Repair, Trade In, or Buy New?

When a device breaks, does it make more sense to repair it, trade it in, or buy a new one? The best option depends on your situation and the age of the broken device. Here’s everything you need to know about your three options and how to make the best choice.

Cost of Repairing a Device Versus Buying a New One

The cost of repairing your tech depends on the device. Here are the average prices for out-of-warranty device repairs from independent repair shops:

  • Smartphones: $70 to $400
  • Laptops: $45 to $100
  • Tablets: $50 to $200
  • Appliances: $100 to $200

Devices with extensive damage will cost more to repair than those with minor issues. For example, the most common repairs for smartphones and tablets are screen repairs, which cost between $100 and $200. In addition, some phone models will cost more to repair than others. However, the cost to repair a phone is almost always more affordable than purchasing a new device.

If you damage your iPhone 14, you’ll pay around $200 to fix the cracked screen. On the other hand, if you choose to replace the device, you’ll pay $799. **As long as the repair is worth less than 50% of the retail price, you’ll save money by repairing rather than replacing the device. **

Replacing your phone is the best option only if you want an upgrade. So, if your original phone model is older and you want the newest model, go ahead and replace the broken one. You can also earn money by trading in your old broken phone to a trade-in program.

What Are Trade-In Programs?

Trade-in programs allow you to trade in your device in exchange for money, gift cards, or store credit. It’s a great way to get rid of old devices because the trade-in partner will usually recycle the device for parts or refurbish it for resale.

One of the best-known trade-in programs is from Apple. Apple’s webpage states, “If your device isn’t eligible for credit, we’ll recycle it for free. No matter the model or condition, we can turn it into something good for you and good for the planet.” The company accepts trade-ins for iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, Androids, and other devices.

Here’s how much you can earn when you trade in an iPhone:

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: Up to $650
  • iPhone 12 Mini: Up to $250
  • iPhone 11: Up to $200
  • iPhone XS: Up to $160

If you trade in a Mac device, you can also earn store credit or a gift card to put towards your next Apple purchase. For example, here are the potential earnings for some common Mac devices:

  • MacBook Pro: Up to $630
  • MacBook Air: Up to $440
  • Mac Pro: Up to $1250
  • iMac Pro: Up to $600

If you’re planning to purchase a new device, trading in your old one always makes sense. It’s an easy way to recycle it while getting something back in return.

Does the Age of the Device Matter?

When deciding whether to repair or replace your tech, always consider the current age of the broken device. If the device is fairly new, replacing it doesn’t make sense. For example, if you break your iPhone 14, replacing it will cost nearly three times as much as repairing it. And, since buying a new device doesn’t give you any major upgrades, repairing it is the better decision.

On the other hand, if you’re using the iPhone XS and it breaks, you should consider buying a new phone since it’s likely that you’ll replace the device soon, regardless.

Is the Device Still Under Warranty?

Most electronics will come with a limited warranty from the manufacturer. Most limited warranties cover manufacturing defects for 90 days to 12 months. If you’ve purchased the device recently, there’s a good chance that it’s still covered under the limited warranty. Before you take any action, contact the manufacturer to see if the warranty is still intact. However, keep in mind that limited warranties only cover manufacturing defects, not accidental damage.

In addition, check to see if you purchased an extended warranty for the device. Extended warranties help to cover the cost of the repair. So, if you purchased a warranty for a large appliance, the extended warranty provider should help arrange repairs for you (and most warranty providers will cover the full cost of the repair as well).

Conclusion: Repair, Trade-In, or Buy New?

Whether you repair, trade-in, or buy a new device depends on your situation. To recap, in most cases, you’ll save money by repairing your device when it breaks. However, if the device is older or you would benefit from upgrading, then purchase a new one. Use a trade-in program to get the best value when purchasing a new device.

Get Easy Repairs With an Upsie Warranty

When you purchase a new device, pair it with an Upsie warranty. Upsie’s extended warranties are affordable, comprehensive, and customer-friendly. Many of Upsie’s warranties for portable devices include protection for accidents, ensuring coverage for drops, screen cracks, and liquid spills. Upsie also has warranties for laptops, tablets, appliances, headphones, and more!

Even better, Upsie offers a subscription warranty for old, new, and used smartphones for only $9.99 per month. This warranty is unique because it has a $0 cracked screen deductible (deductibles from competitors range from $29 to 249!) and you can make two claims per rolling 12 month period.

To purchase an Upsie smartphone warranty, your device must have no current damage. If your current smartphone is broken, you can contact Upsie for help finding an independent repair shop. Upsie guarantees that you’ll pay up to $20 less than the walk-in price. Plus, Upsie guarantees the repair.

Once your smartphone is in good working condition, pair it with Upsie’s extended warranty to get comprehensive protection!

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.