charging and selling your old gear. Tomorrow is the eve of the iPhone X’s arrival, and we will cover some practical software tips and operational differences to take into account before that new hardware hits your hands. Until then, if you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for other aspects of the iPhone X you would like to see covered in advance, let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.


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