Splash to Cash: How to Sell Your Water-Damaged Phone For Cash

Did your phone go for a swim? Fortunately, you can sell your water-damaged phone to get some quick cash to buy a replacement.

Can You Sell a Phone With Liquid Damage?

You can in fact sell your water-damaged cell phone for cash. This even includes devices with liquid damage such as coffee, soda, juice, salt water, and regular tap water. You have several options available to sell your water-damaged phone including popular marketplaces such as eBay, local classifieds, and electronics buyback companies.

Some may want to repair their phone prior to selling however we do not recommend repairing a water-damaged phone as it can be costly and unreliable. Additionally, it is usually not worth repairing a cell phone with extensive liquid damage.

selling water damaged phone

How Much is a Water-Damaged Phone Worth?

A water-damaged cell phone is worth significantly less than a fully functional device. The value of your water-damaged device may differ depending on the extent of the water damage or corrosion. For instance, if your device fails to power on it will be worth less. For example, at BuybackWorld a broken iPhone 13 Pro Max that is water damaged and does not power on is worth approximately $75. On the other hand, one in good working condition is worth about $475.

ModelWater-Damaged (No Power) ValueFully functional Value
iPhone 13 Pro Max$75$475
iPhone 11 $10$190
iPhone 8 Plus$5$110
Values were compiled from data at BuybackWorld

If your device has water damage, it’s important to have realistic expectations about its value as it’s likely to be worth significantly less. Nonetheless, selling your broken phone is an option to consider to keep it out of landfills and help reduce pollution.

Can I Trade In a Water-Damaged Phone?

In some cases, trading in your device may make more sense than selling it. Your network provider might be having a promotion for trade-ins or simply offering more for your cell phone than you could sell it for. However, can you even trade in a water-damaged cell phone? To find out, we reached out to several phone repair shops and asked if it was possible to trade in a water-damaged phone to carriers such as T-mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.

Here’s what we found:

  • Verizon: Verizon will typically not accept water-damaged devices for trade-in. The customer rep will check for the water damage indicator to see if it’s been exposed to moisture.
  • T-mobile: T-mobile checks devices for water damage prior to trade-in. Trade-ins will be denied if the device shows any sign of liquid damage.
  • AT&T: Unfortunately you can not trade in a water-damaged device at AT&T. Your trade-in will be denied.

Does ecoATM take Water-Damaged Phones?

EcoAtm will in fact buy water-damaged cell phones. This includes devices that do not power on and have been exposed to liquid damage. According to ecoAtm “if the device has a cracked screen, water damage, is perfect, or no longer powers on we will give you a price quote.”

Selling Water-Damaged Phone: Data Safety Survey

Are you considering selling a water-damaged phone that no longer works, but worried about the possibility of someone retrieving your personal data? If so, you’re not alone.

To better understand the risks of selling a water-damaged phone and the possibility of data theft, we surveyed 22 phone repair shops to see their thoughts. We asked cell phone repair shops if one should be concerned about selling a water-damaged phone and whether someone could potentially retrieve personal data from it.

Surprisingly 17 repair shops said that there is a chance someone could retrieve data from your water-damaged phone once sold. One repair shop owner describes how he found an iPhone on the side of the road that has been exposed to months of salt and snow. After complete disassembly, cleaning, and a few new parts it booted right up to all of the owner’s contents.

Should you be concerned about selling a water-damaged phone and your personal data being retrieved?Results
22 repair shops were surveyed

To prevent someone from retrieving your data once your phone is sold it’s important to sell to a reputable company that will not look at your data. Be sure to look at online company reviews and only sell to someone you trust.

Where to Sell Water-Damaged Phones?

Surprisingly many popular electronics buyback companies do not buy water-damaged cell phones. To help we’ve compiled a list of some notable companies that buy and do not buy water-damaged phones.

The following companies do NOT buy water-damaged electronics:

  • itsworthmore: Do not buy water-damaged phones. According to their site, devices must not show signs of liquid intrusion or damage.
  • Buybackboss: Don’t buy liquid-damaged devices.
  • Gadgetgone: Doesn’t buy devices that do not power on. This would usually include water-damaged devices.
  • The Whiz Cells: Do not take water-damaged electronics.

Luckily there are a considerable amount of reputable companies that will happily buy your water-damaged phones and electronics.

The following companies will BUY water-damaged electronics:

  • Smartphones Plus: Will buy water-damaged electronics and devices that do not power on.
  • Declutter: Will buy liquid-damaged phones. This includes faulty phones such as broken/bleeding LCD, water damage, no power up, or blank LCD.
  • Ocbuyback: Will buy damaged electronics including any device that is water damaged, bent and or dented housing, etc…
  • Buybackworld: States they will buy water-damaged devices.
  • We Buy Cell Phones: We will also buy water and liquid-damaged phones and electronics. We hope you consider us when deciding to sell your water-damaged devices.

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We Buy Cell Phones
1120 Pacific Ave Suite 209, Tacoma, WA 98402


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Need help? Email us at vadim@webuycellphones.com